Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The school run

There are chickens ranging free at the school. Close the gate.
There is no chicken to be seen, two Indian ladies are talking in pleasant voices in the carpark, and one is fat. Few are fat in India, only the wealthy, and the wealthy are less in evidence there than you imagine.

Here the rich are thin. The world is upside down and round about. There are chickens ranging free in the streets of towns I have seen. Close the gate.

I am remembering Kumbia, I slept in a street and goats ate my toes first thing in the AM, and what would I think of a black man sleeping on the front when we were kids?

We never stop to consider. But I consider. Sometimes I feel

The ladies I do not know whether they are speaking in English or in tongues; I do not know whether they are speaking in some Indian language or in something I could understand if I only

why do I continue to believe that other people know things I don't, that they feel what I can't? Didn't we establish that I am not marooned, just ordinary, and all it is is that they are speaking in Kannada?

Did we not establish that when you put me straight

I am only kidding, because you never did, you never told me anything good about myself, even though you say, you are so good in so many ways, you cannot name even one way and I'm sick of that.

I wonder why there are no chickens in the yard, and how it looks to have plants, it reminds me of the school farm at Penpol. If you let your mind wander
Close the gate.

But no, really, it seems it was always spring. I do not remember days inside with rain on the roof. I do not remember anything but the warm gentle winds. I do not remember anything but loving it.

I see J as she ducks round a corner. I imagine she saw me and disappeared as quickly as she could, but I know that it is not how it is. Monkey! You're an auditor, adding up the insults that are not offered and making ledgers in which I am owed something by this world. I'd love to see her tits, they're so big that you cannot help thinking about them, but I never will. Even if, she is friendly with Mrs Z, and it would not be worth it because I only want to see them once and I will be satisfied.

The smaller I become, the less I want. By the time I die, I will be free of desire.

Monkey, you will be without a home when I am drawing my last breath and what will your pennypinching have achieved?

Even if I spoke Kannada

When I turn right out of the gateway, I keep thinking that I will not see the car oncoming. A couple of times cars came out of my blind spot and I know I'm too distracted to be good at this. A couple of times cars appeared from nowhere and I was ready to understand that nothing solid is solid. A couple of times I would have been dead before I even thought about dying and what would this be for?

I know I have a use though and I haven't stopped believing in being useful. But I fear the monkey is telling me lies, speaking in Kannada so that I am always thinking there is something I should be doing but it's just out of reach of comprehension.

I will never learn to speak that language. Have you ever

(It's not a punchline. There won't be one for this joke.)

Have you ever felt sad that the yard you scratch for corn in is so small?

On the way home I see a couple walking in the middle of the road, and I'm thinking, omg, you want the world to know you exercise in the AM. And you are realising, slowly, that there are so many reasons for things that you never knew the reasons for them, never realised that the ends they pursue are varied enough for you not to be able to know them all, and have you ever felt

that the world is bigger than the yard you scratch for corn in, but someone closed the gate, and you were not, even then, in the yard at all?



At 12:09 pm, Blogger $Zero said...

Have you ever felt sad that the yard you scratch for corn in is so small?

Great imagery.

Love the whole piece.

Ask me sometime about this great walking thing my cousins and I used to do. Never the same walk twice.

At 3:17 pm, Blogger Arleen said...

Ask me sometime about ...

Why must one ask? Just spill it at the moment of mentioning.

even though you say, you are so good in so many ways, you cannot name even one way

that sounds familiar


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