girl downing the steps with the rising sun

girl downing the steps with the rising sun
Hitchhiking from Chumpon to Phang Nga, Thailand

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Still, Still Malaysia.

Played badminton in the park across the street from the Food Not Bombs house today. I’d forgotten it’s an actual sport. Looks so easy, you just need to get a few rounds into it at first. Our game got cut short because we got rained out. It’s beautiful rain though, speckling the shiny cement, glossy from the sun. We watched a busted umbrella fall from it’s hook outside when the thunder cracked. The kitchen door kept slamming shut in a scream from the wind. Everything was shaking. Everything sweats- the buildings, the plates and napkins, the clouds, even the hands on the clock and of course the dog and cat sweat during the sunshine so it feels extra nice when we get cooled off.
The night has been sweet and breezy. I’m sniffling now from the change of weather. It was inevitable I’d get sick throughout the journey, I just figured I’d grab a cold out in the snow-bunny cities of blizzards but I guess germs couldn’t even survive that, perhaps they just thrive here in the tropics. I’d forgotten about mosquitoes and how they’ll fancy my blood again. Took the train to an art gallery opening. The show wasn’t much to talk of but my, were the people ever lovely. Afterwards, we rolled about 10 deep to a food joint. About half of us was a bicycle crew. We were leading the way, on foot, as they were following behind. They kept looking our way, straight ahead, riding slowly and staring at us. We were chatting and bouncing our little heads around like we do so much, that it felt as if they were a film crew going along behind us. When we’d stop, they’d stop, then we’d keep going and they would too. We continued chatter boxing while they just stared ahead in a caravan like spies. Just on the other side of the joint, I noticed a man hunched over a book of cd's. His cigarette was slimy on the lip-end and the ashes coming off of the cherry were longer than the filter itself. He was hugging a microphone in his armpit that another man was tugging on. I gladly, joined them for a few songs of karaoke.
Today I went in for an interview. I met a guy last night at the art show who kindly invited me to come in to his art gallery the very next morning. I finally arrived there, with a sniffly nose and strong, sudden affects of jet lag. It’s one of those things that has just begun to kick in, a few days into my time on the other side of planet Earth. I nearly snoozed my way through the talk with my potential boss. My eyes wouldn’t stop watering and my mouth stayed open (by accident) so as to let the snot drain down the back of my throat and into my stomach, I couldn’t possibly have let it run down the front of my face into my mouth, or into my hankie like I usually do. (The blue and orange cowboy one, the one my dad gave me seven years ago I never travel without- it‘s been trekking through the snowy Andes, hitched a ride in an 18-wheeler from the Atacama desert in Chile clear up the mountains to central Bolivia, it‘s been rinsed out and dried out on the salty beaches of northeastern Brazil, was a dust and sand mask for cliff-cycling, has been an emergency period-catcher, held a shell collection from the Oregonian coastline, secured bandages on some of my bloody joints, it even pulled my hair back this morning in the bath. It‘s been a picnic landing-strip in the Idaho cemetery, it’s masked me from the fumes of Asian spray paint and 2004 Miami tear gas and it has cleared the sweat from my brow and neck copious amounts of times. My mother once said, “You know, Maya, you should really have your father give you one of his handkerchiefs, he has so many.” and I said, “Oh, he already did. He gave me the blue and orange one with cowboys on it. I love it.” She thought about it for a moment and then declared, “Oh! I remember that one! It’s always been my favorite.” “Mine too, Mom. How neat.” My dad told me grampa Noah never left home without one. It was one of the many important lessons my father learned from him. Sure enough, before grampa Noah died (on my 19th birthday when he was in his 100th year of life), whenever I’d visit with him I’d notice that he did always carry one. He’d wipe his drippy nose with it. And that’s what I’ve been doing all day long. Sneezing and running. Later on, I suffered the worst case of jet lag I can remember. My eyes were on springs during my delirium, dropping in and out of my skull, bungeejumping all the way past my blemished chin. I had to push them back in by coiling up the long, rusty loops and jabbing them into their sockets with my teeth-torn nails. Went home and slept, slept long and well even while the mosquitoes came to feast on my fresh, white meat.

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