Saturday, 20 September 2008

El Paso

A magazine flutters open in the wind. In the middle of the page is a reproduction of some sort of abstract painting. Chaotic oily blue swirls. It looks quite beautiful in the sunlight beside the swimming pool. A constant stream of cars surge past. Hotels tower above. The kid considers clipping out this image and pasting it to something. A guitar, perhaps. Beyond that, beyond this single moment, he has no idea what to do. His eyes are damp, his lips cracked and dry. They still smell of medicine, he tastes them hesitantly with his tongue. Traffic surges past in a heady roar and he tastes the medicine on his lip again, reassured by the the smell. He shudders in the breeze and turns to walk back inside to the hotel lobby.

Elderly American tourists regard him benignly. He nods benovelently at them. The elevator drags him skyward. On the sixth floor he finds his room. He enters and stands by the window which is admitting a musty square of sunlight. Some Mexican kids drift by on skateboards on the street below. He watches them for a second and then looks over to the horizon. The sun has begun to descend. Before long the sky will be streaked with beautiful streaks of muted colours. The kid experiences a twang of cosmic peace and euphoria. It will be short-lived though.
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