The City is a like a tropical fruit, break it open and you can taste the cold dripping flash.
Tuesday, 28 November 2017
It's night in Bangkok. Humidity rubs the collar of my shirt. I'm here to squeeze my old camera, pierce people's skin, see the jugular rhythm on an old man's neck rise before a moment of terror. Will I be able to do that? Am I wasting time? Nana's neon confuses me. I am a tourist, everyone knows it, I feel observed. How can I camouflage? The girl whom I ask says to imagine of being what I want and convince myself about it, others will believe it too. A cat stares at me, it is the only one to recognise me, now.
She is skeletal, has tattooed eyebrows and an ugly scar that deforms her hand. I find her beautiful. I have not touched alcohol but I feel drunk. A trickle of dog pee flows under the sidewalk. How much is missing at dawn? Where exactly am I? A ladyboy laughs at my joke even if he does not speak English. He puts his eyeglasses on me, everything becomes blurred. I watch him kiss the skeletal girl for a game, then his laughter disappears in the distance. He gives the glasses to a man who wants to sell me some Cialis. I watch him curl up on his heels. He offers me the leaflet of a Buddhist temple for farangs and unites his hands in gratitude.
I left the clock in Perth, along with my limits and dogmas. We cross a dark alley whose street lamps are the faces of people illuminated by smartphones. When the dawn arrives? I hope never. The moon is gone. A guy leaning on a shelter works his mouth with a toothpick. There are no more neon, just a sky of wet reinforced concrete that crushes us to the ground, peeling walls, grates of rusty metal. The skeletal girl tickles me, follows an infinite hug. How long have I known her? It doesn't matter, now we are siblings.
Thirty plucked chickens decorate a stall. The owner takes one, extracts the heart off from the animal with a knife and delivers it to a child who, grasping it with both bloody hands, gives it to the father. Why am I here? What am I looking for? The skeletal girl shrugs, kisses me on the forehead. She has many tattoos, all left in half. They represent her migratory bird essence. Do not ask too many questions about the future, make peace with the past, and when you get bored run away, do not say goodbye to me, I'll do the same.
In the street a downpour swept away the dog pee from the sidewalks. The shutters start to open again. Dawns. An old dilapidated house has survived the new lacquered skyscrapers that surround it. It's two old windows remind me of my grandfather's eyes. They seem to smile at me. I lay down on a bench, fall asleep.