Saturday, June 09, 2012

Snapshot Poetics

It was the end of May and of course, the infamous showers had come hailing down and hadn’t showed any sign of stopping. I was curled up on the sagging, musty couch in the living room of my tiny Tijuana flat – grey, cinderblock walls, red and dusty tiled floor, used furniture slung sparsely about, situated slap bang in the middle of skid row. But today was different. Instead of sighing despairingly at the weather and wishing it to go away, I gazed out of the grimy window suddenly wishing I could stand it in. Letting it fall down my shoulders and soak my hair right through. After a couple of minutes, the strong desire slipped and I shook my head, passing it off as simply boredom - and maybe a moment of insanity. I shuffled to the kitchen and began making a cup of coffee of which I then took a sip and promptly spat out. I’d been to the mercado (market to you ding-a-lings that don't speak the lingo) but there was no sign of my usual brand, so absent-mindedly, I had picked up whatever they had. Clearly that was a big mistake.
“Oh my God,” I coughed slightly. “That’s vile.” Now I was, even though I ashamed to say it, somewhat pretentious when it came to coffee. Even though I didn’t always have the time to make filter coffee, I always made sure I had the best instant. It was this incident which was the tip of the ice-berg.
“Right,” I slapped my hand on the counter. “Coffee shop it is!” I pulled off my large ‘comfy’ pajamas, pulled on a coat and some khaki Dickies pants and flung myself out of the doorway, grabbing my umbrella on the way and got lost in the gray, wet haze of the labyrinthine streets...

Fat electrical wires criss-cross in the air between terraces of dead, potted plants and hissing gas tanks, steam billows from Chinese restaurants and temale vendors as water rages down from a million corrugated roofs. A multitude of neon signs blink and blare in vain - everything is grey, dull, lifeless. The rain is cascading so hard, the narrow streets are lost in a thick, shimmering haze.

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