Monday, February 05, 2007

Africa: Day 11 (Can't Sleep)

It is about an hour after I finished composing my last blog post that I sit here writing to you. When I finished earlier, Tim and I headed for the cab area outside and hailed the only waiting taxi, heading out once again towards our home, about two miles from the Corinthia.

As luck would have had it tonight, this was Tim’s turn to pay for the taxi, so I grabbed my bag as quickly as possible and headed through the rough concrete gate towards the door to the building, in a mad rush to escape what was quickly becoming a deluge. Not paying attention to my surroundings quickly taught me a lesson as I stepped up onto the slick marble entryway that precedes the foyer. As I hurried up the steep step, right foot first, my shouldered laptop bag shifted with my swaying stride to the right side, causing me to overbalance and fall crashing to the wet marble. Somewhere between the firing of my neural pathways that registered to my brain that I was in mid-fall my mind had the time to succinctly register the pain shooting up the outside of my right ankle and up my right leg, vanishing behind the knee only to reappear as a lightning bolt of painful energy somewhere near the top of my thigh. Even before I hit the ground fully I knew I was hurt. Not having ever actually sprained anything before, I am unfamiliar with the feeling, but I’m quite sure the tight steel bands that were only moments before sinuous ligaments are a sure sign that I have at the very least strained my ankle.

After limping upstairs in pain, grateful to Tim who ambled in his never hurrying pace to my side and shouldered my pack upstairs, I called my girlfriend to have someone to commiserate with momentarily while I ran a hot bath in the master bathroom. As the water heater gave forth its last vestiges of promised comfort, I pulled up a white dining room chair complete with plastic dust cover still intact, and sat beside the tub smoking a cigarette and drinking coke from an old fashioned glass bottle as soaked my right foot in the hot water.

I sit here now, with a Marlboro drifting its smoky tendrils up across my screen to my left, and relax in my room, seeking once again the appearance of words from blank page. Just as before, I have nothing prodigious to share with you, except for maybe the rantings of a would-be night owl who ought better to be in bed at this hour.

I sit her beside the opened door to my balcony, the smoke now choosing to shift its drift towards the more active breezes that dance outside my room. The lights of Libya lay before me, looking from this distance like the electrical pins on a social circuit board, winking on and off in no particular pattern as the city lives on beneath me.

I find it singularly strange how these people are affected by the rain. Indeed I am quite happy to be able to feel the clean taste of the air, now that nature has taken a moment to wash the scent of human influence from the air. The locals however have taken this as an unwelcome visitor to their social calendar, quietly going back to their homes to await the dry rebirth of another day. It is strange how completely silent the city has become. Were it not for the fact that I was just out on the streets a short while ago, I would believe some holocaust was imminent that that I was the only one who had not been told of its coming. Even our ride home was singularly strange; never passing one car either coming or going in either direction on the quiet wet city streets.

Considering the quite austere temperament of the rest of the city, maybe I too should tend to my dreaming and let this day pass from me as well. I have no work to do tomorrow, so I plan to do some prodigious shopping in old-city if the weather permits. So, until then my friends. May your dreams guard you well.

Tommy: 0235HRS 020507 GMT+2

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