Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Tendrils on the Road

I rode the bus to Seoul at early. I actually had to be at the bus by four am so I could be in Seoul on time for my flight. I left my place at three. The dogs gave me that annoyed look for waking them up from their beauty sleep. The rain is coming down hard, monsoon season at four am. The big bag I pull down the stairs behind me is loud and I worry about waking the entire building at four. I managed to get down to the ground at last. I forgo an umbrella and instead race to the corner mart to buy a drink. Fortune is with me and there is a cab waiting when I exit the store. Unusual in the rain and for the time of day.

I get to the station and the Korean attendant is lively. "I'm from Hawaii, you know, where you going? Oh, Incheon, yes, pretty lady, okay, where you sitting? Like here, this seat solo is good." I answer in Korean and he smiles "Your Korean, good, good." He switches to Korean to ask me how long I've been in country, clearly impressed, and then finally letting me go for the bus.

I climb on, wakeful, I'd actually managed to go to bed and sleep hard from nine to three am and so I was rested and ready to ride. The music from my mp3 sang in my head as I boarded the bus and waited for the departure. For a four a.m. bus it was surprisingly full of people but I still managed to have a seat alone in the back.

The night in Korea is dark and rainy. I watch the rain against the windows lit by the lights of passing traffic in early morning.  A dense spatter that runs rivulets across the windows, little rivers that become tendrils, the tendrils picking softly through the flotsam and jetsam of my memories, touching small pieces here and there and bringing them up from the bottom for a moment to be illuminated by three am strobe-lights.

There are memories of being eight in the back of a pink thunderbird listening to the quiet whispers designed not to wake the children between my mother and my grandmother. There was the fog of mountains at six a.m. so thick I thought was in the clouds and could just kick off and float into air. The rain became driving in Chicago in the storms, the expressways filling with water, flooding the city. Thunder and lightening crackled surprising in the early morning sky, a storm, something rising, pulling me in a cacophony of thoughts rising up, blackening a the bottoms and graying at the top.

I drifted into road dreams of unrest full of passing montages of deserts, dust storms, downpours and droughts, my youth, my life, my living, my now, my death on the threads of spatter against the window pane on foreign roads in far off lands.

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