Fragments of an Afternoon

Since last night, rain. The city woke grey under it and it did not relent till afternoon. The sun appeared, the clouds returned, soon on the concrete with that jungle-overgrown look that runs through parks, will be dark again. Already the rain is tentative on the window.

* * *
Whatever you may say about the people of Bogotá, you must say they are city people. I hate them most of the time, pallid and artificial, but they are city people and so my people. Soft in a way, but also tough and I rejoice in them. Hurriers.

This is no collection of suburbs; this is a great, sprawling, decaying, pulsating, infested city full of buying and selling. Mechanics lounge covered in motor oil waiting for the next taxi to break down.

* * *
I love the weather here, most of the time. I miss seasons, but I love the rain. I love these long soaking rains, the gladness under them of vegetation is my gladness too. The warmth of lights, the moss on cracked sidewalks, the jungle in the distance, in the background, in the unconcious and often out of it in this city I would miss. In the distance sleep the marshes, teeming with disease, waving in the air a lazy palm. In a thousand little shops across the city mounded fruit and vegetables sit and shine, ripen and rot.

* * *
Sometimes the clouds come down to the rivers, the torrential tropical muddy fishfull rivers of this country. Then they hide the mountains, and the jungles and there is only the rushing as of time passing hurriedly through the moment of distilled eternity, the silent fish. Sometimes those clouds come down on the city and it is ghostly and time is not to be seen, only a golden haze where light spills into eternity.

When in the chilly morning of such a fog you smell the bread, then you will know that you are almost home. But not before.


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