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Fresh off the ark
They wander in pairs through streets
that smell of warm sewage and cheaply manufactured pop music
Their eyes blink behind dark glasses.

In their rucksacks
Guidebooks with names that sound like grunge albums
argue incessently
scorning each other for being out of touch or even worse
predictable.
They make grand pronouncements and impossible boasts
They have spoken to all the right people
They know all the secrets
They are so off the beaten track that there are no longer any tracks
only thin desire lines
spilling invisibly outwards to
authentic beach bars
inaccesible hostels
and waterfalls so delicate that even looking at them can cause them to dry up
completely.

The pairs sit on small tables in crowded bars
drinking beer that glows like Hollywood
They fumble with colourful bank notes
The fan on the wall spins slowly to a stop
They are hungry
They want to see beautiful things
And have beautiful experiences
They want to wear somebody else’s courage
and arrogance
They want to buy desire
No one says the word adventure
Through a series of near-universally understood hand gestures
They negotiate the purchase of a packet of very foreign cigarettes
and try to inhale another language.

In the corner of the room
the older man in the faded yellow Tintin t-shirt
leans back on his stool and stretches his arms out along the bar
like wings
He prepares another anecdote like he might be rolling a cigarette
He thinks about all the photographs that he must be in
somewhere
arms around red shoulders
shot glasses tipped towards the camera
He imagines his stories disappearing second hand and third hand
to every corner of the world
each time breaking off a little bit of the original in the process.

Outside in the street
It is still hot
And the traffic hasn’t moved
Pairs of travellers try to glean information from a laminated sign that reads
Wilderness Tours
but the sign is bleached so white by the sun
that the photographs
and bullet points
have faded to the point of invisbility
They take off their dark glasses and peer closer
pressing their hands up against the page
to shield it from the light.

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One Comment

  1. Beautifully made :)


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