Monday, December 21, 2009
“I can see the wind is disturbing your hair,” the driver says. “It’s no problem,” I reply. My hair, now a knotted mess tied loosely behind my head, is indeed being disturbed. The blowtorch hot wind slaps against my face as it rips and torments my hair. The African sun pierces my exposed skin through the open window. The radio blares techno versions of Christmas songs as we fly down the red-earthed road. The pickup jostles over bumps and swerves in violent bursts to avoid the crater-like potholes. “Do you know this song?” I ask, “Rudolph, he’s a red-nosed reindeer.” “A reindeer with a red nose?” he asks curiously. He turns up the volume. We careen past bicycles that seem to be moving in slow motion, weighed down by oversized loads and small children. Somewhere in the world children are fast asleep tucked under heavy warm blankets. It is snowing in the dark of night. The moon reflects off the crisp white snow, illuminating pine trees littered with decorations. But here, there are no pine trees. The blue sky is vast and unending. It’s as though we could drive for days and the landscape would never change. We are almost airborne now as we chase towards the sun faster and faster in hopes of an endless day. I lay my head against the back of the seat. “Then one foggy Christmas eve...” rolls around in my sun scorched head. It all feels neither normal nor abnormal. It just is.