10 January 2011

The Tallest Man on Earth

Stories and a couple pictures from an awesome Christmas are coming, but here's this for now.

The power was out last night and so I sat outside on my front step with the first pin-prick stars and the smallest sliver of the moon, though it was dark enough that I could still see the shadow of the rest of it, and listened to music and I remembered that this line, when I listened to this song at home, made me think of living here, and now that I am here, it makes me think of living here -- how it's so flat out here that when you climb up above everything else you can see until you can't, and the way that the lightning colors everything pale purple-white during diagonal lashing rains or lights up piles of clouds in the black night distance, and when I got home from Christmas and it was hot as hot and so dry and dust-blown because it hadn't rained in weeks and I couldn't bathe because the tap had gone dry and people in town had to walk, jerrycans on their heads or roped to the backs of their bicycles, for maybe an hour or maybe more to find water somewhere else, and when there's no moon and I wake up in the pitch-black in the middle of the night and open my eyes and nothing changes and I wave my hand in front of my face, my fingers inches from my eyes, and am unable to see it or even sense the movement and for just a second I wonder if I can see anything at all as I roll over and go back to sleep, hoping, still half-dreaming, that I'll be able to see the sun when I wake up -- and it's this: "Well, hell, I'm just a blind man on the plains. I drink my water when it rains, and live by chance among the lightning strikes." And then the power came back on and I could still see in the morning and I was pretty happy about that.

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