Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Mounting Doom – Part III

We arrived home, I settled down to scribble memories, and my friend had the first crack at a hot shower to remove the grit of Nyiragongo from her skin.  Around an hour after arriving, when I was stepping out of a steamy shower, running my hands fondly over the rock wall and mirrors of the dream bathroom, I heard the faint patter of rain outside. 


Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Mounting Doom – Part II

Finally packed with what I thought were far too many jackets and socks – as I knew for a fact that I would be an icicle at that altitude regardless of how many layers I wore – we headed off in a taxi towards the station and our tour.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Mounting Doom – Part I

Last week, I had a visit from an old friend who once had to fish me out of a lake and inexplicably still liked me.  We headed off on a boat to see a volcano because I am a masochist. 

After having battled our way through the port and into our seats, I was a little disappointed when the TV was fixed on a channel of gospel music, but decided to use the time to sleep.  This was mostly foiled when a pastor in a shiny grey suit strode in between our seats and began roaring that everything would be okay with God.  No one was overtly contradicting him, but he still felt the need to rail in order to increase our enthusiasm.  A few hapless women who halfheartedly muttered Amen or hummed a few bars of a given hymn he had chosen were immediately ordered to stand and sing or pray.  I had stealthily tried to unearth my camera to capture the moment, but gave up on this in case the man, like any predator, could sense movement. 

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

These Moments

There was a moment…  As I was sitting down to write the post, to relax from numbers, reports, French, suffering - there was a sharp crack! and I thought, Gunshots.

It was the first time I’d ever thought that.  I didn’t think of fireworks, of the chime of bracelets dancing, of the heat of cayenne and closeness.  I didn't smile at silvery memories of a childhood brilliant with magic spells and house colours.  I thought of violence.  And realized something had changed.  Certainly someone had. 

Friday, 28 July 2017

What Happens Here…

Butters, who often self-identifies as a delicate flower with all the arrogance of a young white American male, had long worried me with his penchant for standing with one hand supporting his fractured rib.  The thought of the long (but mainly smooth) drive to and from our retreat location added to this worry.  Luckily, Butters is strong (and usually silent – except about stupid things) and he (along with Carrottop) even managed to catch or recover my truly miserable Frisbee throws – despite looking like Napoleon caught in a nightmare of taking a left turn at Albuquerque on his way to the Battle of the Waterloo and finding himself in swim trunks in the middle of a lake.

Upon arrival at the border, he introduced the topic of our water situation, which is his equivalent of retirement planning.  I’d naturally been thinking about this for weeks (especially since Timbit was due to return from her vacation soon) and had some ideas, but Butter’s involvement at this stage was truly a sign of our mental compromises as roommates.

At home, I quickly revised every good opinion I’d ever had of him, ever, in the history of all time.