Sunday, November 7, 2010

Mister Nimbus and flying in sunlight.

The word about town is that Mister Nimbus is coming home to visit. I look forward to seeing them and a new baby cloud. I wrote this when he left, almost three years ago.

Today my friend flies across the ocean to be with his bonny in Oslo. Although we don't spend inordinate amounts of time together, he has a large presence in my thoughts and he will be missed. I have built towering fortifications around myself over the years. I like to think of them as impenetrable, but now and then someone comes along and walks through an unmanned gate, surprising and delighting me. Once again, I have spent a wakeful night. Often thoughts of flying eventually lull me to sleep. When we say good bye, my friend and I, we promise to see each other in dreams. I think of him on the plane and remember the last time that I flew. It was pure escapism. I bought my ticket in the late spring. I remember coming home afterwards, taking a bath and then sitting on my balcony in the weak sun, with bare arms and wet hair. Everything was hurting and all I wanted was to get away to some place with no memories, a city I could walk around in and not see any familiar faces.
To fly across Africa in the daytime is a wondrous thing. I like following the line on the dinky little digital map, but actually have no idea where we really are. There are settlements down there, with huts and cooking fires and animals and people. Suddenly vast slate mountains appear and then hours upon hours of sand. Sahara. The name alone inflames my old-fashioned heart. The dunes form strange patterns from above. Spidery sea things, varicose vein networks. By the time we get to Europe at four pm, it's velvety dark and Paris is incandescent. It gives me a thrill of perfect pleasure. A wing-tip comes close to brushing the Eiffel Tower, it leaves behind a white-hot retinal ghost.
London is a beast of a different stripe, the luminous rush-hour python that is the M25 coiling and hissing around the cosmic sprawl. 
Excitement like soda water in my blood.


Marie said...

Beautiful last sentence.

Some Sahara for you:

Lily Turner said...

thank you! and for the link. exactly those spidery formations I was talking about - extraordinary.