north of nowhere in particular
Updated: Jul 29, 2019
Here, at this moment in time, the rain bleeds from within and the sky is coping with our loss of faith, lost ones too. Standing in front of these empty yellow cabins at the end of a dry, misty and unforgiven summer I think of all the souls whose footsteps somehow still touch the brown, short and nearly-dead grass that surround me. The sound of a distant power generator echoes above the lake and hits the pine trees’ leaves violently, in slow invisible waves. As the sun disappears behind the red mountains, the town seems ghostly quiet, there’s a small café and a sushi place owned by an ever smiling Korean family, a large restaurant which only opens for dinner in the winter months, when tourists come here to enjoy the natural hot springs, piling up in the pools like sugar-ants pile up on syrup. There’s also a nightclub, or at least that’s what the colourful sign says: MEDITERRANEAN NIGHT CLUB with big bold blue letters. A white structure, neither a house nor a commercial building, pretty hard to miss, standing by the lake across the rusty playground. Inspired by ancient Greek architecture and built with local Westernised expertise, it appears to be the only joint for drinks and whatnot. "A fancy diner used to be right here on this corner in the old days", I hear a local old man tell the only couple of visitors around. They nod, smile timidly and walk away back to the safety of their hotel.
The end of the afternoon brings memories of moments I never lived, or I at least I can’t seem to recollect the uncanny familiarity this town brings about. There’s a beautiful sense of nostalgia and an old smell of ancient decay floating in the air around here. The faded colours of the houses, the way the street signs are placed, the small white boats docked at the lake barely moving above the waves, the fresh smell of the lake itself, the early morning fog and the deadly silence within the many right-nows of the existence here. Old voices reverb in your head as you walk around this town. People’s faces are often pale and they don’t seem to care much about anything in particular. Time moves slow, dogs are walked back and forth around the lake by old folks as clouds patiently wait for their turn to cry once again. A matter of time.
As I approach my car, the air tells me its most delicate secrets with a deliberate slow and cold breath. I stare at the lake and the mountains and the café and the sushi place and the nightclub one more time before entering the vehicle. I sit in there for a while, engine idling, thinking of time itself and the nights ahead of us in this small town placed in a void between eternity and death.