Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Amy McCraken walks to work

As seemed to be the case with increasing frequency the mountain was on the wrong side again when Amy woke up. Last night as she was falling asleep, wind-up radio beneath her pillow going into slow kinetic reverse, she had watched through her bedroom window as the moon struggled to avoid being punctured on the spikes of the peaks before her eyelids in turn were slammed down by gravitational forces once it finally rose above. Now as she sat on the edge of her bed trying to keep the strands of her hair on top of her head and out of her eyes and mouth where they were determined to stay, she gazed out across the plain at the horizon, her view uninterrupted but for the first of the sharabangers filled with the usual mix of treasure and junk, in both stock and human form.

Perhaps the mountain had gone to Mohammed. Again.

The day before the border patrol had consisted of wire fences, jeeps, floored tents with scanning equipment, fourteen armed guards and as many dogs. She had understood more of what the dogs were trying to say than the men. Neither were abusive, but it was frightening to walk through the middle of them anyway. More unnerving in a way was how the lead guard flinched and his dog started to spin around, tail down, when she pulled out her papers, as if she was the frightening one. But today there were just two boys kicking something that was not a ball and probably had as much air outside it's hopeful and in no sense spherical shape than inside. Maybe the mountain had pierced the moon last night after all, and this was all that remained after it's fall to earth.

They were belting the ball, bag, dead animal? Don't look too closely, don't look back and forward across the border, changing sides every so often through huge holes in the fence which couldn't have been there yesterday but at the same time must have been.

As she drew level the older of the two stopped the bag, thank god under his elephant hide foot and called over to her "Today there is a tax on crossing the Border. One kiss. Each". Amy puckered her lips above flattened fingers and channelled Monroe, freeing two butterfly kisses into the air. This seemed to be enough, the bag was once again changing nationalities at the height of it's parabolic arc before the second kiss had even been fully mined.

What was it that was kicking her across the border? Surely yesterday she had lived on the east side of the border and crossed to her job at the Bazaar on the west? How could this be happening? And shouldn't she feel something about it, some kind of concern for the way the physical world was suddenly fluid?

And who exactly was she thinking all this for anyway? Who was ever going to hear her internal monologue, broadcasting from inside her head for an audience of one.  Live from the Borderline Bazaar, this is Amy McCraken. Cracking up.

 cracking up

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