Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I wish to tell you about road trips down country lanes, narrow ones, populated with sprinkling of flowers and people, over a lot, and I mean a lot, of greenery. Green hills rolling into one another, tightly clenched trees bristling, presiding over green fur. Crumbling cottages there are, seven-hundred-year-old structures some of them, and then a little up a ways, some new developments; lots with shiny prefab houses that look so neat, colorful, and cheap to be made of mere matchsticks; wouldn't be surprised to hear they were. Otherwise the scenery goes on, uninterrupted, until we enter a village with either the triangular-roofed houses or the mainstay one-story boxes with the double windows, always those double windows. For the winter, brutal here.

Down these country roads we travel once or twice a week in the summer, some times listening to music, some 1970s classical-experimental Slovak band, low-key rock, or nothing at all. Most often nothing at all but the scenery's sounds. All the unseen cacophony of summer life with its insects and murmurings of the earth. A tractor whirring or a hose we encounter maybe, manned by a suspicious or indifferent potbellied man. Suspicious if they were to catch your eye peering.

Women in muumus, wearing socks over sandals, with a water hose bent over the geraniums or other perennial variety.

Soothing, these drives. Mind succumbing to the movement, being pulled and lulled by it. Rarely do words pass between us, and if they do, it's something so commonplace, an item of a to-do list perhaps, that we just nod or grunt, uh-huhing each other in acknowledgement.

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