Poste Restante

Popayan (11)

Writing just gives you a chance to return, gives you an illusive, but very intoxicating feeling that one somehow is able to be a master of time. That it’s possible to return to some images, smells, sounds and feelings. That it’s possible to repeat the past. Andrzej Stasiuk

I didn’t go too far. I returned to the hotel, I do not know for how long, maybe till Monday, maybe a little longer. Similarly, as I would do in Zarzal, I go down for breakfast to a restaurant in Popayan, at noon I go back for lunch and then, at midnight, I eat supper in my room. Sometimes someone sits next to me and we talk, which makes I smile. Yesterday someone asked if I was from Colombia. I smiled more, maybe even truly. And then I went back to my room. The room is empty. There are no cats, lizards, spiders, nor any other creatures, as if someone had taken life away from all the corners. Two furniture serve for all equipment. As a matter of fact, I would perfeclty do without them, I do not think I would notice any difference.

I visited a local quack. I got some herbs for swallowing and inhalation. Anamu herb (Petiveria allacea) and Luffa (Luffa operculata). People say Luffa does miracles. For now, I have not noticed any improvement, and if I am to talk about changes, there was rather a small setback. Perhaps the plant did not work, because I overdosed it and although Luffa was said not to have had any side effects, I paid dearly for my over-zeal, so to speak, cause I woke up with a powerful headache, totally clogged nose and definitely a too lengthy morning stay in the bathroom.

Despite seventy degrees (Fahrenheit), there is winter in Colombia, and people really complain about the cold. And about the weather. For six days, with short breaks, it has been raining heavily. During the downpour the whole street freezes. The rain strips the town of any sounds; the noise of horns, roars of engines, human cries, hits from full-throated speakers, but above all – it strips the city out of haste. Everything is swept by a rustle of rain.

I’m going back to the room. Wandering with my finger on the blank wall, I’m unsuccessfully trying to draw a map of the world. I still have a problem of where to put myself on it. Tin roof resonates loudly falling drops, drowns out my thoughts. When it finally stops raining, it gets terribly quiet. I blur the map and in its place I draw a large window. Then, I open it widely and suspire a long, cold breath. In the distance, the horizon appears, as always, still in the same place, didn’t approach an inch. Does it really exist?

I close the window, and go back to bed. I cover myself with a blanket and I start inventing stories. And then I commit them to paper and send long letters, which, on my unfinished map of the world, will look for their recipient.

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