Thursday, August 30, 2012

At the very center of the city is the water park.

At the very center of the city is the water park. For three acres trees explode in green leaves. Vines hang like clotheslines above, and underneath flow streams through the dark ground. In the center of the park is a lake deep enough to wade in where children go to play as young couples stretch out along its banks, shaded by the trees.

They say that if you walk far enough away from the city, you can find a water park that is as big as the whole world. That pools so large you cannot see across them exist beyond where trees grow in the millions and water falls from the sky as does sand.

When I was a child my gramp told me his childhood memory of when a storm, wet instead of dry, blotted out the sun. Thunderous and grey, it passed overhead instead of enveloping the city in its whirling mass, and then let forth a flurry of water hurling through the dark air over our orange walls, pounding against the beaten sandy paths, streaming through kitchens and roads and ruts, filling the city with its presence, soaking into the dry essence of where we live to mix and form gunk and froth and quags. Residents were forced inside, then upstairs, then to roofs, which then fell in and apart as the water ate away at them. Men plunged to their deaths, families were buried under gelatinous chunks of their home. Upon its passing, my grandfather ran up and down streets that had run away in huge gouges and ripples that now settled in their sinuous deformation. All day the city stank, and it took weeks and months to restore order and function. “Rain is hell,” his voice rasped. “Do not wish for rain.”

But I do. I wish for cold aqueous sheets to clean my skin. I wish for my mouth to ever taste sweet and my throat never to parch. I wish for verdure and erosion and decay.

Soon I will leave the city and its sharp shade to venture under the sun parked permanently in apex. I will walk until even its oppressive force begins to wane, to where it sits off-kilter in the pale blue plane above us. I will arrive in the afternoon lands of forrest and creek. I do not know if my ancestors will be there to greet me as the bibahb preaches, as he also preaches that the only way to arrive in heaven is through death.

I cannot believe that.