Ed Ruscha/ Manana / 2009 / Acrylic on canvas
The rain has been falling hard for several minutes, to the extent that expansive puddles have formed across the road. Raindrops make big Os, little os and bubbles that swim along the gutters towards the drains to fall under the street and into the network of subterranean rivers and streams with all the rest of the city's sweat. Another difficult Thursday of humid panic heat in mid-July. Muddy Waters can be heard, just about through the downpour, coming through the open door of this neon-lit bar. A man in a leather jacket reads a book at the bar; three other men drink Pacíficos at a table near the window.
Ceiling fans swirl quietly above.
Leather on leather,
And here comes the bus, giant red marsupial that she is, take me into the next day. A daddy blackbird sits on top of the TV aerial above the chimney tops of the tallest house on the street. Keep singing, please keep singing, you're beautiful. He flies off.
A public park, an early evening in June. A row of faded fountains once gaily coloured are a good forty or fifty feet away from my place on the bench, but if I'm lucky enough the breeze might turn my way on occasion and I'll feel the slightest spots of cooling spray on my face. I'm fine here, the roaring aeroplanes are too far away to cause any harm and are present only as a murmur. Promptly at six o'clock the fountains fall silent still and the birdsong makes itself heard for the first time since morning. Blackbirds the most prominent, only broken by an invasive parakeet. The fountains may have stopped, but it's OK; I am sure that sometime tomorrow they'll resume their parade of quaint splendour.
I'm here trying to get my head around priorities. There are 200 schoolchildren missing in Nigeria, a journalist has been falsely imprisoned in Egypt, we have a very small fraction of the dairy farmers that we used to in this country, the international body in charge of football has not banned for life a player who has bitten another player on three separate occasions and been fined for racially abusing a black player and and and has handballed on the line deliberately in another World Cup, buses don't take cash anymore and penalise if you don't prepay, payday loans companies can fabricate the existence of law firms in order to get their customers who are cash-strapped to pay earlier and only gets a fine well someone was breaking the law why is no one arrested and imprisoned for this? Paper, pain. Illegal loggers will oust a previously uncontacted tribe from the South American rainforest in order to make garden furniture for Europeans and Americans. I can placate myself with sex every now and then, a nice aftershave some nice beer lots of music and frequent trips to Nandos. An old lady dying of advanced pancreatic cancer, Isis taking over Iraq. Syria. MH370. MH17. Too much too quickly. Nice burrito place opened up nearby. Hell I don't believe in , God but the thunder tonight is mighty ominous. It won't stop.