Monday, May 29, 2006

The retirement home

It rains again today, thundershowers. They are plains thundershowers, with the clouds forming, and visible, miles and miles away. The lightning occasionally startles the sky, and thunder is heard. You can see the rain then. It is under the clouds, a grey living veil. Slowly it creeps towards us, a living thing, and slow, so slow. But when it gets near, the wind blows gale force, a priarie hurricane!

I am riding my bike in front of it, and it brings dust from the road a half mile away now. The wind is so strong I feel as though I could fly without pedaling! Soon, soon, the rain will follow. If I were in the American plains, the rain would be already here, but on these plains, the distance between the wind and the rain seems to be stretched a bit. It finally comes down, a nice little wetting. The air cools slightly. The mosquitoes seem to multiply by magic. Now the heat hangs heavily, and the air is humid, although not yet the turgid humidity of the American south. Again it rains, bringing refreshing coolness for a spell, and then that cloud passes as the day passes. It is a little later, a little cooler, but it is still hot, and unpleasantly so.
I sit outside and eat dinner while I drink a beer. Some fellow residents are there, and we joke, but there is a tension. They are tired of the confinements of the camp. One likens it to a retirement home, telling jokes about old men, and his jokes ring true. We swat mosquitoes and they bet on what color of car will pass on the street next. It doesn't take long for them to tire of this amusement they have dreamed up, and they move inside, to the bar, where there is a larger variety of our expat community to share the jokes and stilted communing.
I swat mosquitoes for a few more minutes, alone, and then head indoors myself.

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