As I was saying…

Posted: December 14, 2011 in transliteration

The field was gone, but the mud looked fresh in the swamp where the cows’ hooves sink and suck as they graze. Without a field, why would the cows still graze, and why weren’t they sinking up to their bellies?
Why wasn’t I sinking?
The mud spattered my shoes, but I felt easily and evenly supported. This was not the marshy field behind my house that I once knew, but there was still no mistaking it as the same place. Surely, the cows knew.

I followed a shallow depression; a canal paved in bricks almost entirely obscured by the fine clay sediments congealing into a thick slurry. The ditch bordered two sets of fencing that ran parallel to each other with a gap of plush, finely manicured grass growing between them. Even if I could have walked between the fences, I would have found the idea of touching the grass uncomfortable.

The fence closest to me consisted of standard chain link that I could easily see through. While it had no forbidding razor wire running along the top and only ran over my own height because I was trudging through a canal, it did appear to be as well maintained as the lawn that created a 2 meter alley between me and the farther stretch of fence. Periodically, the metal netting arched across the canal and buried itself into a damp cinder block wall that significantly hindered my view in the opposing direction.

The second wall of fencing varied inconsistently and changed in short lengths.

I was looking at the individual property boundaries to the backyards of forgotten neighbors, but I only realized this when I reached my own yard. Here, the two rows of fence converged abruptly to accommodate for an older, taller and sturdier fence made from the same standard chain link…although showing more age.

There was no way into the yard, and it didn’t look like anyone had bothered to try for quite some time. At some point red brick replaced worn lath and plaster, but no one closed the windows to the wind or the rats. When I turned to the field, I understood why.


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