Wednesday, September 21, 2005

A motor

The drizzle outside was light enough only for a smile and gentle dance, but when a muted clang reverberated in the area as the lights went off, I looked up at the slowing fan, wishing for something more than electricity. It was a vague wish for an impossible dream: a motor for government, the people, and one for me.

Each recent month had brought with it hours of lost power. And there were the disasters, the burst cloud, the collapsing buildings, the confrontations between politicians who were once united, the bar girls. Each day greeted us with a sympathetic smile, and I am certain others felt this as well. It's been a weary summer. The experienced say it was always this way, that this regression is new only to you foreign-returnees. They smile and pat and say "keep going" because the city hasn't collapsed, they say, and their lives are better than they were some years ago and they now have broadband and supermarkets and modern cars, they say. It isn't comforting because "life is better now" says nothing. A smooth road, clear drains, uninterrupted power will say a lot more. It's a place to start.

I don't feel like dancing now. Perhaps tomorrow morning will be better.


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