Sunday, August 8, 2010

Parallel Universe

In the parallel world outside my bedroom window, in the world that is Bali, women walk like ants across the rice field with baskets of bricks balanced their heads. A new Villa is about to claim another section of the sawah. The farmer in his pointy hat shouts across the morning to his neighbour, words indecipherable to my foreign ears and brown bodies, sinews and leather stand in mud, bend backs in early light and send plumes of clove scented cigarette towards the volcano peering through its cloudy wrap.

If they look in across the broken glass embedded in the wall that separates us they see me. Propped on pillows with my laptop, way past the hour that they would ever stay in bed, writing. The ceiling fan is blowing its helicopter hurricane, prayer flags flap across my mirror and fresh brewed coffee sits beside me as I wonder, wonder what they think of bule in their bungalow peninsula protruding through the field. Which of their cousins, now idle as our rent releases them from their muddy drudgery, are cursed? What envy, rampant in the national psyche, oozes through the paddy to press it's face upon my window pane? Or do they really care?

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