Neil Coppen

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Revolt of Eggs and Cymbals

December28

You might dread the endless scroll the meets your eyes when you open these entries. Why you might say, Get outside see the continent and stop trying to write about it. My reasons in this case are vaild (see below) also im downloading some travel pics (protection) and this takes most of a day with the donkey power of these archaic machines.

The trek I was hoping to take has been impossible to book due to festivities (annoyingly) halting the everyday clockwork of a functioning globe. My one day stop over in Hauraz has extended now to its fourth ,as I wait (in interminable limbo) for the gringos (im yet to see one) to recover from hangovers, crawl out the woodwork and book a spot to warrant the cost of porter and pack donkey.

Hauraz is not a pretty town, bar the imposing snow encrusted alps that encircles it. Strange then how I find myself with an intimate knowledge of its grim plan, uneventful alleys, ugly brown brick work. Only time can offer up an affinity for such a place. I trod its paths daily, mostly with little delight. This delay has furthermore meant I have succumbed (not all together reluctantly) to a spot of the old and all to familliar forms of daily routine.

In the mornings on my way to my preferred Desayundo (breakfast) haunt, to sip insipid coffee (still incentive enough to get me out of bed) and leaf through a novel or tinker on some half baked tale of my own, I greet the local street loon who now Ola Chico´s me like a long lost pal (and disturbingly resembles a Peruvian variation of Peter Machen). Then (in accordance with Santa Rosalind’s wishes) tip the toothless, down and out old duck, whose palm need no longer beg to recieve my morning tax. Time permitting (which there always is) I peruse the gaudy stained glass progress on a concrete cathedral (eye sore) being erected on the Plaza.

On to my acquaintance, the waitress, who no longer need squint blankly at my pronunciation of huevos de reveulots ( which comes out sounding more like and here I offer an English translation) the revolt of the eggs or revolting eggs- when they should be just plain scrambled).

A regular you see, whose nod and grin proves sufficient to send her on her way-. familiarity, allowing us to eschew further form of miscommunication and on my part - humiliation. The day drifts by in reading , then rummaging, sifting, excavating a head filed with tenacious but mostly loose fitting ideas. Ideas who always have the annoying little habit of turning out to be someone else’s. Reading Nobokov, is a depressing exercise and one that makes me want to give it all up-toss in the pen, towel or whatever object best signals the most brutal of defeats. What I might give (more then my front teeth) to come up with one, just one of that mans sentences. Would even be satisfied with the closing line -The End.

I walk the soggy alleys to water inspiration, pass the (by now) standard Peruvian street spectacles- shielded police bungling misfit kids into vans, copulating dogs and dilapidated rose gardens.I try to write in the evenings. Seeking out a local dive where meals are cheap and take ample time to arrive . A gringos solitude, no matter which restaurant, always drawing furtive and sympathetic glances from fellow diners.

Onto the lubricant of beer or wine, handy in liberating an reluctant wrist ( A wrist now hindered by what I might deem Nobokovian stage fright) .Always cigarettes. Ah cigarettes, nasty little comforts, companions,critters along the way, who which for the moment (and I assure you I have mediated, laboured long and hard over this) I cant seem to do without. What other beacon of a possible end might blaze through the night, reward me at the completion of those infernal bus trips-Trusty (pernicious) little soldiers tucked smug and patient in their silver foil.

In the evenings, when I cant seem to sleep and my spirit niggles with a mild ache(but never emptiness) I turn to the marching bands, for they play at all hours. Last night( bottle of wine in hand) rat to the rowdy pipers- I scuttled. Discovering them blithe to a persistent drizzle-clashing cymbals, pounding drums, honking horns .A music so discordant, unruly, rousing and repetitive- that it never fails to up lift. Sadly the turn out ammounted to a few funeral couples moping and shuffling over wet concrete. I joined them. A tall gangly white boy (who no matter where on this continent he travel-is his skull ever safe from connecting with low lying doorways) . As co- ordless and indifferent to his feet as the boy in the band with clumsy hands and out of synch cymbals .

Longing for these mountains, only they might rescue me now, salvage head from arse- a condition that has arisen with spending to much time with my self.

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