Promenade

Earth, sky, sea, and rain
Is she coming back again?
Men of straw sneak a whore
Words that build or destroy
Dirt, dry, bone, sand, and stone
Barbed-wire fence cut me down
I’d like to be around
In a spiral staircase
To the higher ground
And I, like a firework, explode
Roman candle lightning lights up the sky
In the cracked streets trampled under foot
Sidestep…sidewalk
I see you stare…into space
Have I got closer now?
Behind the face
Oh…tell me…
Charity dance with me
Turn me around tonight
Up though a spiral staircase
To the higher ground
Slide show, sea side town
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20080217banhao-front0022-reduced.jpg
Above is a partial view from the front of our new house. The view was a major reason why I wanted to build a house here in the first place. If you look closely, you can see the top of my university’s administration building (it’s a kilo or two away in a straight line, unfortunately, there is no road running straight there):
20080217banhao-front0022-zoom.jpg
Since you can see that building from my house, the reverse is also true, of course, and when this house was being built, I used to take my camera and a zoom lens up to the roof in between or after the Master’s classes I taught there. I would take photos of the workers dumping trash in the pond or peeing in my backyard and go confront the foreman with it later, saving the photographic evidence for when he swore in front of the developers that nobody would dare do such things (yeah, I’m pretty much the client from hell).
That roof was also my bug-out area when I needed a smoke or wanted somewhere to relax for a few minutes. The door to the roof was always open and it was often the coolest part of the building with constant breezes, even on the hottest days. You could look over the waist-high wall surrounding the perimeter of the roof onto the parking lot, which was green with all the old trees that make my university so nice to walk around, and the people and cars looked like miniature toys scattered across the floor… The nicest part about going up to the roof was that you were pretty much guaranteed your privacy. I went up there at least a couple times a week for six months, and saw maybe four other people in that time.
It’s funny what kind of thoughts go through your head when you’re looking at people you may or may not know from 16 stories up. I know what I always think of. But there’s a big difference between wondering what it would be like and actually stepping off…
Yesterday, one of our seniors jumped off the roof of the administration building and died. What this boy was thinking, I have no idea. The chances are, I don’t even know who he is.
But it still makes me sad thinking about it.

One thought on “Promenade”

  1. Thanks for the cool shots. Do you have furniture up on the roof? As for the kid who jumped to death, that is sad. But I wonder, do students there shoot up their classmates and teachers like they seem to do over here?

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