Pigeon valley

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⁵ A postcard from the kiosque (facing the bus stop on the main square). 

I had forgotten my notebooks in my previous hosts’s house. I could either walk along the highway or go through the valley. An overcast night, but the highway is bland and forlorn (strange things happen along the midnight highways in the province)  — I chose the valley.  
No sound accompanies me to the doors of the village; curtains closed, doors locked. (The Korean BBQ stands eerily empty.) 
I enter the dirt path. Nobody nowhere. Sing to keep myself company in the silence. (City-men are not used to such silence and to the darkness. Strange figures lurk in every stone and observe).  The surrounding silence turns the song into a hum, which in turn transforms into unsteady breathing. The cliffs watch as I try to make out the path’s bends — 
The clouds part, suddenly: it is light, full of sound. The neon moon shines through the crooked cliffs, their gaze calmed. My footsteps continue, lighter. The road zig-zags finally upwards (no sign of wild dog packs), up to my previous hosts’ village. 
Knock. Just once. 
            Maybe one more time. Knock. 
Door opens. 
The house was being renovated; the workers slept on the piled mattresses where I had stayed the previous nights. Owner and workers were drinking tea in the living room. I joined them. 
We didn’t have much to say to each other. We drank tea, very peacefully and with little other expectation. 

Pigeon valley used to be inhabited by men living in a very close relationship to  pigeons. In those times, the majority of men could fly, but the habit slowly died out. Today, wings appeared only rarely on the backs of newborns. 

I left the house and turned back towards the valley. 


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