A simian-like curiosity fragments my thoughts as gleams of light from stacks of ornamented pots illuminate the flecks of dust that drift star-like through the air. In this oasis of dirt dzo roam with an imperial stride, the earth surrendering to the certainty of their actions. Each hoof stirs the same speckles of dirt that caress my socks, the same collection of storied filth that lines the hallways of this mountain home.
Abalay is a pious old man operating in patterns of great regularity- each morning I am awakened by the rustles of sleeping bags and the rumblings of our temporary father lugging a thermos of tea into a skybox of limpid simplicity. After treating ourselves to a glass, we clamber down a series of crudely hammered wooden stairs leading to the main hallway. Three brief steps on a dirt floor and we find ourselves in a kitchen. There’s a small cohort of cats that congregate in the cooking area. Each one is anxiously arced in fearful anticipation – Abalay is a sporadically benevolent giant, his intervention nearly divine. His hand moves in an endless vacillation between wrath and grace. Perhaps the cats had grown accustomed to this dynamic and could readily discriminate between a swat or a scrap. Regardless, they move across oriental rugs with a deftness that could only arise from caution.
Abalay drifts across the floor, stepping laterally to snatch a bowl resting behind a veil of occluded glass. While we do not speak with the same words, wisdom is never blunted by an inability to vocalize desire. This eschews meaningless babble with ease, only the purest intentions breach the watery gloam of miscommunication. We speak with our eyes, and a reciprocation of interest manifests into a cursory grunt or a wag of the head.
There is a television in the corner, and we find ourselves gazing at the windows of thought so kindly placed on plasma canvas. Branding strangely sits in the center of the screen as such a confluence finds space to exist. Commercials phase in and out- their brevity cannot hold our focus. Our presence feels parodic as we watch imitation dance across the rectangle of blue light; deterritorialization makes itself visible in the form of indian men wearing polo shirts and commercials shooting streams of misinformation in our faces.
Tar lacks road access, the sun grants electricity to the nine homes that sit amongst the himalaya. A series of wires weave themselves sinuously through mountains cascaded in marks of prayer to reach the village. With it comes comfort and its concomitant inanities- heat is wonderful, though the plangent wails of poor TV signals haunt the hallways with a distasteful jeer. We wonder how this will eventuate, we wonder if cataclysm breeds contentment.