I saw that the morning truck had come and had reason to travel through a small passageway couched by two tall buildings. The stucco walls were bright and clean there, and in places the windows could be seen when the sun wasn't too strong. Those windows waited with small and ornate railings in front - railings that were affixed to those good walls.
It was morning itself that I was after because some places, if seen properly, can be known to contain worlds within worlds, or else can be a world unto themselves. I would have been fine with only the walls and windows, the pathway behind that linked to the sand and the sea, and strange and wild shrubs that waited down the way. I could not see on that path any spirit world, but would have sworn an oath attesting to the existence of some kind of benevolent garden devas hovering.
The world had brought the truck and so I accepted the truck as part of the whole. Two rows of workers sat in the open aired back along horizontal benches facing one another, reminding me of an amphibious land rover I'd once seen. I decided I liked the truck because looking a little closer I could tell through markings and dents that it, like I, had arrived somewhat haphazardly across bumps and misfortunes.
As it stopped ahead, the workers jumped out and began their morning routines. I went back to thinking about the sky and the sea, the thick sturdy lawns and even a couple of birds testing nearby branches. I was interrupted when one of the workers said something to me. We spoke in curt words, like small clouds that only float past in quick whiles. Like those white parts of the atmosphere that have unlatched from their bigger homes. Our accents were divergent. He was on the clock, as it were, and his time was limited. We were strangers in the morning sun.
He was a heart-oriented person, amicable to a fault, and smiling. A breeze announced itself through our shared stucco wall corridor as he tried to guess my origin, labelling me as various countries.
-You are America.
-You are England then. I know this.
-You are Canada! No. Yes. You are Canada?
-Yes. I am Canada.
-That is better. So friendly.
-Good. That’s good.
-I know Canada and Bryan Adams! I know I know I know...And I LOVE Bryan Adams. Do you? Do you know?
-I understand. Ya. I know.
I smile, which is rare, and realize that it should not be so rare to smile. This lack of warmth on my part is symptomatic of something, some existential angst that is not cool or intelligent like the wise, natural morning sun and the way it carries itself, but instead is misplaced. I secretly hoped it was just because the sun is much older and has had more time to evolve. He smiled and I smiled. We looked to the sky for some reason but an awkwardness passed between us. It was a sort of silent brotherhood of the morning. I was visited by a semi-theory that I disliked in content and because of a lack of coffee, couldn't wholly form in structure. It had to do with the great entertainment conglomerates and multinational corporations, and all those globalist machinations of oddly esoteric origins.
Someone and something too big to pin down had placed a musical figure as the connection between two human beings saying hello. I wanted it to be something else. I didn’t know what IT was: perhaps a more soulful figure. Or else no figure at all. Real people like us were not supposed to know about such trivia. I decided that it was also my fault. I should have been stronger. I've never defended against the onslaught of media information including everything from points cards to pop idols. I know so much that I wish I didn't.
I should have hopped on the truck and grabbed a shovel.
It’s too late. Too much thinking loses many things.
So we shared a strange cultural reference point. One he obviously liked and that I had no feeling for one way or the other but I liked the worker’s intent which was pure and true. He wasn't jaded or cynical, or if he was he hid it well. We talked again here and there throughout the days. Sometimes he called out across the grounds, ‘Bryan Adams!’ He meant only to say hello, and I simply said, ‘Hi,’ with a good wave or type of half-salute half wave creation gesture.
Each morning the same stucco walls wait to meet the sun while at night the colours recede. I try to watch the invisible winds or listen to the sounds of the sea, hoping one or even both will impart some message to me. Nothing arrives. You can’t chase the sea or the air or the secrets they hold. Can’t wrestle them out or twist them off like a tightly fit lid of a jar. It’s like love. It has to find you unawares. Has to arrive when you aren’t looking.
My friend and the amphibious land rover that is really just an old truck eventually disappear. I head back to where I came from like the colours of the stucco at night. Once bright pastel blues, greens, oranges, and yellows go like the unseen and uncelebrated part of a wave, into the undertow of time and events.
Written by Brian Barbeito.
You can read Brian's full profile here.