The expert in anything was once a beginner


§ Escapes


The head is oval and always somewhat tilted, like that of crippled animals.
He glances up at you and laughs. He laughs, grins, smiles; all at once, and with his eyes, too.
He seems to be all there - between his naughty warm eyes and his hushed words – spoken to be present without much noise, muffled to disappear without missing a thing.

But today.
Today the light is dim in his eyes.
The face swollen; big and dilated, the body in the blue suit; almost cumbrous.
Maybe I'm the only one to notice. Or unable to pretend.
But he is happy to be here. To be all here. To be here all, and much more.

I watch him.
I observe him.
I stare at him.

With the annoyance I feel whenever I put on weight, it is beyond me how he doesn't seem to care about his belly, so bloated it pushes out the T-shirt.

The swelling is not fat, though, and in the classroom we all know -
«I was ill, but I saw I'm still enrolled in the course, so I came in today».

Everyone in the new IT classroom is at their seat and typing away; he can't use a computer, but is willing to learn, so we choose a table and as the screen lights up he speaks.

He talks. He talks to me. With me, he always talks much. To me, he always talks
in a low voice. We're sitting there together, as if he were my boyfriend. As if it were all for me, for him, for us, this time we share in the classroom, and the others were but a nuisance or distraction I must pay heed to now and then.

I watch him whole as he presses one key at a time, with one finger. A big finger, and slow, but I want him to write on. To add one more word,

I leave

I want

when I leave I want to go

I will him to write more so that I can observe him a little longer. I had never noticed the scar on his head, and yet today his hair is longer.

I want to know what happened:
who split your head open and why?

go on holiday
when I leave I want to go on holiday

«How do you type a comma?»

A track so deep that the skin that stitched it up trying to blend it with acne marks and early wrinkles still couldn't hide a face torn to pieces. 
«How do I start a new line here?»

As I tell him about new paragraphs, he moves an accent and from behind a comma the sun comes out. There's clear water, and a beautiful sea, inside that file - with a lot of fish, music and downtime.
He smiles -
I smile -

Maybe it's just because I, too, am being smothered in my little mountain village, but his dream is the same as mine.
By the end of the lesson we are in Africa already, or is it Thailand?
Anyhow, it's hot there, it's good, we stay up all night and have a lot of fun.

At the end of the lesson I show him how to save his file.
Then, I leave the jail.


#cultural dump
#conversely free