The Nothing & a Sweet, Sweet Spot
A gentle reminder that in the most southeastern part of my hometown, in Bucharest, past the tall grey blocks and unused parking lots of the neighbourhood we call Titan, concrete disintegrates progressively into ruin and then into a small desert. Unliveable not just because it’s scorching hot during midsummer, but because people lay to rest both their dogs and their cars in its midst, it gives off the heavy duty stench of rotten meat mixed with the sensual smell of warm metal, car pawn parts and gasoline. A mild wind breezes through at all times, lowly scrambling the silver sand, and especially when it is hot the place is swarming with flies and maggots and these little birds with beautiful magenta plumage which fly in sagittal swarms and pray on carcasses, both animal and otherwise. In the middle of the desert, if you manage to trek past the heat and the stench and the wild animals and metal skeletons, there is a place which the locals have marked with two tall wooden pillars over-decorated with skulls and car lights and coloured pebbles, which creates a sort of gate. Should you pass through, you will be caught in the quicksands and for a good five minutes you will experience the entwined bliss and terror of dying, except this whole desert is on a rocky cliff on a high plateau, so really you’re just falling through a hole in the ground. When you reach the other side, you’re welcomed by the musky smell of grass and moss and the ripeness of fruit and flashes of golden light filtered through leaves of a green so vivid that after the sliverwhite of the desert it’s actually harmful to the eye. This small woods, half in the shadows under the cliff and half bathed in sunlight, grew here of its own accord by rules unknown to man, from the seeds brought over by the predator birds filtered through the quicksand passageway. Their excrements mixed with the moist soil below, which then fed upon generations and generations of our town’s citizens best friends, created The Dogwood, as that’s what we call it.
When I die this is exactly where I want them to bury me. In the glade, at the shade of the cliff, under sandfall, on a soft bed of moss littered with grit, with a leg in the sand and a leg in the brambles, between the nothing and a sweet, sweet spot.