Places You Might Sit While Working in Africa

Ember Arts randoms-1

1. On the back of an African man’s motorcycle, a man you’ve never met before, as he weaves you through traffic that looks, feels, even smells like chaos.

2. On a stack of mahogany planks in a wood worker’s shop, the ground soft and undulating with sawdust and shavings.

3. Inside the cavernous speeding hulk of a resurrected Chinese bus, now rechristened the “White Cock,” in a locally clear reference to poultry.

4. In the Dickensian office of the production manager of the country’s largest printing business, the large windows in every wall allowing the Indian manager clear view of his dominion.

5. On a small wooden stool usually reserved for elders, watching the gray-cloth-covered corpse of a friend be carried into a dark hut as a young girl dances and a row of happy ducklings waddle by.

6. In a house or a hut, on a wooden chair or a couch, a woman kneeling in front of you, pouring water over your hands in preparation for the meal that she has spent all day preparing for you.

7. On the hot red ground amidst piles of crushed stones, surrounded by women teaching you proper stone crushing technique, your penance for asking to take their photograph.

8. On the inflated lip of a yellow raft, being sucked voraciously down into a standing wave that has stood for all time, and will soon fall victim to hydroelectric development.

9. On a small worn white swimming dock leaning out from an island on a fathomless crater lake, your feet sending shockwaves thru a reflected perfect sky.

10. In the waiting room, or in the room waiting. So much waiting in so many rooms.

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