Page 66 - November 2020
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November 2020           66
                      Litterateur






                                                 THE CHARCOAL GARDEN

             Very often while it is making its escape it finds itself hemmed in by a rocky trap—
             places where there are no seams, narrow spots where it is impossible to pass.  The
             water  underneath  lifts  it  up  and  hems  it  in;  it  comes  to  regret  not  moving  more
             carefully  when  it  fell  into  this  trap.  Up  above,  the  diggers  keep  hovering  around
             overhead,  sending  down  waves  till  they  identify  its  location  precisely  and  come
             into contact with it.  From that point on the journey towards oblivion at the surface
             begins, far removed from the earth’s interior.  But even then it does not give in.
              Even though it is refined, purified, and distributed in many different countries, it
             still has an internal agreement to assemble again in the sky.  It flies through the air
             in  the  form  of  smoke  emitted  from  machines,  cars,  and  factories  and  collects  in
             smoky clouds carried on the wings of strong breezes and inserted into factories in
             the sky. Once there, they are pumped into helix-shaped beams that spread through

             the  atmosphere,  plentiful  enough  to  pollute  countries  and  continents  and
             destroying all their greenery.  It is all simply an inevitable reaction to the layers of
             smoke  that  catch  fire  in  recompense  for  those  who  choose  to  burn  in  the  first
             place.  Its  tongue  becomes  a  raised  flag,  gathering  to  itself  segments  of  the
             homeless and those who have wandered afar. Eventually the waving flag reached
             the realms of space where it burns the ozone in an attempt to bore out of the globe
             and dissipate in the boundless expanse of the universe.

                                            ***********************************


             Then,  all  of  a  sudden  we  were  out.      From  sticky  fluids  we  emerged  into  warm
             water.  When we moved our arms, they waved; whooping with glee, we did the kind
             of butterfly-strokes that swimming champions use.  After we had swilled off all the
             stuff that had stuck to us, we shouted to each other, as though to test the strength
             of  our  voices  that  we  had  completely  overlooked.    There  was  no  way  up,  so  we
             swam downwards till we emerged from the water pit.  When we tested the surface
             directly beneath us with our hands, we discovered that the soil was wet in some
             spots but dry in others.  In the dry part we found some trees with enormous roots,

             carbonized and spread out in an almost infinite forest that formed veritable cities of
             coal.


             No exit was visible, so we continued downwards, following the veins of coal. We
             entered a number of large halls with horizontal layers branching downwards, not
             exactly sure whether it was our hands, legs or heads we were using to make our
             way;  all  we  were  doing  was  to  follow  the  breaths  emerging  from  our  mouths.
              Eventually we were exhausted; both of us fell asleep just at the very moment when
             we could finally see each other.
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