How nice of you to stop and nap with me the other day. I know you were busy and were expecting my return but I was tired. The four kilometer walk from where my Mongolian family had moved my house for the summer to town had been unusually arduous. But I needed groceries and my mail and a taxi is too expensive. The night before, up on the mountain, it had rained. So today my usual crossing point was un-fordable and I had to go much further up the river, making the trip longer. Moreover, I have not been around town for a while so I had to stop and exchange the typical greetings with everyone I saw (How are you summering? Are your animals fattening well? How is your body? And so on). Ulizma’s new child is well by the way. I had a ton of mail which was great.
By the river, under the taller oaks and leafy trees, where you found me, is one of my favorite places to steal an hours or so rest. And so I lay down. And along you came! Wearing your white dress, my favorite, the one you wore the night I left. And you were clean! Not the perfumed clean that Sephora pushes, but the freshly showered and walked through a meadow clean. Matching curves to occupied space, we lay. We lay by the wide part of the river. We lay under the leafy green river oaks who politely
sift the blue of the steppe sky, allowing only the bluest parts to come through. We lay in the
thyme, and the lavender, and the grass. Among the jack in the boxes, and the red flowers whose
name I can’t remember. We lay as the yaks wandered by and ate some of the flowers and the
grass in which, on another day, we may get to lay in again.
I drifted off, suspended, flirting with consciousness and sleep. I thought of my students who had moved with their herd to the country side for the summer. They were undoubtedly tending sheep and fermenting mare’s milk and fetching water. For a time I was there. I thought of teaching and my classroom in January where (after the coal shovelers had gotten too drunk to shovel…again) I seriously considered burning my desk to make my room a little warmer. And for a time I was there as well. I thought of our old city and late night whispers in closed city parks and for a time I was there too.
I woke. And some sly trick of geography and circumstance had ferried you away from me. All that remained was your smell – faintly – on my chest where your head usually lay.
Anyhow…I have to run but I did want to thank you for the company.