Blue Donkeys

Blue Donkeys

Blue Donkeys

 

I overheard a man say, “there’s nothing they won’t do to raise the standard of boredom”, whilst on a Blue Donkey.

A friend said to me, whilst we were on a Blue Donkey, that I cultivated a conceit and self-importance bordering on megalomania.

Bola, Bola, Bola– the conductor of the Blue Donkey repeats. He’s a bad husband and excludes friends on whim.

I fall asleep on a Blue Donkey and have dreams of Tulip Mania, when single tulip bulbs sold for more than 10 times the annual income of a skilled craftsman.

Exiles from the countryside chant “Stop the Flooding, Dredge the Rivers” and I remember the view from the Blue Donkey of the dry, thirsty landscape.

The driver of the Blue Donkey chokes on red dust and burps in my general direction, “they found a body in the sewers last night”.

I spent all my change on a packet of nuts, I did this regularly, and I couldn’t afford to get on the Blue Donkey and I was forced to walk the streets of Addis Ababa alone.

The Blue Donkey took me to the airport where I waited nine hours for a cancelled flight and watched men wash their feet in the toilet sinks before they prayed. I left a bag with my notepad in unattended and never saw it again.

I returned a year later to find the roads paved in tarmac for the Blue Donkeys. Drivers still cursed each other and spat from their windows in provocation.

Hegel said genuine tragedies are not conflicts between right and wrong. They are conflicts between two rights.

I left a bag on a Blue Donkey, losing six chapters from my novel in the process. First as tragedy, second as farce. I had nothing to show for my urban isolation.

A Blue Donkey fell of a bridge into the river, five people died. I crumpled my empty packet of peanuts in perverse delight.

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