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...and they lived happily ever after. Smith & Lady: poets, artists, photographers & adventurers.
Our relationship was forged to the soundtrack of Yoko Ono's magic,
frenetic, love-laden song, "Walking On Thin Ice." ( play song )

hell bus back

men’s restroom door, El Pochote Market – foto by smith

get up at 4:48 in the morning to run up the slippery steep hill in the rain to catch the 5 hour Hell Bus back to Oaxaca. only seats left were the back seats, which is similar to riding an evil tempered trampoline. the young woman across from us kept throwing up out her window. since she had to keep it open for her next nausea, we were freezing – riding through high mountain clouds before sunrise is painfully cold. and me being 6′ 3″, the distance from my ass to my knee is greater than seat to seat distance. Lady is nauseous from the bouncing bus, sore from the sunburn walking working, is fighting diarrhea, and i worry about her.

bus goes 4 miles an hour up the dirt road mountain due to rain and slippery clay. even at that speed, the bus rocks and bounces. the dark prevents us from seeing how far down the fall would be. when the sun finally rises, the clouds we’re driving through cut our vision. we bounce nauseously through a glowing nothingness.

the driver loudly plays a cd of emotionally overwrought mediocre mexican pop songs over and over again – loud nasal male vocal whining at the top of his voice about life and love driven by unsubtle mariachi horns and oompa oompa accordion. this is the same cd he played for 5 hours on the trip up. sometimes i think there’s only 7 mexican pop songs that every singer puts on every cd and then wails in the same voice.

the two girls in front of us had a small white poodle. for some reason the second girl stood up the last 90 minutes of the journey and let her friend’s dog have her seat. large girl standing bouncing, small white ratdog lying in her seat. while i was mulling this over, the bus skids trying to miss something. i look out the back window and see the dog we’d hit trying to get off the highway with his left leg at an ugly angle, and i flash on the disparity twixt the two dog’s lives – one rides on the bus in his own seat, the other gets creamed.

when we reach the city, i compare its noise, filth, crowding, clutter to where we’ve been.

Tanetze is magic, a beautiful place with good people. have to figure out how to go back without the 10 hour hell of getting to and from. this our our 4th trip, our 20th hour on this same bus named Indomnable (Indomitable). each of our 4 trips was slightly worse than the one before. i can take the bug bites, i can take the exhausting work, and i can take the hour walk straight up the mountain, but i cannot take another 5 hours on this bouncing microcosm of mexico.

a few return trip haiku:

It’s 4:48.
Alarm beep beep beep beep beeps
Get up to go home.

Mad morning bus dash.
All the good seats are taken.
Sit in bumpy back.

Bus stops on mountain.
Perched on rock, I stare out there.
Unzip. Piss in air.

Pregnant Zapotec
in the seat across from us
vomits out window.

Hell bus skids, hits dog.
Poodle on bus not shaken.
I see both alive.

Bus drives through mist. I
look down on cloud white cold.
Shiver in my me.

Back to the city.
Dirty. Polluted. Crowded.
Remember nature.

Lady K sick. Sore.
Diarrhea flows one end.
Vomit the other.

Weary warriors.
We climb mountains, pick coffee.
Return home. Wonder.

women’s restroom door, El Pochote Market – foto by smith

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