The city is a molehill of shimmer, the tips of skyscrapers glaciers glinting their arrogant light across the skies, borne heavens possessed of the idea that they are better than the vacant centres of Moscow with its lot of smelly hostels, fled long ago of grand economic purpose and now altars altared to a vision of hospitality. But these buildings here – they do not know the figure of sacrifice. Their flickering crowns halo the city, and at its apex a gilded structure like a ship cruises to nowhere upon three broad, flat glass fingers. The light of these is a hard inflorescence, but at the wee hours – the lights circulate. They guide the steps of entrepreneurs trudging home, proud bankers shrugging off patent coats, letting loose their watches and ties, flowing executives almost hanged out of their grand urban suffocation that is the city – then at the edges of inhabitation glow the masses of red, orange, yellow lights – barely discernible pinpricks that join into one molten force. Home is the signal. Roofs spiral downwards and cars slide sluggishly off the expresss-way into muddy, home-grown tributaries, driveways with kissing gates and recalcitrant children and a bed for the third of a day. Their little headlights go out, and the sudden black in their wake forms a nimbus, always lingering though distant, a forlorn lamp breathing comfort – illuminating corners – shearing the faces off shadows –– snorting god into the opaque air. The cynics are ashamed of their tiny nightlight, and it grows almost too shy and domestic to project itself, blinking, to the windows of my plane clouds away in the sky. Within this lava of lamps there is an occasional screamer, something flashing red or blue or white, whining through the streets, preoccupied at any hour with the seeking and splinching of mortal peril – sickness or murder or theft, painful effects radiating their odour into the night so fellow cars scrammed pre-cursorily from their flashing routes. The red cacophony of all these businesses – red in tai-lights and white towards – filter through layers of barely discernible, government-approved trees lining roads and frequent parks and void decks hugging the earth –– and emerge, blinking from their furious locomotion and the speed of my flying eye. Then there are the lights that glint off buildings, off the last coats of cement settling over flats of homes, then in acute paths against glass-and-steel constructions before they are thrown back into the clouds, mingling with the vapour and bringing pneumonia whilst they fell back down to earth due to gravity.
The-round-trip-from-Thailand-inspired, first of a hopeful many.