Sunday, May 6, 2007

The Visitor

This haibun actually happened to me! Well, sort of. It seemed like a really good scenario, but when I started typing it up, it morphed into something completely different. So it wound up happening on a dusty summer day instead of a rather damp spring one. C'est la vive! I hope you enjoy it, in any case, as well as this week's haiku.
in the pocket
of the first bassoonist,
Physics homework
video game next door.
their shouts
could be sound effects
the atheist
comes to church
for the music

The Visitor

Suitcase, car, long-term parking (must be sure to keep ticket somewhere where it can be found again...), shuttle, airport, security, waiting, plane, waiting, flight, landing, waiting, airport, doors, shuttle, stop, suitcase, step off, silence.

A long, dusty, country road extends before her. She looks down, rather lost, at the instructions in her hands. They're from her host, the person she's going to be staying with. She needs to take a bus; it's ridiculous that a bus would come this far from the center of town. But the town isn't that big, really. There's nothing better for the buses to do. One should be along soon. Soon. Eventually. Perhaps her watch is fast. She did remember to set it back, right? Maybe they broke down somewhere. A flat tire. That would take a while to fix. Still, not that long. The bus should come soon. Right.

a fish out of water,
the visitor,
checks the bus schedule

Finally, she notices someone on the other side of the street, waiting, reading something idly. Completely ignoring her. More waiting. The sun shines down, lazily moving across the heavens. The dust sits there. There isn't any wind to move it. She realizes, suddenly, that her watch battery has died. Not that time makes any difference here.

Finally, she crosses the street--Why does she look both ways? Nothing's moved for hours!--and asks him about the bus. She seems to wake him from some dream; he hasn't turned a page for minutes. He informs her kindly that the buses come and go as they please, and not to worry. He also tells her the rout to town, about an hour's walk, due East. She might make it there before the next bus comes. Or maybe not.

out of luck,
the visitor
faces a long walk

As she disappears from sight, he smiles, and returns to not-quite-reading. Five minutes later, the bus comes.

And goes.

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