Saturday, March 19, 2011

Empty hotel for several days now.
Having early dinner in the garden alone in the light of a petrol lamp.

The moon has just risen, it is full tonight.

I see it clearly through the sparse branches of the flamboyant tree which has shed the leaves that gave such good shade until recently. It needs to expel all superfluous matter to conserve its strength before exploding into its riot of red flowers. There is never anyone here to see it flowering. As soon as everyone is gone it performs, for several months, until July brings the beginning of the rainy season and the first hotel guests return again just when the last flowers have dropped off.

The air is still and warm and there is some twilight chirping from the fire finches in the bougainvillea.

Keita is gone. In one month I will be gone too. We will go to Morocco together for a holiday before I fly back to Europe. It will be a triumphant return for him, revisiting the places which he only knew from a wheelchair.
But before that there are four weeks left here. Weeks redolent with the familiar end of the season nostalgia: like empty deckchairs on a deserted Brighton Pier.

This always brings a mood of semi-darkness and remorse. I lie awake for hours in the hot night with the fan whirring ineffectually above the mosquito net, tossing and turning, plagued by demons whispering to me, reminding me of acts of stupidity and outrageous behaviour of my past life. Why, OH, why, did I have to be so EXAGGERATED? Why couldn’t I just have been patient and cool and taken it easy like everyone else? Why couldn’t I have been I a bit more normal? But then, at the end of a sleepless night I normally arrive at the terminus of this sort of reckoning. There is some comfort in the thought that if I hadn’t been so exaggerated and so violently passionate and unhinged I would not in fact have ended up here. I would not have a mud hotel in Djenne, certainly.
And I do want to be here damn it all…


Blogger Kim Hart said...

Last night with the full moon - the moon was its closest to the earth for 20years - even in chilly London it looked brilliant with a clear bright night - though how we would have preferred to see it under African skys!

10:32 AM  
Blogger gardenia said...

Sophie love the look of the decor and interior design in this photo!!

12:33 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

ah, Robyn, when will you come and see it for yourself?
I wanted to go on a world tour this year and see you in Australia, if it is not this year, I will come the next, I promise! Really want to see you soon!
love Sophie

9:24 PM  
Blogger gardenia said...

Cant wait for you to come! Hurry!

12:35 PM  

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