augury doggerel

Saturday, October 19, 2002


Our old articulated Hungarian bus had smoked me most of the way to work Friday morning when a teenage boy out in his father's nice sedan pulled out too fast, too soon, and our bus crushed the nose of the shiny little car. While the boy stood and listened to the bus driver and the car and his imagined father steam together, we passengers abandoned our seats and started walking.

The usual road to work is a straight, thin strip of asphalt, but I had time to go through the woods. First comes a dirt road running diagonally through the trees, probably the old road to the vanished mills in the next valley. But for a farm at the end, it's just you and the trees there. The older trees along its edges are too wide for three of me to reach around. After the farm, the road comes out of the woods and becomes a sandy drive that runs past birches and pines and a clutch of new houses. I don't know if the roads had names before, but in the 1970s the city built an airport near there, and ambitious communist planners must have looked at the map and seen the future. On paper, the dirt road with the wide trees is the Street of Astronauts, which intersects the sandy Street of Radar, where the birds are thick in the trees.


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