CoffeeShop Blues: 2015 Traveler's Edition - Page 23

Jeremy Frost and I belch loudly and after cursing because the wind makes it hard to light my cigarette. I smoke and I observe the barren land and I know Inge is waiting beyond that ridge but I want this moment smoking and drinking beer alone with God and I take it and I am a happy madman. The plain flattens—the sea levels out, though the wind has not abated. The road is gravelly asphalt now, and it straightens, and there is a dog, and it has found Inge, and she loves it, and we move on, and the dog follows behind for a bit, then stands on the plain, watching us go. A short time later we pass a creek and its edges are iced over. The wind moans. We push forward. This is our work—pushing forward. We are huddled up and I plod while Inge cycles slowly ahead and it is a melancholy scene and I am in love with this life. Late in the day we approach a village. There is another closed school at the edge of the village but this school is not under construction—it is merely closed—and it is next to a teahouse. Inge has parked her bike next to a statue of a man who isn’t Ataturk and she walks to the school building and pushes on the door and peers into a window. “Not a good idea!” I shout. “Not very discreet here, Moots.” “I don’t give a fuck! It’s cold!” A pudgy little man scurries past and he points at Inge and wags his finger. He scurries into the teahouse. “Okay, now the village is being alerted,” I shout. “I don’t give a fuck!” she repeats. I sit at the base of the statue of the man who isn’t Ataturk and roll a cigarette and I sigh. Inge is pushing on windows. A man comes out of the teahouse, followed by the pudgy little fellow. The pudgy fellow stops at the door of the teahouse but the other man walks towards me. He is a man in his thirties with a thin moustache. He is wearing a worn, brown suit with a striped pullover underneath. He has a brown military cap on his head. It resembles the visored caps Japanese soldiers wore in World War 2. There is a 23