In a valley of sugar cane

February 2nd, 2009

The windows quaked. Car alarms triggered. My heartbeat rises, and body shivers. The image on TV has suddenly changed to snow. I’m in the equatorial zone, and assume the roar is thunder announcing the start of a tropical storm. But now the sound is not of wind but of helicopter wings. I peek out and see. The clouds are made of smoke.

That thing I heard was a rumble from a bomb. There’s a building crumbled to the ground.

I am only in the fourth floor. I think. Blink. I chose to take the stairs. And there we are, the only handful of its guests of this almost empty hundreds-room hotel. Just there, standing in a high-ceiling lobby furnished in the fifties clinging to its forgotten grandeur with nostalgia. Us, in a rundown-downtown, now with chaos all around.

Earlier at the airport, I thought I’d missed the flight. Far from sweet is this evening in the valley of sugar cane.

Image: Pasado mañana (2008) by Judi Werthein, installation view at “Urgente! 41 Salon Nacional de Artistas” in Cali, Colombia.

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