Driving From Takhli
Late in the afternoon, driving due east
from Takhli up to Tak Fa the world for
a moment has become an Art Deco school
book cover. The full moon, a serene pearl
color, rises in a valley of thinning titanium-
white thunder clouds while the sky, lit
by a low western sun, is the bright blue
of a restored Renaissance painting. A dim
half-rainbow arches left and down from
a cloud to gorgeous green rice fields while
Takhli’s three-story Golden Buddha sitting
near the top of a steep hill is dead-center
in my rear-view mirror. I feel I am hanging
at the balance point of all things.
At Bo’s house, I watch a one month old
puppy. He is too fat to run and can only
make it about six feet on the broken
concrete slab before he plops down on his
belly. He looks up at a full grown dog who
looks down at him at a steep angle.
Their wet noses almost touch. In the world
of smell that dogs inhabit, I wonder if
information isn’t being exchanged here.
I look up at the Thais around me. It’s
a warm night and two or three people
seem to be talking at the same time.
I can’t follow their talk but they make
no effort to include me. I look back down
at the pup. “Don’t tell the humans anything,”
might be what the big dog is saying.
At dusk, we drive back from Takhli to
Chong Khae following the die-straight
Lopburi Canal. It’s dark enough for
parking lights but not for headlights.
My wife points left across the dark
water to a hard-scrabble hill the Thais
call a mountain. A thin black line,
like smoke driven by the wind, emerges
and remains unbroken all the way to us.
Sometimes the line doodles this way
and that but it remains unbroken.
Half mile farther on, the line swoops
over the top of our car like a jumbo jet
landing on acres and acres of rice fields
to our right. Konchow (bats) my wife says.
Millions of them, I say.
FG October 2, 2015