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YND 14: Dirty Maze

August 15, 2018


This week’s theme is ‘Travel Diary’. If that sounds confusing, your hosts agree. But never one to shirk a challenge, they get down and dirty in the word maze with 3 very different interpretations. Who will arise victorious? You’ll never guess! 





Tuesday 12th June <Names changed from ‘Char' to ‘Wang', and ‘White' to ‘Horse' for confidentiality>


Up at 9am, yoghurt for breakfast. Set off around 10.30am:

Wangmouth! Very fine beach, terrible looking pubs, and shops. Horse House Hotel turned out only served food to its patrons. Boo. Found a bakery, who produced a couple of crab sandwiches, grabbed local cider and Bad co. cans and headed to find a spot. Very few people around, mostly dog walkers and a few munty families with toddlers. After a tasty lunch, headed to the park. 


Swings at the business end. There was a small boy, must have been 4 or 5 with no-one to push him. Duly obliged, gently, provoking a fit of giggles. In between bursts of gravity’s lyric, I was being nagged by a slight uneasiness. Where was the parent and/or guardian, and is what I’m doing OK, as an adult man? My mind struggled to escape the hysterical labyrinth, which it wouldn’t have had the opportunity to get lost in had the boy and I been of a similar age.


The uneasy feeling magnified, when a man made mostly of scalp jogged over and asked me, ‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING’ and pulled (what I hoped was) his son away.


Despite my annoyance at the loud exclamation of something suspicious, I refrained from offering an antagonising quip. Such as ‘paedophiling’. That certainly wouldn’t have helped. Would it have been better for everyone if I’d not pushed the boy at all?


Came back and made a light supper of squid rings, chilli bread, salad and Bombay mix. Stayed up listening to Takes a Worried Man and singing it loudly until the sky said to stop, around 11.30pm.





I knew I would love this job.

I remember the Moscow lecture halls and books. Learning with frustrated impatience my profession: engineering

But my mind was 2000 kms from Moscow. 2602 from home

In a hive of muddy trails, ravenous rivers, and punishing cold

Where I can be tested, where I can be a man.

Which is where I find myself today, with a small group of other graduates

Helping in the business of transforming our endless forests into Chinese furniture


I’m not like the others. There is a ZiL with six long tonnes of logs sunk in the deep river

I go with Peter, one of the drivers. He lives only for drinking

I live only for working. 


Our truck sinks too, until the pressure of the water smashes Peter’s window.

I feel the cold. She said I was cold when she ended it, just before I left.







Further from now 

Than from when we were born

We spent a day in the dusty corn

Charged with lust

And a long to play

We followed paths trying to find 

Our way to the middle

We found it



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