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Black Smoke Rising

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posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 11:12 PM
So there i am sitting in the relative comfort of a Toyota pick up truck, windows down peering out from a side curtain so as not to draw attention to my foreign eyes,As the driver navigates his way through the organised chaos that is Manila.So much to look at, so much despair and hope visible through a haze of diesel fumes that spew out from forty year old jeepneys and blue smoke from overloaded motorcycles with whole families and the bedroom cupboard hanging off the back all fighting for position on a three lane road that is now six.
We grind to a halt as the traffic overwhelms the available space and i see on the corner amidst the junk shop's ,auto repair and dog and cat bite clinic, a man possibly mid thirties lying on a trolley made of scrap timber,cardboard, shopping cart wheels and a blanket of plastic from an election candidate's promo sign.Lying next to this man is a small baby,naked and about six months old with its head resting on his leg looking around ,learning the survival skills needed when he learns to walk.The scene disappears as a bus pulls up belching black smoke over this family and as the traffic starts to crawl forward another sad tale comes to close ,but this picture stays with me as we make our way passed more scenes of desperation,why?
I can only imagine what led to the mans grim situation,did his wife die at childbirth and now he has another mouth to feed when he cant even eat himself? Is the mother of the baby walking the street looking for a shiny Peso in the gutter?Did he find the baby abandoned in an alleyway and kept him for company or out of compassion? Did he have a future and wife but threw it all away on cheap liquor and gambling ?Did the mother find a wealthy old westerner who promised her a life in a far away country?So many questions that have no answers.It's all speculation on my behalf for i only knew them for a minute.
What choices does this man have now?He cannot find work with a young baby relying on him all day and night,How can he get money to buy some powered milk and a bottle ?There is no government handout or benefits ,its the law of the jungle and only the strong survive.
It's easy for me to write about them on my shiny new laptop, the price of which would pay for a new beginning ,a roof and walls ,food for a year, but the opportunity to help was gone as quick as it came and just thinking how to help was to long as the scene faded into another.So i will return to my country with fresh water and open spaces where my children can run and play in the clean air and file this memory in the corner of my mind,maybe let it out now and then to remind myself to appreciate what i have.

posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 11:17 PM
Nice imagery in your story. If I were to see that I would wonder if the baby was not used for some exploiting purpose. Like a professional beggar or something. You must have had an epiphany that day, a "what does it all mean" revelation, thats what I'm getting from this all. I must admit it would be sad to see just a sight, but as I've done with most anything in life, is apply cynicism to the situation. It's not a way to be but I am a recovering solipsist, so I'm sure you can understand a little. Thanks for the read.

posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 11:33 PM
reply to post by The Endtime Warrior

Thanks I Have not heard of a solopisist before ,Maybe i am one.Yes it maybe a way to make money having a child with him but he didn't appear to be begging, but anything goes here.I just wanted to let this scene out of my thoughts, its only one of millions of stories of despair around the world.

posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 11:40 PM
reply to post by 12voltz

Hi. Well solipsism is a rather inane idea from most people's perspectives, however it is something I had adopted at an early point of my life, when I had discovered my inner voice.

In my opinion, you write very well. I felt I was right there with you.

posted on Aug, 18 2010 @ 04:42 PM
Agreed. Very nice imagery of very bleak despair. It's good to let it out, isn't it? Thinking about how much of this there is around the world can eat you up inside. No matter how much you try to do, there's always more that needs to be done.

posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 06:15 PM
reply to post by ~Lucidity

Thanks Lucidity,I try to remember this scene when i hear people complaining about how they cannot get enough from being on welfare handouts.Sure life can be hard,but someone else is always much worse off.Appreciate your can of baked beans

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