Pedro Ávila

A surface storm stirs me from slumber and I cannot help but stay awake and watch. It’s not like I can TIVO this shit.

The sound is richer than any THX robot and the electricity lingers in the air long after the lightning strikes. I could really use some company on a night like this — not for conversation, mind you; there’s nothing to be said. No, the company would be more of a spot check that I’m real, that magic moments like this on the 12th floor of a posh hotel in the darkness of a city suddenly gone quiet do, indeed, exist.

But decent people are not awake at this kind of hour. It’s a dangerous time for me.

Deep into the night, amidst a rain that drowned São Paulo I stood on the 12th floor balcony of my room at the Estanplaza Hotel for what seemed like hours. There was no hope of sleep, not in that thunderous fury of lightning and wind. Someone was speaking to me that night, and I stood outside in the hopes of understanding what was being said.

The lighting and thunder was as I remember it. Threatening, vicious and impressive, but mostly distant, the warm breezes blew in from whatever direction they pleased. I was convinced that nature was doing all it could to keep me happy and distracted. Days like that don’t come very often, when the sky darkens in the middle of the afternoon and the wind is warm and refreshing. Days when the silent lighting over the tiny blue hills on the horizon tell of a storm on the way, and you feel it permeate your bones as the night rolls over the clouds.

I like that.

I gripped the rail tightly. I would hold on if the thunderous crash caused me to lose my balance, fall, or jump off. You can never be too careful when things are as weird as they have been for me lately. Much is on my mind, and despite the persistent discussions here I find it difficult to resolve the matters at hand as they are rooted within an intrinsic part of who I am today. It’s interesting how the mind can be so full at times, yet so light as to make little cause of movement or work against inertia. Still at at another time, a man may have but one issue at hand and be so weighed down by it that he can go no further, to say nothing of wandering between topics.

I realize that there is an annoying lack of specificity when I speak of such things but I have already dabbled too much into this matter, both in real life and here. And you can never be too careful concerning what is written, because no matter how much you alter the story or how many new characters you invent, you’re always drawing from somewhere. Like any joke, there is some hint, some foundation of truth in what we say, a sliver of reality that can just as easily betray the tale.

And that would be the end of that story.

The rain reacts with the smog differently here. The sky becomes fumous and black. It thickens with a castigating surrealism like some form of plasma.

Rain in the city…it never seems to fully stop at this time of year, but nobody can remember when it started. In the dark, my thoughts turn to dreams, or visions, rather. Black thoughts enshroud my mind as I walk down a poorly lit corridor, narrow and brown. Old fixtures give way to shadows and elevators that weep with age. It is narrower every day. Soon it will be upon me.

What’s it all for anyway? Where does this take me? In the morning, I will work as I have always done before, but night will bring these words again, these questions. And tonight will remain just another thought in the dark; another building in this Beast.

Pedro Ávila Pedro Ávila

For a reasonably sane & productive member of society (arguable, but let’s not complicate things), I’m far too mobile and unrooted. I travel quite a bit for a job that is simultaneously my greatest privilege and my worst burden.

So I write. And I write. Travel pieces, political journalism (a stretch from ranting but, still), short stories, poetry and other such riff-raff. I contribute to a handful of publications and will probably just keep going until something gives out, or someone gives in.


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