Page 113 - November 2020
P. 113

                                                                                       November 2020

                                   Poems on Kings Highway Jordan under the nocturnal desert sky

              While driving, he lit a cigarette after another and overtook other cars. His reports on
              the  phosphate  mine  were  more  likely  to  instil  biggest  concerns  but  distracted  me
              from his driving style.

              After an hour we left the highway near Wadi Musa to drive into a bizarre, hilly and
              dusty area, bumping across auxiliary roads, met Volvo Trucks stirring up a cloud of
              dust, until we saw a camp. He stopped in front of a twenty-foot container and said:
              This is your home for a few weeks. Spartan interior but with air conditioning, a box in
              the wall, loud rattling. Next to the container, another one with the shared shower and
              the living room with kitchen for the technicians to whom I was introduced:

              All rough fellows, buccaneers, worn-out sunburned faces, haggard, three-day beard,
              bad  teeth.  They  left  on  me  the  impression  of  people,  who  are  lost,  stranded  and
              without hope. In the following days I heard some life stories and many a fate: Broken
              marriage, divorce, debt, unemployment in the UK.

              The  breakfast  was  prepared  by  my  Scotsman.  Every  morning:  sausages,  bacon,

              beans. Lunch: sausages, bacon, beans, mashed potatoes. Dinner: sausages, bacon,
              beans, tomatoes.

              The spare parts store consisted of a forty-foot container with awning and an office
              container without air conditioning.

              The  heat  was  unbearable  during  the  day.  The  nights  were  cold.  The  environment
              hostile, inhospitable. Repellent. Merciless.

              Full moon nights. The stars are much more intense and prominent than in Western
              Europe, and there are different constellations. Desert Dogs provided company, one
              of which became a good companion. Night is the best time for animals and humans.
              Cool Breeze. Desert wind. Therefore, my main working hours were during night time.

              I spent the afternoons in my living container, dozing. My colleagues worked on and
              at the excavators and Volvo Trucks.

              At  night  I  compared  spare  parts  computer  lists  and  made  an  inventory,  identified

              stock shortages and compared orders and dockets.
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