La Paz postcard

The approach the usual bedlam through light industrial auto repair welding screaming clanking, every truck and bus and moto spewing graphite smoke to collect like a fog on the pavement that ends at the edges too suddenly with a drop into dirt, the vans that are already always filled to capacity stop to pick up more passengers so spark up brake lights if they’re working as they swerve curbward close ahead of you. Intersections gyre whorl toward a virtual center where all moving things collide but somehow don´t with margins of inches hardly feet. I like this part, not because it’s probably genuinely dangerous unlike the days you fantasize pretend to be adventurous, but because it’s fast frenetic concentrated whatever’s appealing about a kinetic speed heavy death metal soundtrack. In a sprinting ring, shoulders low eyes up like racing days, using other vehicles to block, down onto the grit back up between bumpers, track stand then going as hard as you can for twenty seconds, ragged coughing gasping and you’ll blow black snot out of your nose later tonight. A half hour buzz, then suddenly on a lip of a basin looking down, high speed coasting toward whatever it is that created the event horizon in the first place.

La Paz, busy and modern in its center with cobbled alleyways and the kind of tucked in between architecture that rewards looking up, looking closely. The edges are forgotten, now just the heart of the place, trying to understand.