Avatar Review

Dorothee Lang

Beyond Here


Two overlapping circles, each of them holding a stream of bubbles. That's the drawing I have with me, there, on this journey, in this town that I reach. I have a room reservation in a hotel, so I don't have to look for a place to stay. Instead I rely on the choice I made before, and walk leisurely through the streets to get to the hotel. In one street there is a small stage and a group of people in front of it. I pause and look. Standing there, I come to talk with a woman  who speaks my language, even though it's a foreign country. Her name is Fay. "Where are you headed to?", she asks. I tell her the name of the hotel. She frowns, and says: "That's the worst place you could choose. Rather go to another place." So I look around, and while looking, I realize that I need a different pair of shoes to get to another place. And see -- a pair of shoes, standing on the sidewalk. These are the shoes that will take me where I need to go, I know it immediately. So I slip into them, and walk in the direction they are taking me.


A different continent. A huge river. Houses made of wood. Asia, it is. And I am there, again. I walk along the river, and see a person with a backpack. It is Fay. "You are here, too," I say, surprised. Like me, she just arrived. "There should be a guesthouse not far from here," I say. "I remember it from another trip." So we walk on together. The guesthouse is still there, at the riverside. We decide to share a room, and it's when I stand at the window that I remember that the room indeed is the very room I had before.


Some days later, we travel on, to another place. There only is one hotel there, a huge building. We have to walk up two stairways and cross two floors to get to our room, which is named 4E. Fay stays there, while I go to buy something. On the way back, I try a different path, one that is following a small stream. It's an inspiring walk, only that in the end, you have to climb down through trees. Finally I am in the hotel again, entering it through another door. I walk up the stairway again, and down a floor, looking for the E-level - but the rooms are numbered in a random way. There is 1B next to 4F next to 13C next to 2A. I keep walking, trying to find our room, knowing it must be there. I walk up stairways, cross floors, walk down stairways. But I can't find the right door.


Again, a different continent, a huge city with areas that are so different that they could be separate cities on their own. I am with Lyx, another traveler, we met by chance, and travel together for the day. We are in the part of the city that is made of old stone houses. Beyond the houses, there is a city waterfall. Each street brings a new surprise, leads to unexpected sights. We see a huge church, made of four connecting halls, with four entries. Then there are slim high houses, in strange colours. Beyond them, there is a market, with a tower in the middle. I suggest to climb the tower, but Lyx enters a shop instead. I shrug, and follow. In the shop, we are handed the keys for a car. It's waiting in a garage for us. Excited, we climb into the car, and drive down a road that leads across bridges, a road with grand views. "That's great," Lyx says. Yet as much as we enjoy the time together, we both know that tomorrow, we will be longing to go our own way again.

Home copyright © 2008 Avatar Review
All rights reserved to the author.