The best way
to move forward is in a pedicab. In Saigon, the driver ushers you from
behind like a concerned mother. Hovering above the back of your tousled
head, he steers you firmly into oncoming traffic as you admire the scenery.
In Can Tho,
the driver perches, paradoxically, in front of you. With unblinking eyes,
you watch in anticipation as your aging father lowers his head into the
vexatious yet exhilarating void.
In the Philippines,
the driver rides alongside you like a brother, a utopian arrangement which
yet manages to displease those who would rather traffic in silence.
But as a booming
and colorful airplane appears suddenly above your head, you find yourself,
once more, tilting your tear-stained face skyward while thinking, Perhaps
someday I could be among those frozen in the clouds, tossing a candy wrapper
into the heavens.