Monday, January 30, 2017

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To Walk in Beauty

Fon d'parikulur - 11

































IV
In another part of Port-au-Prince, Dr. Kenold was busy doing things he needed to do. The maps were piled around him on the desk – because he was one of the few who came in to the office on the weekend. There were other people at work, but mainly foreigners and people who worked with foreigners. There was one other category of people who would be on station: the criminals. The criminals who watched every street, every intersection, every door of the government. It is on the weekends that you know who really needs to work – for money, for profit, or out of necessity.
He was looking at one such tangle of streets, which was in the poorer land locked places in the town. Of course there were places which might be called “ strip clubs” in the West – but even local men needed someplace to engage in the steamier side of events. Thus off the main street were the places where men from Haiti would gather, though as often as not they did not actually have sex – just a stimulation. Because of course, men could have sex – but the toiling masses were not really men at all – in the minds of the prostitutes they were nothing more than sheep, not willing to grab what they wanted. And the women knew this instinctively, almost encyclopedically. While women do not read; they are none the less educated in what the business offers. Since men run the world; women run the men, until they get out of Haiti – and find that the world is very different from Haiti.
That the world is different requires one to meet people who have been there, and thus it is a secret kept from the majority of women – or is only a dream that they have.
Of course Dr. Kenold was disappointed that Jules was not there – though he had expected this. But after an hour he returned to his office, and stared in intense concentration. Of course the intensity was part of his way of forgetting all of the things that distracted him. The curves, the light, the shining in her eyes. It was all so beautiful, but he could not even reach for her hand to kiss on the cheeks. In a word, he was afraid; though he did not know of what precisely. There was a trembling to her form which bewitched and beguiled him. Then he realized that even his concentration was not sufficient, so he re-doubled his efforts and constituted on the side streets.
However, but, of course, and, his thoughts were still drawn to the meeting that was not. So he shifted his gaze to another part of the city: that of Route 1 – and its meander to the north, past the airport. It was near where ships unloaded, and each step was seamier than the last. He gazed at all of the side streets, and looked at both the Annex and the main building of a hospital. What was odd about this was their was no reason why the UN should be digging a trench where they were – at least they had not told the government what they were doing. And this was odd, because the UN was actually very good – at least on the scale of telling what they were doing. Realize this was not New York City, which there was an interplay between government and contractor. Most of the time people did what they want and only if they were caught did consequences from the government come into play. The UN was not supposed to be like that, because they were trained in large numbers of cities around the world, and took great care to respect the presence of laws, customs, and the little innuendos – which included bribing people who needed bribes. In fact, that was Dr. Kenold unspoken role.
In fact, the longer he looked at the digging – the more it seemed unusual. A gnawing uncertainty grew inside his mind – what if the UN were trying something not allowed? Even if eventually what they were doing would be dismissed with a gratuity, it would make sense that Alix would be involved in sliding someone who was not formally part of the government – everything would then be secret.
Under normal circumstances, Dr. Kenold would have dismissed this; but the weight began to tilt is mind towards the corrupt and venal. He wondered if there was something to it; how he could figure that out if it were. A thought occurred to him that he could drive out there and check, but he dismissed this almost immediately. But there was something that he could do, because he noticed that more digging was out North of the ship unloading. He knew someone who he could call, and have him investigate what the digging was. Immediately this sounded like a plan to him, and immediately started to dial on his phone the number of his half forgotten friend. At least it was a friend in a sort of way – he visualized the thin man's body with a tight cropped hair – which pleased his wife.
But he only got a message, and it was not even well worded.
“Allo? This is your old friend, Kenold. I have a little bit of a problem that you can help me with. I want to know if there is digging going on – especially if foreign individuals check the progress. Give me a call. “ he stopped and wondered if he should say goodbye, but thought better of it and hung up. He would of course tell his friend a little bit more than that. After all, this would be on his personal phone not his professional phone. If there were any secrets, that layer between the 2 devices might be useful.
He worked late into the night – and finally his friend called him, and they set on a short conversation about what he wanted his friend to look for, and tell him and the morning what he found.



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