Tractor Blues (2006)


Most of my friends live in the city, whose inhabitants measure distance in subway stations, direction - by the color of the subway line on the map, and the season - by the size and form of the main puddle on the way to the office.

The other part of my friends live in the city, where distance in measured in blocks, mentality shifts from East to West, and, most importantly, from up to down, which directions loosely include the Bronx and Brooklyn, and the season can be deducted from the loudness of your air conditioner.

Although we feel quite at home in several large cities, our current life suits us best at the moment.

In Herkenrath, the distance is measured by bends of the valley road, the direction - by sun, and the season - by smells and scents coming from the nearby field.

The village has got one street, three lanes, 50 houses, 100 inhabitants, some four dozens of cows, a dozen of dogs and half a dozen of horses. The only visible sign of the public order is the post box, which serves as a village center of sorts. The nearest pub and the cigarette vending machine are by the bus stop, which is exactly one bend of the road away, which in the rest of the world means one kilometer by the field road.

To run most of their errands, such as going to church, buying groceries or getting music lessons, the locals go to the nearby village of Neunkirchen. No city dweller would be able to detect even remote traces of activity in Neunkirchen, but in our present opinion, it has got almost everything we might require from the civilization, since almost everything else is available on the Internet.

Our neighbors are a saleswoman, a hairdresser and a family of illegal immigrants from the Eastern Europe, but the majority stockholder in our lane is the local carpenter. In addition to his house and a separate workshop, there are houses of his two sons, and two twin-houses, which he built to rent them to some city folks. The left house is occupied by a film art professor from Cologne, and the right one - by a family of an Internet engineer, that is, by us.

The favorite occupation is to sit by the glass wall in the living room and watch clouds flow by and fogs rise up from the valley. Save for an occasional deer or hawk, there will be only hills, all the way you can see, with the Neunkirchen church for an eye not to get lost.

And only three or for times a year, our field changes dramatically - it is haymaking time. Several tractors arrive to the field and the show begins.

[tractors move to the ragtime]

Our daughter loves it here and she can hardly imagine life without the tractors and their music.

[The tractor is moving away, and is gradually turning into Tanja on her three-wheeled bicycle, till she stops, turns and smiles to the camera. Titles.]

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Last modified
August 9, 2006

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