Sosu Purak

The place is in a deep valley within the Shikahogh nature reserve, an area where walnuts and roses grow alongside pomegranates and sycamores, a unique place, distant from other villages, protected. The sycamores growing there were huge and ancient, perhaps from the time of Jesus, their bone white trunks arching up like arthritic fingers to the sky, and mammoth trunks lining the gentle rolling river where the local children swim and play while their fathers and grandfathers look on from the bottom of shot glasses filled with mulberry vodka.

I had just met with the head propagator and nursery manager there when I got a call from my girlfriend; she was going to be in Kapan as a guide with one of her tours till tomorrow morning. This was my chance: it’s been a month since I saw her last. I was dedicated; if I started walking and got lucky with a ride, I could see her before she leaves. I ran to the highway and started walking toward Kapan, thumb out, hoping for a ride, but to no avail. Then, a tractor, big and lumbering. I throw myself in front of him and he had to stop. I hopped into the passenger seat, and we were off. The wind in my hair and the bed jumping, we made it more than half way. I got out, thanked the driver and continued on. Luck was on my side, and 2 more pick-ups later, I finally made it downtown to hold my darling for a brief pause before moving on.