La Paz: City of Blue and Gold

For a surreal time, visit La Paz, Bolivia. In the exact center of the capital closest to the stars, engraved on the floor, reads: “La paz, such a strange city, so different from the rest, so tall and yet so deep… never could you be the home of the submissive, bland, meek, or asleep.” During the day the letters take the color of the sea. At night, they shine with yellow fever. March 17, 2018. Lamps in the witches market shook, half an inch of snow fell from the surrounding Andean range, and the stray dogs, scouring trash in packs, looked up and shot a howl into the stars. A strange night in the city, a clash between the two phantoms that possess the city.

A pair of hooligans dressed in yellow drapes walk out of the cathedral built by conquerors. They play music with a strange beat, indefinitely bopping their heads. As stranglers observe anonymous strangers bopping without control, they too are possessed, and follow along. What began as a few lonely souls bopping their heads in unison transformed into an entire plaza synchronized in head bop. In their eyes a collective movie played…. It's titled: Gold.

On the other side of the city, in an underground gathering, five men wearing blue masquerade masks watched said movie. They watched until one realized it was looped. He told the others. They got up, took a train to pigeon plaza, arrived when a few heads had already fallen due to excessive bop. They scared away the pigeons, kissed several boppers on the cheek. The music stopped; the movie ended. The men in yellow drapes thanked the others.

“You will do the same for us,” they said.

They would.

Everyone shook hands, straightened their ties, and so began their mundanity again… until another night of blue and gold.

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