Interlude at Daofu

Daofu was a cluster of lights bubbling up in the belly of a darkened plain. After riding my motorcycle half the night across the southeast corner of the Tibetan Plateau, I pulled into town an hour before midnight and got a room next to the bus depot.

“Clean rooms, very clean,” the hotel manager said with a wink as I stood before him, his insistence making me doubt what I otherwise would not. I wondered if he was talking about the rooms or about some other commodity he purveyed. On the counter was a small aquarium filled with tiny eels and seagrass. The manager’s head was a lopsided potato and he had a mole on his throat with several long strands of hair growing from it. The mole was exactly on the man’s left jugular and pulsed as if it were alive.

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