In The Small Wooden Bowl On The Dining Room Table

Inside there were some leaves. The leaves we picked up off the grass at the park in Canberra. The leaves she put in my hair, wedged in just above my ears, before she took a photo and I looked amused and bemused and a little bit like Shrek. In the background of the photo the trees were bare and silver and the green was a lush dark shadowy green on the ground, with parched leaves lying at the bases of trees, and it looks like late afternoon but it could be any time after lunch in a park in Canberra at that time of year. She was not in the photo, of course, she took them, which meant she was hardly ever the subject, which was a shame, but she said they always looked bad when she was in them, and that wasn’t true either. We ate buffet breakfast at the hotel and that included hash browns and small piggy sausages and several kinds of toast and fruit and cereal. She drank coffee and we both had juice as we looked out the window and wondered what kind of crazy you would need to want to go swimming in the hotel pool.

There was also a bird’s egg, delicate and speckled and fragile. A thing snatched up before dogs blundered into its path. A pretty thing.

Folded and bound with elastic or string was a newspaper page. On it was printed a message from one train passenger to another. One message amongst many. All from train passengers to other train passengers. Messages of tenderness. Announcements of notice and intent. This one was from Nobby and it didn’t really make sense, but it was to a young lady who got off at Hurlstone Park.

An unusual rock was in there too. It seemed to change colour in different light. It was picked up and taken home from the afternoon at the beach, in front of the borrowed beach house, where we played backgammon and read and were unable to sleep in because the roaring waves wouldn’t stop, and then the bright light shone proud and insistent and resistance was useless. It refused to rain, even though we wanted it to, but we put up with the lack of rain and storm and cloud. At the pub the chips were excellent, and the gravy was too, and so was the bacon and egg roll and the beer and Coke, and tankers sat off the coast, keeping us a comforting kind of company, steady and reliable and constant. You could pick out the lights of the tankers through the big dark window when it was night outside, and you could see the flitting torches of the fishing people on the sand.

Smaller, smoother rocks were from a different beach. Where the dogs ran and attempted to get away – small – or just lolloped – big – and it didn’t matter as there was so much space and they couldn’t get away, and beside they just enjoyed running away and running back along the sand anyway. No-one else was there, and we walked up to the top of the hill, on a bluff, on a headland, on a cape, and there was a headstone there. People had died when life was lived much more dangerously, and it was swept by the wind and exposed, and it was beautiful and we were together. The dogs on their leashes dragged us down the hill and they ran and ran and ran on the beach, and we took them home in the car, back to the little house, and they were tired and so were we.

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Published in: on February 23, 2012 at 7:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

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