Somewhere Else

I sat there quietly listening, but not listening. It may have been a phrase I recognised or a description of a place, in my memory. My listening part of my brain, poked me with a big stick. “Hey, shit for brains listen”
A stab of cold fear, ran through me, pictures in the paper, words on the radio, visions on the television … they all called me back.

Almost 12 months to the day, there I was, sitting on man placed rocks, watching the waves breaking on the edge of the reef. The warm cool water beckoning me to join it. My feet, dangling in the water, watching the hairs on my toes and feet, swaying back and forth, quietly by myself, remembering the previous evening, dancing and making a fool of myself … completely sober… just having so much fun. Dancers from 7 small atolls surrounding the main island … the smell of sweat mixed with coconut … bare feet … moving with an erotic rhythm, tree trunks of
limbs of island men, smooth, swaying small limbs of island women. Bands of recently living trees, just moments ago it seems, plucked, twisted, and plaited into crowning head ornaments, the lilt of guitar and uke … mesmerising … “Come, join us, be one with us, be our brother, be our sister”

The sun, slowly dying, over my shoulder, the glass now empty beside me, a sigh of contentment, wells up in me. Now I know and the feel the call of the tropics, now after reflecting, know I understand why something always seems to be calling you, to somewhere else, somewhere not here, dull and grey, somewhere else, there is vibrant colour, movement, smells, touch, taste.

I can remember lying on a hard concrete floor, mosquito net over me, protecting me, holes in it, the size of a mans hand, spending hours listening to the familiar humm of a female mosquito, looking for blood. Should I fix the holes? Should I just lay back and let them have their way with me, engorge themselves on me, fly off, mate and then produce more of their offspring. “NO WAY BUD” … a torch, a needle, that cost me $5.00, yep $5.oo and some fine cotton, I fixed the netting, took me hours, but when I was spent, I had accomplished something.

I sat with him as his children ran around, I was the only visitor, he had spent his lifetime, building his dream, stubbies came and went, he poured out his heart to me, and I listened, and I in turn ventured my tales, we both looked at each other, smiled, he weaved his way to his house on the hill, his wife waiting, the children in bed, me to my piece of concrete, and now it’s all gone. He is safe, his wife is safe, his children all safe, but all the hard, lifelong, labour is gone, swept away by nature.

I am safe and secure, the earth seems to be angry, is it calling for atonement for what we have done, but I remember so much of peace and contentment …. the joy of just being me … being picked up in a truck on the side of the road, the cadavers of dead pigs, covered in wet hessian for the markets… sitting on a haunch .. a snout appearing occasionally.. being a visitor and being a friend.. they welcomed me as a friend, they questioned me, they tickled my brains … now I could see why men and women over many generations, want to be …. “somewhere else” ….. Somewhere else is inside us ……. We just have to find it and when we do, hold it close, hold it tight, smell it, feel it, touch it, taste it … grab hold of it and don’t ever let it go ……

The waves came in from the sea, and now its all gone, the little huts no longer exist, small frail bodies, the churches filled with deep emotion, memories exist from generation to generation, we all exist from generation to generation, we all touch each other in some way, be it good or bad, but we still touch. Good or bad, we still all touch each other, bad memories or good memories … it is what we all are … remembered by some, forgotten my many, but we are a memory and for that we should greatful …. memories are just a sliver of life .. and life is, well, life.

The Incredible Pooh @2009

Somewhere Else


Joined June 2009

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