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NONFICTION


At the feet of the slumbering young man, someone is selling patterned sarongs.


My toes look like twigs, twisted to the


sand, and the black nail polish wares down. It looks grotesque.


The tailor, with his shop on the beach,


perhaps he is Indian or from Myanmar, though his nationality to me is uncertain, kicks around a flat soccerball, barefoot, across the sand, under the shade of the pine trees. The sand is prickly with Durian-shaped mini pinecones, and a tiny ant is attacking my toe. He likely does not approve of my toenail polish.


The husband and wife talk quietly to


one another, while the wife dreams to herself of being a wandering yogi. The ageing tourists, their fronts pushed down by gravity, waddle past. They do not harm the surface.


The old British lady bends down


with toil to reach the hose to water down her sandy feet. She wears a straw sunhat surrounded by a black ribbon. She walks toward her hotel room, followed by her husband of many years.


To the left, the bird calls his friend, and to the right, the engine roars and the race along the beach has rolled up tunnels of energy.


At the water hose, two Asians appear,


then disappear. One wears a white Polo Speedo, ‘Polo’ in white across the butt cheeks. The other wears long swim shorts and drapes a blue towel across his shoulders. They are gone.


The Thai man in his shorts, t-shirt,


and bare feet reads with interest a book in the shade of the awning of the tailor’s shop. He looks like he could be a runner with his drawn-out muscles. He turns the page.


The Indian tailor kicks the soccerball


against the pine tree and the young man who was lying down stands up again and relocated. I look at the Indian tailor. He looks back at me.


The puppy to the right emerges from his sleeping spot under the tree. He has a jinglebell collar round his neck and sits upright, gazing at the Indian tailor with the soccerball who calls to Ricky and the dog follows his voice.


The universe melts into another, in tandem with the heat of the afternoon and the roar of the curvaceous sea. I am in a previous universe, walking alone through Primrose Hill. It is May and I walk through the path that’s centered between two bare fields in the middle of the city, surrounding myself in existential angst.


This universe is the underworld,


seeking redemption. We await mornings of coffee cups and afternoons of cups of tea and sultano cookies, here.


45


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