Sunday, September 25, 2011

Getting pulled from below

At the very end of the concert a laundromat only a few paces away but around the corner from the building exploded into flame -- but this, as we all discussed afterwards, had happened without any of us noticing. Not even when a fire truck passed us, as we stood on the footpath delaying our departure from this, the final concert, did we think to expect that the fire was somewhere close by. No-one expects to see the actual fire, I heard someone say when we went round the back and our throats began to catch on the orange lit smoke that was funnelling upwards from where we had just been and then, in a matter of minutes, began to seep through glass and brick to fill our houses with a smell that should have been scalded shirt but instead impersonated the floury ash of a gutted gumtree that was nowhere nearby.

And meanwhile, quietly, white suds running down the gutters into the stormwater drain, quivering in a tower for several seconds and then getting pulled from below.

In a single, short experience

It was a hot breeze, but it was also cold, I explained to him on the phone. The wind was blowing my hair all over my face and this made it hard to notice what it actually was. I need to be still and calm to distinguish a wind that's hot from one that is cold in a single, short, experience.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Clearly impossible

I heard them disagreeing about the woman on the bench who was conversing in a loud drunken voice with a bearded man on a cafe stool: one saying the fact that the woman was without feet or hands and yet still able to smoke and even talk as she was smoking was something that, curiously, heartened her; the other that the continuing existence of this woman, who was also substantially toothless, and whom she saw week after week in a similar spot on the street, not so much depressed her as made her fearful because she often imagined the woman following her as she went up the hill to the station in the mornings and calling out her name -- and then wrestling her to the ground in that blank part of the underpass, which was clearly impossible, and vile.