And so I run.
I run the run of a woman in a suit who needs to catch that tram.
Just looking for a porpoise.
And so I run.
Be not so long to speak, I long to die
If what thou speakst speak not of remedy.
This one time, I met a Princess. We were sitting next to each other on an overnight bus to Sydney. Neither of us could sleep, and as the hushed bus rumbled through the night, we told each other stories. Real ones at first, and then ones we were told as children, until we started making up our own. I think being on a bus at night gave us more freedom; the unreality of the situation allowing for more and more unreal things to be said. For that night we were best friends, sisters even. But in the end, I got off at Bateman’s Bay and she stayed on ‘til Sydney. We left no contact details or names lest the magic of the night be ruined by banality.
Debby met a Zebra on the way to school today. She thought his name should be Horace, and so that’s what she called him. She knew he was a him because she looked to make sure; her poppy had a farm with dogs and goats and donkeys and pigs (and vegetables and other things) so she knew what to look for. Horace wasn’t very talkative, but Debby didn’t mind. She told him all about her poppy’s farm, and then about her dad and her big sister, Louise, and then about her friends at school. At this point Debby remembered that she was in fact on her way to school, and very late by now. She said ‘Goodbye’ and ‘it was nice to meet you’ to Horace, and then skipped all the way to her classroom.
My little boy, Sammy, was busy that morning. I was too, so I didn’t mind, but I was suspicious. He barred me from the kitchen and when I asked what he was doing he said, ‘it’s a surprise!’ and pushed me out the door. I knew he could handle himself in the kitchen, so I let him be. I was working on the blueprints for a bridge my company had been commissioned to design, so I completely forgot about Sammy and what he was doing until I heard his running footsteps in the hall.
‘Mummy! The surprise is ready!!’
I smiled and looked up. He came in slowly, holding out a glass filled with a clear liquid. It had coloured ice blocks floating in it; pink and yellow and blue.
‘I made it for you, Mummy. I made it up. I want you to name it.’
I took a sip.
It tasted like salt water and sunshine and love.
‘Let’s call it… Beach Sammy.’
There was a girl with brown eyes that sometimes looked golden and she had a teddy that told her secrets from all over the world. Her teddy was called Larry and he helped her to do nearly everything. They liked to play with blocks and racing cars together, and every night when they were tucked up in bed and everyone else was in bed too Larry would clear his throat and whisper the secrets into the little girl’s ear until she fell asleep. The little girl’s name was Lucy-Anne but she didn’t like that name; Larry always called her a name starting with ‘M’.
‘Marina, are you still awake?’
Larry cleared his throat. ‘A little boy in a faraway country ran away from his family and got lost in the forest. He searched for the way back for a long time until he fell asleep. He dreamed about a big wolf that carried him all the way home. When he woke up he was outside the forest and he could see his home.’
Lucy-Anne held Larry close.
‘Marley, are you still awake?’
‘A woman living on an island had too much to drink just once and forgot to feed her baby.’
‘Will the baby be alright?’
Lucy-Anne laid her head on her pillow.
‘Michael, are you still awake?’
‘A young farmer found a duck egg that shone gold in the sunlight. She hoped it would hatch, because it was still warm, but even though she put it in an incubator, it didn’t ever hatch.’
Lucy-Anne turned over and cuddled Larry.
‘Mara, are you still awake?’
‘Goodnight; sweet dreams, dear Marie.’
She was wearing glitter on her cheeks and around her eyes. She was beautiful.
David Bowie is speaking to me. I’m listening.
My shins pressed against the desk; the fan blowing behind me…
All I know, all I hear is him.
Have you ever felt your knees shiver in the cold? Did you feel them stop when you looked at them? And did they start again when you looked away? This phenomenon puzzled me greatly during my primary school days. Many Winter sports classes were spent standing alone, on the oval, wearing my school dress and looking down at my bare knees. I was vaguely aware of something going on in the distance involving a ball and a bat, but my knees were absorbingly fascinating. I never stopped to think that this behaviour might be odd. Why should I have? It was what pleased me, and no one seemed to notice mind. After all, we’ve all got our quirks.