Monday, December 16, 2013

On Moreton Island

I sit on sunny surreal sands looking out onto the blue beyond and rusted metal close.
A jagged red wreck out to sea floundering under wave after wave of pallid, flabby bodies with plastic parts and straw-like tubes - sucking in air and wheezing it out again while they swim and swim.
They flop back to the beach and emerge to grin above their rounded bellies, sagging necks and red-rotting skin.
They wiggle their toes and waddle up to the shade, casting groans and drips and grains of sand into the pestilent wind.
A thoroughfare. The beach is a thoroughfare.
Pasty flesh moves up to the water and back while white-metal beasts rage across their tracks. A never-ending line of them: iron shell after iron shell flattening the ground below and roaring muffled roars. A responsible ranger might even call it erosion control; he himself is flung along by an older four-by, past families in deckchairs and unwitting insects. He finally reaches the drop-toilets for his duties and stops. While he slowly scrubs, a spherical, brown-chested father of three folds his arms and taps his thongs against the wooden slats. He turns around and walks into the bush instead to find some suitable ants to piss on. He burps and grins as he does; a toothy, wrinkled grin which rises slowly and stays a while. And why not? He's got his two weeks off, there's beer in the esky and the missus is taking care of the kids.
He walks back to school his son on some age-old skill, like how to tie down a ute, to rig up a rod, or to pass daddy a stubby. His son furrows his brow and nods. He makes out the instructions eagerly among the call of the cicadas and the dull drone of moving vehicles.

This is an Australian holiday. A squinty, sunburnt holiday. Occasionally wet and cold between hot and dry. And "Pass us a beer will ya".
An unthinking, four-wheel driven holiday that comes to a beautiful place and says "get out of me fuckin way," To those on foot who sit back from the tide.

I prefer the naked silence of my body and undress in the moonlight to climb a dune.
It reclines in front of me, the supple and steady sand-mass glowing a heavy blue and quivering under little gusts.
My feet are immersed and absorbed with each laboured step as sweat-drops seal globules on the ground below. My chest heaves toward the dune and back while my gaze slowly drops and drops. I throw my hands onto the sand and grasp at the receding grains. I clutch them, they move through small gaps and I try to clutch them again.
I shudder and scream in a mellow tone - I look up at the sky for the first time. A circular white-blue glow penetrating the navy of the night. It spurs me on and my chest heaves some more.
And when I feel like I'll never be able to grasp a grain of sand the ground suddenly flattens off and my back is being cradled. I run my fingers through my hair and throw a forlorn smile into the night.
One hundred metres below lies a shore being lapped by a little tide; I sigh and look at the wreck beyond, the sea beyond IT, and the tiny rectangles showing home in the very distance.

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