Friday, July 30, 2010

At Sea

One odd thing about dislocation as a way of life is the whirlpool of memory. Whenever I am tempted to consign the past to a predictable current, like an oarsman on a favorite river, or to a periodic ebb and flow, as comforting as the tides, the gyre returns, spinning.

And so the air is warm as breath again, with the faint hint of frangipani that we loved in Thailand and Malaysia.

And there are geckos here too, but the locals call them pega pega instead of chee chak. Like us, they are not natives to the island, but transplanted foreigners who have taken to their new home.

Our street is named after an obscure French author and alcoholic who did not die soon enough to escape Rimbaud's assessment of him as constitutionally incapable of true "vision."

Here, at least, he intersects with Byron, is only two blocks shy of Victor Hugo, and resides within shouting distance of Shakespeare.

Surely that is consolation, if consolation there might be.

Across the way, our neighbors fly a yellowfin tuna from their windmill and keep noisy parrots on the patio.

Which reminds me both of the Maldives and of my first island home in the Florida Keys, where two of my dearest friends served a nightly highball to their chihuahua.