Wednesday, 6 October 2010

EXTRACT: Equator

Golfo de Valencia

Anything over thirty-five and Pinski goes to pot. Today was touching forty. He lay on the floor, open lips flat as the air. A passer-by, like me, could have walked in and made off with everything, including the household’s memory. Transported it off to the place known as The Exchange.
Now on the bump of mid-afternoon Pinski flattened his stomach to the cool cement, paws splayed out, snout stuck off into the cool air dropping from the washing above his head, hind legs out crook like a bike’s handle bars. Who knows, Pinski might be dreaming of ripping the snorkel off the face of a snorkelling racoon.
A racoon who sneaked up underwater to make off with the household’s basket of sardines caught under the moon.
But any crippling idea of protecting the place had evaporated with the hot wind. Pinski couldn’t care less. Hell was arriving, a very nasty form of hell, and Pinski did not care. His dog spirit said, ‘Me? Shoo away.’ Pinski said, ‘This God created dog.’ Pinski said to himself, ‘Pinski cannot care less today.’
In a place where the best couldn’t care less today, Ellie-Isabela stood barefoot at the bench, and nothing mattered more to her than the children who might drift inside while the butterflies drifted in the trees outside.
I always liked her special place at the bench. If you’d wish to take a journey from that bench on the coast, dear butterfly, far off to a different set of benches in Broome, be my guest.
Assume you are flying first class on one of the placemats, in order to conserve your energy, a pleasant journey, a comfortable, safe journey of seeing just a little bit more than Pinski going to pot. Not a long journey, say off to the moon rather than the great lumbering distance to Pluto. A steady flight, calm, drinks, meals, conversation, good views. If you accept, I can remove the mystery once and for all, and take you to that unknown place, known as The Exchange. I can maybe answer the question you asked yesterday: Who are they? Who are these custodians of my nectar? I see them everywhere up and down the coast, but what are they?
Let’s go, dear butterfly, let’s find out what they are, these custodians of your nectar. I can show you a bit of yesterday, but mostly I’ll show you what they are today, in the contemporary climate. The comparison can bring into sharp relief how they have changed, their transformation. Fresh, new, different surprises in store at The Exchange.
We can start here, dear butterfly: Ellie-Isabela worked in the smaller room located past everything, at the end of the main room. Ellie-Isabela’s special little place, a box, dimly lit, just two small windows, yet it was a box where the brightest concentrations of her ancestry were found on the coast.
Memory is like water. Flow, calm, shine, evaporation, and then condensation, soft water riding the hot air, it might bring a mist. You will see this at The Exchange, if you choose to fly, dear butterfly. Over the treetops of fresh new leaves and fresh new lives, a new leaf a new life, that’s just private, secret, not for the outside where a bigger fact heats up the road at the beach: all memory is like water.

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