Menu Close

Lying. Just south of the equator.

Up ahead, the dim porch light fought a losing battle against the jungle night. As it always had done, last night and the night before that. It pushed back the unknown world; at least to the bottom of the warped wooden steps. A grey-flecked moth hit the light again and again like a miniature Sisyphus. Thunk! Dazed, the zealot dropped back only to speed back with a religious ferver. A half-lit figure blew smoke past the courageous bulb and it hung indecisive in the humid air. And somewhere in the jungle the sad cry of an animal careened off the tree trunks and lit the darkness like a sweaty pinball machine.
Flat on my belly, I watched. Naked feet hid, half-buried, although the day’s heat was long gone from the bright sand. At the frontier between jungle and beach, tangled roots poked up through the moonlit grains. They seemed sickly and confused in stark contrast to the lush vegetation 10 feet inland. I lay motionless and relaxed, but always watching. The diamond sea, pewter and moonshine points, lay restless. If you squinted just right, you could see it as one enormous battlefield. The cacophony of a million simultaneous clashes gently spilled from each wave. Infantry with their spears held high and glistening stood for a breathless moment before the next surge over took them and fed them to the depths.
From my vantage in the dunes, I could see the legs of the girl exposed in the eternal dusk. She sat there, legs crossed and silent, staring out into the same sea. The saline breeze spun aimlessly down the beach and tossed her hair. The breeze, now subdued carried the scent of her to me, and I watched her despite the fine battery of sand in my face. Without thinking, I moved my leg to scratch a mosquito bite and instantly the jungle fell silent. The glaring silence attracted HER gaze. She rose and stood against the railing slowly and deliberately dragging her eyes over the trees like a tongue on a summer ice cream cone. I could feel her heavy velvet gaze descend over my hideout, and I held my breath even as the taste of blood spilled from my lip.
In the bright night, I heard the sound of her Bic. Chhk. Chhkk. Finally, it catches, and her face is lit from below. Seeing that light, I completely sympathize with that moth. I am drawn to it. There is no conscious reason to go. No measure of willpower could cause the slightest delay. It is just pure and base. GO! and a shower of  electric sparks cascades down from the oldest part of my reptilian brain driving me toward that light.  I sit up, and try to stare into the wind with smooth deliberate breaths. The waves are still crashing into the beach. I breathe rum vapors and lose myself in that sound until she goes inside. And the light goes out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.