Monday, December 27, 2010

Winter's Curse

Michael sat barefoot on the white sand, digging his toes into into the fine grainy ground. The cool ocean breeze kept his hair out of his face and filled his nose with that familiar scent of ocean and beach, smelling slightly fishy, yet pleasant. He watched as the dark clouds of grayish blue and purple blanketed the sky which watched over the ocean. He knew the rain was coming and decided it was time to head home, though he didn't mind getting caught in a downpour while riding his bike. He'd always liked getting soaked by rain; it made him feel alive. But it was a long ride and he planned on taking his time, so he grabbed his backpack and set out along the sand towards his bike.
As he walked along the sand he saw the little crabs disappear into their little holes in the sand. When he reached his bike he unlocked the chain and put it into his bag. He then took out his ipod, pulling the earphones up into his ears and selecting his summer mix. For as long as he could remember he had listened to music by season. There were just certain songs and styles of music that fit better with certain seasons, not to mention all the memories from seasons past that went along with each album. He jumped on his bike to Whiskeytown and set out along the bike path along the esplanade.
He cut through a small part of the city, passing the Pancakes in Paradise, which served the best pancakes in the area, and made his way to into the neighborhoods where the scent of jasmine hit him with all its overwhelming sweetness. Memories filled his mind. Memories of visits with the McGregors and even earlier ones of riding home through the back streets of an unfamiliar country he'd just arrived in, his companion having sprinted home on his bike, thus breaking the rules and leaving Michael alone to find his way back to the flat. He'd not remembered the route they'd taken, but only the general direction of the flat. Luckily he'd always been good with directions and finding his way back to places. But that ride back to 3/4 Broad Street alone had been one of the best he'd had in the two years he'd spent there. That was the first time he'd really smelled the jasmine as it filled his nose and senses that night.
But that was years many years. It took years for him to return to that country he'd loved so much, but he had finally made it. After a long life spent away he had returned and it seemed like little had changed. The ocean still gave him a peaceful feeling. The fruit bats still hung in swarms from lone groves of trees during the day and filled the evening skies. He could still eat all the meat-pies, vanilla slices, mangoes, and fish and chips that he wanted.
And so, he made his way back to a newer flat, through the hills and back roads, with the palms and jasmine lining his way and the Southern Cross to watch over him. It was his return that made him realize that those memories, with all the happiness and comfort they held, were somehow incomplete. His earlier experience here wasn't perfect. It wasn't until his return to Australia that he felt right. It was Marguerite that made the difference.

Holidays are all about undoing all the dieting and excercise you do leading up to them.

Oliver walked for the first time last night. We were visiting Andy, who'd just slipped on ice as he ran to get the present he'd gotten for Oliver, smashing his skull into the side of his house, when Oliver stood up. I moved a away from him and held out my hands. He took three steps, me pulling my hands away with each to keep encouraging him, before he fell. He took two more shortly after, but three remains his current high.