Something about the mud maps is off. The waves, the lines, they're moving on their own and there is no wind out. The stream ahead is dead and the night is falling. In the thick heat of an austral summer, the only path that leads from the backyard to the street outside is covered in shells. From inside the house, the clang of pots and pans. No room in the bedroom closet and the kitchen is filling up fast with boxes of baking soda.
Still, the closet is the only space left in the house. After the renovations to keep up, the rangehood and new stove find themselves sitting politely next to the shoehorn and tie rack. It's a tight squeeze, but with breakfast coming in at dinner time there is no need to extend the walk between eggs flipped and eggs poached. To fit in all the room displaced, the bedroom is now in the living room, the living room in the bathroom and the bathroom is a bucket out on the back verandah. Sometimes you forget to empty it out and have to walk over to the ongoing riot downtown in order to get a thorough hosing.
The trick is to bring your own soap and one that doesn't take too long to lather. It's a task to stand there trying to soap up when you can't generate any lather. It's also handy to bring along some newspaper to wipe against before the soak. Coarse hands bubble up the squeak better, faster than those slightly oily.
The backdoor opens and out washes a stench of cyanobacteria mixing with canned basil. The maps move again and this time carve out a symbol like a foot sliding across a kid's knocked out sand castle. Size 11 shoes. Rugged, heavy build. Missing a toe. You can tell by the sense that half of the foot is favouring one side, as if to keep from propping it up too conspicuously.
Day off and we're back again at the point trying to cover up the smell with boxes of baking soda. With enough vinegar to wipe it down, this thing looks beat. The only noises the neighbours hear now are their own muffled clenches as they pour more grapes into their gaping maws behind closed doors.
Written on Sunday, 30 September 2012