house of happy

Life adventures in prose and verse. Explorations of places, people and words. Stories and fun.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Mexico, 1 January 2000

Unlikely as it may seem, we met the new millenium on a Mexican beach. We had dinner on your surfboard – a fish caught by a passing fisherman earlier in the day, an avocado, lime juice, some cold beers.

We slept in a small tent. And today the sun rises equal, but we gild it with irrational, touching, crazy hope. We who were born in time, and lucky enough, to see the start of another 1000 years of humanity. We who lead irregular lives, and live in abnormal times. We who dream too high and love too much.

So what do we do on the first day of the year? We stop the van and start walking. Into the wilderness we go, first a forest, the track narrower and narrower, finally a river. Along the river then. The path ends. We jump from rock to rock. At times, when the rock is high and the river swirls and lingers, we dive from rock to river. And so, for a while.

We meet nomads like us, coming back from the wild. 'Is the world still there?' they ask.

Eventually we stop. A clearing, a pool of such intense green it lures you back in, like a spell. We stagger about, find a place and set up the tent. Picnic in the sunset, eyes half closed with exhaustion and enchantment.

I wake up at night with something scratching outside, by the tent. Paralysed by fear, I clutch Nikita to my chest, I whisper: 'Moona. Something outside. Something big.' You wake up at once, light sleeper. 'Something small', you whisper back. 'A bear!' I say. 'A squirrel' you say. And so on.

The bear gets bigger and bigger until it clouds my vision. I stop breathing altogether, I think. Then I feel your hand on mine and I breathe out and my heart starts beating again.


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