Saturday, September 27, 2008

Reminiscing and strumming

They are so glad he came to visit- it took him 14 hours to get there to see them and he lies in bed exhausted. He wakes up to a warm heated floor with the tea boiling away and breakfast laid out. He tucks in with gusto while discussing everything from the diving share markets to news from back home. They look the same from what he remembers from last time- he has the same protruding stomach, sunken eyes and a hope of what lies ahead. Its good to eat home-cooked food again and be the kid again. They decide to go out for dinner and he watches his uncle pull out the car to clean it. As he starts to clean the car, his uncle starts talking about the life he built in a country town, about leaving his country and the road ahead. After a while it seems like his uncle stops talking to him and is actually carrying on a conversation with himself. He seems to be convincing himself of the decisions taken and of the sacrifices made. He suddenly stops and looks at the line of same-looking houses around him and carries on.

He has got a song on his head- it’s the one where the hat-clad male singer is on a jaunt and lazily strums away while the rest of the world swims by in a lazy stupor. He looks at the video and smiles to himself while peeling away at the mandarin. He gets his running gear and steps out into a sunny spring morning- he passes by the Saturday markets and backtracks suddenly to find an exhibition of photographs. He tells himself he will come and take a look at it after his run. He walks by the Army base and peers inside curiously to look at the sign Safe Base Bravo and wonders about the kind of life the defence personnel lead. No one in his family has ever served and he has always been curious about what it would be like. He walks by the liquor shop called “Lick-her” and shakes his head only to come across another store called “Shag” with an assortment of bawdy clothing. Wonders about the connection and finds none. The song is still in his head and he smiles and looks up to find a man dressed in a hat walking in the opposite direction who reaches out, pats him and walk by.

Update: Just found the song playing in my head- here it is


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