She was sound asleep when he came to curl up next to her. She grunted. "Don't worry. I'm too drunk, I won't do anything," he murmered. As she had her back to him, he placed his nose on her neck and slid his arm underneath her to be as close to her as possible. Short strands of her hair tickled his nostrils. "Camille?" Was she asleep? Was she pretending? No answer either way. "I like being with you." A little smile. Was she dreaming? Was she asleep? Who knows...
The mishandling of food and equipment with panache was always admired; to some extent, this remains true to this day. Butchers still slap down prime cuts with just a little more force and noise than necessary. Line cooks can't help putting a little English on outgoing plates, spinning them into the pass-through with reverse motion so they curl back just short of the edge. Oven doors in most kitchens have to be constantly tightened because of repeatedly being kicked closed by clog-shod feet. And all of us dearly love to play with knives.
And I will now rock the brown basin from side to side so that my ships may ride the waves. Some will founder. Some will dash themselves against the cliffs. One sails alone. That is my ship. It sails into icy caverns where the sea-bear barks and stalactites swing green chairs. The waves rise, their crests curl; look at the lights on the mastheads. They have scattered, they have foundered, all except my ship which mounts the wave and sweeps before the gale and reaches the islands where the parrots chatter and then the creepers...
About five years ago I saw a mockingbird make a straight vertical descent from the roof gutter of a four-story building. It was an act as careless and spontaneous as the curl of a stem or the kindling of a star.
Afterward, I curl around her. We lie in silence until darkness falls, and then, haltingly, she begins to talk...She speaks without need or even room for response, so I simply hold her and stroke her hair. She talks of the pain, grief, and horror of the past four years; of learning to cope with being the wife of a man so violent and unpredictable his touch made her skin crawl and of thinking, until quite recently, that she'd finally managed to do that. And then, finally, of how my appearance had forced her to realize she hadn't learned to cope... Read more »
If anything, global response to the Rising only confirmed something that many Australians had quietly believed for quite some time: If forced to live in Australia for a year, most of the world's population would simply curl up in a fetal ball and die of terror.