Sunday, November 21, 2004


The song is nearby and soft. It presses against me as it twines the nursery rhyme with the words of another girl’s song. I feel it sticking to my skin even as I stand with my forehead pressed against the glass, watching the rain fall on the slick roads cobbled with the bodies of men below. Walking into an incomplete spider web feels like this. There is a public garden near the place I know as home and that garden has an enormous, winding walking track. Some of the walking track skirts the placid sea that is always in different shades of grey because the coast in these parts is black rock, jagged and hard. When the tide is low and the sea drifts far away towards the blurred edge of the horizon then the bed lies exposed and naked and it is all black rock. I hate looking at the sea when the tide is low. There are people who happily walk into the middle, gingerly walking on the rocks like they are giants stepping on mountain tops. Then they pick up rocks, shells, bits of small change. I always look away when something like that enters the periphery of my vision. They are all cowards. Fools and cowards, all of them. But I don’t say anything. I just turn around and keep walking and when I turn around I walk towards a curve that has a green, fragrant bushes lining it. The bushes are high, taller than me, and they have white flowers that smell very sweet. I’ve seen big rats scurrying along the roots of these bushes. I haven’t seen the spiders but I know they are there. The small spiders, khaki-coloured, sometimes with black stripes. Almost every time I walk past that turning I feel it against me – a single, invisible, slightly sticky strand. I walk into it; I feel it being pulled along the curve of my chin or the bridge of my nose but when I try to touch it and peel it off me, there is nothing there. It is too thin to be held by me. It has probably fallen apart as well. The spider will uncurl another strand like that from its saliva again and hang it out to complete some intricate pattern that has been fed into its insect brain and again I will walk into it and leave the design ravaged.


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