Saturday, 17 August 2013

It had been a long week for me stuck in Paradise. Nothing was going my way. I was fighting with my bosses, I was fighting with all of the girlfriends that I had at the time, I was fighting with myself. I was drinking, I wasn't sleeping and I had taken to smoking from a stolen pack of cigarettes.

At the end of one night, I sent the boys to bed, killed the lights, poured myself a couple of drinks and let the music play. I was rinsing the customer's highballs in the dark and watching my two best friends make out on the beach. They had always hated each other and had no idea I was witnessing the start of their affair. I hadn't felt so miserable in a long time than as I rinsed that night.

The next morning, walking to class, under the clear canopy of the African sky, I crossed paths with one of my students: a house keeper, maybe forty, but it's hard to judge. She apologised for missing my class, showed me the heavy bundle of fresh clean sheets with their lavender smell and explained she had to go ready villas Two and Three.

She asked me how I was doing and I said I was okay and asked her back only out of habit I guess and because people seem to be so endeared by these little displays of interest.

"So-so," she said. "One of my children, back in the village" (the mainland, that is) "one of my babies died today. They have just told me over the phone." She shrugged and brought the sheets closer to her chest where we could smell them in the dusty, rising heat. She held back a tear.

"These things happen," she said and went to ready villas Two and Three for the next batch of guests and left me standing there with a new sense of perspective and the smell of lavender lingering light and soft and sweet.

(-from the bottom of a dusty drawer #2)

1 comment:

  1. “There are no facts, only interpretations.” - Nietzsche