Old roads and rivermouths
Met an old friend at Cook’s Terrace the other day.
Pale skinned old boy he is, as ever, but now speckled allover with craters where a dozen sharp eyed doctors had sliced away at his ever propagating family of cancers.
He was wearing a cap, unusually, and when the flies convinced him to remove it and swat them away there was this pinky nubbed skull, almost hairless.
1963 and we went fifteen weeks on the road to Queensland without using freshwater to wash and someone must have a picture of us some where; an unholy bunch of black skinned boys with long white hair at rest in some Pacific town or other.
One year out of school and centuries distant from discipline and firm order – blessed with the euphoria of the road.
About this and that.
– and his teeth had grown a chalky grey, and his arms, once massive, now wavered spongeous as he drew radical arcs of ancient waves barely remembered.
– and he clambered today for a response to these old sessions, though we rarely travelled together after that early odyssey.
How faded and watered down red were his eyes, as if a constant weeping had drawn their flawless clarity away
His shoulders still squared up after the rigour of forty years surfing, but their weight now draws him down. He stoops.
We were boys together.
This Life, so she passes us by.