Eighty-seventh Day

Eighty-seventh Day

walking slowly downhill 

Eighty-seventh Day, December 8, Melbourne


It’s an extraordinarily windy evening.


All the blinds in the apartment snap and whip as if possessed by some inner force.


They can’t keep still for a second; the sudden mad gusts roaring in from the southern ocean across the Heads either suck them flat into the fly-wire or spit them out away from the window, and then, like sails clinging onto the cross- masts, they hold on desperately to their fittings so as to not be ejected into the room.


They clank and rattle and snap, even though I’ve wound the windows shut.


And suddenly I am inside a sailboat making a crossing, unsure as I am of my departure point or my destination.


I look around me closely to better verify my surroundings; I am indeed inside the cabin of this strange vessel, heading out across space to who knows where.


It feels like the Bounty after the mutiny, sailors and officers and islanders all sleeplessly waiting for the heavens and the wild seas to indicate the direction they must now take, now that the wild thing has been done, now that the commitment to a hitherto unthinkable action has been made.


I try and sleep down in hold, formerly my room, but no luck.


The seas roll and shake and boil, and I must simply wait out for fate’s anger to fade, for its resentment at how things have unfolded to soften in the light of day’s reason.


There is no food in the scullery, only some scraps.


I look around at the collection of photographs I have brought along for the journey.


I simply cannot recognize anyone or anything familiar.


I pray for land to be sighted.


Land of any shape or size, whether cultivable or not.


Even Pitcairn would now do.