Wednesday, 3 November 2010

the drum

Ever since I left Ghana I have missed the drums. The way some guy a few houses away might just pick one up and start to play, or kids across the street, or a funeral in full swing for the last couple of weeks. Here there is such silence it took a while to accept. But now, being such a thin sleeper, it has become a part of the way my days and nights expand. I used to worry I would become a shrivelled aunt who had forgotten how to speak, but I haven't started to hum and don't expect answers from my dogs. Besides, my brood make such a racket when they are present, the silence is the cleanest tide, the only way to function.

Autumn damp makes for great working conditions although the flooding in town has been a worry. Last night I was terrified the canals would fill and my piano would be knee deep in water, such an awful thought. I have friends in a big fix but here the fields are drying out, the long strips of water have subsided.

Today it is so quiet.

I have had a great time with three stories lately. I try to tug away from Ghana but there are so many stories there that won't stop tapping inside my brain. I have started compiling the Collection in case AE ever gets back to me. I have 19 and discovered one set in Sydney, published an age ago, which still rang true. I have always gone for culture overlapping, how one party is often subservient, suffering.

This is from 'Where the Wounded Go', my current favourite.

'They drove to the hills that pushed the city against the coast. As they rose the change in altitude made her head feel looser, or perhaps she had just had her face in his groin so long. Now she lifted her head. Though the scrappiness of the city was gone there was a different tide of erosion up here. The colonial buildings stood tall, fettered with all manner of appendage, and the roads were thin, drawn over the landscape with their endless trails of unfit transportation. Huge old trees carried the heaviness of history as much as their scored vaulting, vegetation was stiff.

She was thirsty, the two beers at the hotel had brought it on. Now she was clammy with his liquid and everything felt flawless. She looked at him as he drove, wanting to rub herself harder into his skin once again, wanting to lick his eyelids and use her tongue to feeler his teeth. She wanted to chase him, bring him down, feed on the spurting from his neck.'

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