In the Wind
There’s a straining in the wind, mixing with the conversation of butcher birds and cars. Through her pre-work tea and cigarette she’d been thinking this way for months. The way she approached the day as if it encroached on the time she had, or didn’t have – all that time she needed. And wasn’t it just time she heard straining, felt on her lips, even saw in the wind – the way the leaves of a jacaranda bobbed like boats in that bay in Puerto Lopez. Where groups of pelicans swam around, flew up high and dived for fish. A woman in a pink shirt was sweeping the tree-cracked path in front of her tienda when an old man had asked her if she wouldn’t like to go on a snorkeling trip. That was toward the end, after eight months of moving, when she’d convinced herself she’d found nothing there that she couldn’t find here in Brisbane. In the wind. In the pine that stretched some 50 metres into the air in her neighbour’s yard. She’d recently read that they dominated the sub-tropical rainforests surrounding the Brisbane River before colonisation. How the pines had been lopped and dissected to make way for Queenslanders. Her army-green Queenslander, where she sat on the back steps, looking through the gentle undulations of a golden orb’s web at the cranes and apartments of South Bank. And perhaps it was nostalgia that kept her from turning this straining she felt into a seeking. She should have never stopped travelling. Stopping only allowed time to make itself concrete, to articulate the wind. But those escapes, that endless wandering through South America … she needed escape from this too. Yet, there was always something she’d never escape. And perhaps this was the nature of breathing, she thought, as her morning’s cigarette finished. She felt her tea had gone cold and looked at her phone. Three minutes more.