Ferodo – Forget me not – Alice

cordell-forget-me-not

Alice was back in my house again after seven long years. She’d arrived just the last week on the doorstep, looking older and hoping I’d be able to rejoin our fractured lives again. So far I’d let her in but we hadn’t really connected.

We’d been parted abruptly, we lost each other suddenly like when a glacier finally cracks after years as a moraine and melts and falls into the sea. I’d gone first, melted by a sudden change in the weather and left her behind still frozen the status quo of life we’d become. Sure I loved her, but having melted away, I could not go back. Try as I might, I could not remember or feel the same things or go back in time.

So it went on like that. In the first year of our fracture I’d been to Japan and saturated myself in Saki, Sushi and to recover, climbed the slopes of Mt Fuji. Every day I’d look for a dose of exotica to help cover over the memories of the life I’d given up. I went to India and up and down streets with crowds of Hindu at holi festivals, but never once to temple.  Which I probably should have. Still I’d been faithful to her and I knew eventually we had to get back together.  It was just a question of time perhaps.

Having melted into the ocean of possibility, knowledge and experience, I’d lost my structure and purpose.  I couldn’t get Alice back or my life for that matter. Even the travel, although refreshing didn’t put it all back together. As the years went by it became easier, but colder and more distant, even from myself. Anyway, here I was in my fairly comfortable home and Alice had found me somehow, yet so far I hadn’t really found her.

I opened the door to get some fresh air.  It was dark out but I needed to walk. Down the path a little and around toward little creek at the back of the property. Flowers seem to have a glow and brightness as the sun retreats for the night.  In the evening under stars flickering their petals glow softly but defiantly against the surrounding dark.  Dark full of sounds of frogs and moving things but still with the chill of the night air. There the flowers stood bravely against the darkness, and the star centered scented flowers shone quietly into my mind. I hadn’t forgotten her, I’d missed her badly, but she that I missed was not the one that I’d left. But there was music there, that uncanny Dido’s Lament came to mind.  Where Dido laments that she be remembered, but not for the way she left the world.

I turned then to go back to the house with that lament by Purcell running through that blue petals image in my mind.

“Remember me, Remember me,

but ah ah forget my fate,

remember me but ah..

forget my fate.”

How sad would that be, I thought, that if only we were parted forever, that I should forget her fate. We really must try to find it again. The lights were on and I slid the door open and stepped inside and still there was Alice, looking carefully at my face … smiling…hopefully.

Photo: “Forget-me-not” copyright, Diane Cordell, used with permission.

A love line in the sandy sky

B72 Snake Nebula

It was getting late in the afternoon at the caravan park.  Tents flung all over the place, with spaces of grass and sand between them.  The beach not far away, flocks of seagulls tearing bits of food apart and squabbling as usual.  For most of the people there too, it was getting time to eat.

Alice was sitting on a rock, overlooking the ocean, and the waves.  Sunburnt a bit, she was munching on an apple, a nice red one and considering her palm, a mystery, but she had been told about love lines, marriage lines, heart lines.  It was mystery to her.  It was cooling down and so she got up and walked back to the tent on the beach, and met up with Ferodo, that infuriating guy boyfriend, whatever.

Alice and Ferodo took off up the track together.  Alice offered Ferodo a bite of her apple, and he took one, but was still thinking of fish and chips after all. He thought of holding hands perhaps.  Who would go first, the woman or the man in the equation ? They often thought about crossing the line, that marks the balance point in a relationship.  When tension increased, the strength and straightness of the line as well.  It appeared impassable sometimes, but other times it relaxed into a kind of curvature not starting or ending, but eminently crossable. Still, her hand was all sticky with apple.  Perhaps he would just kiss her instead.

“Ferodo !. Quick, look, what IS that ? ”

“Can’t see a thing mate !”,…  “where ?” he asked..

“Just there, you idiot !” “Look, It’s a snake!”  she said.

“Na, theres no snakes around here !, it’s the beach, don’t worry” he said.

“OK OK I see it !” he added.

There on the path in the darkening, was a curved black line in the sand,  the line was fixed in the sand but the front extended and the back contracted so that the line seemed to move forward in perfect formation.  It was a Taipan by the way, one of Australia’s most deadly snakes, a bit off track, and who knows where it had come from or why, but too dark to make it out clearly….

Alice screamed, “It is headed for that tent over there”. “quick kill it ! Or something !”

Ferodo, didn’t know too much about snakes.  He figured it was dangerous, and that he should take care, but as the light was fading was pretty sure he didn’t want to jump on it.

“Keep your eye on it, and don’t get too close !.  I’ll be back ” he said.

He quickly ran back to his own tent and looked around for a weapon.  There on the bed, where he had left it, was a hammer, perhaps that would do.  He snatched up the hammer and ran back to where Alice was following the snake up the path slowly but surely without deviation advancing on the lighted tent further on.

Ok, so with hammer in hand Ferodo looked at the snake saw that even though the snake was curved and snaking it’s way up the path, and even though he was kind of shaking all over, vibrating with adrenalin, and not knowing really if this was ok, he got the hammer in his hand.  His right hand. Should he use his left ? Wasn’t real sure, his mind started to optimise the situation, but then he realized he just had to go for  broke, forget the optimization.  If he had had a chance to pre-meditate killing the Taipan he certainly would not have chosen a hammer.

His right hand swung out, with the hammer at the smallish head moving in a dead straight line at constant velocity forward, slightly raised off the ground, and with the little minute tongue flicking the air occasionally.

Whack ! Smash, and then a violent eruption in the sand, of fury of the headless snake, whose head had clean come off all mashed on the end of the hammer.  The snake was thrashing around, and it was not clear it was dead, even though it’s head seemed to have come off.  Ferodo relived the last 200ms of it’s life to assure himself, that that was all he had to do.  He was shaking all over, possibly more than the snake itself.  He felt sick, like , way too much excitement that was unplanned and not part of expectations for this holiday.

Alice was standing there… ” what on earth !” she said, you could have got bitten ” what if you had missed the thing, you can hardly see it even now in this light”

Ferodo got his breath back, and said ” ok, ok but well, it’s dead now and at least it’s not going to get into the other people’s tent, whoever they are. ”

Alice and Ferodo looked at each other with a kind of new understanding.  The line had shifted in the sand between them.  Alice stepped forward to meet Ferodo, and stood with her foot clear on the still thrashing body of the snake.  She was standing there like it didn’t count anymore, with a half eaten apple,  and that there in front of her was another mystery to fathom.

After a while, the stars were coming out, as they turned, with apple and hammer in hand and walked off to get fish and chips.

Attribution : Featuring the Photo of the B2 snake nebula http://www.howardedin.com/wp/ creative commons.