The Traveller

Mama mia

IT’S scary now. Only six nights to go and your accommodation plans are receding into the sunset.

That’s what happens when you mix romance and rentals.

Even on  a Greek island.

It never works.

Not even before it’s started!

You put an ad out for somewhere to stay, somebody responds, you talk, and the next you know, the rental is an afterthought and you’re planning all sorts of wonderful thing together.

Nice. You even decide to fly over seven weeks early.

It seems appropriate. There is more than rental going on here, she says.

Damn right. When’s the next plane?

Texting on Facebook is intense, intimate. Funny. It goes on for months.

You must see her.

So you lean into the computer screen, on Skype, and this face — yes, it’s an angel in your heart — it’s not very clear, except for the lipstick. The lipstick is vivid.

You wonder what you look like, to her.

You arrange your face into the sweetest of smiles.

She examines the picture. She’s intent in her focus, like artists are.

Your nose looks huge, she says. Is it?

Her head leans left, right.

You turn your face this way and that. You don’t realise you’re mirroring her movements while she’s gauging the dimensions of your snout.

(You want to smell that hair on that head.

(You want to put your face in it.) 

 You are careful, though, when you’re modelling your visage, not to reveal your two smoke-stained teeth, the muddy splotch leftovers, grubby blobs on the pristine shine of the ready-mades.

Ah, the excitement. The anticipation.

Then the Incredible Hulk lumbers into your sweet-pea landscape.

The butterflies cower wide-eyed and the bees forget to make honey.

There is a big shadow. There is no oompah band. This, dear readers, is The Ex.

Her recent ex.

Your feet turn cold. Ice. They freeze.

The Imagined Threat; The Monster, it looms.

It rips the guts from your gentle reality. It tosses it about, for breakfast.

You try to stand back, to dodge it. But The Monster’s unforgiving. Relentless.

It’s on a rampage to rout. You run. And run back again.

You don’t know. What is there to know?

Limbo is unsettling, a monster’s playground. In limbo you teeter.

It can tip you into heaven, or hell.

Peril lurks. Imagined or not.

Life’s like that, darling, in Shadowland. There are no angels there.





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