(Photos were taken by me mum, Jode)
After days and years of solitary walks, meandering along the sea, or through the quiet forest glade, delving into the chasms and crevices of my belladonna-mind, the leering darkness provoked a change, and I found myself upon a nocturnal stroll of the urban kind.
I ambled along amidst the jubilant bar life, the incandescent window displays and charming, but dolefully indifferent, advertisements whoring for a sale.
I trotted along the night-washed sidewalk, myriad globs of smashed gum wads catching the glow of a nearby streetlamp. They glinted in perfect circles punching through the dark like stars to light my way.
Framed by the passing headlights, the silhouettes of Panhandlers stalked along like jackals looming near a bleeding kill they could never quite reach.
Moody Indie-music lumbered out from the dreary maw of the newest haunt. The sound mingled with the hum of fans, the buzz of neon signs, and the silent boisterous banter of the chaos within-
Words joggling and spurting, desperate to touch (with lucidity, with meaning), but always guarded- and so naively off-key, like hesitant eyes that rise out of cadence and fail to meet (and so sabotage what might have been). I walked on.
Solitude followed me as I shuffled through smiling countenances (grinning teeth obscuring the self-doubt and brittle sadness within) glaring through the darkness. I walked effortlessly, gliding along in my pinstripe hat and my animated thoughts. In the cover of the leafy weald, or in a circus theatre, yes, Solitude always became me.
And I was content. Aloneness was never barren or hollow, but resolute and kind. It fostered reason and curiosity, the creative mind like perennial autumn flare ruffled by the rejuvenating wind, fresh and crisp and ludic. Aye, I was alone, but never dreary. I had determined to avoid the infection of loneliness.
But I did come to know Madness, before the wall of mud and sticks finally gave way and the onslaught of my own wild thoughts were released to flow free. Before I knew the bliss it was to embrace my Self.
My gritty step faded. The crowds, the bars, the panhandlers, all dissolved behind me. The charming signs, the decorative lights and floating music, all wafted away. I was free, and I was lively, and I was going somewhere, gliding along rivulets of thought- and always by my side along the way, my coy and reticent friend, Solitude.
I believe one could be accurately classified as adequately tolerant if one is the sort that will allow onslaughts of slimy, smelly cadavers to be tossed onto one’s head in a great, heaving torrent from the heavens above.
Well, let me back up a bit.
It began as a glorious morn. The sunrise pinching the sky, rosy light playing on the edges of perfect little waves. Seagulls sailed above, pelicans lumbered contentedly along the swell. It was a fine and chipper morn, indeed.
Then, I became possessed with the idea that we had to go romping to the inlet to get some pelican photos. This struck me as a most fabulous plot. So, after the usual tottling about with errands, we were soon humming along on our way to Sebastian Inlet. And how beautiful it was, smiling away, water scintillating, dinosaur-headed wood storks sauntering up to us like teenagers with their wings jammed in their pockets, hoping that we may be crawling with fish heads to bestow unto their clanking bills. A nice breeze tussled through the palms, and I noticed a gopher tortoise shuffle by, munching on some fresh, sun-baked grass. It was a fine day, indeed, but no sight of pelicans.
I meandered over to the rocks that separate the tidal pool from the channel rushing into the sea. Scrabbling onto the great rocks, camera almost colliding with shattering death as it oscillated back and forth from my neck like a pendulum (I always forget it will do this…), I became conscious of a permeating dead-fish odour. Promising. I clambered along, just below where the fishermen greatly enjoy cutting fish, and poised on the rocks were my lovely brown pelicans, blue-eyes smiling away at me. About 12 of them were clustered there, males, females, and juveniles. I nestled within inches, all crumpled up, and in position. The birds were a bit nervous, but overall, accepting of the giant, black eye clicking in their faces.
Was entering dream-camera-pelican-loving land, delightedly, when suddenly I felt something very small, very wet, collide with my head, and the eyes of a nearby pelican glazed over and seemed to be debating whether to lunge forth and swallow my head. He thought better of this, however. A sea of giggling also fell down from above. I began to gaze up, when another smelly little wet thing slapped me on the shoulder and then spilled onto a rock. I grabbed at it. It was the corpse of a little shrimp. Poor shrimp. I held it out to the pelican. Suddenly, my whole hand was inside pouch of pelican. This was an odd experience. I had always wondered what it felt like in there….rather rubbery…hand somehow made it back to freedom. Hmm…not slimy either. Shrimp was gone. Pelican looked at me with tilted head and backed away slightly. (This is one weird human, mates…) Huge guffaws of laughter spilled down from above. I looked up, only to be met with a sea of dead corpses sailing down, and squabbling pelicans all flopping about frantically to seize the things right off of me. It was fabulous.
Yes, that’s generally what I do…don’t know why…look at all one must endure…
Harrowing world, photography.
I grabbed some stray corpses and tossed them to my birdly companions. The lads seemed to like this. Nutter crawling around snapping photos on the white-splotched, scale-glazed, slightly blood-stained, fetid rocks doesn’t mind having dead-bodies thrown right onto her head in a torrent at all, and even sticks her hand into pelican pouches- we like this one! Oh bother….
And following that adventure, I endured chattering youths following me about like those cheeping baby chicks that run along behind the harassed hen everywhere she flees. Ended up drenched, of course, rushing after phantom manatees that rush by like champion swimmers, and vanish, then being splashed by grinning dolphins. Almost bitten by a wee crab. Yes, he wanted to bite me, love bite I imagine. A wave nearly took me under as I was snapping away….more laughter from behind, above on the jetty, and all around. I guess I’m an ambulating sack of amusement.