Friday, June 13, 2008

collared dove, pool, moving lips

This collared dove arrives on our balcony and waits long enough to pose for a photograph before departing for the balcony next door.

The hotel has a tranquil pool which we always have to ourselves. It is surrounded by banana and date palms, bougainevillea and strelitzia with their bird of paradise flowers. Three or four sun-beds and some cane furniture are comfortably faded. We use the pool in the morning before breakfast. Its surface is still like a sheet of blue glass. I enter it quietly and swim across it with a slow breast stroke so as to disturb the surface as little as possible. In the middle, I roll on to my back and watch the swifts swooping overhead. They trill like muted telephones.

A young woman is arranged on a towel on the sand under the afternoon sun. Apart from a silver ornament in her navel, she is dressed only in a bikini bottom. Her eyes are closed and her lips move without any sound. You wonder if she is suffering from some sort of sunstroke, until you realize that she is singing silently to herself, accompanied by music only she can hear from the minute MP3 player on the towel beside her and connected to her ear by a thread-like cable.
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