Saturday, September 25, 2010

hats, bodies, accordian

Yesterday, the sight of a man entering the water in swimming trunks and a hat. The hat is green with a rounded crown like a small bowler hat. When he is far enough out to swim, he plunges forward but swims with one arm. His other arm is extended like the periscope of a submarine, the hat all the time held clear of the waves. The habit must be catching. This morning I encounter a woman who has been swimming far out. She is wearing a sun hat of some sort of woven plastic, faux straw. The hat bobs up and down like a buoy for which I mistake it at first.

From our third floor balcony this afternoon I look down on the beach. It is searingly hot, far too hot for us to venture out of the shade and the cool of our room. But the beach is littered with all but naked, sacrificial  bodies, pointing this way and that, but usually with their heads to landward. Some are stretched out on towels, others on blue sun beds. All are slowly grilling, marinaded in refined and scented oils such as coconut and (I dare say) avocado or wild asparagus, or ambergris (If there is such a thing as ambergris oil, but I like the idea). Up here you can almost smell the oleoginous perfume as it floats up towards the gods.

As I look down from the balcony I hear the sound of an accordian drifting up to me The accordianist has black hair on which, perched to the front, are a pair of sunglasses. He wears a green shirt against which the black bellows of the accordian and the white key boards glitter in their different tones. The sound, interrupted by the wind and the continuous conversation  of the waves, floats up, rythmic, hypnotic, infintely persuasive like the theme music of a film. He stands feet astride beneath a palm beside a line of tables where people are lunching. He wears black a trousers and shining, black shoes with pointed toes.

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