Wednesday, May 27, 2009


The windy day was a few months back.
We were in a park by the harbour.
A windswept family was hurrying along.
The father carried a little girl; the mother hoisted a stroller; the boy clutched a football underneath his arm.
They tumbled down a flight of steps.
“This way!” the father called. They half-jogged toward me along the path – panting, breathless—“This way!” he called again, more urgently – and they turned a sharp left, ran along the wharf, paused, and leapt aboard a yacht.
A white yacht.
I watched them through the windows of the yacht.
They sat down in four separate seats—their shoulders puffed for a while, then all four calmed and were still.
The yacht was tethered to the wharf.
The boy tossed his football gently up and down.
The father put his elbow on the side of the boat, and rested his chin on his hand.
The mother and the little girl gazed straight ahead.

Charlie and I played on the wharf. Paint and turpentine smells. A chill in the wind. Chinking and blustering. Bright whites and blues.
An hour passed. It was time to go home.
This is a true story: the yacht was still there, still tethered to the wharf.
The family still sat quietly in their seats.


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