Tonight I journey by tremendous barge. A deck hand without hands, I am of little use to its crew, yet somehow I have traded work for passage. As I have days to kill, and have hung my hopes to be useful on a rusted peg in an unnumbered pocket of the ship reserved for my quarters, I go above decks to have a look about. This immense sky above me is unnaturally blue akin to the skull of a melange addict. Reflected back into my own eyes I adopt a Fremen camouflage.
Drawing back into myself with closed eyes I feel that perfect warm of baseball games in early September. The fragrance on the wind is not of salted oceanic kelps and fishes, but of wild grassland and flowers I could never name. The feeling here is easy and unhurried, restful, simply to stand you are fulfilled, inhaling a sense of well-being.
We are waiting offshore for a sandstone bridge to be built, so that we may walk from the bow to the pier. My brother and father are with me, with suitcases, but I have nothing in my hands. I have no hands. It is a beautifully lucky thing to be without hands. I never need anything solid because I cannot take it with me, without hands I can carry far more memories.
We are in France, but this France is steeped in the architecture of Rome. It is unbearable, how can we possibly remember where we are as each time we look around our minds are jumbled. Maps make little sense, but in a dream I am my own map.
I find what I am looking for immediately. A beautiful case of jammed and jellied pastries. Here and there chocolate sidewinders slither across croissants, gem-like doughnuts sparkle with jimmies, scones of lavender and tangerine peek out nestled between hot crossed buns. The whole scene is so like an edible case of jewelry that it brings new meaning to Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Audrey has nothing to be jealous of however, as my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad alarm clock rings me back to reality.
The lackluster reality of cold rice porridge and rooibos in front of a thin pane of winter rain is enough to make one melancholy.