Home. Sweet home.
A tree I planted in the distant days before global warming, terrorism and ringtones has fallen down, dead. Oh well, firewood I guess.
Meanwhile, while I was picking my way through foreign lands, the jasmine has burst into flower with the smell of its sex hanging like a silk stocking over the garden.
The wallabies are glad to see me. The matriarch of the clan, Sweetie, shows me her new joey with a head and one long back leg poking out from the pouch. It looks silly and confused. So I laugh and name it Kim.
It seems that one of the fish in the pond is also glad to see me safely home. It swims up to me as I approach the sunken bathtub it lives in. Im a tad nervous. Will Old Red Eye know I ate goldfish in Ha Noi? (I have never eaten wallaby.)
The eternal question with goldfish is whether they actually like you or theyre just hungry. Does it matter? I feed him anyway.
But where is Spot?
Oh no. Spots not there in the bathtub. This can only mean two things. Hes either moved to the other pond (which is unlikely because of his lack of legs and lungs). Or hes dead. Like my tree.
After checking the other pool (I had to be sure) I have to admit that Spot is dead. I feel a bit guilty. While I was away, one of my extended family has carked it. Was it the goanna? Despite the windscreen over the bathtub, that goanna has a history of fishing. (Spot and Old Red Eye were not always alone in the bathtub.)
Or was it Old Red Eye himself? He looks very plump for a fish that has lived on a weekender fish biscuit for a month.
Life. So much to contemplate.
Whelmed, I chant a prayer to Allah that I heard before take-off on Brunei Royal Airlines. Though my Arabic is dodgy, I found it strangely reassuring before the flight. Except in the English translation on the screens where one part reads May Allah shorten your journey. Im thinking, well thats all fine and good but if youre flying to Brunei from Australia and you shorten the journey youll land in the ocean somewhere near Celebes.
Inside the house, the mice have set up camp with the latrines located on my desk. Theyre neat like that. You see, I have a very lazy carpet snake. (It likes me to catch the mice and then it eats them from the traps.)
Setting the traps, I understand with a certain solemnity that there will be more death before dawn.
The world is a place of death. But also a place of birth and love. All I can do is acknowledge death and exalt life and its prerequisite, love.