The door was unlocked and opened easily. He walked in and sat on the floor, soon to fall asleep. This was the first night under the roof, since he left his parents’ home.
Morning sun woke him. He stretched his arms and let the old man in a young body walk down the dunes towards the beach.
The following weekend at the holiday house, Mrs Gable noticed that a bottle of wine was no longer where she had left it. She decided to watch her two teenage sons more closely.
Hakuna Matata1) liked the big house built into the slope and surrounded by dense banksia shrubs. It was facing the western beaches, at the very end of one of the main streets of the town.
He spent most nights on the soft rug in the ground-floor living room, but kept the window on the top-level open as an emergency exit, in case the owners suddenly returned.
Time passed quickly, and in a few days he had to move on to travel interstate. He spent the rest of the day reading in the front yard. The book was about possessions, reputation and the long-term benefits of time-sharing.
He said good bye to the house and started walking towards the beach. Ignorant of the distance, or just being himself, he chose the longer way to get to the bus station.
On the beach, he wrote in wet sand the words of the convicted murderer, Charles Manson2):
‘You are not you, you are just reflections, you are reflections of everything that you think you know, everything that you have been thought. The truth is now, the truth is right here, the truth is this minute and this minute we exist.’
Then he walked away, gently touching the leaves of the bushes growing along the edges of the footpath. His message was left for high tide to wash away.
Early Saturday afternoon, Mrs Gable arrived with her husband. She picked up a piece of squashed paper from the front deck and unwrapped it. ‘Look what I found’ – she called to her husband and lifted a dark-green bloodstone crystal above her head.
Later that day their next-door neighbours came over for afternoon tea, an informal but quite regular session of discussing matters of little importance. Instead of tea, they decided to open a bottle of white wine and got carried away discussing the upcoming American election.
No-one paid much attention when the neighbour’s wife mentioned that over the past few days she had noticed a young man walking down the street and around the beach. He was good looking, tidy and elegant, like a priest, holding a book and wearing a skirt.
1) Hakuna Matata – Name of the main character. Originates from a Swahili phrase, usually translated as ‘no worries’.
2) Charles Milles Manson (1934-2017) – An American criminal, former cult leader and poet. Passed away whilst serving nine concurrent life sentences at Corcoran State Prison in California