“Hi” she nervously offered the greeting over the fence, a white posted, freshly painted, waist high affair, more for decoration than necessity.
He answered her by means of a stare of acknowledgement, and raised the eyebrow over his left eye.
“ You know that you look just like….”
“Yes” he whispered back – “yes, I know”.
Taking this response as the invitation for which she was waiting, she moved closer to the fence and smiled, the broadest happiest sun-filled smile she could muster, careful not to look too eager as she turned her head towards the ocean, a fresh wind blowing into her long copper hair, water reflecting in her green leaf eyes.
He was sitting in the shade, beneath the bottlebrush tree; he’d only stepped out to get some lunch and now she was there, not unpleasant but keeping him from his target and he was hungry but then again, she was just unusual enough for him to want her to continue to talk.
She liked his ash grey colouring, and noticed the flecks of brown in his revealed chest hair, a reminder of earlier days perhaps, she wondered and noticed that he was watching her gaze. She coloured, “ sorry – I…”
He liked her embarrassment and found her charming in the way the blood seemed to creep from her teeshirt neckline to almost red slap marks which had begun to appear on her cheeks..
“I like to stand in the wind and feel it against me” he said, as if offering the knowledge of his body covering to her as a token of acceptance.
Ten years on she looks at him in their bed; She often recalls these first moments when love and lust were confused and tempered in condition by heat and darkness. Today, she notices how the pillow is left with a trail of tiny hairs as he moves slowly to the living room.
She has become accustomed to a sustained four hour courtship of the day before the stillness descends on him in the chair in front of the television, air conditioning off and twigs strewn around where he sits. She has even grown comfortable with the deep grunts in affection he offers her when she gets home. His solitary lifestyle before they met, hardly changed as she has learned to move around him.
But as she’ll tell you herself, being in love with a Koala called Milton over the years, had just been… Different.
Text: © J. L. Nash, Milton, 2010