There’s a tremble, and a rumbling, inhale- 27th December 1994

Terrigal

Out this window, through the vertical blinds, the insect screen, through the sun reflector and beyond our verandah and garden, the houses descend into the small valley and up the other side pushing for position with all the green rainforest, palms, ferns, gums and bamboo.

The rooftops visible in the sway of wet green leaves, where the crickets hang out buzzing around, their insane chatter carrying through the air – thousands of singing messages – here comes rain, here comes sun.

Grey and black clouds dominate the horizon, the air dank and still in my windowed vision, all quiet and anticipatory.

But now it’s time to leave this paradisiacal view and head out over the hill that we live on and down past the beach to the bustling village, buzzing with it’s human insects going about their merry way.

Out of our door the humid air clings shirt to skin and push push push the legs up the hill, short but dramatic, to meet the dirt track through the forest between scattered dwellings.

The crickets see your approach and snap into sudden silence as you pass the tall broken barked trees they inhabit(shh, here he comes!). The air drips moisture from the leaves high above, the ones that touch the sky. Odd insects buzz around often looking for some cool fresh blood to suck on – be quick, flick of the wrists – the Australian wave.

As the hill flats out and you begin to descend the other side, through the trees and buildings, the roar of the ocean beckons you forward, waving all the time. At the end of the road, the bottom of the hill, the sea stands before you far and wide and at it’s edge the crashing glory of the white crested waves, dotted with wet-suited bodies waiting on the big one.

Skirt the beach along the main road where traffic piles up because in this town pedestrians get right of way and that upsets the hoon element in their flash cars, boom box stereos blasting. The crowds are bustling from beach to shop to cafe and not much else. Young bronzed blondes hang round in threes, hanging out, being cool, playing the games of teenagers on the lookout for love, and I’m sure the surfers aren’t interested because they’re thinking about a different sex wax entirely and so the girls get themselves more beautiful and scantily clad in effort to swoon some dude away from his board but they’re still only interested in catching waves and so it goes on, this place a hot bed of sexual frustration. Maybe?!

The pace is slow and what the hell, there’s no hurry, those waves keep coming. These tough old legs carry me back home where, on the telephone wire to our house I spot something odd hanging on and its kinda long and thin and has four thin long double jointed legs and it’s a praying mantis – as long as your forearm and thicker than a hotdog. I hope that sucker doesn’t spot the gap under our front door!

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