Duffel Travels

The task is ominously simple.  Go to the supermarket and purchase the things we need without becoming distracted and ending up at the beach or some other such distraction.  You pull on your shoes and your duffel and step outside and breathe the neat, sweet winter air.  And then you set off towards the supermarket, knowing that all this involves is steering yourself in the right direction and avoiding cars.  Walking is easy: one foot in front of the other.  You plug your ears with speakers and pipe in music whilst you walk.  Silver Jews, The Smiths, Sparks.  “I know you like to line dance, everything so democratic and cool.”  At the supermarket you push around a trolley, so much easier than a car, and collect things.  Items demand your attention – look how easy it is to own four tins of baked beans!  Apples, yoghurts, mushrooms.    You buy what you need and begin your footsteps home but the sea holds some magnetic force and you begin to veer off the path with, “Young bones groan and the rocks below say…”  At the beach you find that there is nobody there, not on a nothing cold winter afternoon when everyone is at work or the supermarket.  You pull your coat around you to repel the wind, the sea, the sand, the rocks, the chill, the empty expanse before you.  “Heartbeat, increasing heartbeat, you hear the thunder of stampeding rhinos, elephants and tacky tigers.”  You sit down on a rock and take out your teaspoon, the one with the thick blue handle.  And then you peel the lid off one of your new yoghurts and eat it, careful not to spill onto your duffel.

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