20 June 2009
Above the echo of the sea still humming in my ear, the loud chorus of cicadas scream from the bamboo, hidden beyond the thicket of crimson oleanders. I was the last one on the beach, the towel boy Ton had given up watching after me, had closed the last umbrella and left. The world felt all mine, at the witching hour. It was still day, but dim, and my feet looked the colour of tea. The unending black stone steps to villa 26 are hot from the sun (I leave a trail of luminous white sand on the steps and think of Ton following this trail), and by the time I opened the door, my hair had already become dry, stiff from sea water; I opened the French windows to the verandah to look at the changing light and feel the wind shaking the palms, the towel is wrapped around my shoulders against the cool. A tropical thunderstorm is approaching — you can smell it before it hits, sinister and seductive. A slate grey blur on the horizon of the slate gray sea.