Lamma Island, 9:42AM – Partly Cloudy.
A pain in my right foot which makes me think a prophecy my mother once foretold is coming true. This irritates me. And it irritates me that it irritates me. I should probably do something about it. My whole lifestyle depends on my feet. These thoughts make me feel not less than thirty years old.
On the hill this morning, much foot traffic, except for the man with no teeth who sits in a wheelchair pushed by the black caretaker. The toothless man’s whole lifestyle does not depend on his feet. And he is going downhill, literally. Uphill comes a Filipino woman pushing a bike. A plastic bag of vegetables hangs from a handlebar. She waits for me to pass the man whose lifestyle depends on a caretaker whose lifestyle depends on his feet and maybe also not making eye-contact with anyone. She smells like fresh shampoo and looks vaguely vexed. I hurry past.
For a while I am alone on the path. Then comes the dad who was once a punk-rocker. He still has a mane of beautiful jet-black hair and a handsome nose. He has tattoos and wears all black. These confirm his once Badness. He has a paunch and a plastic bag full of fresh vegetables. These confirm his now Dadness. His legs are shiny like an Olympic swimmer’s, and this does not confirm anything. Maybe he is a swim coach now. He must need a big swimming cap.
At the bottom of the hill, three uncle-age construction workers start the day. One sweeps some plastic boards used to cover holes in the ground. He is pretending to be Cinderella and the others laugh along with him, smoking. One of them was at one time very handsome but he is not the one with the broom. It is hard to say when looks expire.
Our final act is a stand-off on the valley floor between a man speaking rapid-fire Tagalog into his phone and a ginger dog. The ginger dog is a mongrel and has the look of someone who has just been double crossed. The man backs away to the safety of a patio, still talking, still not breaking eye-contact with the ginger dog who could very well be the man’s former lover reincarnated.
I need to fix my feet because every day I walk down and up this hill at least twice.