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Sunday, November 18, 2007

~ the twilight of the vilp

Usually, when I visit here, I sleep on the back porch beneath a slap-dash roof which has collapsed on me at least once in my memory. This time, however, I’m in the shed. It’s been cleared out, finally, and I have a very pleasant place in which to lurk – and it’s easy to avoid getting in the way of Nikki and Sid’s daily life. The chickens and the dogs wander in and out. At night, the porcine grunts and senseless giggles of the schoolies carry from the park across the street.

I generally fall into some kind of mindless routine after a few days here. I wake, walk to the Point, buy coffee, read the paper - the Courier Mail has gone from broadsheet to tabloid in my absence - swim, read on the beach… Though this time, it’s taking me a little longer to find a rhythm. I’m walking a lot, that’s for certain, and I’m fruitlessly attempting to take photos of very small things…. Crabs, barnacles, beautiful micro-fish darting in rock pools… I counted five species this morning, all lavishly coloured or patterned… I really have to get a better camera…

I’ve been going to the pub too, [where I am writing this]. The Straddie pub has metamorphosed from a typical and slightly dangerous Queensland hotel into a hulking complex with restaurants, accommodation, etc. that might easily have been transported whole from the Brisbane CBD. But there’s still the panoramic view of Moreton Bay out over Cylinder Beach…

I’ll walk back along the beach soon, as the sun sets, maybe watch some television, sleep…

Nikki has a bookcase dedicated to old science-fiction. All the books are dusty, the pages yellow, brittle, the bindings loose. She buys many of them for the covers alone, but there’s good reading too. She is a Philip K Dick aficionado and has a half dozen of his novels. There’s a lot of Clifford D Simak, some Badger Books and five treasured copies of The Twilight of The Vilp. I myself have at least ten. This is a hangover from a period during the Eighties when our Vilp Libraries vied for supremacy. I am certain I possessed at least forty copies at one stage…

I recall throwing out the page-blocks and keeping the covers, then later throwing out the covers… I don’t remember why… But almost immediately I started collecting them again. And of course they’re a lot harder to find these days…

I haven’t actually read the book, but Nikki claims it’s extraordinary. I have my doubts …

Andre Norton was a favourite writer of my childhood. I found a novel of hers in the bookcase and have just finished reading it. ‘Voorloper’. Quite enchanting …

With the walking, the swimming, the sea air, I’m already feeling healthier and have been able to steadily reduce my daily dosage of Spasmo-Nemigron. One senses the occasional breath of Spore activity… shreds of evil drifting over from the mainland… But for the most part this zone is clean.

One last thought on the election… from Tony Wright of The Age …

Aunty’s floral prints, which once saw sunny days, have all gone drab now in the musty dark of the wardrobe

The trepidation mounts as we enter, one hopes, the real twilight of the Vilp

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fantastic! thought I. Another human being that has been touched by the twilight. And what a rarity we are ... but then, you say, you haven't read it?
For shame. So many on the shelf and I have only the fond memory of that sublime reading experience.
A page turner it is. What will happen next? What will have happened previously. What just happened now?
I've read it, and I'm still not sure.

Fluffy McDeath

Sam Sejavka said...

I hear you, Fluffy McDeath.

Happy New Year