Before our births, void of choice, we became part of the story,
During our lives, with a choice, we can't escape the story,
After death, abandoned choice, the story continues to seep.
- Andrew Mansell

Month: July 2012

The Ocean Bunyip

Photo by Andrew M

When you’re in the midst of things, in my case the worst of things imaginable, surely the last inclination should be to write. The worst of things happened to me a month ago when Jane disappeared into the ocean. We’d not even been engaged twenty four hours, still dizzy in the wonder of love. A sense of mystery lingers in the mist enveloping Port Nepean, today. Perhaps the mystery was here last time but I was too much in love with Jane to notice. I approach an information tablet, the last thing Jane ever read. I’m reminded of the Bunurong people. For thousands of years they inhabited this land. Jane didn’t last an hour, yet it’s her face I see, not the people inscribed on the tablet.

Cheviot Beach may keep its secrets but I’m resigned to search. The diving gear in my rucksack slows me a little as I scale the cyclone fence that seems symbolic, ornamental, a bit like speed bumps that only go half way across a road.  I make it over, unscathed on the surface, all limbs intact. Underneath though, lost emotions from a month ago waste no time flooding back. Happiness radiated as Jane and I floated effortlessly over the fence. The champagne from lunchtime persuading us danger was easy. We even walked past the Parks Victoria sign warning of unexploded bombs as if it were just another dare. For Jane it was something we could talk about later on, something to revel in knowing the experience would bond us closer together. Today, it’s just me and my anxiousness but I’m determined to trace the exact route we took to the beach that day.

I move on, in between shrubs, stepping on a twig that cracks but doesn’t break. I imagine it to be the first click in the process of detonating a bomb. I should halt but instead walk faster, crunching more twigs that seem to mimic my pounding heart that has increased to a beat faster than hardcore techno.  Something has to give – fortunately not my heart.  The twigs dissipate as the rocky decline begins. I gasp and stop to see an image of myself in pieces, splayed everywhere, never to be put back together. I look toward the blue heavens with not one cloud blocking the way. Please, if it’s my fate for a bomb to take me, let it be on the way back.