View of Colombo city, from Pegasus Reef
Drove out to Wattala, splashed some ocean water over my forehead. Colombo hangs all hazy in the distance. The beach is a golden bronze. The boys play the drums and sing old Sinhala songs, the girls wait patiently while we get drunk and play water polo in the pool. Peg it back into the city, retreat into the gardens of Havelock Town. The mangos are falling, the humidity is calling them down. The air is heavier now, pregnant with rain. Heat hangs like an oppression over Colombo. Political posters hang in the streets. Try not to think, try not to drink. Just push the kids on the swing. Chase lizards. Have extended conversations with the tortoise, mostly apologies. I daresay, it’s nice to be home again.
A garden, Havelock Town
This is paradise. It has an entirely different compression in my mind. I see it on the scale of India, a small island stuffed with beauty and wonder to burst. The map overflows, burgeoning greens and obscene beaches and food and temples and waves. I haven’t seen anybody urinating for three days. It’s nice to be alive.
Sometimes the conversation drifts to politics. I RUN. Go bury my nose in some temple flowers. The pink and white are in bloom, their scent like memories, white and wonder and aunts. It rained like the Dickens last night. Out of the humid heat, rain forms, bending the light and flooding the streets.
Couple on the pier, Wattala
It’s so beautiful here, but a vague uneasiness colors my thoughts. Fonny’s still in jail. Freddy’s going to court tomorrow. Prageeth’s been missing for almost two months. Probably dead. My father said you can’t build your happiness on other people’s suffering. But sometimes I just want to put my head underwater and swim. I just want to keep my extended family safe and fuck the world. It’s so beautiful here. Why so serious?