Blurred. The faces are blurred. Distorted, like the voices that are owned by them. Slowly, as if in a trance, I turn through three hundred and sixty degrees. Looking up, I see the blue of the sky, but alien somehow. Looking back at the faces, I note with a strange sense of detachment, that I can almost understand what they are saying. Almost English, but not quite, always slipping from my understanding like a large polythene bag full of water being gripped with both hands..

I concentrate harder, trying to pick out something that makes sense. A faint echo resonates discordantly with the babble that pours into my struggling brain, swamped as it is with a deluge of speech. – but all jumbled. Wrong. Hideously wrong.

I tilt my head, as if this inclination will help me to decipher the cacophony, but to no avail. I still can’t make sense of the voices.

Maybe a little finger inserted into my ear canal and wiggled frantically will help. I do this, probing gently until I can go no further. I rapidly stir my fingertip around. No. That hasn’t helped.

I can hear my breath, loud and echoey in my ears. Discordant squeaks blend with the multitude of voices, further confusing the words.

“Oh well” I thought. “I’ve had enough of this”

So I cleared my snorkel, and swiftly swum to the shallow end, and hauled myself onto the slabs surrounding the pool.

“We thought you’d gone for ever”  said my friend, passing me a chilled beer. “We were yelling to you to come out, as you were down for a good 90 seconds”

“Oh?” I said. “I never heard anyone saying anything” and with that I plonked myself into an empty pool chair, and happily popped the cap off the bottle.

Wiggling my little finger in my ear canal, I smiled as the faint voices suddenly boomed into my head with perfect clarity. Smiling, I closed my eyes, and relaxed into the embrace of the recliner, basking in the warm Hampshire sunshine.

Life’s good….

The Pub Pickup

I saw her across the bar from me. She was young, She was beautiful, and I was struck by her eyes. The colour of cornflowers, they were calm, and they were fixed unwaveringly on my face. The steadiness of the gaze was impressive, if not a little un-nerving. I felt guilty looking back at her, but she didn’t appear to be with anybody, just sitting there waiting patiently. Waiting for what? Or maybe for whom?

I looked away, picking up my pint, and taking a long satisfying pull from it. I popped open my bag of Walkers Cheese and Onion Crisps, and picked up my book. I attempted to read, but some sixth sense told me that I was still being watched. I furtively looked up, and the same blue eyes were still looking at me. I am not sure what I saw deep in those eyes. Was it desire? Hunger? Maybe. But I also detected warmth and friendliness, I could sense that she was screwing up her courage, and I wondered if I should invite her over to my table.

Raucous laughter came from the other side of the pub, and the spell was broken. She looked away, and I went back to my book with a sense of disappointment. I had hoped I would have had time to invite her over. Sipping at my beer, I managed to get through another few pages of Lee Childs’ latest Jack Reacher novel, when I felt the hairs on my neck prickle. Looking up, I saw immediately that she had made it halfway along the bar towards me. I gazed at her spectacular body, admiring the bright red kerchief that was around her neck.

“Hello” I said softly. I indicated the seat next to me, patting it with my hand. “Come on” I smiled…. “You know you want to”

She hesitated, then elegantly walked over to me. It seemed that now she had made the decision, there would be no stopping her. She plonked herself down next to me, pressing her body firmly against me. I could feel her hot breath in my ear as she leaned over to help herself to a crisp. I cautiously put my arm around her shoulders, and turning, she focused her eyes on me, her whole face smiling. I hugged her tightly, feeling her warmth and strength.

I thought to myself…

“God….. I love Siberian Huskies”.