Treasures At My Feet by Bill West

It was hot. I stripped down to bra and pants, went to the window and stood by the fan. Waiting. Down in the street, the neighbourhood boys whistled.

The door bell chimed. I opened the door. Flat-iron air swirled in. A boy with blond hair, his chin flecked with stubble. He held out a green coconut pierced with a plastic straw. I took the straw in my mouth and sucked up sweet coconut water. It felt good. Wiped my mouth with the back of my hand and smiled, then tossed him the shell. He caught it. I flipped the door shut in his face. He clattered the letterbox and shouted "Baby!" The neighbourhood boys laughed.

Outside, kids hosed each other, hair dripped, water sparkled rainbow.

Time passed. There were shouts and car horns. I looked. Something exotic swayed along the
centre of Crescent East. It was a camel, knuckled knees, flat feet. Its mouth chewed, head turned left and right as if looking for somewhere to spit. And riding high was Meacha; pink dress, brown legs, shoulders bare. She laughed and waved and gave angry drivers the finger.

She pulled over. The neighbourhood boys bunched around.

"Hey Meacha!" I waved. "Nice wheels. Hitch it to the railing and come on up."

The camel dipped low and complained. She slipped down with her bulging string-bag. Meacha
spilled through the door, filled my room with her scent, Coco Mademoiselle. "Neat camel, where'd ya steal it?"

"It's rental."

She dropped boxes on the bed, held my hands. We kissed. I told her about my crap day selling burgers and fries. She told me about skipped meetings, adventures in air conditioned shopping malls.

She opened bags, poured her treasures at my feet.

We ate a cool melon slice, oysters and crusty bread, licked our fingers clean. I got ice from the fridge. We talked, made love, drank cheap Chianti then talked some more till the sun slipped down the slot between Burgeon Tower and Clancy's. Pink light spilled across the bed.

Meacha slept, hair fanned the pillow, her breath gentle.

I got up, quiet, not to wake her. I scooped cardboard and melon rinds into a bin. The glasses and
bottles clinked as I tidied. Then I went over to the window to kill the fan. When I glanced into the
street, it was empty. The boys, and the camel, had slipped silently away.


@ 2008 - West

All Rights Reserved--2007-2024