One, two, three, four.
Beat, two, three, four.
A dirty beat, a lazy beat, a beat to settle itself beneath your skin and wriggle around for a while. The homeless guy beneath the spreading jacaranda was smacking out the rhythm on a homemade drum—an ice-cream bucket, family-sized. Vanilla.
I’d been watching for two hours, almost. Listening just as long. Hadn’t been watching the homeless guy, though I’ll admit I’d given him a glance. Decided he wasn’t quite right, then turned away. There were a lot of not-quite-right things going on, however, he wasn’t one of the ones on my list. If he wasn’t making trouble—the drumming was quite soothing—then I wasn’t going to poke around.
Meanwhile, back to the watching. I’d been staring at a space above the Brisbane River as it churned by, displaying all its forty-eight shades of brown. I couldn’t help but notice that the rapidly thinning banks were restless with animals that usually stayed in the water: frogs, toads, fish, some snakes. All looking as distinctly unhappy as such critters are able. They didn’t want to stay in their element. Something was coming and they knew it.
The rest is here.