Egypt. Summer. 2009.

December 4, 2009

A family, not actively recruiting for new members, plays volleyball. A woman, wearing a t-shirt proclaiming her a beach authority figure, interferes.

“VOLLEYBALL!!!” she shrieks with her mouth, wasting three exclamation marks. No-one on the beach interrupts their holiday to join in. The family, two versus two, want nobody to join their game.

“VOLLEYBALL!!!” she insists, loudly, intrusively.

She peels off her ‘I-work-here-so-my-rules’ t-shirt to reveal a tanned, lean torso that the German father’s eyes reveal he would gladly eat his buffet breakfast from, if only he knew the correct translation to ask.

“VOLLEYBALL!!!” she gobfarts, with a ‘yes, let’s go’ hand motion as she steps onto the sandy court. The boy serves towards her inclusively. The ball dances on a stiff sea breeze and hangs before arcing down to reach her hopelessly flapping limbs, which cannot agree on one direction. 

She slaps the ball as if flirting with it ineptly. The heads and hearts of her forced and now losing team mates sink as one, as good families are predisposed to react to such setbacks.

“VOLLEYBALL” she fucking shouts.


Marseille, December, 2009

December 4, 2009

Marseille homes two different types of homeless.

One kind is of the starving artist archetype, smartly dressed if noticeably creased, styled and groomed if dishevelled and gaunt. A temporal homelessness, a passing interest in begging, befitting of such a man. Bad times restrict them to this for now, but change, figuratively and literally, will surely come.

The other kind is truly down and out. Beaten. I see one man so condemned by his plight, defeated by an uncaring world, with no hope of redemption or glimmer of defiance to offer solace.

He sits on the floor, his face pressed tight against the concrete of an unwelcoming building to hide the shame that his choking sobs cannot help but advertise. He weeps with a rhythmn that echoes the perfunctory beating of a fading heart, a bodily function sustained by routine and not hope, matching the weak pulsing of his withering veins.

Nobody looks at him, when I suspect that is all he wants. No amount of money can save him now, but the recognition that he is alive when he must feel anything but…

Or maybe he’s just hallucinating from the smack?