holiday in caledonia part 1

25 September 2011 16:39:00 AEST

...I lay down on the couch in Doc Rubenstein's office, smooth deep brown angus leather quilted in the smell of spilt scotch and distant cigar smoke. The Doctor flicks through a series of triplicate forms, all incorrectly filed, hopelessly untraceable in the system.. Technician enters the room dragging a faint scent of ozone with him - he hands me a small cup of blue tinged milky syrup, I cant tell if the technician is a man or woman. I drink the metallic tasting liquid, placing the cup down onto a post war era coffee table of bleached timber, faint green radium striations a tell tale sign of radiation affected bikini atoll coconut wood that was popular in the 1950's. The cup spins on it's side asI misjudge the distance to the table slightly - serum works fast. Doc Rubenstein spins around on cue, sheets of carbon paper spilling from the forms on his lap- he pushes his glasses back over his yellow liver sick eyes.

"So tell me about this...dream"

The room parts, walls concertina down and fall away like a cheap movie set and then I'm back on the beach.

Perfect waves split along a deserted reef on a forgotten coastline, a beached russian submarine from the coldwar sinks on bleached white sand, reactor in meltdown, the vapour shadows of lost crew members haunt the casing. Lost roman eagles and napoleonic battle standards fall against the drift worn skeleton of a viking longboat. A lone sailor in decaying navy peacoat jacket walks along the beach. As he walks closer I see that he is in the uniform of a World War II American Merchant Seaman, he tips his hat as we pass.

"Grandpa says to say hi"

Closer now I see his horrible wounds, his right side and back blown out by grapeshot cannon fire. He sweeps the horizon with grey spectral eyes.

"Good waves out there today kid"

I look for my board and I can't find it, and now the wind changes and the tide is wrong and I still cant find my board. The sailor shakes his head slightly and takes a seat on the beach, wind heaps sand along the creases of his coat and the soft curve of his back...a faded cigarette burns down to his brown tanned fingers against a flame blue sky - clouds roll by.

Looking back I see that the sailor on the beach has aged incredibly, a flash of sand passes between us on a zephyr of wind. Both of us shield our eyes. When the sand passes there is nothing left of him, nothing at all; his navy peacoat disintegrating into pale blue ash that stains the crest of an incoming tide, brass buttons flecked with verdigris roll in the white sand.

Somewhere across the Pacific a distant drum sounds out the dawn of a new age. Atlantis rises to the surface with the lost continent of Mu. A 70 foot wave peels east towards Easter Island - ancient statues turning slowly on hidden clockwork to face it, their eyes flicker to life as the crest of the wave covers the sun. Deep within Nan Madol on distant Pohnpei a light comes on that will never go out. Something stirs from within the abyss as the last Tahitian navigators fall into a trance. The last chinese river dolphin expires in a gush of diseased parasitic infested blood, smooth mammalian skin scared with the propeller cuts of a hundred sewer canal barges. Unseen hands bring the body to rest deep in the yellow river, next to the bones of his lost mate and their unborn children...a mosaic of plastic bags, orange peels and dissolving newspaper filter the dying light of a distant sun, bodies of fallen Cambodian warlords feet set in concrete roll along the bottom, sweeping out into the South China Sea.

The shaper puts the finishing touches on a board with a clockwork heart taken from the lost DaVinci codexes - blue light crackles above the whine of finely tuned gears as he pulls down his goggles...Fade Out

Doc Rubenstein has stopped taking notes a long time ago, the technician puts the final report into a long smooth cylinder, then dials up an address on something that looks like a 19th century typewriter. A pneumatic mail delivery system shoots the report out of the office to somewhere deep underground - into central colonial archives.

"How does it end...this dream"

I sit up in the chair, body aching as though I have been on a long journey.

"It doesn't"

...There is a path that winds back through the light over Hadrian's Wall into the new lands, the ancient lands - resting place of the IX Legion, home to the last dragon, hall of the old gods and the first high kings, haunt of the hooded dead from the blood soaked fields of battle where the grass grows greenest and thickest on the souls of dead men. There amongst it all lies the Caledonian - a mythical 3 foot pointbreak that runs for a thousand yards on the northern shores of Scotland...

...this is the dream of that path

...the path to that place

...the path to Caledonia.


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