stones, back beach

It’s so hot your dress almost melts on the commute home.

Your day was a pig in which the phones went down every 20 seconds or so with a high pitched whine that made your ears ring. Including during that conference call with your biggest, and probably ex-client by the twentieth time they were cut off mid-flow.

Your prized computer game – destined to be launched next week in a flurry of champagne and media activity — has a virus that no one knows how to quarantine.

The press release that was sent off, bafflingly, at midnight while you were in sleepful oblivion. Written in your name but without your say so — translated into French with the aid of a 1970s holiday phrase book and a dash of search engine translation thrown in for good measure.

When you step inside your house after that day — what you want is the aircon on full blast. You want something smooth, like the stones you keep in that cut glass dish by the front door. You want something smooth, like a long gin and tonic with ice and lemon. You want a hug from your favourite person. You want to feel smooth like the pebble you roll restlessly in your hand.

You don’t want to sit down and cry at the everything-ness of it all: at the pig of the day, at the French and the lack of quarantine and the whining phones.

You want your evening to be smooth. So you ignore the pig of the day, ignore the aircon that failed and the dress that clings to your sweaty legs. You sip the gin and tonic, even though all the ice melts in a nanosecond and all you have is sour lime not fragrant sharp lemon.

You want smooth. You close your eyes and focus on smooth, run your hand through that dish of stones until all you can feel – all you can imagine — is the cool smoothness of those stones that you found that day on back beach.

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