Tonight, taken by a sudden pensive and melancholy mood, I stood on my balcony staring moodily into the bushes that line the fence between our block of flats and the next one. As is often the case when you sit quietly and stare at the foliage in Australia, I started to notice tell-tale signs of movement; there was something alive in there.

I watched for a few moments to try and see what it was. The movement all seemed to be centred on a particularly dark patch of shadow about half way up the fence. I stared for several minutes to try and discern some shape moving in the darkness. Was it a bird? A lizard? A drunk student from next door? Whatever it was, it was blending in masterfully; no matter how long I stared at the darkness I couldn’t make out anything moving in it. Probably not a student then.

It started to puzzle me because no matter how hard or patiently I looked, I couldn’t catch a glimpse of whatever was concealed in the darkness. I could see the branches around it moving and hear the rustling of small feet among the foliage, but the outline of the creature still eluded me.

It wasn’t until the patch of darkness itself began to move that I realised the truth; it wasn’t a patch of darkness at all, but a dark-furred possum. I had been searching for the possum in the darkness, but no. The possum was the darkness.

As the realisation washed over me, I struggled to come to terms with it. I was certain there must be a metaphor there somewhere. Something profound about the nature of evil, the quest for understanding or the ethereal character of marsupials. I kept staring at the possum. Perhaps it stared back at me. Perhaps it stared into me. Perhaps it ignored me and continued eating the shrubbery. Whatever its actions and whatever their significance, there was only one conclusion possible.

I was way too tired for this.

 

I went to bed.

 

 

Garry with 2 Rs

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