This one’s of two shield bugs at a picnic table on what’s now called Budgewoi Circle after they’ve dropped from a kumquat tree. I’m holding a pelican and two dozen seagulls at bay from my tray of flathead fillets while these two come after my lemon wedges.
A boy about my age came out of the tackle and bait shop a minute ago, parked his BMX bike in front of my car, and looks like he’s getting his fishing gear ready to fish in my bream fishing spot. The only thing that seems to have changed in the 30+ years since I last fished here is that we used to call this the cul-de-sac, and the bakery’s new on the Circle because there’s a sign before you drive over the bridge that says so.
The bug on the right is in the lemon juice now, and almost on top of one of my lemon seeds. The bug on the left reminds me of Homer Simpson, which in turn reminds me of a quote in a letter from Tom McClellan’s Reflections from Mirror City addressed to ‘alla y’all readers of the Texas Observer’ in which Tom writes “She has a jewel in her navel” in response to a quote from The Pope (or was it a quote from the woman standing on her seat three tables away?).
I like to think Tom would find the connection I’m searching for if he doesn’t already see it because he writes later, to a different dear reader, “If you hear it in isolation, does it make it’s own context?”
Yes, I would’ve said it does. But not, as it turned out, as simply to express in words as I would’ve expected.
After lunch I tried to find the house on the corner where I used to spend school holidays with my Aunt and Uncle, but there wasn’t a corner anywhere that looked like or had any street name like I remembered it, so I gave up and drove to the footbridge where my jumping and mullet fishing spots used to be.
“I stared into the priest’s strained face with philosophic eye and heard the opening lines of his sermon—There are no words. But here I am, talking—…” (Tom McClellan: Dear Aunt Mary,)
Thank you, Tom. I am an avid reader of your book and strongly recommend it to my readers. I think if you hear it in isolation, it’s an invitation to put it in context.