Wednesday, July 29, 2009
July is a month of festivals, held in a large covered area with a restaurant. We attended once. As we ate breaded shrimp and steak, French people in traditional costumes who’d come halfway across the world danced for the Marquesans their strange repetitive circular dances. Women waltzed with women, the shorter ones leading. Marquesans clapped and cheered, swinging their arms in concert with the music. The dancers broke and went out into the crowd in search of partners. A young man brought a middle-aged Marquesan woman out for a turn on the floor, and when he returned her to her table, invited her husband to dance. “Toi et moi?” I heard the man respond, shaking his head non.
Days pass slowly and mysteriously. We sit on the beach for a long time, dazed by persistent flu-like symptoms. A Marquesan appears with his horse. I look over and Lulah is sitting with him as he talks to a couple of women, what looks like an oreo in her hand, rapt as she listens to flirting Marquesan. A couple and their grandchild pull up in one of the shiny new 4x4s that most people here drive, flesh overflowing the bounds of their pareos, pull out a bench. The man pulls out a bench, sits on it and begins to tune his ukelele. He plays and sings to the accompaniment of the high tide.
I could say something else about all this, probably, but my brain has been mostly given over to processing the constant movement of this anchorage and the nausea that accompanies it, draining away my inspiration.