A night watching two towers sees us awaken near to noon, wriggling from the comfort of our sleeping bags and into the bleached light of the new day. This location found close to dark the night before was now clear and resplendent. The sun has just clipped the ice capped mountains of the southern alps – which, being so close to its zenith, should well exemplify the magnitude of our surrounding environment. Ice capped mountains seem to be the epitome of majesty, Tom reckons it’s the duality of different elements, earth and snow so far from the human touch, or a visual reminder of the changing of the seasons. But toms only just gotten out of bed.
A gully rushes past under the grassy slopes to our left, which becomes the location for muesli munching in our respective silences. This is a heavenly place, even with the tour choppers rising and falling and spilling hoards of China men from the confines of their little cockpits and the blades whipping and the little green bird with its eye closed and its body mangled and bloodied in such a way that in the midst of burying the poor thing it was hard to feign a rising anger toward the company of men who unintendedly are the plight of so much wildlife in these attractive parts of the world.
A short drive brings us to the okarita lagoon, and in the midst of mindless chatter an idea lands with some weight to commandeer a pair of kayaks and set our course for the mountains, which is what we did.
After taking some time with the pecuniary particulars, we packed up, took the safety directions with a pinch of sea salt and, well, set our course for the mountains. For the most part we’ve neglected experiences like these for the size of our wallets and fair want of autonomy, and ventured much of the New Zealand landscape with no more than boots and compass – but this idea of an afternoon on the water just then seemed too golden. The receptionist had seemed rather frank about the situation, telling us the truth of better but dearer kayaking trips up north, and the equal measure of fulfilment we’d get from simply treking the thing… All this enticed me even moreso, as is often the case with the guile of indifferent women and the full liberty of choice in my hands..
The water was golden, the physical exertion welcome and the company better than most. It was our first time laying eyes on Mt Cook – tallest mountain in the land of the mountains – which rose up in all its splendour against the backdrop of a bluer than blue sky. Conversation on the water flowed much like our motion with the oars, this way then that way, digging deep then playing through air, profound drivel and shit shot up to Timbuktu. All was fine and dandy. We saw a multitude of rare and exotic sea birds, had a nap in the most placid area of the lagoon and in such a sweet delirium, nobody could ever have foreseen the horror that was to be later unfolded that day. That our own mr Tom would be brushing his teeth with hemarrhoid cream couldn’t have entered our darkest dreams… Oh yes he did.
Why such a rogue thought has landed on me here and now in the midst of this pleasant reflection is beyond my comprehension, but there it is, plain and hard.. Back to the lagoon? No. You’ll want to remember this bit.
It was round about midnight and I’d been watching his antics from the backseat, wondering throughout at his slowly growing grimace and how it had taken him all of the recommended two minutes to realise that there were no hemarrhoids in his mouth and a loaded finger up the bum would have duly sufficed – or rathermore that the familiar minty taste of toothpaste had not been lost on him, and that he had in fact, fucked it. The funniest aspect to the whole palava was the honourable intention with which he’d approached his task. Having listened to my ramblings on the benefits of self reliance, (see post here) Tom, the dear boy, had been rustling about in the pitch black darkness, hoping to find his toothpaste with nothing more than his own ‘primal facilities’. See where you got him Roon? Your ‘profound’ proposition was so deftly undercut and depreciated that it was insult not to laugh. Remember how it made you chuckle fella – and cry, cry on the inside.
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