A friend of mine once found a swarm of maggots inside her half devoured calamari sandwich while holidaying in Croatia. Whenever she tells me the story I imagine the moments before the devastation.
She is sitting there in a quaint seaside café with a backdrop of lavender fields, wearing glamorous boating attire and smiling into the Mediterranean breeze. She is so blissful, completely unaware of the events that lay ahead of her.
If you really want to avoid disaster you better lock yourself tightly in your house. Then spend your days praying it is very well built.
Two people share the café with me.
One of them is madly scribing in his journal. He is poetic, spiritual and unfalteringly independent. He makes me nervous and it frustrates me that I cannot read what he is writing.
The other is hammering away at her laptop keys. She is disinterested, unsociable and incapable of disconnecting. I feel sorry for her and consider striking up a conversation to ease her loneliness.
If only I knew they were both writing love letters.
Last week I found a forgotten memory. It was from way back in the spring of 2000, shortly before my 14th birthday, when Harper’s Bazaar Australia dressed the cover of their October edition with Elle Macpherson and her new son, Arpad Flynn. She wore a white string bikini and St Tropez tan. He sat in her arms with a swollen belly and a wooden necklace.
Inside the magazine, the epitome of motherhood continued. I doubt it proved enjoyable for any actual mothers – their air smelling like milky vomit and unwashed dishes, her air smelling like coconut oil and salt water – but it sure proved enjoyable for me. I didn’t wish for Elle’s string bikini and I didn’t wish for her washboard stomach, but I certainly wished to steal that beautiful little beach baby.
This memory resurfaced last week when I found a real life Arpad Flynn. He was living on a tiny island off Panama, wearing tiny little boots and tiny little board shorts. He distinguished a cacao tree by the shape of its leaves and alternated between English and Spanish with his heart melting voice.
If I left behind all of my belongings, he would be just the right size to tuck into my backpack.
Thanks, Real Life Arpad Flynn. I had forgotten that memory. And I had more or less forgotten that feeling.
(Photo via Daily Mail)
As I have always said the best thing you can have yourself and give your children is not wealth but good memories.