Monday, March 11, 2013

The human zoo

It's been sweltering in Melbourne lately. I can't remember the last time it rained proper, and temperatures have been above 30 for a record-breaking 8 days (with three more to come). The whole city feels like it's under attack from the sun, which is something I'm sure I'll be longing for in a few weeks time when grey autumn skies move in.

Over the weekend Tom and I helped some good friends prepare their country property to host a wedding in a few weeks' time. The hard yakka finished early, so we skipped off to a local lake for a dip. After a few nervous attempts at jumping in, I finally made the plunge, and was glad to cool off. There's nothing like swimming in a natural body of water in the middle of summer... although there's something about lake swimming and not being able to see the bottom that is a little unsettling.

Nearby us was a group of local teenage boys jumping into the water from a rope swing hanging from a gumtree. We sat there watching them for close to an hour, without much conversation between us. It was surprisingly fascinating watching these boys fling their weedy bodies into the water without a thought for their safety; every attempt, a punctuation mark between life and death. One of us remarked how similar it felt to being at the zoo, just sitting and staring at these living creatures rollicking in their natural habitat. If anyone was watching us I doubt they would've stayed for long, how boring we would've seemed sitting on the banks, doing nothing but stare. How strange we are, homo sapiens, who find watching each other so interesting.

1 comment:

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