OBSERVATIONS III – A TRIP TO STONEHENGE, BATH AND WINDSOR

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‘Hello, stranger.’

‘Hello, darlin’, how are you?’

 

Sheep climbing over a mound of gravel, following the same path one after the other. Stuck behind the mound and butting heads. Back up the mound the same way they came.

 

Three tonne stone dragged for miles across land—some transported upriver on rafts—to be raised under the stars for ceremony, for harvest.

Not for sacrifice.

 

Neolithic bones in glass casing.

 

‘I wonder if rich people play Monopoly with real money and properties. I mean, I would if I was rich—but like—I’d have to be filthy rich.’

 

Identical sandstone homes arranged in a crescent, facing the Georgian buildings and streets rising with the hills. Green vines circling black iron railings and slithering up walls to frame front doors. In the front yards, blossoming red, pink and yellow.

 

Streets lined with sportscars and luxury four-wheel drives. Not enough room; windshields plastered with parking fines and wheels locked with yellow clamps.

 

Actors in the garbs of Roman gladiator, priest, and servant, parading around the green water of the Baths. Tourists posing for photos, outstretched on the stone ground by the edge of the main bath and so close to falling in.

 

Simulated wet heat of the hot rooms. Sweat slicks the top lip and forehead and neck. Water rushes over orange stones and flows down toward the main bath.

 

DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE PUB

 

Room of cutlery and platters. Fruit platter with the stem of a pineapple. Dessert service plates gifted by an artist in Naples, decorated black and deep orange with figures in the style of Greek art dancing around the empty centre.

 

Dollhouse the size of a room. Tiny cutlery and plates made of solid silver. Functioning plumbing and electricity. Life-size dolls gifted by French noble children. Dressed in silk and satin, painted faces made of porcelain and heads plugged with real hair.

 

Horses and knights dressed in steel armour guarding the Grand Staircase. Swords and rifles and bayonets paired together, hung up on the walls from floor to ceiling. Red carpet leading up to a hall with the faces of past monarchs painted in oil, watching tourists peruse the rooms from the walls.

 

‘I did something so dumb last night, guys … Like, he told me he has a twin sister, and I was like, “oh, how old is your sister?”’

Laughter. Quiet. The click of fingernails against phone screens.

 

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