At the appointed hour the houses migrate, walking on their pincer legs with the surety of a crane, taking up different allotments in the same street. We wake to an aria spilling from a neighbour’s window, thrumming bees who cannot find their nest, their queen. A man’s barnacled voice counts off the names of the ships in the bay below, while the scent of coffee wanders down the cobbled alleyways, drifts under umbrellas and plays hide and seek with the vanishing shade. Later, we take out a rowboat, oars slipping under the glassy surface of the sea. I scale and gut the fish as you build a small fire in the bow and we savour the idea of freshness. Eating the blackened skin reminds me of the fruit bat who snoozes all day in the jacaranda, then makes whoopee at night, crying out in a language that inhabits this space beyond sense. Apprehension comes slowly, it’s a physical thing, like the heart beating in the chest, the body awake to the presence of disease, the bluetongue basking on the sandstone with one eye open. So much of living involves learning how to wait, without knowing exactly what we are waiting for. The purple blossom sticks to the wet bitumen in a pattern that intrigues, that appears theatrical. We leave the darkened cinema with our senses stretched, footsteps echoing insistently behind us, the headlights of a Volkswagen trailing our car as we head for home. We manage to lose them at the traffic lights, wondering if any tectonic plates have shifted in our absence, if our house is where we left it three hours earlier.