Carlo and the lizard

Carlo lifted his head from the bamboo mat and looked into the lizard’s eyes. It blinked, once. Light reflected green from its throat, its pulsing heart. It held Carlo’s gaze, blinked again and flowed away, up and over the rocks. The caper leaves shook and it was gone.

Carlo rode home slowly from the sea. He rested his motorino against the wooden pole that held up the lean-to roof and went into the house. The salt on his skin needed to be showered away. But first he needed to clear his head. The sun had been harsh.

He sat on the kitchen chair and leaned forward, head in hands, elbows on knees. He felt water move at the back of his nose, behind his eyes. Too many dives from the rocks to the blue today.

The water moved again, then trickled down his nose, dripping clear onto the brick tile floor, darkening the dust. More water flowed. Carlo blinked. More than – and now the drops were not clear any more, he felt the water moving at the back of his nose, behind his eyes, at the back of his head where his scalp was tight with salt, water moving, running, flowing.

Just before he closed his eyes, Carlo was softly surprised at how clear the world was becoming, and wondered gently where all the water was coming from.

When he woke up, his eyes focussed on a fly which walked very slowly, deliberately, across the wet floor. And then was gone.

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