The Simple Things

de simple tings of life, mi dear
de simple tings of life
~ Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze

Plums on the ground. The ground. Not of a supermarket, tumbled off the crate. Not on the kitchen floor, rolled out of the bag, across the counter, fallen from the bench. Just on the ground – of the carpark, walking to school. On the pavement in front of our block. By a statue in the park.
Fallen from a tree.

Walking in the old town with old friends, one of them stopped and reached out to a shrub. “Holly,” he said. “Like at Christmas?” I said. “Yep,” he said. “No way!” But it was. Straight up holly growing at the side of a building in an alley. And also a plant that smells of cat piss. Unless that was the alley.

A trip to the Dolac. Deep bright red is a colour found in nature, and green and purple and pink and black. Tomatoes, mushrooms, eggplant, giant vegetables we don’t know the English names of. Tiny berries we’ve never seen before. Asking for the price in Croatian. Practically a local now. Even have our own egg lady, cheese lady, rocket lady. Who doesn’t want a rocket lady? Just a handful of rocket, I say. Maybe two. But her hands are much bigger than mine and it’s rocket for a week. A big smile. The scales old-fashioned with brass weights.

Did you know it’s only a 30 minute walk to the river? We could even walk to the lake. You didn’t know there’s a lake? It has beaches and bars and birds. You can watch children get chased by swans – it’s quite fun.

A bar by a playground, where the beer is cheap and the entertainment free. We don’t like kids, but find it hilarious to watch them play and interact. It’s like a nature documentary. They fall over and cry, they boss each other about. There’s a girl who sits in a corner and carefully eats sand, one spoonful at a time.

Meanwhile, the cherries that we bought last week and left on the table for guests have gone furry at the bottom and wrinkled at the top.

When I grow up – if I grow up – I want to keep on loving each and every small thing in the world.

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Nat Newman - portrait

Nat Newman

Nat Newman is an award-winning writer of short stories, content, podcasts, feature articles, drunk text messages and, soon, a novella.


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