Board Meeting, Deus Ex Machina, Bali.
The meeting was on a Tuesday…taco Tuesday. The venue was Deus Ex Machina, the Temple of Enthusiasm. This… behemoth of a compound; this… toy shop for the idle rich; is in the middle of a rice paddy. It is a discreet and fine restaurant for those with salt in their hair and sand on their feet.
There were two things on the menu on this balmy Tuesday night…burritos and tattoos. The tattoos were free, but alas we were too late. We also ordered beers and cocktails; we smoked sweet cigarettes flavoured with cloves and we talked and we joked and we laughed.
We discussed the subtle art of motorcycle maintenance, we debated the qualities of re-fried beans and we argued about the practicality of asymmetrical surfboard design. Our chairs were deep and with full bellies there were no raised voices or frayed tempers. Minds wandered away across the rice-padis, they were drawn towards the smell of the nearby sea and were stung by the familiar tang of petrol fumes. When they returned they brought a smile and a joke; and they brought laughter so indulgent, so rare, that we would hush ourselves in modesty.
We bumped into old friends and discussed life in the tropics and talked about travel plans and how to fill our frivolous days. We spoke to everyone with our eyes… devouring flesh; bare and brown.
The bill was paid; the pile of notes both a trifle and a fortune. The sky was dark and the air hung thick and heavy, sticky and comforting and close. We rode our bikes with the wind blasting our ears into silence – each us flying through the night along our own paths.