Heavenly Bash

by Pavle Radonic
Geylang Serai, Singapore

Gone half 5. One pour had been waited out after lunch at Mustafa on their benches along Kitchener Road—no, in fact that was Syed Alwi there. Now a second, bigger bash at Tenderbest a couple hundred metres from the house. No way could one expect these roofs & drains to continue coping. Through the afternoon Helen had sent video of the floods in Mexico, after she had been doubted in her report over brekkie a few days before. Big rivers of water down the streets of a town in Mexico carrying cars away? Yes, indeed. One does not hear the half of it in the different quarters of the globe. Again, thoughts of the old peasants up in the hills. Could there possibly be found a lee of a hill in this kind of perfectly vertical pour? Drops of rain this size could only fall one way, straight as a die; force of gravity. The caves would have provided refuge in old Montenegro; and still provided no doubt; it would not be all shed & warehouse dairies such as here in the West of the island, at Kranji. Twenty-five metres to the front porch of the house one would get thoroughly saturated. There were covered walkways the first 150m; the government had erected 200kms of them over the island in the last few years alone. Guruh in bahasa for thunder mimicked the sound. GURUH! Made the old scarved Malay woman jump in her seat just now. Chap opposite her with his bike helmet on the chair, not a flicker. Perhaps as a child he had sheltered beneath dense forest canopy while it blasted all-round him, and now he could not easily scare. The heavy downpours were in fact not very different in the Montenegrin hills, where Crkvice a couple dozen kilometres from the village always recorded the second highest rainfall in Europe. Under the deafening percussion Ukraine came to mind. Yemen and Syria. (Were they still bombing in Syria?) Gaza or the West Bank again yesterday, which would only get worse with Netanyahu re-elected. A minor lull earlier had proved deceptive; it was powering down still. The Food Panda older guy didn't have the luxury of waiting it out. What to do? his only reply to the circumstance. Chap had spent two minutes securely tying off the plastic bag for his parcel in order to ensure there were no complaints at delivery. Up on the Peninsular the politico kleptocrats who had called the early election were hoping the recurring floods would ensure a low voter turnout, thereby improving their chances of re-election, following which they could install a pliable AG to do their bidding and escape justice. A decent fabric in a scarf would be useful in this if one was suddenly caught out. Just a mere 25m. From the turn-off to the house the eave of the utility building gave good cover clinging to the wall. Five metres of open ground from there, before you made it to the first tree; another five to the second’s canopy, the chiku behind the fence in the corner of the yardIt was the fifteen metres beyond that would blast a fellow to smithereens. Full hour ticked over. Ten minutes more just beginning to ease off slightly. Even this latter would completely saturate. You could not skip over that ground too quickly either, losing your feet was easily done in the wet. Circling round slowly the ricochet off the high ledges in front of the stores at the Haig needed ducking. During the downpours overnight through October—the wettest in the last forty years here—the overflowing gutter outside the bedroom sounded like licking flames. By the calendar the monsoon was still a couple weeks away, though they said it came earlier every year now. 

Australian by birth and Montenegrin origin, Pavle Radonic has spent eight years living in SE Asia. Previous work has appeared in a range of literary journals, including Ambit, Big Bridge, Panoply, New World Writing Quarterly and Citron & Antigonish Reviews.