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Dispatch from the Edge

By Peter Anderson

Summerland siesta time. Afternoon clouds are rolling in and the skeeters are whining on the other side of the window screen. Now a light rain is falling and even the jays have gone quiet. The mountain says yes to the moisture and I say yes to some dreamy shuteye, and soon.

I see something swimming underwater. My god, it’s a moose. I didn’t know they could do that. A big cow surfaces a few feet away and now she is standing very tall between me and a calf – a gangly albino – who wades in the water not far from her side. This may not end well. I back away slowly, hoping to fade away into a stand of leafy trees. Now the thunder rolls over and I’m leaving the lake. Soon I’m leaving that down-under world altogether. Goodbye cool mossy forest. Hello gray desert sky, hello rain on the roof, and hello to the queries that have come home in my rucksack: Can moose swim like that? Are there really albinos? I consult the nearest oracle. The Great Google says yes they do and yes there are. Some people say they’ll nap when they’re dead. I say I’m alive when I nap. Long distance nappers like summerland siestas. They like dreamtime adventures. They like to be reminded, from time to time, that they don’t always know what they know.

Peter Anderson writes about geographical and cultural edges in this column and in a new collection of flash prose and prose poems called Heading Home: Field Notes published by Conundrum Press (