The blind photographer stands on the headland facing out to sea, a belt hung with clinking kitchen implements around her waist. Skewering the tripod into the earth, securing the camera, she hesitates. Warm breezes carry a sprinkling of children’s yips and hollers, a low drone of far-away traffic and the insistent clanking of masts poles from the harbour. Further out, jet skis grumble and a speedboat slaps its way over the waves.
She presses ‘stand by’ on the camera, pausing everything. She considers. Plucking an egg-whisk from her belt, she twirls the air, drawing in a hot sharp reek of frying chips, a razzle of burnt candy floss. This she whisks expertly with coppery fishy stinks and engine oil, tobacco smoke and the lightest undertow of acrid piss.
She nods. Better.
Sun too hot on her scalp. She pulls clouds from her eyes and using the cheese grater, scuffs the thick cool hunks into skittering little balls, flinging them high overhead. Heat dapples her body now but she is not content. Skimming down the cliff on a tea-tray, she unhooks her rolling-pin and smooths down the mess of waves at the shore-line until the smash and suck becomes a gentle hiss and shhhhh.
With a fork, she spears the black line of horizon, dragging it closer, intending to tweak the sun. Carefully stepping onto the slippery meniscus, she stretches, tongs extended but stumbles into something strange. A pair of slender legs protruding from the jellied sea, the hot calloused soles, up ended. They twitch, ticklish, honeyed beeswax caught in the hair of the soft shins. Her feet crunch on scattered gritty feathers.
Tongs lowered, she uses a lobster pick to scramble back up the cliff. Perhaps she will leave the sun where it is after all.
Composition with Icarus
Materials: Cliff top, sea, sky, sun
Tanvir Bush is a novelist, filmmaker, and photographer