Bicycles, Life of Carmen


Me six years old in the field behind the school, holding the kite up over my head. Dad at the far end of the string — higher, wait, wait – not yet! “My arms are tired.” “Wait, here it comes…no, wait….” “Daaaaaadddd!”… “Wait, no…OK… here it comes, here it comes, up, up, LET GO!” Up, up up, fly!, swoop…crash.

My father was a wind-chaser. Box kites, paper kites, plastic bag kites – he built them and he crashed them. Balsa-wood planes. Water skiis. Bicycles. The wind in his face, the ecstasy of forgetting.

My brother is a wind-chaser. Laser boats, skateboards, sailboats. Windsurfers. Kiteboards. Bicycles. The wind in his face, freedom.

An eight-metre-long purple octopus kite is on its way here, ordered from China on the day of my divorce. I am a wind-chaser too.

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