The White Balloon


A white balloon trailing its golden ribbon tail arrived in the front garden this morning as I sat at my desk pretending to work while actually staring out of the window and hoping to see something magical.

Little Cat, sitting on my desk, also staring out of the window either hoping for something magical, or working out some quantum physics problem, saw it too.

Balloons are following me at the moment. Last week, a pink one stared disconsolately at me as we queued in the inevitable parking ticket queue in hell. I mean, the mall. That’s the pink one in the pic above. The white one this morning was camera shy (read: I was too busy staring out of the window to think camera.)

The balloon was dirty, bits of mud smeared from the adventures it’d already had. It looked like one of those post-Saturday night prom pictures – its white cotillion dress skew, it’s lipstick smeared, leaves in its hair. But it was happy as it danced around in the cold Autumn wind of the front garden, narrowly missing the sharp thorns of the bougainvillea, before getting stuck between the Cape Jasmine and the fence.

I was convinced it would pop in that wild little corner. That, or it would remain stuck there, slowly deflating and getting those weird patches of wrinkles before turning into a flaccid piece of rubber attached to a golden ribbon. Suburban flotsam.

Minutes later, though, I saw it squeeze through a gap in the leaves, rise up as high as the streetlights, and float off down the street to find new adventures.

Little Cat, having had his fill of magic for the day, jumped from my desk with a thud and ambled off.

I stayed staring (looking for magic) for just a little longer.

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