An African man with skin the colour of jet busked on a street corner in the village square. I stopped to watch with several other people. His act looked uninteresting until he managed in one breath to draw in as much water as necessary to blow out a waterfall of colours that came out in a burst not only of colour but of pattern. The performance went on for at least a minute and was so extraordinary that people applauded for equally long. Then the busker sent his hat around to collect signs of our appreciation.
‘Don’t give him anything,’ my companion said. ‘It’s too dangerous.’
‘I’ll only give him my small change.’
I fished around in my wallet and pulled out some coins, which I threw into the hat. It was not much money but the sound of the coins crashing onto other coins made it sound like more.
The busker’s eyes lit up and he went to hug me. I pulled away and started for my return journey back to the room in which I was staying.
I had been on holidays in this Indonesian island with a female friend who had already huffed off ahead of me. The busker followed.
‘I’ll take you out to dinner,’ he said. I did not want his advances and managed to escape through the bushes.
‘I’ll wait for you,’ the man said, ‘after you change your dress.’
I had no intention of returning but somehow I managed to get lost in my attempts to avoid him.
I walked past a raised section that enclosed a deep pit. A dog leapt up onto the wooded ledge and jumped into the water, which was visible not so far below but too far for any dog or person for that matter to scale the walls for escape. The dog tried but could not get traction. He swam around frantically and I raced off in a panic about getting help for fear the dog would exhaust itself and drown.
I went looking for help but my friend whom I found at last said there was no entranceway to this pit from the kitchen area.
I went back alone with a net on the end of a rod intending to drag the dog out. I swirled the end of the net around in the water but the dog was not there. I woke up.