The nice lady serving coffee at the market detects a slight twang of an accent when I say,
“That’s a lovely accent, where does it come from?” she asks.
I am reminded that I am a stranger. It throws me, it always throws me. How do I explain
my presence here?
She’s passing pleasantries but I feel like a fraud. The fractured accent is of obscure origin.
Refusing to be replicated on demand. My Loki voice is a jokester. Sliding into conversations
capriciously. Suggesting to those that really know me that I’m either very happy, very mad, or somewhere in-between.
I don’t know where I come from, not really!
I was born in a city I never once slept in. And my family of boomerangs immigrated frequently to other towns in other countries. Some boxes were never unpacked.
My voice is a choir of cicadas on a humid night in Huntly. It had butchered Christmas carols for pennies and pounds on a housing estate, in the 1990s.
I’ve lived by the coast, near a goldmine, in a house truck, in a tent. My toes are spread wide from a childhood in bare feet, my porcelain skin tinged olive.
I have lived.
I smile when I think of it. All the people that I have been.
But you can’t say all that to a stranger at a market.
I pause to think and sip my coffee, careful to prevent the froth forming a moustache on my lip.
“Everywhere,” I reply with a smile. Pink and white crumbs from my lamington settle like
confetti on my plate.