Wet Ivory

Wet Ivory

A Story by Brett Hernan

  In nineteen eighty six there were over one hundred and fifteen hamburger outlets in Singapore. Hello, I only wanted to say something to you. He occupied the stone courtyard on the pier for a week of nights and days accompanying an unbridled white mare. A movement in the dark, coaxing it to remain calm and prompting it to remain within the confines of the courtyard. During the day the place was filled with inquisitive foot traffic, students, tradesmen, artisans and the softly murmuring officers in the patrol cars of the waterfront police cruising passed with their windows down. When ever someone would ask him why he was there with the horse he would say it needed him and ostriches were too expensive.

    You know the place I’m talking about. I was thinking about it the other day, the way my mind has kept certain images and statements that at the time of their making I was unable to fully comprehend. Then some time later the necessary equipment of experience summons them again from the memory and they are understood. What ever she was trying to say went like this: There was this guy they’d been staying with since they reached the city and one morning they went into his bedroom when he was dressing for work. She was laughing at him as he did up his shirt sleeves and put on his tie. I can see her now, laughing and pointing at his reflection in the full length mirror, taking the end of his tie between her index finger and thumb and pulling it out into a mild arc and saying,

“What do you call this thing man?”

   What is really important is to try to look at what you see as very familiar, as if you have never encountered it before and don’t have any idea what it is. Whether or not the horse would have been injured or died if it had been left alone in the courtyard for a week without provisions is uncertain.

© 2017 Brett Hernan

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Added on September 1, 2016
Last Updated on January 6, 2017
Tags: australian writers, australian, tasmanian, tasmanian writers


Brett Hernan
Brett Hernan

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Low-resolution sample only. Born 1968. All of the images accompanying each of these written works are my own. (Except that one of the guy putting a flower into a soldier's rifle barrel!) more..