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No. 923:

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Permanent URL: https://mezzacotta.net/postcard/?comic=923

Extracted from the original commentary document by: David Morgan-Mar

The author writes:

He who laughs last draws the short straw, as I always say.

Wow, this takes me back. To a simpler, more carefree time, when the hot sun would blaze down out of an azure sky, on to a beach paved with pure white sand, interrupted by the colourful towels and tanned bodies of people enjoying the long summer. The ice creams were better in those days, even if they melted all over your hands as you tried to eat than faster than the sun could melt them. And they only came in vanilla. And sometimes you got sand in them.

I remember the day the beach umbrella collapsed and we spent half an hour fighting inside, trying to get out. At least it seemed like half an hour - time moved differently in those days. The call of gulls and the wash of the surf on the shore would lull you into this sort of time warp, where your perspective on the world was changed and it was like looking through a kaleidoscope the whole time. The colours! The colours!

They would sharpen and splinter into a million forms before your eyes, as you stared out to sea, or dug a great big hole in the sand and futilely tried to stop the incoming tide from washing it away. The shells you'd collect would sit on your bedstead for weeks afterwards, reminding you of those glory days, even as winter approached and you had to go back to school, where the closest thing you got to kaleidoscope eyes was the look your teacher gave you when you said the dog ate your homework, even when it was true.

I remember the eyes of my fourth grade teacher. Deep black wells of mystery they were, full of otherworldly experiences that only someone 26 years of age could fathom. If I had any inkling then what I know now, I probably would have done a lot better in my exams.

But alas, one cannot wax lyrical too easily.