When Europeans first came to [this place], they thought at first they were [somewhere else]. They called this place [a name] after [the young man] who first saw it.They made their sketches, which are lost. They called the local people Indians and traded [this] for [that]. They noticed an abundance of [the thing] here, which they thought could make them rich, if they ever managed to get them back to [where they came from]. On the return voyage, they struck [a reef] and the mission became into a struggle for survival. They made it back because here is their story.
In those days, people died more often and with less consideration and complaint, also people were tougher and worked impossibly hard to stay alive. There were hangings and floggings and quarter rations, and people survived seven weeks in longboats with only rainwater and stars and no confectionery at all. They thought they were living Now but we can see that they were stranded in their tiny boats way out in the middle of Then. They had no idea of this, which is just as well for their shipboard morale.
People's lives were around five sentences long. They were educated or not educated at Oxford or nowhere, and they came into their inheritance or got on the boat. They traveled around the world and got off on the other side somewhere for a paddle and that was satisfying. Or if it wasn't then it wasn't written down. And whole wars happened while they were away, and their child was born and named. Then they died young or later on. And they stank but you can't smell it in the accounts.
And now we look down at them sort of from planes, and we think they lived out their lives in sorry limitation and with alien resolve, like snails tracing the edge of a hand basin.
There was a terrible sun blazing.
No-one could have forseen what was about to happen.
It started just like any other day.
The birds were mysteriously silent.
It was obvious in retrospect that something was building to a head.
People seemed to flow in slow torrents.
I had my mind on small things.
It all happened so fast.
It all happened in slow motion.
There was a sort of ripple effect.
I was looking the other way and I heard a sort of sound behind me.
My heart was actually the only thing I was aware of.
People just reacted.
I didn't actually notice anything going on until after.
I didn't think to get my camera out, for whatever reason.
I want to be with my family right now.
I'm not sure I'm who you want to talk to.
Quick, the stable door, etc.
It would be funny if it weren't so goddamn something.
Is this all it takes to freak people out?
The first stop has giant teeth on it and some text, which probably includes the words 'white' and 'fresh'. The teeth make it hard to see oncoming traffic. People at this stop are, as a rule, more likely to be angry.
The second stop is old, wooden and enclosed. It has a mural on it from around 1980 which advocates peace in faded pastels. There could be someone waiting, but it's hard to see inside. Something is flickering in there.
The third stop is just a bench and next to it is a puddle of what is very likely vomit. There is also a brown paper bag. This is a windy stop favoured by commuters, who are more likely to wear dark colours.
The fourth stop is bolted into a high concrete bank. There is no shade from the sun, which is more likely to be behind clouds, if you had to put money either way.
The fifth stop is, at certain times on a majority of days, crowded with young men in grey uniforms. It is hugely unlikely that the patterns of gum on the concrete form any kind of code.
The sixth stop has small pieces of glass spread like ice over the footpath. There are large teeth here too, exposed to the air now but still white and perfect. There is a brick lying nearby, but that seems a bit obvious, wouldn't you say?
The seventh stop isn't safe. It has a cat walking on the roof. There's no way to tell from here whether it is male or female. Best to carry on.
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