December 5, 2011 by agooddaytoyou
There is no need to be worried.
Do not be alarmed.
It is okay.
The Laksa Hut is still as good as always. It has just moved.
Yes, the Laksa Hut has left its hovel in Toowong and upped sticks for Indooroopilly.
Let’s face it: Toowong wishes it was Indro. And now Indro boasts the Laksa Hut, but in one of its least auspicious locations. Underneath that building, in the same spot where even the toughest lichen of the restaurant industry – a Coffee Club – couldn’t survive.
I hope the Laksa Hut never goes out of business. Their soups are what I imagine the insides of a cactus are to a man thirsting to death, that gushing, sudden, unbelievable, abundant succulence. That is if, in fact, cacti were not near universally poisonous to we apemen. So let’s assume they aren’t…
There you are, arm trapped under a boulder, nothing but a Swiss Army spoon and a kazoo as your tools and you are dying of thirst in the desert (an American desert – South or North – for the sake of botanical accuracy).
And after much teeth gnashing you wrench, twist, screech and snap that trapped arm off.
The last band of flesh, skin stretching into a gummy ribbon, finally giving away and you are free.
You stumble out of the canyon into an open plain – iron hot. Your toes slide through the dust, leaving sidewinder trails of stilted footprints. Your spoor scrawling the calligraphy song of your death. You look back to read it through the warbling heat waves.
You can’t bear the sky. Can’t look up to even see if there is just one cloud. The glare blinds you, dazzles you, warning you with instant pain.
That sun has cracked through the skin to open blood rawness at the bottom of a laugh line that was set beside your eye by a wealthy life of white privilege and red wine.
The sweat, what little you have, ekes into the opening wound with each squint. You can ignore that sting. It is but one of the hundred you could feel if they weren’t swamped, drowned, by your obsession with water. Any fluid.
And then there it is, 400 feet tall, a giant saguaro cactus. It looms, fat with the river of green syrup locked inside.
Other animals have made a headlong rush to slake their insane thirst and impaled themselves astonishingly on the yards-longs spines of the cactus’s base.
It is a fortress of spines protecting a barrier wall of thick skin protecting the most valuable thing: life.
All castles have at least a weak spot. You circle twice before you see it. An empty bole that once held a spine.
Not far away, on the ground, you find the truer joy. A llama’s carcass has been fought over by several carrion eaters. Wolves perhaps? In their hunger they’d torn the llama’s wizened carcass from the giant cactus’s base. It is dried to leather but when the wolves wrenched its body away, so they also pulled out that single spine that had impaled the thirst crazed beast as it rushed toward the saguaro.
The spine is like a medieval lance. You place a battered boot on the llama’s dried, hollow flank and grip the lance’s haft with your remaining hand. You haul for all your miserable, depleted strength. By the effort some of your precious remaining blood is forced from the contusions that closed the arteries you mangled earlier when you broke from the prison of your trapped limb.
You haul until – with the sound of a fingernail drawn across a finely made saddle – the spine slides free.
You curl the lance under your armpit. A few of its cilia itch and splinter, wriggling deep into the skin of your palm.
You see the vein, the cactus’s juice pulsing with restorative green.
You set your feet, a run of only 10 metres to pierce the cactus’s tough green meniscus.
It doesn’t matter if you pierce through. At worst you’ll have died trying.
And, in that, you’ve lived…
That is what Laksa Hut is like when you don’t want to cook anything on a Monday night.