Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Dark Side

I’ve never seen an automatic weapon before. And seeing one across the street last night, confirmed that I never want to see one again.
I can remember the first time I saw a policeman with a sidearm. Melbourne 1972, the shopping mall at the end of my street, where we went to perve on boys and look at jewellery after school. I felt as though some irreversible tide had turned, that the violence I never had believed possible in my world, had crept in unawares and lodged itself squarely on the hips of the establishment.
Last night was different. I had just stepped out of the Padang after a meal. He was just a civillian. No uniform to lend credence to the menace at his side. What was he doing there with something like that in the main street of Ubud?
Lately the outward peace and harmony of Bali has been eroded by information about historical massacres, rebellious youth and stories barely whispered about those who have “disappeared”
The man with the gun was waiting just across the road, his firearm in plain view, held pointing downwards at his side. I couldn’t help but stare but realised it might not be a very good idea. Dread, unlike any I have felt before, averted my eyes.
A car pulled up and man and gun got in the front door. The back windows were tinted, the gun was now upright between him and the driver. It and lodged in my memory with a kind of chill. Now it seems that Bali wants to show me her dark side.

No comments:

Post a Comment