The cars are parked behind a corrugated iron fence – an old humped Saab, a broad and finned Ford Zephyr estate, and a Citroën DS. The DS is mine – or at least I have the use of it. I certainly used to have a car like this. The fence surrounds a muddy islet, its ragged edge bridging small embayments against which the still muddier waters of the lagoon lap.
Every time I touch the DS it quivers and slips sideways on the mud – leaning through the driver window, I accidentally knock the dash-mounted gear lever, and the large, black, flopping body of the car slithers across the surface, dragging me with it. The car slowly and sleekly insinuates itself under the fence and we are wallowing in the lagoon, the DS and I. Friends arrive back from some juke-joint, the sounds of zydeco floating in their perfumed hair as the process, silhouetted along the bayou by the setting sun. They carry jam jars full of fireflies tied to sticks – they are happy. They stop to point and laugh at me, as I slop about hopelessly with the car – I try to make the best of it, climbing on to the bonnet to take a bow, sliding off with a splash, while trying to make it look … intentional.