Justy Phillips

Eels – You

Nothing definite any more.

We’re standing on a wind swept beach Swiss Julia and me. I’m knee deep in rocks and weed. She’s making images of the sea. All the world’s possessions washed up on this beach and nets and floats and bottles and boats. Actually no boats, but something better. Something deliciously unexpected. Someone’s left a present here for me. I just see the PHI at first. DEEP SEA MODEL GUARANTEED. I slip my best fingers into the hold. Pull my trawler buoy from the sea. There must be a tonne of air-filled weight on this beach. But only this one has my name embossed. Pressed with manufacturers P-H-I-L-L-I-P-S in Grimsby. It’s come from the north of England just like me. Who knows how long it’s been out there with the phantom nets and cod. Because I’ve been to Grimsby, to the twenty-five metre swimming pool when I was faster than them all. When everything I ever wanted I collected in my fingertips. Like buckets of Norfolk eels. People ask me why I spent so many hours in the pool. Made so many circuits of the water. Because I had nowhere else to go. And I’d say you’d have to be there to know how it feels to move through water the way I did. To know what was definite. What was true. Only then and only then do you see. You don’t move the water. It’s the water. It’s the water that moves you.

© Justy Phillips 2012

Built with Berta