Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mum – Part 11

Pat kneels at the front door, a workman’s concentration and problem solving. He has been stuffing around with mums sliding security door now for the past 4 hours. I sit and write and Twitter, watching him from the corner of my eye, as he struggles. He may as well be wrestling crocodiles.

Finally, his light bulb moment happens as he looks - really looks – and reads:


The door is purring like a kitten within 20 minutes. It’s ok, he’s a Kiwi and I forgive him. We have become instant friends as he sweated and I quietly chatted to him; we discuss the music I am playing.

Paul Simon, Neil Diamond. Pete Murray. All my ‘boys.’ Sing loud!

The sliding door sings like a canary.

The sky farts white clouds over the city of Rockhampton. No one notices.


Driving these unfamiliar streets, half remembered; some skinny, some barge-assed, a memory stirs.

Isn’t this where I used to live?

I’m sure my old flat - my darling first flat - was around here somewhere, and the next minute I am driving up Bolton Street, a bolt of lightning shudders my arms as I drown in bad memories of my first marriage.

Standing proud is a classic Queenslander home. I stare at it in disbelief, like trying to recognise an old aunty when she changes her lipstick and hairstyle.

And then I see the tree, the tree where the baby kookaburra fell from, and we rescued it, and ever after that we were swooped upon and attacked by the mother kookaburra.

That’s the old home I learnt to apply my eyeliner, and where I learned to lie to men, to run and hide behind the old fat mango tree in the darkness; watching and trembling as he strode outside calling my name again and again. I hid.

And here it is. The tree, the driveway, but the house has now been returned to the classic beauty she always was. I’m stunned, and charmed. I pull the car to the right and turn the corner. Remembering myself at eighteen seemed like a book I read once.


To be continued…

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