Monday, 6 January 2014

We Are Who We Are When We Think People Are Not Looking.

When I'm by myself I eat cold leftovers that run down my face, one leg propped up on the kitchen sink. I pluck chinhairs. Talk to the world and wait for it to talk back. Remember all the bad shit I've done and wince.

When I'm by myself I punch pillows, eat a family block of chocolate, check the mail and wave to the neighbours with the very same hand I've just brought myself to climax with. Swear. Cry. Ruminate, despair, and light a candle all in ten minutes. Sit on the couch with my legs spread so far apart you'd swear I was a gymnast.

The other day I took Rocco to the movies but didn't book ahead and it was all sold out. So I took him to the indoor kids playcentre in the middle of the shopping centre. I sat down with all the other parents. Before he took off he gleefully told me that he ALWAYS makes friends here. How easy it is to make friends when you're little! An exchange of looks and bam, best mates for a whole hour.

I felt like lying down on the bench, simply out of mental exhaustion. But I was out in society so had to act accordingly. I sat up straight and played on my phone, for ages. Rocco could take as long as he wanted to - there was no rush. I'm always rushing. An hour went by. Rocco came up to me red-faced for drinks of water then ran off again. Until, suddenly ..... all of the kids came screaming out, all at once. Rocco yelled in my ear, hardly containing his excitement.


I had to check out this poo for myself. Yep - on the stairs leading up to the tunnel lay a glistening brown turd. Some unaware kids wanted to get through and I was all - oh no, no, you can't, there's a poo there see? And then more kids came, and more kids. I found myself on poo patrol. I didn't want these kids to get this poo on them because as a parent I know there's only one thing worse than cleaning up your own kids poo ... and that's cleaning up ANOTHER kids poo.

I stood there telling kids, warning them. A lot of the parents still didn't know so finally I walked over and addressed them all. Even cupped my hands.


A lot of them did, grateful and thanking me. Who was I to them? I was the Poo Police that's who. Thing is, some parents didn't listen to me and so their kids kept playing and I kept telling them to stop because of the poo. Until I realised, there was no poo on my kid. I came and got Rocco and we walked off. I did what I could - my work there was done.

We met Dave, Max and Tim, came back to the beach house. I had a sleep because that's all I ever want to do lately. Dave ordered a pizza while I drove down to the servo to get milk. When I came back to my car, a man was there talking to himself. Great. Then I realised he was talking to me, he was just too shy to look at me. He wanted to ask me a question but his accent was so thick I couldn't understand. He needed directions but I couldn't make out where so he bowed and started to walk away.

"No, you tell me, I listen. Where?"

"Ahhhhh, is Morriset?" 

FINALLY. I took him back in the servo and asked the lady how to get to Morriset. When she told me the directions my mind went blank. I don't understand any direction, ever. I said thanks and asked the man if he had a map and he said yes so we walked over to his car except it wasn't his car - we kept walking and there his wife stood on the side of the road with ten plastic shopping bags. They'd taken a bus from Lakemba and the driver just dropped them here, with Morriset a half hour away. What to do! I told the man that I just call my husband, wait a minute.

Dave answered and told me the pizza was there. I told him the predicament. He said hon, this is not really our problem. And I said I know hon - but if you were here, I KNOW you'd drive them too. And he would - he's more generous than me.

I went back to them and said, "I drive you." They came over to my car and put all the bags in the back. The husband told the wife to sit in the front next to me .... she had a beautiful silk dress and head covering on. I keyed in the address and just really felt like an arsehole, with my brand new car and fancy SAT-NAV. I felt really white.

We drove in silence, which I tried to break with talk but they couldn't quite get what I was saying so I stopped. Pretty sure she said they were from Somalia. Pretty sure the husband wasn't going to bash me in the head from behind with a brick and leave me in a ditch raped and murdered.

So many people have helped me, along my way. Once I stood in a dark, bad place in the middle of the night and listened as people talked about ripping the gold necklace straight off my neck. Literally out of nowhere, these Christians arrived. I started talking to them and they drove me all the way home. "We just really felt like you needed help, Eden."

So much shit has happened to me, especially when I was young and stupid and reckless with my life.

The couple in my car knew nothing of that ... of how much an arsehole I've been, the bad shit I've done, the people I've hurt. I was their hero. I'll always be their hero. Finally I stopped and we all got out and the man made a move with his wallet to pay me.

"Oh no, no money no money." I waved him away. Their gratitude was embarrassing, they kept bowing so I bowed back. Got in my car and drove off. Just some woman on the way home to eat pizza.

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Write to be understood, speak to be heard. - Lawrence Powell

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