Sunday, August 18, 2013


The beautiful  visually impaired girl reads the questions blown up to A3, centimetres from her eyes   and identifies the bits of Australia which are of  interest to tourists on an A2 black and white map. Iluru is really somewhere dead centre of that great hulking island.

Then the short answers. "In 1967 the referendum was signed which recognised the Aborigines as citizens of Australia". The national preoccupation with  a signature putting her wrong. Half a mark off.

The weather outside at midday was compressed grey and stagnant with brevity.  Nothing much could move the spirit on such a day.

On the 002 a pregnant woman and her two toddlers sit on the alcove seats at the front.
A man  sits up the back talking at her down the bus.  He says that the guy is a stupid cunt and he will tell him so. The woman attractive and proud grins at a small serious boy sitting opposite. A grin which is culturally  borrowed, pasted on and makes the eyes fill with pain.

Up the front a middle aged man debates something in fruity tones with the bus driver.
His girlfriend leaves him there and sits down in the middle of the bus.
One of the children starts to grizzles. It is at an almost subliminal level and could be just part of the day.
Shut your mouth. You want me to smack you across the face Crunchy, a man calls down the bus.
The silence is sudden and a shock. The child is quiet.
The man relaxes now he has attention.

The middle aged man  with a white goatee ends his conversation with the bus driver
He joins his girlfriend and says that he tried to get on with a pensioner's pass but the driver wasn't buying it. He is wearing a distinctive  black jacket with some  complex embroidered Asian motif on the back and the front, his hands are covered in heavy gold rings.
He talks with the projection of a radio DJ and tells his girlfriend that he has always called the guy a little gollywog. Always. He has always given him a hard time. He worked at the mission with him. Knows him well. That was when he himself had owned an upmarket property in Mountain Road, the
one with the swimming pool, yes that one and it was very nice, very nice indeed, insinkerator, washer dryer all included. The guy he sold it to made a loss on it when he sold it but he didn't.
The pool was out the back wasn't it? The girlfriend is younger by half a decade,  and has a whine which is set in relief against his mellow elocution.
No no it was around the side, the grounds were nice. Swimming pool.
You needed a key  to get in though? No no not if you knew the key pad code. It suited him and his Chinese girlfriend of the time.

In the Asian food market  entrance through the food hall  and the strong smell of medicinal herbs, there is a recent colour addition to the rogue's gallery of shoplifters _ a photo of the middle aged man with the white goatee wearing his embroidered black jacket. His eye brows are raised over glasses which he must have put on after being apprehended  and before having his photo taken. He seems to
say, oh so you have caught me you little wogs but I am impervious.

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