If you’ve ever gone wandering through the nooks and crannies of a large city, loitering with intent and with all the time in the world, attending to unlikely beauties and the aspects of the marvellous that are hidden in full sight right there in the ordinary – then please read on.
standing under the ex-wife’s house concrete pillars covered in / the
hieroglyphics of grubby little hands pieces of antique chairs hang /
that we had planned to restore together arm-rests of that old coach,
I’ve arrived late to Gillian Mears. Or exactly when I ought to have: standing in the morning rain at Adelaide Writers Week for a panel on biography, two days after a car wreck, not yet able to fully open my jaw.
I am in the process of buying a thirty-year-old ambulance in 2004, sight unseen, and in the opinion of most people, I’ve gone crazy. Listening to Mr Bible from Homebush Motors in Sydney make his sales pitch on the phone, I think they might have a point.
It comes back to me that I married K. because he whistled Bach perfectly – that was, as I remember, the reason I gave myself and others. It’s as good a basis as any for marriage and I was not disappointed.
The last months of his life were a race against time, yet he maintained an abundant and cheerful correspondence, imagining, for example, a quiet life in an outback town, reading HEAT, drinking beer and brushing away flies.
The rain was merely a gauze, a softening of the early autumn air, but now and again Ruth saw a young mother dart out from her avidly talking group to bend over her child, to pull up and settle a hood of yellow, scarlet, or cobalt blue.
To place a bet on the Booker Prize, I had to leave the bright noise of Finchley Road and walk down lurid, carpeted stairs, past a row of old men whose faces were lit by flickering TV screens, and across to a perspex counter. A young woman with spiky pink hair stared at me impassively.