Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The house of his dreams

He explained to us that in the house of his dreams he is always alone -- the place is empty, desolate, disintegrating and filled with ugly, worn, disintegrating furniture; he is always alone in the sense that he has been abandoned by wife and daughters and nobody visits and the days pass by without anything happening, only eating and shitting and the sunlight travelling in long yellow shafts of dust along dark, warped floorboards he no longer bothers to vacuum.

He loves this term: the house of your dreams. His wife has the same dream, he has discovered, and these days they are powerless to avoid dreaming this dream unless they could stop themselves falling asleep or could force it so that they could sleep for a good six hours and never remember their dreams, whether they have them or not.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

In the pose of a David

On the way to the shops this evening, not wanting the man in the upstairs room without curtains to notice that I'd seen him from across the road, standing in the pose of a David (one hip up, one down) -- which these days connotes less an expensive threat to a neighbouring city state than an artist contemplating a canvas on an easel that he might have to change or destroy -- I only turned to look properly a couple of steps on, and so saw the flat screen television he was fixed in studying, and behind, in the Vermeer yellow light further back in the room, a small installation of sideboard, mugs, some cords and the oily black shine of some rock band poster on the wall.

Monday, April 11, 2011

A way of containing

As he told me about how he had been called from class that day to drive into the city to find the brother of the nephew who, as the police were still surmising, had just murdered his girlfriend and step-son and then killed himself -- so he might tell the brother before a brutal and sensationalised version of the news could get to him through friends or even just the internet updates on his phone -- while he was telling me about the body which had now been flown into Sydney for the funeral and all the relatives who were coming to their house to drink tea and to mourn at all hours of the day -- he wore the same shy, even half embarrassed smile that, less than a month earlier, after the graduation of his son from Sydney University, seemed then only to be his way of containing an immensity of joy he was too shy of inflicting on anybody else.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A section of Japanese garden

It was, as he described it, on ledge sticking out from the pedestrian bridge at Redfern station: years of southerlies blowing dust from Botany Bay had left enough soil for a section of a Japanese garden, with bright, lush moss and a Bonsai tree with yellow flowers, but it is rare that anyone looks at it because going up those stairs it's hard not to step on the heels of the person in front.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Not in the city but in the suburbs

We laughed when we heard her say how it was impossible not to judge the figure of the overweight woman reading an article with the headline 'Fat and Fame Obsessed' in that free afternoon paper, MX, as she was walking along ahead of her the other evening, home from the station. She said she never read this paper as her work wasn't in the city but in the suburbs.