Drug deals go on outside our house on the park by the community pool’s fence. It is out in the open really. It is not clandestine. The guys wear baseball caps; one even has it backwards. They have the requisite baggy pants, the crutch of which is around the knees. Like babies whose nappies are sodden and heavy, they walk with an awkward swagger. It is sunny and clear and the air has a fresh washed-down smell to it. Or no smell. No sheep ship.
Lately the local paper has complained of the drug’s trade escalation and some locals have died due to the high purity of the stuff on the streets. I am reticent to let Jasper take the lane way home after tennis, in case he comes across a drug deal. It used to be the homeless and the drunken who made us take the long way. Now it is the pushers with the puffy shoes and the oversized trousers. Yesterday hail came down and shred the Golden Robinia of its spring leaves, peppering the footpath with yellow.
It is time for school pick up so I drive to the school near the ocean. I take the dog so he can exercise his nose. Three foot high cliffs of sea weed border the shore. Winter storms have dumped it here, to stagnate and smell. To dogs it is heaven sent. And perhaps heaven-scented. The waves carve out caverns making shipwrecked hulls of the grey mounds. Bees are busy about the dunes, their legs bulging with the burden of Yellow Dandelions.
Four Chinese girls sit on the kerbside by the beach. One hands the others a Kleenex baby wipe each to rid their feet of the soft white beach sand that you or I would neither notice or care about.
We return home and the drug dealer’s oval is awash with after school sport. Criss crossing it are high school students and a pair stop midway to kiss. They stand facing one another and she puts her hands on his shoulders as if to steady herself and to secure him to the spot. The pony-tailed girl is a couple of inches taller than the boy. He breaks off the kiss. He spins her around by yanking on her rucksack and they collapse together on the grass. She leans over him to kiss him again. Look Mum sex on the oval, says Jasper.