When it is nearly Christmas and you are in the centre of town, shopping, you can feel the tension in the streets. There is a terrible need to buy crap. You want to get something nice for someone nice but everything nice is too expensive and everything reasonably affordable is crap. You are in a Hitch 22 type scenario. One no doubt he never found himself in. Just gave copies of his books. Worthy gifts. Now Christopher is dead you can’t find one of his books. No Hitch 22, No Arguably. Somehow hearing him speak of his cancer as a blind unemotional being, of his deportation into the land of malady, has made me want to read what he has written on other subjects. I hear people requesting copies of the Steve Jobs book. Sold out. Fifty copies in three days. All the dead guys. Sought after.
The sailing has finished. The Worlds, as those in the know called them. But no world in Fremantle. Sad streets carpeted green with rows of unused porta loos. Asking to be peed in. Hoping. Security guards, gleeful, saying how quiet it was. Money for doing nothing. Sitting in a huddle on white plastic chairs with orange wind breakers with SECURITY labelling their backs.
A bar on the beach is the only happening thing. The same white plastic chairs but this time embedded in imported white beach sand. A green flash sunset seen by a handful.
In the square the Moreton Bay Fig has itself been strangled with fairy lights. Twisting and spiralling up her thick trunk and branches she has become a sparkling triumphant tree. Giant red baubles hang like enormous cherries. Normally she is a beacon for the homeless and the spent. But she is too festive to be puked under. Too glittery. Too happy to attract the down and outs. Instead she sits choked with blazoning lights.
Jasper needs new volleys for the three month old pair have worn through. On the tennis court he felt the heat on his foot and wondered why. A hole in his sole. We are in Target. Home of crap. This time we buy black volleys. A sign of the teenager he is to become? We leave the old shoes in a shop bin and wave goodbye to them as we enter the lift. Goodbye sweet faithful shoes that have served me well. For they have gone beyond the Good Sammi’s bin. In socks we head for the counter and bumping into one another static electricity shocks us both. Ow. Socks and vinyl, rubber wheels and friction. Ow. We follow a mullet out into the sunshine and to Culley’s. For a curry pie and a pastie and a pastel green spearmint milkshake in a tall metallic cup. Beside us a retired couple order pies with mash and peas and deep brown gravy but one gets chips as the kitchen has run out of mash. Run out. Can you believe it? No mash. An extra pile of army green peas?