What do you do if your home is the park and the park is closed off by the set-up that is the Blues N Roots?
You move to outside their house. That house with the Kombis. You bring your blankets and your coke. You wheel your life in a Coles trolley around the corner and into theirs. You leave your rubbish and your toilet paper.
If you can’t take the trolley you stash it in the bushes.
You are skinny with a hacking cough. Can’t run for coughing. Can’t laugh either. The grass is cold at night. The wind too. Your friends are older, but still young. Some of you should be at school. Your black track suit has two white stripes running down the legs, but the stripes aren’t white anymore. Everything you have is grimy. Your girlfriend is seventeen and she won’t leave you alone. Her black trackies hang on her hips and show off her stomach. You made a pillow of her belly just the other afternoon. But today she is psycho. She is yelling, shrieking really, at you, and there is no where to go. Fuck is hers and yours favourite word. If only you had a dollar…That lady thinks you might hit your girlfriend, but instead you walk away. Seventeen follows you down the street and around the corner. She is crazed with bellowing. Her twelve year old brother follows too. You tell her to look after him. What about your brother?
Later you apologise to the lady for all the yelling. Had to break up with my girlfriend. Lady is collecting her mail in her middle-aged, middle-income way, watching the set up on the park. There is a heartbeat beeping of machinery, buzzing of trucks and lifters, clanging of scaffolds. By now thick black plastic covers the rent-a-fence and flaps on the wire fencing. It is keeping us from our home.
Our two older friends have been on the street longer. It shows in their teeth. Both have rotten ones, black ones and missing ones. His hair is blonde and wavy. He has a kitten. He found it on the beach. Now it is theirs. Ours. It travels on Rotten Tooth’s shoulders, its needle claws gripping into polyester track suit. It is on a lead. It drinks coke like we do.
They have a shopping trolley with their stuff. Our stuff. The essentials like blankets, toilet paper, clothes and maybe cat food.
It’ll be loud, you say, when you talk of the Blues N Roots. Yes loud.