Cut up RAC card

I find my Dad’s wallet amongst some things I bring home from the nursing home. How he treasured his wallet. How frustrated he would become by not having it, in the end. No matter that he didn’t need it. I had his cards, his pension number, his medicare number. But he liked to have it with him. A reminder of being a grown up. And when he was still at home how angry he would become when he failed to locate it once again. Inside I find the card for the Hearing Aid agency with the small ripped piece of paper stuck to its rear with his PIN number on it. I knew it was here and would have to remind him of its whereabouts when he queued at the bank. Once I was told off by a cashier for knowing such private information as he rifled through the wallet not remembering where the damned thing was.

I find the RAC card with its member since 1958 stamped on it. I cut up the cards in case. In case of what? I cut between the gaps in the surname, through the account numbers. In case. I find his last Slikpik  lotto dated 17/4/2010, the last time he independently went to the newsagent and had the presence of mind to buy one. It cost him $7.20. I will get it checked just in case. I find his appointment card for the blood collection agency.

1976. Holden Kingswood. Brown. The car won’t start. My dad is cursing. The bonnet is up. Something about spark plugs and carburettors. The RAC man is called. Down the driveway, blue King Gees. He’s a real ocker. He makes fun of my father I sense. Something about his accent or his high waisted trousers. Or maybe just because my Dad’s impatient and doesn’t know how to hide it. But how acutely you feel it when you’re a teenager. Like you have a radar for how others judge your family. If only he didn’t have to do his belt up so tight.

The wallet can be discarded. It is vinyl. It has no scent. No wonderful feel. I am throwing things away.

Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

We want to thankyou for teaching us to dive beneath the big waves,

For taking us out on your back through the surf,

For carrying us asleep from the Holden to our beds,

For making us pull weeds, rake gum leaves, pick up bark, sweep the garage and clean the gutters.

Thankyou for showing us how to collect warm eggs from beneath chooks,

For crying at the sad moments on TV soaps,

For showing us how to swing a billy around our heads,

For teaching us to build a camp fire and to strip and paint a cupboard,

For bringing home day-old chickens – yellow and chirping to be raised under a heat lamp,

For bringing home trays of summer peaches,

For dinkying us down the driveway on the back of your motorcycle,

And for loving what you had, and not wanting for more than you attained

For this and more, we thank you.


We will miss you sweet Goong Goong.