Day 58

Written 15 May, 2020


We wait all day for promised rain for the water tanks. I desolately tap them; there’s a dull thud only a third of the way up. Then it comes in a cloud, just as we’re about to set out for our food box from Homer’s, and – joy- a cappuccino  at Homer’s with Jo, K’s NDIS carer, who i’ve only met on Zoom, where she taught K and me to stand like superwoman, feet wide apart, hands on hips, eyes straight apart- and it’s true, after two minutes of being superwoman, you are superwoman, for a little while.


The boat takes the usual hour to get there. It’s not a boat to have whispered conversations in.


At DB’s boatyard, there was no where to berth, but a stranger in a yellow jacket labelled Protection Unit was taking his time filling up huge plastic water tanks from DB’s hose, a cigarette hanging out his mouth. GG swore reasonably quietly and he looked up and said

Be just a minute.

Impressively the cigarette, a rollie, didn’t fall out.

He was ten minutes.

But finally, what a joy a cafe is after  almost two months.

Do you miss Darlinghurst?

Jo asked this, a woman in her early 70s much prettier in real life than on Zoom, a cloud of white hair done in a high ponytail, a white jacket of blue flowers and a lace black and white umbrella, who’s studying medicine online from a university in Honolulu. Immediately I want to do that too.  But I’d need to stand for a long time as wonder woman.

Articulating through a mask:

Fifteen minutes’ drive away, while Gg buys whisky at the bottle shop, I go to the chemist, not for anything, but I’ve become an opportunist shopper.

Yes?  he’s about to close.

I just wanted a little browse.

You want a little bra?

His voice is almost a yelp. Jesus is the Way says a sign on the counter.

I see the problem, have a go at reassurance.

I just want to browse a little.

He mutters under his breath, to explain it to himself.

I just want a little browse.

By now, the rain’s pelting. Our food box is heavy, but DB helps us down the jetty with it on his shoulder, bare-footed, no raincoat.

This rain will fill your tanks.

But it hasn’t rained in our bay. And  Dy messages, to say M has gone home.

I dropped her off at Kangaroo Point. We had fish and chips.

His house is already dark.



Sophie’s family, Saturday morning

One Response to Day 58

  1. Rain in Lennox Head. Lots of it. Drizzle, sheets of the stuff, beautiful to watch it dance on the ocean – and then, a window of opportunity! I throw on my mum’s old Kathmandu rain coat (did you know that Kathmandu is cool now?), an opportunity to stretch my legs; quickly, Sophie, the window shan’t stay open for long. Ouch! It slams on my fingers as I step outside, more drizzle. I turn around, head hanging as low as Charlie Brown’s on a miserable day. Too much drizzle. Even in normal times rain creates its own cacophony of isolation for Lennox locals. Not much to do here, not much at all. If it weren’t for the stunning views, breathtaking surf, lazy lifestyle and wide-open-spaces you’d wonder why the hell you’d spend more than a night here. Yes, Lennox is a dream getaway, but when it’s pouring outside you realise that there’s plenty better options elsewhere. Indoor options. Options like Sydney: strolling through large warm galleries, bustling Sunday morning markets brimming with inner city lefties with their oodles of pampered poodles. I miss it. I don’t miss all that much about it, but I miss B, I miss my triplet brother C, I miss dancing and nights out in Newtown. But I’m being productive here. Getting lots of writing done here. Working on lots of projects and scripts here. Spending quality time with my parents – time I wouldn’t have gotten if it weren’t for the virus. It’s conflicting.

    Saturday morning. Drizzle, great. 9.30am rolls around and just like that its time for the Good Weekend Quiz. Time for an early morning dosage of family chaos and plenty of shouting. They’re getting tougher lately, the quiz questions. Only 20/25 this morning – a little shameful considering that there’s now eight of us, considering that we’re all highly competitive and considering that we’re all obnoxious know-it-alls. The conversations are getting tougher, too. Stupidly, I suggested a few backs that we should include video in our conference calls…. what a terrible mistake that was. Eight voices, eight faces, eight people fighting to be heard, fighting to say their answer before the other, fighting to say the funnier joke, and to say it the loudest! Oy vey!!!!! But it’s nice, I keep telling myself that this is nice. Despite the tightening in my chest, it’s nice. Despite my instinct to leave the room and retreat to the quiet, it’s nice. My brothers are showoffs, there’s not doubt about that. It always made me feel lesser than when I was little, in comparison I was quiet, quiet like a mouse they would say. It’s nice. It’s nice. I keep telling myself that this is nice. And it is nice! It has to be nice. So I don’t run away downstairs, I don’t walk outside and take some nice deep breaths (mainly because of the drizzle), I stay, and I listen. I watch the boys jump around like larrikins, my heart pounding in my throat. I watch my mum watch her boys, beaming, laughing at their silly antics. She doesn’t mind the noise, the chaos, actually, she loves it, she encourages it. And I understand why. All her boys, locked away all over the world. J, still in such danger in Manhattan. N, still unable to cross the boarder from QLD into NSW. C still in Sydney. I understand. So I stay at the table, and I watch like a little mouse. I watch for an hour and a half, until it’s finally time to say goodbye for another week. We switch off our cameras, and we switch on J’s Instagram. 11 o’clock. Time for Harry Potter.

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