Around Here

sayarsan's picture

With the coming of summer this place is coming back to life after what has been a quiet winter. Drano upstairs is getting loudly pissed on rum with Mick (the Man). Mick is the 40 year old who bashed a recent amputee to move in on the woman he was bludging off. Ned is an unfortunate sort of woman who has several daughters all remote and distant, a junkie in Sydney, another in a psych hospital permanently and the third in Adelaide where she hopes to move soon. The details are beyond me but she had been the consort of a park drunk for years before moving here where he followed of course. Mik was hanging around and saw his opportunity when someone remarked how disgraceful it was the way she was bashed so repetitively upon which he bravely attacked the man who was in a wheelchair after having his leg removed due to circulation problems. This act of bravery was rewarded with the hand of the maid who at nearly sixty was probably relieved at the change to a younger and slightly more agreeable partner, being the sort of woman who can't live without one.
 
For three years they have been living in a flat like mine, hopelessly cramped for one person the thought of sharing seems incomprehensible although Drano upstairs managed to cohabit with his older brother indefinitely which throws a light on their home life when young. Stevie the youngest is so handicapped he cannot live alone, Drano in the middle is fresh back from a spell 'having his meds adjusted' while Poorly the eldest works on ships and lives in Bali I was told but saw the lie immediately I met him. Ships no way, they have a closed shop these days and a merchant seaman doesn't spend his shoreleave crashing on the floor of his kid brother's tiny bed sit for up to six months a time. Boats, I can't really see that either simply because I can't believe that normal folk could live in such cramped quarters with a person who behaves like he does. Put simply he would be cast overboard as a service to the next port. Bali, I doubt it unless it was for a short spell since he did arrive with a stack of pirate dvds and sarongs and Kuta Beach would be as thick with characters like him as the Redcliffe Esplanade. That's why the place got bombed by so called terrorists, it was probably the chamber of commerce who arranged it to make way for a better clientele.
 
It is their payday today for some for others perhaps tomorrow so they are all full of it as they psych themselves up for the high point of their lives. Tomorrow they will be wanting their pot and after dealing to them almost two years I recognise the signs, wrap around shades to look serious but they are so excited it shows, a huddle that buzzes briefly, breaks up into pairs while they work out how much money they have and Mik takes this to go and get it because he is the Man who actually goes out the gate to get a q or 1/2oz to divide up according to how much he can get away with taxing the stuff. It was a godsend at the time but the supply of pot I used to have was wasted at this place. It would be easy to make more than double the money in a night than you would take in a week off these people such is the scale of their consumption. Much of the time is spent smoking the black which is their term for bong scrapings after something they have probably never smoked or seen.
 
Mr. Ed used to keep an open door to all who needed a door to slide through and his was the main spot complete with pole dancing music. Badda-Bing for med heads he eventually had to go after he lost it on a drinking bing which went for some days while he made as much noise as possible by loudly abusing Drano while plying him with booze after sending Laval to the hospital with a hangover. Eventually he was taken away when someone called the police and he insulted one which earned him an assault police charge. When we first came here he told a story that he had been banned from the shopping center next door after he intervened on behalf of a young girl who was being raped by an older man. When he got on line he told a story that he had contacted his estranged daughters whose mother reportedly told him to stay away. He had gold jewelry he had bought for their christmas presents on the internet and had tracked a daughter or two he had hardly ever seen on Face Book. I saw the gold jewelry but I never saw him on Face Book and doubt his veracity as he is functionally illiterate and only very rarely did he use a keyboard and was audibly surprised when he saw me using one. At the end he was screaming to the neighbors at the back about them being pedophiles and I often think that perhaps he may have done time for such a crime, the look of him was reminicent of some convicted pedophiles I had seen on protection at Boggo Rd.
 
I suspect his life is spent in his own fantasy which he creates as the mood strikes going from a scheme to raise finches in his bathroom to building mopeds in his flat which he tried to sell to the people here who are unable to afford groceries. I enjoyed riding them but the noise and smell were terrible. Everything he did was in front of an audience composed of the most dysfunctional of the lot and me at times trying to work out just how these people relate to each other. The answer is that they don't, none have friends even in this place and Ed would rob Laval blind every time he sold or bought anything while Laval admired Ed as a hero , a constant cross-fire of alliances and recriminations over who owes what to whom which rarely get to violence and are forgotten in a few days. With no friends, no skills, unable to read and mostly taking psyc drugs it is a symbiosis between the one with his door always open and the others constantly searching for an end to the tedium which constitutes their lives. Maybe it's my punishment for having such a great life that I have to end my time watching all these who will hardly have one at all, thank god for the beach.