“Is that all the man sings? ‘How does it feel?’” Hannah, five years old, is making a play-dough birthday cake. Jesse, nearly three, is drawing a map of the world. I’m podding peas.
I thanked her for taking the trouble to find me and silently wondered if her seeking me out was a country-town courtesy, a form of hospitality that may not happen in the hustle and bustle and traffic of a city. I did not flatter myself to think she may have seen more in me all those years ago than I’d realised.
“The White Album,” my son said one night. “Fair bit of filler on it. But I’m keen to learn more about George Harrison.”
Save for the weeds, not much grows in our front yard. The soil is rubbish, almost literally. “What’s the plan?” my neighbour says cheerily, as I'm weeding.
Dad’s always said that he doesn’t dance. I believed him.
I'm up on top of the house looking at a hole in the roof. A storm is coming. I’m thinking rain, I’m thinking possums, I’m thinking Handyman, wherefore art thou?
In that dark small house for two single souls I found that I was in love. It had taken three years of house-sharing for the obvious to dawn on me.
It was a restless, fitful time. At one or two or three in the morning I’d carefully ease out of bed and head for the loungeroom, well away from the sleeping family.
I’d drive all night with my brother if I could. It would be escapism of a sort but also a rare chance to spend time, a long time, together. We’d pack sandwiches and snacks and drinks. Chocolate. A football. Some of Peter’s surfboards.
All I could think of , as she stood just a metre or two away, unflustered by betting deadlines, was her voice, her laugh, her brown eyes, her cascading hair, her full figure. And the inexperience of my heart (plus anoher vital organ).