Burkies – Part 1
Ok, the next two short posts are purely context for the third, I now must write today. So, bare with me and strap in for a bit of a chuckle.
When I was first diagnosed in 2007, I lived with my favourite housemate down in Clifton Hill. My favourite housemate even in twenty years of sharing, will as he has in the past, go by the name of ‘B’. The street we lived on ‘F’. We lived on a corner of ‘F’ and whatever the side street was.
During peak hour F street became the alternative route for people not wanting to use Hoddle Street, which was once described by my friend Frank as the carpark. Clifton Hill often had many commuters drive from the outer suburbs, so they could catch the tram from there to work.
The home was brick veneer and our bedrooms were right at the front of the house, surprisingly not as noisy to sleep as you might think.
We had a tiny bathroom, an equally small kitchen with an old Aga, where I stored my gladwrap, foil and such. To put it in perspective, an Italian couple had immigrated to Australia back in the 40’s and this was their first home, where they had, had and raised their children before moving out to the suburbs (as they did).
We had an outside toilet; we did have a garage and possums in the backyard which I fed bread. No, don’t eat that, eat the bread. That’s my finger! Eat the bread!
Anyway, I digress, B parked his car at the front of F street and occasionally he would not be able to park in this spot and he would become quite grumpy.
We consulted over this mysterious red car that was in ‘his’ spot. It was a little red Barina and it has stencilled letters on the side. You know, like those for Tupperware or Mary Kay or Avon.
Anyway, even if you know who is parking in your car spot, you can’t really say anything to them because it seems you are being rude. You resolve this dilemma in all good neighbourhood squabbles with the appropriate passive/aggressive culture of you just keep your car there until they stop trying to park there.
Anyway, B didn’t drive his car for a good few months, maybe he couldn’t afford his rego or whatever. B decided to sell it.
One particular Saturday, he called RACV who were out the front getting his car started. That afternoon, a woman came to see the car and buy it. Ironically, she had gotten a job as a Personal Carer (Support Worker) and needed a car. What a small world.
After the sale was completed, I was moving from one room to another and saw B standing inside the front door, which was timber and glass and he was (from where I was) hugging the door. I thought maybe he was sad to see his car go. He had inherited it from his grandmother.
I went past him a second time and he was still there, so I prompted him “Are you OK?” his reply came after a few moments. A car engine idled in the distance.
“Yes, I’m just making sure she got through the lights down the street and it didn’t conk out” or something to that affect, he was concerned she would come back insisting on a refund.
Moments like these.