Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Last night I saw a woman sitting in a gutter weeping. I saw another woman, beautiful, heartbreakingly thin, dishevelled, screaming You don't own me! to a man in an Hawaiian shirt. The doorman at the residential hotel sorted him out. In the rearview mirror she was huddled up like a child against a wall, also weeping. I drove down an immaculate nighttime street where outside every other house were placed deck chairs, easy chairs, arm chairs, sofas, as if for a colloquy of ghosts. I heard a man tell his mother she was already at home and, as it was twenty-eight years since he left, no, he would not be back tonight. Then he returned to the difficulties of selling novelty ice-creams. Another man crunched ice cubes so loudly it hurt my ears. A third carried a loaf of sliced white bread in a plastic bag all the way to Lane Cove, returning me to where that ghost furniture was. I thought she said: Take me to L.A. but she was only going to Balmain. All the loonies were out, gnashing their teeth, shouting at the sky, gesticulating ... it was very cold. The music on the radio was atrocious until they started playing the Blues. No-one was being served at the Hungry Wolf. I heard a worker tell the Boss at Teachers Hand Car Wash to slow down or he'd get a heart attack. The woman who sleeps in the bus shelter on the Hume Highway has doubled or maybe tripled her collection of stuffed rubbish bags. It was impossible to descry a human form among the massed shiny lumps piled up and over the shopping trolley. Why was she weeping? Had something happened at the Hospital? I wanted to stop the cab, get out, lift her up and help her on her way, but when the lights changed I just drove on into the other side of midnight.