Recollections of the strangeness of life
THIS IS A STORY of redemption and change. It concerns a long-time friend and it starts with her on an aircraft returning to Australia after several years living in China. There, she had worked initially as an English language teacher and latterly in journalism on an English language publication. That was quickly being put behind her as the aircrafy droned on southward.
LABYRYNTHINE… that’s what it’s like… a tangle of streets falling towards the water in one of those North Shore harbourside suburbs. Which One? No idea, they seem to blend one into another with their neat, lookalike houses and old apartment blocks. Wouldn’t like to live in those old blocks of flats… they seem to be pokey little places with tiny windows, I thought.
THERE WERE MANY SHARE HOUSES in the Inner West during the 1980s, eclectic assemblages of people thrown together by chance and necessity. Offering benefits of economy with conviviality, share housing had been a popular way to live since the 1960s.
THE MELLOW, MELONCHOLY SOUND of a sax drifted over the Sussex-Goulburn intersection that afternoon. La Vie en Rose, the song popularized by Edith Piaf, was a fitting sound this fine but cold, late Autumn day in the city and it suited my mood as I looked past the player, down the road to a Korean restaurant that wasn’t there forty years ago.
by Russ Grayson. Originally published 2002.
TO CLIMB or not? That was the debate I held with myself on the walk up from the Waldheim road head.