Victoria: the rock and roll man (2002)

In Brenton, Mike, Victoria on May 20, 2006 at 9:12 pm

In the morning, Victoria writes milk, cheese, bananas, nappies, nappy wipes. At different times during the afternoon, she adds tissues, shampoo, napi-san, dishcloths, yogurt.

She keeps smoked salmon in her mind and thinks tomorrow she will have it for lunch and if she folds the packet before she puts it in the bin, Brenton will never know.

There are other things – toilet paper, vegemite, stock cubes – they will be needing soon, but she doesn’t have the money today.

She does her shopping at night, after Brenton is home and the kids have been bathed and tea has been served and parts of it eaten, and the table is cleared, but the dishes are still on the sink. She carries go-green bags, her purse and the keys to Brenton’s car.

The day’s restlessness has not emptied from her mind.

The rock-and-roll man is in the nappy aisle, although it is Tuesday tonight. She would have come here first if she had known. She throws the packet of nappies in the trolley, then she pats at her hair, bites at her lips, smooths the front of her shirt.

He is at the other end of the aisle, a pallette of boxes in front of him. He uses a stanley knife to slice the box. He pulls the knife towards him and she thinks they are probably taught to slice the boxes side to side. It is not safe the way he is doing it.

His grey hair is swept from his face, Elvis-style, and his skin is that of a man who has smoked too long. His white shirt is crease-less, tucked neatly into his trousers (black and tight and she wishes he would turn around). He is wearing gold cufflinks, filled with a black stone.

She pulls gently on her earlobe and remembers the onyx earings she used to wear to parties on Saturday nights.

When he looks up, Victoria smiles at him.

He smiles with his mouth and she thinks if he blinks slowly enough, she could kiss the lids of his eyes and rub her hands across his skin.

Victoria would forgive him every flaw and he would not mind that he was fifty years old and working at a job made for adolescent boys.

  1. This is wonderful. The whole thing, I mean, not just this post.

  2. Thank youse. Very much.

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