Posts Tagged ‘Mike’

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.


Diana: a baby arrives (1971)

In Brenda, Diana, Mike on May 1, 2006 at 5:02 pm

Mike took Diana to the hospital after a few hours of labour pains. The sister told him they’d be hours yet and sent him home to rest because it was three am. Diana said I’m a doctor, I know it’s on it’s way, but the sister said there, there dear and winked at Mike.

The baby arrived an hour after that and Diana spent the rest of her life trying not to care that she was on her own.

Diana: Mike’s mother (1970)

In Diana, Jess, Judith, Mike, Ruth on May 1, 2006 at 4:57 pm

Mike’s mother visited often and always in the afternoons.

In the hours before she came, Diana baked melting moments and glued them together with dollops of thick lemon icing. She wore her pleated pencil skirt, filed her fingernails and took the washing off the line. When she heard Mike’s mother knock, Diana closed her bedroom door even if the bed was made. Mike’s mother came alone, and it took an hour, what with the tram and the walk, and she wondered why they had moved so far away, but that’s how it is she supposed.

Diana used the tea set. Mike’s mother had given it to her the day after Mike and Diana got engaged.

My mother-in-law gave it to me,’ Mike’s mother said with a brisk note in her voice. There was not a hug or a kiss exchanged and Diana wasn’t even sure she had said thank you.

Diana carried the tea things in on a large silver tray. It came from Auntie Jess who said this was your mother’s. It was the kind of thing Auntie Jess needed to believe. Diana’s hands shook and so did the tray. The tinkling of the tea set was not an unpleasant sound.

Diana kept the tray tarnished so that Mike’s mother could say ‘seems a shame not to polish a beautiful tray like that’.

Diana: meets Molly Armitage (1968)

In Diana, Mike, Molly Armitage, Raymond on April 16, 2006 at 9:50 pm

Mike organised the honeymoon, but Diana found the only house they could afford.

Their landlord, Mrs Armitage, was a short woman with a large nose, warm hands and cooking smells all afternoon. She lived on the other side of the maisonette wall and collected the rent on Thursday night. She said: ‘a doctor? Would have been useful if Raymond was still alive.’ She smiled a friendly smile.

Diana and Mike lived in the side that was light in the mornings and dark in the afternoons. When the wind blew, the front door closed with a bang.

None of their furniture was new.

The lawn at the back was dry and scratchy and rough. There was a peach tree on the left fence, and a lemon on the right. Mrs Armitage told them they could take the apricots from the branch dripping over the fence.

But you’ll need to be quick if you’re going to beat the birds. Then she said I’m too old to put up the net.

Mrs Armitage was not old, but she had lived on her own for the last ten years. Since Raymond passed away. It was a small smile she gave to Diana before she spoke again. A slow and terrible death, and that’s not something you can say to everyone.

She looked at Diana, then she said you call me Molly, love.

Molly grew roses in the front yard and vegetables in the back. She did her laundry on Fridays and she rode her bike to Church. In the late afternoons, she stood at the front gate and chatted to the people she knew.

Molly’s cat was black with not a whisper of white or grey. She called him Socks and Diana never asked her why. Sock’s ears were nicked and his tail was kinked.

Socks rubbed against Diana’s legs while she hung washing on the line, and in return she smeared butter across her fingertips, then let him lick. She did not like his rough tongue against her fingers, but she loved his soft fur against her legs.

‘I’ve never had a cat,’ she said to Mike.