Screened

I’ve been incredibly absent lately, but I’m sure you all understand. Life grabs you by the hand and you ain’t got much choice but to follow where it leads. And it’s lead to some pretty amazing things, but it’s left me with very little time to update this blog. I guess there are two major updates in my life: I’m now dating an incredible girl, and I’m going to China for two weeks in December (and my uni is paying for most of it) to work with Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou in an English-language creative writing programme over there. Has anyone else got any exciting news? Any life updates in general (exciting or not)?

I have been doing a little bit of writing as part of my course, so I’ll leave you with one of my ‘microfictions’ (which can also be found on deviantART). I’d love to hear what you have to think!

Screened

I park parallel to the gutter, turn the car off, and sit a moment. The engine ticks slowly cool and I watch a couple of cars pass by me and find spaces further down the street. My car is comfortable and quiet and I have forty-five minutes to kill before I should head to class. I pull the lever on the side of my seat so I can lounge back as though I am in Dad’s armchair at home.

It is overcast and the sun has only been out for maybe two hours. Everything looks greyer.

From my new vantage point, I can see a construction site about thirty metres in front of me. I wonder what they’re building—it looks very square, and as though it will be tall. Maybe a block of flats, but who am I to know? Flats would make sense. It’s uni students living here, mainly. House sharing and renting from folks who make money off the fact that people will pay more to be able to wake up later and get home earlier. Flats will mean more people in the same amount of space, which equals more money. Flats would make sense.

Movement on the second floor catches my eye. A portly man is waving his arms about. He looks like Dad. He pauses, takes off his hardhat and wipes his brow. He looks angry. Scaffolding stretches up past him, blocking the view of whatever is around him. He is framed, as though in a television screen. He is too far away for me to hear anything. The grey light makes me feel as though I am looking at something almost black and white. Mildly bemused, I feel like Dad in his armchair watching one of his old films. All I need is a beer slick with condensation.

The man has replaced his hardhat and is now gesticulating at someone I can’t see. I could probably crane my neck to see around the scaffolding, but I like it like this. More mysterious. The man takes off his hardhat again so he can rub his sleeve against his forehead, but does not replace it. This worries me slightly, but I’m sure he knows what he’s doing. He looks like he’s in charge. Maybe he’s going off at one of his workers. Probably an apprentice.

Or a son.

Maybe the other workers are pretending not to notice, hoping the worker can leave with his humility at least partially intact. Though, if it’s the angry man’s son, there’s no chance of that. He can’t escape the man’s disapproval at home if this is how he’s treated at work.

He should go to uni or TAFE, move into a different field of expertise, one his father knows little to nothing about, one he can talk about at family dos without fear of being interrupted by a man who thinks he knows everything, who can’t bear being smaller than anyone else, a man who thinks it’s his God-given right to belittle everyone else, to ignore everyone else, a man who is such an arrogant prick that he thinks his son wants to be like him, when in fact it’s the exact opposite…

I close my eyes and take a deep breath. Time to go. Killing time at the coffee shop near my classroom is suddenly much more appealing.

Advertisements