“THOSE WHO WOULD GIVE UP A LITTLE FREEDOM…”


Much to the chagrin of a sibling or two, and certainly to those who judge me, I have never denied my naïvety nor my optimistic outlook on life. The detractors label it an unfortunate childishness, a sort of mental retardation, hoping to destroy an old mans spirit, but a pox on all regressive thinkers, I say. It was only recently that I quit wondering what job would most suit me when I grew up, while occupying less than satisfactory positions.

My thinking tells me that I am just a bit over sixty; it doesn’t remind me that the next decade, in the highly unlikely event of its broaching, marks the octogenarian years. It is a fact that age diminishes the youthful fear of expiration and to wake-up one morning dead without that oh-so-tired body to lug around is a wonderment akin perhaps, to a spoilt child’s most selfish Christmas expectations.

It is also a truth that nothing so surprises a man as much his old age. With me, hope springs eternal if you hadn’t noticed, and when blood leaks or spurts from skull apertures I hope my will-power permits me the strength to unscrew a long waiting unopened bourbon bottle and slug it down, a last memento. The nanny arse-holes would be pissed-off that I didn’t mention something like green needle, thus denying them a State, do-good inspired raid for euthanasia material. The fact is that after my St. Augustine conversion, I am ready to repeat my youthful errors, but the flesh needs some convincing.

Twenty or so years ago, at about the time of the first Magic Millions, a horse thief and his daughter stole our stallion and spirited it away. It was a blatant criminal offence but without my partner’s handwritten daily recording of events, we would have been up shit creek in recovering costs and the animal. I learnt well from that and I now keep a hand-written diary of H.C. bias. As good as fingerprints is a ‘running’ hand-written diary, according to legal eagles at the time; very difficult to doctor.

My diary is not of the standard one day to a page variety, but is a spiral bound A4 volume that could take 12 months or three years to fill. The relevant one starts at March 2003, the start of my travails in this place and is in what I call running form, and my research dates from Ayesha Shouters infamous,” I believe Mr. Ryan. He’s been here longer than you,” and thence via a myriad of offences to culminate with nose-picker Kym which can’t be flagged until the material undergoes the mammoth task of revision. The more one examines these old incriminating notes and the deeper my ruminations, the greater the realization that I should have acted on the day and now these little updates are distractions that only delay an ultimate showdown.

With a self-occupied friend like Mother Dale, you don’t need an enemy.

Mother became enchanted with a lanky, bearded father of five’s occupation after blowing him a few times and adopted his tryst’s theatrical interest at about the time of his toxic shock death in May, 1990. One could be forgiven for thinking that Mother Dale would use caution when spraying his bacteria to the wind and suppress, rather than encourage the sound effects emanating from a worthless, diseased body. Constant noise-making to remind unfortunate neighbors of a dismal presence which must be acknowledged is the stamp of an attention seeker, the history of such is littered with the aftermath of loser’s egos. With a third of Housing Commission’s tenants so afflicted, their manufactured noise is the only option for what they perceive a parity of sorts.

It is hard for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.

Lucy Bar, the woman who brought the aging bitch-boy over from Merrimac would be living the life of Riley without the cutting remarks of a failed ham. This independent, educated woman is an accomplished scribe or wordsmith with the ability and training to delve into and complete a research program and gain her PhD/doctorate. Published a dot com story with an accomplice as well. Megalomaniacs thrust into public housing necessitates self-aggrandizement. The anally retentive Woodford’s brag sheet included USA university tutorship, yet was bamboozled at my reference to Arabic numerals. Responded to my wish on how I wouldn’t mind having some writing ability, with a reference to his friend Lucy who “thinks she can write, too.” Woodward would be unable to compliment his dying mother.

Such was the general aversion to these flats, that it was not unusual for two or three of them to remain unoccupied and friendless for months. The difficulty in attracting single status tenants prompted a Housing Dept. think-tank to dispatch an emissary of sorts to test the chances of affected tenants re-locating in order to reshape two adjoining flats into one family sized unit. Nothing came of this skewed idea but for me it was my introduction to close-up Government stupidity and their obvious delight in wallowing in their own ineptness.

The low set, twelve single unit flats occupy three 1950’s Wacol army camp buildings and are positioned east to west, with the gently west-sloping ground meeting the east boundary of the large 124 unit, Wongaburra convalescent complex . The lay of the land added relief to the three buildings by dropping the western half or two units of each building by a half metre or so to accommodate the slope and then moving that half of the building a couple of metres to the south in two of the buildings, and to the north in the middle building in which I occupy the westernmost flat.

This off-setting created and locked-in six pairs of co-joined tenants having no option but to forcibly share each others sounds and all other senses. A blessing perhaps for a duo who have a good relationship, but in an incompatible environment, woe betide the easy-going sufferer. The perverted and cunning among the community make diabolical neighbors. The layout might look good and cosy on plan paper while being discussed in a city office, but in the remote real life, when one party dominates the other, the constant misery makes for a bleak, soul-destroying existence.

The accommodation precinct is situated in openly accessed parkland between the Wongaburra convalescent establishment and a main road artery. I would glance over at the depressing and forlorn flats as I drove past and the prospect of making that place my home seemed like one of life’s retrogressive moves. Even on a fine day, the gloom and doom emanating from this dread place made the prospect of it becoming my home an admission of defeat. I allowed my misplaced optimism to rule my heart by not chasing agreeable accommodation. and my uncanny apprehension of a waiting unpleasantness dogged and troubled me until eventually it become a reality.

The heart sees more than the mind.

I deferred for as long as I could taking the first tentative car loads of possessions to the new place a kilometre from the former, and in hauling lots of stuff, mainly memorabilia, meant many trips in a small car. To undertake that maiden shift was somewhat akin to the staunch British mother’s advice to her newly married daughter of closing the eyes and think of England.

I hadn’t been a flat dweller since my twenties when the closeness of others enhanced the chances of getting laid and life’s fallibleness was shared with peers. In advanced age a different outlook, the nearness of others had become as welcome and as poisonous as London’s 1665 plague and until I had unwittingly borne the deviousness of upwind neighbours, I had no idea of the disadvantages of living in the westernmost abode of a block of flats. A relentless summer sun, I wrongly assumed, might make a kiln, but the double cavity masonry made sure that that didn’t happen. A few tall trees shade a couple of flats while ten or so years back, the complaints of a fifth column tenant of falling autumn leaves brought about the razing of a huge, but out of the way, frangapani tree.

It was the assault on another of the senses that I could never have anticipated; that of odors and the toxins that partners them. The perverted and cunning have learned to utilize the prevailing easterly breezes for diabolically personal reasons. Used fiendishly, great discomfort and health problems can be inflicted on an unsuspecting, downwind tenant. Both ends of the three building complex have brickwork extending to the veranda edges. That means the prevailing easterlies have no option but to sweep tenant’s cigarette smoke and vehicle fumes into westernmost flats. Contrary to bias, the most damaging toxin comes from used cigarette tar with carbon monoxide less noticeable than spent cigarette smoke but leaves a mammal with continual headaches and listlessness.

The mind has more diseases than the body.

A hundred metres to the east runs the Mount Lindsay highway and certain units become the repository of its ever-increasing carbon-monoxide content while the ever-decreasing westerlies only a brief reprieve. For a couple of weeks in August, the winter wind blows in a rare whiff from the nearby fertilizer plant, but has no adverse effect on health. The cigarette smoke and visitors who leave cars idle are a problem, and my plea that parking should be well away from our residences induced a nonsense, bullshit letter of admonishment of speeding within the precinct grounds. Unless the renter is part of the fifth column, suggestions from outsiders are sneered at as part of the belittling ritual and explains why my protests and complaints are chronicled in this forum.

By far though, the greater offender to the senses, and more importantly to the dignity, is the flamboyance and arrogance of the cigarette smoker with the poisoned, sickening fumes of rotting and tarred, ever-coughing bodies of the dying lungs of do or die smoking sickos who, like aids-infested sexual predators, are compelled to inflect their toxins on whoever they can, while they can, and on as many as they can before their hate of order and decency brings them down. What doesn’t get trapped in our pillow-slips and curtains and lungs and books, our walls and our carpets is swept into the convalescent home of 120 plus old people on whose ailing, frail bodies these poisons must be having an adverse effect. Of far greater consequence to any human body are the toxins exhaled by diseased bodies in the form of used cigarette smoke that I am forced to inhale.
Cheers for now, Les.

Advertisements

Tags:

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: