There was a Thing that sat in the garden of my hippy, mad scientist neighbour; a broken thing, turquoise blue. It was a piece of pottery that I walked by everyday on my way for a teapot cup of tea. It lay in his garden like a sidelined, problematic friend; beautiful, neck broken, stretched up into a truncated crimson passion.
"Can I have that busted vase, Bob?"
"No ... a friend made it and gifted it to me." It was special to him, this piece.
For years, whenever I visited, I lusted after this broken thing shining in the wintergrass. Not his enamel chamberpots found in ancient bush camps, his late night dope-induced brilliance, the pages of scrawled music, guitars in galvanised and padded cases, his C.G. Von Brandenstein's Nyungar language first edition books; just that broken vase. The bower bird in me just wanted to possess that pretty turquoise and crimson glaze.
One day. Dying he was and decided it was up to me, as his former neighbour and old friend, to look after things.
And that vase, turquoise with a crimson throat and broken at the neck, lies in the same place, patient against a long, dried out summer and the emerald green of a post-thunderstorm nitrogen-cranked rain. It has never lost its whacky, oriental glow. Twenty years later and after all my pestering, it was never gifted to me but every morning, during my teapot cup of tea, I catch its gypsy flare amongst the leaves.