Saturday, March 24, 2012

Nothin' Strange About an Axe in the Barn

It's been a strange week.

On Monday I started to drive home from Margaret River and made it to Karridale before I decided that five hours of concentrating on forest roads in my state was a really bad idea. I was so tired from my sister's wedding that I was dizzy and shaky. I pulled into a layby and told the teens that we were turning back. They agreed (probably eying off a second day off school) and we drove to Augusta to stay with another Toa sister for the night. She showed me the remains of her motorbike after the recent fires that burned down her house.

Looking at that lovely piece of art that was once a motorbike brings the Margaret River fires into perspective. 800 degrees. Definitely not a "stay and defend" situation on Isaac's Ridge that day.

Back home on Tuesday, I started packing up the house. Captain Chaos stepped in and throttled the gas and the internet. Can't blame the guy really; I know he's happiest rolling that way. Stormboy went to his Dad's and I decided that the best way to pack my life into boxes and say my final goodbyes to Bob was to stay drunk the whole time. Three days later, I heartily recommend this procedure to anyone who is moving house.

One of my mates said recently, "There are two universal laws that I have worked out so far. Stuff eats stuff and stuff moves stuff." This week, I'm just stuff that moves stuff. So long as I start drinking after sundown, turn up the music (Bob Dylan's Desire is the flavour for some reason) then I get heaps of stuff packed and am able to move it the next day. It's been fun in a strange kind of way. Also, being stuff that eats stuff, like smoked salmon and blue castello on crackers for dinner (no pots and pans, no gas, damn, what a shame), is not a bad short term solution to the life long conundrum of how to live.

Tomorrow is the big piano-moving day. Everyone's back seems to be fucked and it's looking like it's going to be a shitfight getting the Howard's heirloom piano from where I've been caring for it to its new home with the musos. The last time I moved the piano, a black king skink crawled out all grumpy and covered in white paint from its hibernating hidey hole.

The real estate agent messaged me tonight to say that the new owner is arriving exactly fifteen minutes after the only four folk I know with good backs are converging to move the piano for me. Oh well. Ho hum.

Tonight Stormboy came home to sort out his teenage travesty of a bedroom. When we moved in he was a boy and now he is a kind of child/man/hairy faun. "Imagine there was an earth quake! Or maybe a fire," I told him when he looked about his room in utter despair. "What would you take? What are the most important things to you?"

That sparked him into action. We threw out piggy banks, slinkies, goggles and snorkles, ill fitting clothes, kites, music magazines and ten years' worth of leggo. He's a gifted artist and carefully stashed all of his drawings. And hair gel. He made sure his best paintings were put aside for folk who wanted them. Then we headed for the back yard to set fire to his guitar, the one with no strings and a twisted neck.

I patted down my kerosene scented, smoking clothes.
"What about that old computer? Do you need anything on it?"
"Go on then, Stormboy. Get the axe."
I could see him thinking, Mum's pretty loose at the moment. She's really going through something.
But he got the axe. I supervised. Well, I shielded my eyes and wineglass from the flying plastic shards while he got stuck into the computer under the streetlights.

Later he said, "Sometimes I can't believe I've got a Mum like you."
And I thought, what amazing children ... despite me.


  1. for starters I can't get my head around the molten bike, that is phenomenal!
    ...and I'm totally feelin' the smash and burn sister, you and your children rock!

  2. A piano? Somehow I never imagined you with one of those, but then again, I never saw the film with that name.

    If I want to destroy a functioning but unwanted electrical device, my favourite method is a 12 bore shotgun loaded with BB, from about 15 feet. Almost as much fun as an axe.

  3. Wild as usual ST. Great post.

  4. That bike is amazing WY! No wires, rubber etc, just molten alloy. She gave me something similar that she thinks might have been her fridge. It's quite beautiful.

    I'd love to read your take on that film Tom's not my piano though. I've been piano-sitting for Bob's family, sort of. Long story.

    Thanks Seashell, like I wrote, a strange week but fun too!

  5. Speaking of pianos - did you ever see the film 'All Men are Liars'? There's a scene where a piano falls off the back of a truck as it crosses a level crossing and gets taken out by a locomotive. That was Gerard Lee (Writer/director) making his statement about Jane Campion (and her piano) with whom he was having a relationship at the time she was writing the script.

    Sounds like a quite a week. I am exhausted reading about it. And now the renewal. The sequel.