Various Cornered People Without Connection

There was no honeymoon period for them. No instruction manual provided. No expiry date is marked. Only the obese pause as they listen to their clothes being churned hot in the rip-off laundromat machines final cycle.

Well what do you think? Lucy wishes she had a breath mint right now. A musk stick. Anything.

In limbo, Jarrod is wondering if his favourite Fubu T-shirt will shrink if he puts it through another spin.

What?

Whatdyamean what? What do you think about having a baby?

I dunno?

Cause like, ya know we’d get five grand from the government for the kid, then we could pay back Thommo n’that.

Dunno. A baby costs more that five grand to raise.

Yeah, we could figure that out later. And we’d get our pensions bumped up a coupla hunge a week anyway for it too.

Fuck that. I mean it sounds good, but we owe Thommo what, almost two and a half grand?

Yeah that’s less than five, dummy.

Yeah…I dunno.

We gotta do it, Jarrod. Time to start acting like a man.

Hitching up warm, air in his lungs for a quick exhale, Jarrod tips back his black NY hat. He wishes his T-shirt was all he had to worry about. Now he picks up the scent of burning plastic.

On the other side of town a sweating injection is occurring. Nothing major, half a cap cause Len the injectee could only get twenty three bucks, with two on tic. It’s just enough. He gently releases the ripped sheet strip from his arm, pushes the pick into a small toothbrush case and lies, bruised, back into the long crab grass.

Man, I coulda been a doctor. I coulda been a cop. I coulda been in the army. I coulda been trained to kill, blowing cunts heads off all around the world. But fuck it…I’m not killing anybody.

Heavy black pillows down his eyes. Smoke is pouring into the sky from somewhere. Bile. Sirens. He’s in love with how much he doesn’t care anymore…

The final sentences on the disability discrimination incident report read –

I am not ashamed to have Cerebral Palsy, and would like to remain employed in my current administration position. Unfortunately if the behavior of Robert Sentic continues I believe that this will be impossible. I would appreciate immediate action on this matter, and would prefer not to have to contact my lawyer.

Signed, and there is a scribble.

She’s a trouble maker this one, huh Rob?

Oh yeah. One of those free spirited types. Reckons she can do it all, Gary.

I blame television. Makes all these bloody cripples think they can do anything.

Oh yeah.

So what are we going to do about her?

Don’t know? She called me a pig.

What? In front of the other staff?

Sort of, under her breath. Only I heard it though, I think?

We can’t have that. And what if she climbs the ranks in the department here? Then she gets so entrenched in the system that we can’t fire her.

Yeah we have to bust her dow-Is that smoke?

Where?

Over in that bakery?

Both flabby coffee chewing suits step to the window and see the heat. There is somebody trapped on the roof. They don’t care.

Thirty cents here. Dollar there. The knuckle tattoos and black gapped smile make it hard for Saul to approach people without them clutching their cash tighter and moving quicker. Maybe find some leftovers in a bin, next to it is even better. His father had a good saying about how to survive this world, but he’s forgotten it. Best keep walking, working this strip of rich street. Hopefully get enough for a large fries before nigh-A blurry firetruck crosses the yellow line up the centre, millisecond stops for a look at the lights and pushes through.  It’s only eleven o’clock.

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