My first uni assignment is due in a few weeks and it appears relatively simple, which can be a stumbling block for me because I see something simple and then second guess myself and make things hideously complicated.
At least I guess I know I do that this time around.
I decided to join UNSW’s library, mostly because I have friends who study there and because the guy I spoke to at Sydney Uni was really rude.
I went to pick up some books on the weekend and discovered that old looking books act as some kind of first-year student trigger for me.
Most of the books are hardback and don’t have dust jackets, so I almost keeled over in shock, because they all looked about 60 years old and I was terrified I’d have to do an assignment with horribly out-of-date information and fail.
Turns out you can take the clothes off any hard-covered book and it looks old and worn.
Kinda like me.
This house is thoroughly depressing, it’s so clearly the house of elderly people.
I imagine them hopping into bed every night, pulling up their lilac and white doona cover, talking about their daughter Helen, who lives over the other side of town now, and is a big-shot public servant (She’s not, she’s just a pencil pusher, but she works in a highrise and back when they first moved to Canberra, they found the business district very intimidating. It’s not a place “people like them” go, but they’re happy for Helen. Now, if she’d just find a nice man …). Helen visits once a week for dinner and bought them the sheet set because she thought it was cheerful and she’d started to find their original ’70s decor suffocating.
The set was on special. She didn’t put much thought into it.
Those five pictures have been hanging above their bed for several decades, but if you took them down, neither of them would be able to tell you with much certainty what had been there.
They put the house on the market, telling people they don’t need something so big anymore, and they’re going to travel (They won’t. The suitcase in the corner is for trips they make on occasion to Sydney. They catch the bus and are always at the station an hour before it departs. It drives Helen nuts, because they’re habitual even in their anxiety and indecisiveness.).
He had been taking a nap just before the real estate agent arrived to take these photos. Every since they decided to sell, he’s been feeling more exhausted than usual. Something about the timing of that disturbs him, but he can’t tell you why.
When she called out his name, he pulled the doona up in a hurry and kicked off his slippers, unaware of the horrible sense of finite intimacy they would lend to the photos.
I have a lot of depressing interests: all the PJ Harvey albums about death, true crime documentaries and books, looking at affordable real estate for sale in cities I don’t live in.
I partake in each of these activities compulsively, but the only one B has asked me to stop involving him in is real estate. B has come to realise that when I get have an idea, I grasp it like the huge jaws of a staffy with a rope on a hills hoist.
I will hold onto that idea as the hills hoist spins faster and faster and instead of letting go, I wear the hills hoist down.
Yes, B is the hills hoist and in the past 12 months, even though I promised I was “just looking” we have bought a dog, moved and bought a car.
I am now banned from ideas and purchases including our fortnightly food shopping.
However, I have not been able to go cold turkey on looking at real estate we could afford if we didn’t live in Sydney. Instead, I have stated to collect the weirdest real estate pictures I find.
If we owned this house, I would constantly walk around barefoot and pretend I was padding around the lining of a uterus.
Every time I went out the front door, I’d pretend I was being re-birthed.
The best part about this house, besides its re-birthing experience possibilities is that it’s located on Pinkerton Circuit.
I would love to meet the owners and tell them all of this.