Colours

When he’s nostalgic, it’s pale blue like seaside cottages. Circling seagulls in morning harbours, old-fashioned cream cakes, the damp wood of rickety beach-huts. Ease is liquid green, like late summer afternoons. The lazy buzz of insects in settled heat, the sweet anticipation of the evening ahead. Anxious is the colour of commuters in a cold rush of urgency. It’s frantic, the sound of doors closing on a crowded train, the smells and tastes and harsh fabrics of commerce. Continue reading Colours

The Doves

The doves don’t fly away anymore. Whenever I return to the house, which is also home, they don’t even move away, not in the slightest, but continue to mooch about the front yard, unconcerned. It pleases me that they’re no longer wary of me. But I wondered today if perhaps I’m not really there. If, perhaps, I’ve simply become a ghost, and that’s why they no longer fly away, because there’s nothing to fly from. Continue reading The Doves

Waiting

I started this story a few years ago in a Roomers workshop. We were using the Lawrence Ferlinghetti poem ‘I Am Waiting’ as a writing prompt. I posted a version here in November 2015. This week I’ve been revisiting the piece. *** He’s waiting for the tram, at the junction. It’s the last of the night, and it’s late. All the while cars stream by. He wonders where people are going at this hour. Why’s he the only one waiting for a tram. Lights change, cars stop, drivers and passengers stare. He stares back, sizing up. Drivers wait for green, … Continue reading Waiting

Front of the House

Look at him working. The way he smiles at every customer. He’s impeccable. But when he goes to his room at the back, at the side of the kitchen, the smile is gone. He sips clear liquor from a teacup, mutters under his breath, and watches everything through the round glass in the top of the door. When he sees a new customer, he’s out to greet them, bounding over, showing them to a table. Then, as he bows slightly, backing away, he gestures to a waiter to bring menus, water. He returns to his room, sits down, stares through … Continue reading Front of the House

Roomers #67 Summer 2020

Yesterday I got chatting with an older man in a pub. I’m not sure why I was drawn to him. Something in his eyes, perhaps. I did very little of the talking. You know me. But I listened, as I like to, as tends to be my way. The Summer 2020 issue of Roomers magazine is available now, and includes my short story ‘Love Always, Adrian’. The publication will be available online in the new year from the Roomers website. In the meantime copies can be picked up from various locations across Melbourne, including St Kilda Library. Continue reading Roomers #67 Summer 2020