It was morning in Perth, Australia. Hadn’t made the expected millions from writing so had to get some work to pay the bills. Might help broaden the mind too. Find inspiration.
My mate Marty had gotten me the start doing some kind of labouring.
$150 a day. Good dusht. Got myself some work clothes. Work boots.
A lunchbox full of plain ham sandwiches.
Here now on Northbridge. There was a man chasing an Aborigine down the street with a golf club. He was intent on killing him till the Aborigine got away.
After, he turned to me and said: ‘Fuckin Abbos….’
I was about to ask what the problem was when a woman shouted: ‘Michael! Michael!’
I looked back and she was waving with both arms, like she was trying to get the attention of a plane overhead.
I figured this must be the job and walked back.
‘Hi,’ she said. ‘When I got there. ‘Thanks for coming….’
I walked in. Nice house. Warm. ‘You were fast.’ She said.
‘Yeah, I suppose.’
‘I didn’t think you’d be here for another half an hour.’
‘Are your tools in the….van?’
‘Tools? Yeah….I probably won’t need many anyway.’
‘It’s upstairs.’ She said, frowning.
We got upstairs. Into the bathroom. The place was a wreck and the bath had been pulled up from the floor. There was bits of pipes and wooden flooring and taps all over the place. ‘This is it.’ She said.
‘You were saying on the phone you do this kind of thing a lot?’
‘Were we talking on the phone?’
‘Yeah.’ She said. ‘This morning.’
‘I don’t think that was me somehow.’
‘But your name is Michael?’
‘Then who was I talking to this morning?’
The doorbell rang then. Another man called Michael from Ireland. He was the real plumber she’d been waiting for.
‘This is embarrassing,’ she said. ‘Would you like a cup of tea?’
‘No thanks, you’re grand.’
I left then, said good luck to the real Michael. He looked at me kinda strange, like I was trying to steal work out from under him. He was welcome to it.
Outside, the fella with the golf club was still there. I said to him: ‘Everythin alright?’
‘Fuckin Abbo tried to steal me car….’
‘Did you catch him at it?’
‘He was standing there, looking at it.’
‘Was he trying to break in?’
‘I got to him before he did.’
‘Before he did what?’
‘Broke in. I knew by the way he was standing around…’
‘Have they a way they stand around before they steal cars? Is it like some Aboriginal Car Dance or something?’
‘No mate, it’s just a fuckin Abbo. You don’t let them fuckos near anything you own. They’ll rob you every time, first chance they get…I see him again, I’m gonna break this golf stick over his fuckin head…’
My phone rang. It was Marty. ‘Micky, I can you see outside. They’re waiting to bring you to the job here….c’mon in.’