the variety club bus
The bus sitting behind the Surf Club had been full of kids and their carers and it was a little hard to see inside the thing as I passed by because of the tinted windows.
It looked empty, locked up, all the windows slid shut, no driver.
Me being curious
Saturday March 1 and the breeze had unexpectedly rounded the compass, like a Volvo circling a roundabout, and the effect of the wind-veer had produced an offshore paradise after eight terminal hours of wind-riven rip and four foot drivel, and in the midst of the carpark frenzy that this fabulous shift of nature had produced amongst the locals sat the Variety Club Bus. An oven in the heat.
Wherein sat young Jason Baldwin all packed up and alone in the backseat, strapped fast into an iron chair bolted solid into the steel chassis, sat there with his ten year-old head rested, twisted, and for every day of his short lived life jammed, no, pushed hard onto his right shoulder.
Pressed down there hard, without relief, for so far every one of the three thousand six hundred days of his life.
An unmerciful and all governing weight, a bouldered heaviness, a soldered on load.
An invisible ironstone weighted down with the unrelenting punishment of gravity upon his ten year-old head.
This innocent boy.
And he’s looking right at me as I hurry past the bus on my way to an hour or two off the South Avalon rockpool. That growling little right.
Him being curious.
There must have been a clear gap in the window-tint or something because I glimpsed him in there grinning at me, looking all lit up with the sudden joy of a pure soul trapped in a blighted body. As if he knew where I was headed, and could share the expectation.
And I saw a boneless arc of rapture as his body twitched massively against all of its restraints, and I swear he gave me the thumbs UP as his only unfastened limb, his left arm, shot skywards.
Written to Beethoven’s Adagio molto e cantabile from Symphony No.9 in D minor over 3 nights.