the eureka slab
Standing at the door. This big fellow with his massive beer grin, his Saturday night Tshirt and a slab on his shoulder. Jeans and thongs. He’s ready to plunder the night of all that is good and decent and already he’s looking over your shoulder at the place where the womens’ voices are coming from. That’s after he releases your bloodless hand
Behind him a bantam Kiwi shaved and polished tonight, and blasted. Another slab, more pain in that hand.
It’s about 8.30 pm and everyone who arrived before them was all hugs and how do ye do’s. Women and men. Not these two though. No hugs. No fucking hugs as a matter of fact. This standard of behaviour was immediately understood by everyone to apply to within the six foot radius that circled these two whether singularly or together wherever they roamed this night.
Carlisle arrived mid-afternoon, he does the light show. Carlisle arrived with the Baron. Men from the southern cities, Sydney and Melbourne. Hard enough for up here, the Baron more so. He is amusing to talk to; he holds your eye and touches your knee. Carlisle likes to bust a hug. We sit and smoke.
Trays of Korma chicken marinated for three days now roasts in an oven inside the home.
Bob spelt Pob spread the tinnitus with an industrial hand on the sound deck. Pob was wearing phones, probably listening to Elton John – while he upgraded everyone’s pulse with music that shifted the air like it was rubbery. Hot black chocolate and Brandy shots.
Tess down from the Goldcoast – an uproarious woman some have known for generations. Hidden behind the same hair that was her halo when she was a child –
– with her the two sisters; the two daughters and their mother. Seventeen years ago today the youngest sister lost her only daughter. They all come over and everybody hugs up. Nothing much is said because eyes do a lot of that for you.
A Sri Lankan woman with a French accent, scented and talkative. The only way to listen was to bend an ear to her mouth. We nod at each other like doves.
Another Kiwi arrives. Black roped hair to his shoulders, bare-armed – another slab – another crushing handshake. Then comes the photographer offering around his wet tar-filled numbers. Vodka gulps and bites of gherkin. The bucket bong is assembled.
The Eureka slab is a carton of 275 ml bottles of Bundaberg Ginger Beer. The slab is accompanied by a one litre bottle of Vodka.
The bantam kiwi hugs me, about three times. I am suspicious of his intake.
Carlisle only remains standing. Moving his knees and hands a little this way a little that. He sleeps.