We are sitting in the midday boil at the Mona Vale & Pittwater Road traffic lights and watching some iron-legged spastic boy heading across the five traffic lanes.
And despite the limp and gimp that will forever be his life’s companion and peril he drifts unconcerned across all of us parked here hotly on the redlight as he shuffles his friendless way off to some other empty place.
How the heat must bear down on him.
Phillip’s older brother drives him to the carpark overlooking Warriewood only rarely since the onset, and never in the calm dusk as the sight of a lifeless horizon in fading light has the boy lacerating himself in an absorbed frenzy of scratching and tearing.
He rips at himself and mutters, and he wonders that there should be something there, something out there.
‘There should be something there!’
Little Spiro wonders whether the hose that he has fitted over the car exhaust and threaded up through the driverside car window will deliver enough gas to kill him with the window all but slid shut.
He has kindly parked his car on the skirt of the drive of his shared complex in Avalon Parade, knowing that the neighbours like to drive to the RSL for dinner on a Saturday night.
He wonders whether he should breathe deeply soon. The gas hisses so slightly.
He wonders how long this business will take.
She was sixty-five, and tired, and not too disturbed by the quiet of the house as she let herself in after work.
He must be sleeping.
Sleeping in an armchair with his blackened head hidden in a soiled balloon of plastic and the mouth tied tight around his neck with an old service tie and an empty half-bottle of whisky upended there on the floor that was his final toast to the end of his terminal disease.
And their only son Nathan due home from the beach anytime.
Painting by Munch: Despair