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in recent days

Woolworths.

The exit corridor.

Two women are standing in the corridor talking, one plucks at the other’s clothes and smiles. A compliment. They part as I walk by, shopping done, one going my way, the other not.

A heavily built man is coming towards me, a lugubrious man. He looks permanently saddened.

When he’s a foot away he looks over my shoulder and says g’day gorgeous.

Opportunities like this are rare.

So

I say ‘g’day back.

He flicked a glance at me,

got it, and grinned.

The courthouse.

Walking past the courthouse after a swim, some fellow falls in behind me and starts talking to himself. I turn and say, ‘you’ve got to stop doing that.’

I don’t know him.

He says nobody else will listen.

The crawl.

There are 13 swimming lanes in the pool. Up on the left hand side of the lane stripe and back on the right – that way they can fit three swimmers in two lanes.

Most are overarm swimmers. Rhythmic, slow, easy, breathing each side. No splash.

Some days there are fifteen or so in the pool, doing laps, and it sounds like a softly flowing creek.

The overflow.

When you water the plants on the top deck the excess drains away into exit pipes that spill onto the boardwalk five stories below.

Apartment life.

We look over the railing, me and Gabriel the head painter, his crew is painting the building, and we see two men walking towards the modest spill coming out from under our feet.

One is holding a white cane.

We turn away.

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