Sunday 6th December 2009
Gestation: 10 weeks, 2 days
One year ago.
Got to be careful not to overdose.
* * * * *
We go to the Botanic Gardens for lunch. We eat food, like regular folk. We return home. And then we go to Bunnings. There is so much fun to be had on a Sunday afternoon, with a credit card, in a hardware chain.
We gawk at the shelves. We admire the way they go all the way up and all the way along. We walk around with our mouths open, like they’re filled with candy. I begin to drool.
We split up, each running to our favourite part of the playground. I traipse up and back, ending up at aisle fourteen. The sign lists, among other things: ‘Non-Powered Manly Ratcheting Equipment’. I browse up and down, stopping at the object of my desires – a 37-Piece Sidchrome socket set.
“What are you staring at?” Suse says, approaching from behind.
“How long have you been standing here?” she asks.
Wordlessly I pick it up, like it’s an offering. It’s heavier than a medicine ball.
“You want it, don’t you?”
“Get it then.”
“It’s kind of frivolous,” I say, breaking my silent prayer.
“It’s the most expensive thing I’ve seen in the whole aisle, Suse.”
“Do you want it?”
“So, get it.”
I look at the red metal casing, the yellow inner lining.
“It’s the sort of thing you’d never have to get again.”
“You’d be mad not to,” she says kindly.
“I mean… mine is getting very old.”
“You’re practically saving money,” she jokes.
Suse continues to hold me there, around the waist, squeezing tight. I put the tool kit down carefully, being careful not to put out my back.
“Okay then,” I say, finally. I grin happily, dusting my hands. Trance broken, I notice the trolley to Suse’s left. It is packed full of seedlings, each in their individual pots, their green stems staked, sticking straight up.
“What have you got?”
“Some tomatoes and herbs. For the garden. Some new life.”
At Bunnings, you can even purchase new life.
Even if it’s not quite the one you were hoping for.
* * * * *
We return home.
Suse plants while I sand. She re-pots while I hammer. I can’t find a purpose for the Sidchrome set, but I bring it out anyway. I place it on the outside table, just to gaze at occasionally.
I have my secateurs and my tools; Suse has her mulch and cow dung.
It’s a perfect Darwinian balance.
We can’t be happier. And for a whole afternoon, we forget.
Until we don’t, that is. There’s a continual reminder. A single, nagging, snotty child, pulling at our shirtsleeves, every single time we begin to relax.
If only it would stop.
* * * * *