Well we're back. It was a big trip. Kept it small - we saw just one other family besides actually related to us family. There were some ups and downs - the downs mainly health related for more than one of us. My dad kept making sure I had my fluids up. I pointed out the two litres a day water thing was an urban myth, in spite of what the community nurse said. I even went and found the SMH article where I read that.
However, be that as it may, for mum's case it was two litres a day of fluids required because otherwise one of her implants had a build up of sediment and my dad had to regularly clean it out.
So ... pwned on that.
It was weird being in the coming-of-age-place again. It was like that new trend in graphic manipulation of melding a photo taken from yesteryear with one from the exact same angle from today.
Several times a day I'd pass the spot where I waited for the bus in the mornings. Where we pretended our breath was cigarette exhale. Where when we saw the bus - driven by a skinny facsimile of then US president Ronald Regan - we'd shout 'DANIEL!' down the drive-way of the battle-axe drive access house next to ours to let the recalcitrant Daniel know he was in danger of missing it (1). Where we'd do shadow play when the sun was behind us. Where we'd throw each other's bag over the fence and make the bag owner run for the hole thirty feet from the stop, run to get the bag, and back again before the bus left. Where Louise got on when I was out at the farm for the year (2).
Then there was all the memory spikes from downtown stuff as well - Mostly painful, but some good. Even some great.
The hometown. It gets to you still. No matter how many times you get back. No wonder my dad still harbours dreams of returning to Cornwall despite having been in Australia for near fifty years.
(1) Daniel went to the local Catholic high-school, regarded as one of the rougher schools. He hung with the kids-up-the-back-of-the-bus, a year younger than me and a pack of bullies, thugs, and fuckwittery. Daniel thought it quite the show-off trick to burn the hairs on the nape of my neck with a lighter. His dad was always running out of things or needing a loan of tools and what-not, including on one occasion us as his VW beetle needed a jump-start. We ran along the street, with long early shadows and exhaled breath as his white furred Alaskan dogs bounded, tongues lolling, next to us. Later Daniel killed himself, at 19 I think, over a love-turned-sour. When I heard I am ashamed to say my immediate thought was 'suck-shit', based solely on the fact that he'd set fire to me more than once.
(2) Louise was in the family that moved in after Daniel's family left. She was in the year below me. She was pretty, funny, and she'd let me talk to her. I had a bit of a crush on her. After our year at the farm which went peach-shaped (it was also a commercial peach orchard that my sainted dad ran in addition to having a full-time job - and none of us kids really helped with it) we moved back to town ... into Louise's house that used to be next door for us. Despite shifting from street - farm - to next-door to old house I was on the same fucking bus route with the same pack of Catholic high school fuckwits that were an example of high school chuntery at its worst. I took Louise's room even though it was a stupid room - next to mum and dad and my little brother whose occupancy sounds went through the paper-thin dividing door my parents unwisely put in for future plans as a double-let room. I took it because I wanted to be near where she was. That is utterly pathetic.