Lara, Tony and the herd

Sunday early morning, Lara and I are having a coffee in our shops. It is one of the little-door coffee shops, with tables on the walkway, squeezed against the walls to avoid blocking the pedestrian way.

Lara isn’t Lara’s real name, it is the name I gave her once she became my character. That is how I call her in my stories. For years I have been collecting Lara’s tales and working hard to get her stories shaped into a book. This novel is born in English in my head and that is why it is harder.

Lara became my focus because unusual things happen to her, or around her, all the time.

Today for example, we are going to work. She is going to work-work, because she is organising a huge event which is happening in two weeks. I am going with her because on top of keeping her company, I can dedicate my day to “my writings” which means anything from promoting my books, writing-writing, or plan my next steps.

There we are, coffee and toast in hand, and Lara looks to the side, looks back at me, and says quietly:

‘Look, it’s Tony Abbott, he is running!’

Then comes Tony, with a discreet smile pasted on his face because he saw Lara saying his name. She sees that he saw her, and she looks to the side pretending nothing happened. He runs by us, with a couple of friends, the three trotting by with their sweaty t-shirts.

Only in Australia, the former prime-minister runs around without security or any special attention.

There is a famous short-story by Luis Fernando Verissimo, one of the best Brazilian authors, who wrote this tale about a man who wants to play the Tuba within the concert of a string quartet. Verissimo explores the humour and absurd of the stress between the string quartet and the tuba player and ends his story releasing a herd of zebu on stage.

When I’m with Lara, the Tuba guy is the least of my worries, I’m often waiting for the herd!

Advertisements

The sound from the bush

I’m walking home after work. Going up the hill, on the road that runs through the bush that takes me from the office. I am aware it sounds strange but I actually work in some offices that are far enough from the centre of the city to make me feel as if I am going on vacations every day. It is still close enough, about 35 minutes driving, to make it viable.

From the bush, comes a sound of music, I think there are voices coming from the trees. I imagine a choir, or a cult, people gathered among the trees singing. As I come closer, I can hear some pop song, no choir. I imagine where the party is, there is nothing but trees, a cliff and the water… Then I come to the clearing and I see a cruise ship, the source of the music.

I am received by the couple of turkeys that live somewhere around the place as I’ve seen the female before. I was given prime view of the male today, though…

Female Turkey Grazing

Chickenated Bicycle

This morning I was walking on a walkway near the road talking on the phone; I noticed that a bike was approaching, the movement behind me or the sound alerted me to the fact. I stepped to the side to give the person space to pass me by. As they moved, I saw this thing emerging in my peripheral vision. It was a bicycle but on top of the handlebars there was a stuffed chicken. Not just a normal chicken too, it looked like an African sort of chicken, appearing to be a bit special. The guy passed me by thanking me for having given way. I responded.

This is the first really hot day after the winter in Sydney and he was topless, his body was thin and un-muscled, I could see his bones poking out of the skin and he had a hairy back. His bicycle had two saddle-bags that looked full. I have the impression it was his home… his and the chicken’s.