Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek

In the Years After

On the Australia Day of my 67th year, I opened my portable image carrier to show my friends the past. I was having lunch in the shelter, again, and the young homeless wanted to hear something about the country's past. I'd never really rebuilt my life in the years after my wife, Chinese born, was thrown from the country with our children. I remember the day clearly, because John Howard's head was there at the deportation, bobbing in that blurry water that reminded me of wet snot. They had him in the crystal jar, and an Aborigine whose eyes had been ripped out and the sockets sewn shut was leading him around the docks. When he passed my wife and I and our children, he said, "Filthy Foreigners, I don't know why I waited to throw out everyone who looked a little coloured. Aborigines next!"

He was still working on them.

It was the drinking and my attempt to overthrow the Government for a second time that finally saw me on the street, but I can't complain. Street life is better than having a mortgage in Sydney. Less chance of rape by banker. At any rate, the homeless gathered round me, and I showed them the image I took on Australia Day in 2005.

"What the fuck is that?" one asked.

"It was a ball of mirrors. Or something like that."

"What did it do?"

"Sat there."

"That's pretty fucking stupid."

"I always said it reminded of the little ornaments you hung from a rear vision mirror in your car. Except this one hung over the Harbour and irritated everyone with its flashing."
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