From the Sebel, Parramatta

Hello! I’m here at the Sebel, downstairs, doing some typing. That’s not writing, that’s typing, said John Ambrose. I repeat this line often, just to get going. I’m here in a little box of a room with glass windows and doors inside the wider glassed and chrome and lofty spaces of the Sebel, Paramatta. Today we became the owners of a new car. It’s in Steve’s name. I trailed along after him, pathetically pleased to leave the running up to him. I’ve just bought today’s Herald, and in it there’s an article about Marilyn French, who has aged phenomenally since 1980. She’s had some sort of awful cancer. This book changes lives. I remember that on the cover. I was reading the book, or had just read it, when I went on that camping holiday with a fellow journalism student by the name of Peter Lewis. Things are vague. It was a long, long time ago. I’m remembering Mike Peters. I think that was the name, that was the person. He just popped into my head. Anyway, I was reading Marilyn French then and I was in a feminist frenzy, which made me bad company on a camping trip built around a large group of male journalism students and their friends. My behaviour today as we traipsed through the car yards was very unfeminist. I was playing the role of the passive wife. Only as a coping mechanism – car yards are not my world. I didn’t care particularly whether we had this car or that one, and I didn’t want to spend too long on it. But in the end I quite loved our new car. It’s in Steve’s name but half purchased by me. It’s our first major joint purchase. It’s a nice silvery green. It’s a bit pumped-up looking, a bit like a 4WD. Actually, it IS a 4WD, a Subaru Outback. I don’t believe in 4WDs. I’m just typing away here, killing time until my movie starts. To see my movie I just have to walk back down Church Street to Westfield – this territory always makes me think of Sam Dahlan and the ill fated revenge cycle script – and go upstairs, I think to the fourth floor to the Greater Union Cinemas. I’m going to see Diane Keaton in Because I Told You So. A chick flick. Steve is at the drag races somewhere near Eastern Creek. We are doing very gendered stuff today. We bought a CD to play in the cars we were looking at. We nearly bought Johnny Cash live at St Quentin – why didn’t we? Instead we bought Cat Stevens’ Greatest Hits which palled very quickly. There are three wonderful Cat Stevens songs and they are a joy to hear randomly from time to time over the course of your lifetime but a greatest hits album gets a bit … a bit naf. Anyway, Cat Stevens makes me think of Mr Bornshin, the art teacher at Carnarvon Senior High School, playing the introductory bars of Morning Has Broken on the school piano. How beautiful that was. And Cat Stevens makes me think of a memory I have of my cousin Sharon, now dead. Sharon had big orange hair in 1970, when we visited. She showed me her makeup case and said, “Isn’t it beautiful?” I wasn’t interested. She was known at this time to be a big fan of Cat Stevens.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *