Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Homeless Men Live in my Park


Ladies and gentlemen, I'm no snob. I appreciate those less fortunate than me just as much as the next socially over-reacting princess who's never known true hardship, not even mild hardship, not even for one goddamn day of her silver spoon fed, middle class, tertiary educated,come home for dinner because your father just wasted two grand on putting another level on the entertainment unit life.

Since I moved out of the family home, I've had my fair share of ups and downs. It wasn't all peaches and cream when I first fluttered out of the Lewis nest, feathery wings still damp with the yolky goodness of the prison on Arnside Crescent. No sooner had I put down my Janet Lewis care package of plums, doilies and Ajax, when I found myself faced with the seemingly impossible challenge of staying nourished, dry-clothed and disease-free whilst squeezing in at least eight nights of cask wine binges in per week - They weren't all halcion days.

But I have matured now. No longer do I choose properties that back on to rat infested waterways, or that have drug dealing tag-teaming taxi drivers downstairs who's flat smells of freshly struck matches morning, noon and night. I am careful to avoid what appears to be a 'bargain rental', only to be dissapointed two months after signing the lease when a middle-aged jaundiced herion addict interrupts your midday shower by kicking down your security door and 'borrowing' your Xbox. Ladies and gentlemen, my palatte has evolved.

When we first happened upon our current West Melbourne abode, the young man who still resided on the premises had a cheeky little habit. This man, bless, had a penchant for collecting. To this day I am unable to refine his passion to a single hobby category. But mark my words, if there is a club for people who collect a large number of greasy-furred dogs in small concreted spaces, enjoy stacking greasy newspapers up to the ceiling of their intesitinal-gaseous living rooms, or take pride in their balding, ancient parrot that is conveniently situated in a rusted, feculent, faeces encrusted cage in their kitchen, then this man should have been president.

Luckily, we saw through this cocktail of poo and detritus, and were pleasantly suprised upon our arrival to find that it had been scrubbed up to showroom quality. Once furnished, it was clear that this was a property worth holding on to, tantalisingly located next door to a beautiful park and playground.

Sure - there is the small matter of the Flagstaff Men's Crisis Centre located a stone's throw from our white picket fence. We are of the opinion that this is a very fine crisis centre indeed, due to the strict rules that are enforced on it's patrons, involving noise, drug use and drinking. I am convinced that on any given night of the week, a pin drop could be heard in the centre's hallowed halls. Why? Because all the homeless men LIVE IN OUR PARK, and wait until the very last second to check in for the evening.

Oh how I relish our summers here. Who can forget Christmas morning, when Sam opened the front door on his way to get milk and there was an odourous, yelling man asleep in our yard? Not a soul on this street did not enjoy that one night in February, in which several members of the park hobo club conducted a barbituate-fuelled vocal hoe down that included a haunting rendition of Pearl Jam's Jeremy at maximum screaming pitch, lasting well past midnight. And the time that the one guy that looks a little too much like Uncle Bob, never wears a shirt and lists his passions as minimalist classical music, Roquefort cheese and slowly inhaling atomised paint thinner out of a safeway bag approached Sam while he was washing my car, and gave him a lecture on his mate who got bashed up, was 'covered in claret', 'shouldn't let his kids see him lookin' like that' and "can you give me ten dollars' - Yep, I sure thought Sam was going to come home with a syringe in his back that afternoon!

This is why I don't pay tax.




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