But at school they make her trace over letters like a dumb kid who can’t read and now she doesn’t want to go to school because she knows everything.
‘You think you know everything?’ asks Lucky’s mum. ‘ What’s the name of a Lizard that changes its colours?’
‘How far is Mexico?’
The kid is a genius.
Lucky’s mum asks the Teacher to give Lucky harder books to read but the teacher says that tracing letters is good for her. Poor Lucky. What a bore. Thwarting starts at a very young age.
When I’m working on the editing of my video story which has no believers right now. Except me. I think of Lucky and my clever niece EJ. I think of the world they’ll grow up in which will continue to thwart them right up to the finish line. A world that insists we must trace over letters we already know how to read.
A world where the Copy Cats rule and get grants and publishing deals and opportunities. And where the real artists get sidelined and thwarted and pinched from.
A mama can feed all the goals and the dreams of her babies but it’s the Aunties who nurture the playground that they will grow up into.
I’m an Aunty. My time too soon will be over. The world marches on to make room for the new and age is cruel to the heart that’s still hungry. But I want to leave something. I want to leave something that says ‘You can do it too! You can take the punches and get up again. You can rise above the thwarting. You can pick the lock from the chain around your ankle. You can find the door the door that opens and asks you inside, they don’t all slam in your face, you just have to keep trying. There is life after humiliation. There is love when the last of your love has been all sucked dry. You are the source of your love. You can re-generate. You can kick goals for as long as there is breath in your lungs and passion in your boot.
I was full steam ahead when I got back from the country. I could see my project coming to life. I could feel it in my blood and bone. The country gave me my story and my hope and the confidence to for it. I was so excited I resented it when sleep dragged me away from my project.
But the day after my arrival back to Sydney my computer blew up. Just as I was getting into editing. Then it rained for four days and now the line is damp and broken so I’ve lost my telephone and internet connection. So I went around to a telephone booth but the refund hole has been blocked and it makes a siren noise when I pick up the receiver. It’s broken too.
So I walk three blocks to another telephone booth and I put in my fifty cents but it cuts me off half way through my message. And I don’t have any more change.
It must be pension day because all the pensioners are out in the rain. Old men and old women out braving the weather and hobbling through the miserable grey streets. It reminds me that things are only going to get worse. And don’t hold your breath that they’ll get better first. After a certain age Sydney just ignores you and waits for you to die. The very thought just makes me walk faster. This time for my Dad. Who is a beautiful writer. Who would have published books had he not had five mouths to feed and a School to look after. I want to give to my father what he gave to me. I want to spin his dreams into action. I want him to be here to see it.
I want to cry.
So I try the public phone again and Optus tells me that they’ll send a technician but it might take two days. Then they thank me for my patience.
So I go home and I find that the plugs in the kitchen aren’t working anymore…probably also due to the rain and so I’m wondering how I’m going to hook my fridge up to the plugs in the other room without an extension cord?
I have a project I’m trying to get up and a list of five jobs to go for and I can’t go for any of them. I have no credit on my mobile phone so I might as well live in the country cut off from everything. But I don’t. I live in this dirty pretty thwarting city.
That conspires to make sure I’m not going anywhere.
And I didn’t visualise this.