Monday, July 29, 2013
Sunny Redfern The Man Next Door Chapter 30
The gap that the man next door made in our back dividing fence is still there, and I've noticed that it's in a straight line between the man next door's back door and our kitchen window, so that from his open back door he can easily see me, or anyone else, at our kitchen sink,.
When he comes outside and sees me he usually says "Hello" as he walks past down the back of his house.
One day he spoke to me as he returned from his back yard.
He said "I've been making a path through my backyard so I can avoid all the cat poo."
"Besides the ginger cat who makes himself at home here, and knows how to get inside, there are lots of other cats who come to my backyard, to poo in all the sand there, and to meet up, or just to sniff and see what other cats have been around. Many of the cats are from The Block, left behind when the aborigines moved out."
As I passed the pub on my way to the shop, I was aware of two men talking outside, in the corner doorway. I didn't look at them.until I heard my name called out, just as I pressed the button, to cross the road at the lights.
The two men looked somewhat similar, about the same height, but the one with the blue eyes was the man next door.
He called out "My development proposal was rejected. The council SQUASHED it! I guess you will be glad."
I replied "Thats a shame"
He said "I thought you would be glad, because now you won't have to put up with the proposed extensions being built beside your house."
Then he added, "But if my underground room was built you wouldn't have to put up with all the noise from my music."
"Now you will still have to put up with me playing my drums at night".
The lights had already changed to :WALK", and the man next door had moved over and was right next to me, so I had to think of something to say. I looked at the tall building across the road and got an idea.
I said "Maybe you could build way up high, where you are too high up for your music to be heard."
The man next door: "I don't know whether I will be going up there, to heaven, or down there, to hell".
I said "I don't think I will go to heaven, or hell. I don't believe in them."
The Man Next Door: "Where will you go then?"
I think I will turn into a flower....or a tree."
The Man Next Door: "That sounds nice." ...Can you give me some pointers to how I can end up as a tree?"
I replied: "Be happy". Be able to sit quietly on your own, thinking and meditating.
Really look at a tree, feeling its presence. That is how many great men have reached enlightenment.
Who knows whether you will eventually become a tree.
Of course, when you die, you could be buried in the countryside, in a vertical grave, with a tree planted on top.
That way elements from your body could be incorporated into the tree.
"Thanks!" he replied, and I crossed the road because the lights had changed again.
A COUPLE OF WEEKS LATER.
Daughter: Did you notice the "For Sale" sign that's appeared in front of the extremely fat man's house?
Mother: "Yes, I got a shock when I saw it. I didn't expect that he would ever move.
A WEEK LATER.
Mother: The extremely fat man's house has "SOLD" on the sign out the front.
I wonder what he's going to do now.
Daughter: I heard a lady in the street asking him that, and he told her that he's moving to Maroubra, and when I spoke to him in the street later he told me that he's bought a unit there, about ten minutes from the beach, which he intends to walk to every day, to get fitter.
He's been out in the street a lot more than usual, talking to all the people who want to know what he's going to do.
Alpha: He told me that he got over $800,000 for his house, and that the same estate agent organised the purchase of his unit at Maroubra, without him seeing it.
I hope he wasn't ripped off.
Within days a removalist van was parked outside the extremely fat man's house, and a mattress and other items had been thrown out on the footpath.
THEN A FEW DAYS LATER:
DAUGHTER: Some older men have already begun work on the extremely fat man's house.
Mother: Yes, through the open front door I've seen rubble on the red carpet where they've begun to demolish a wall.
It won't be long before the house has been renovated and new people live there, and the extremely fat man will be all but forgotten.
Meanwhile I see the man next door from time to time coming and going in the street, and helping with renovation work on a couple of houses.
Daughter: But work on his own house is at a standstill.
Mother: The only noticeable changes are in the jumble of clutter on his front verandah, the cement mixer, old doors, signs, photographs of the house before he bought it, etc, which are rearranged from time to time, in a slightly artistic way, like an ever changing still life.