Sunday, April 6, 2014
Sunny Redfern The Man Next Door Chapter 31
Mother gets out at Redfern Station and walks along the very familiar street as if in a dream.
The afternoon sun in her eyes, and the wind blowing hair across her face, make it hard for her to see exactly where she is, as she passes the long row of terrace houses
Eventually Mother thinks "This must be the house."
She knocks on the front door after noticing that the next house up has faded green walls and a familiar clutter of objects on the front verandah.
Alex, who has been expecting her, soon opens the front door and Mother is very happy to see his welcoming, smiling face again.
Alex: ''How are you?" .... "How are you?"
"Come in while I get your mail."
"There are a number of things here for you."
Mother notices that the front rooms haven't changed much in the months since she moved out.
The sitting room section looks well used and comfortable.
The walls of the room seem to reach out to her, inviting her back.
There is still a bike in the front section of the room, but now there are also musical instruments.
She notices a piano accordion, a keyboard and an amplifier near the doorway, and along the far wall a line of small drums.
At the top of the stairs a young South American man can be seen emerging from the bathroom, with a towel around him. He quickly slips into his adjacent bedroom.
Alex has finished going through a pile of mail on a little table and he returns to the hallway saying ....
"This seems to be all the mail, ....some for you, and some for your daughter and your son."
"Thanks!"..... "I guess I should get the mail redirected." ....
"Who plays the musical instruments?"
Alex: "Some of the boys living here."
"The man next door came in one evening to have a jam session with them."
"It was great, and he left some drums here. "..... "See them there along the wall."
Mother: "How is the Man Next Door going these days?"
Alex: "Maybe he's getting a bit crazier. He's still been working on his house, but a couple of weeks ago they came and took him away"
Mother: "Who took him away?"
Alex: "I don't know."
Mother: "Why did they take him away?"
Alex: "He was having trouble with some man and one night he punched the man and knocked him down outside the pub."
"I only know what the Man Next Door's friend Mick, who lives across the road, told me."
"I wonder where he's gone, and how long he'll be away?"
Alex: "I don't know."
Mother: "I guess you're busy so I'd better go."
"It's nice to come back here to this house and to see you again."
She walks towards the front door and everything she sees and feels in the hallway, and on the front verandah, is so familiar that she feels as if she still lives there.
A month or so later Mother speaks to Alpha.
Mother: "Has the man next door returned yet?"
Alpha: "Yes, he's back home".
Mother: "How is he?"
Alpha: "He's been very quiet, but we can still hear him hammering away inside his house."