The African couple that lived in the apartment across the street has moved out.
At least, I think they were African. I never actually met them. I always wanted to. We used to sit on our balcony, eating dinner in the summer, or more recently, drinking coffee in the orange afternoon light. The door to their balcony would swing open, presumably to let a little air into their small flat. The husband, if he spotted me, would wave his arm in a big arc and grin, and I’d do the same in return. Often, I saw them both, husband and wife, running off up the street, or returning home with a plastic bag of chicken from Silvas. We always waved and smiled. But we never actually met. Now, carpet cleaning men, and window repair men, come and go. Wooden wardrobes, a single blue innerspring mattress, and a floral armchair, sit outside the building, awaiting council pickup.
Saturday night games at Janine’s. (Janine lives downstairs from Alex). Bec and I make a batch of new friends. Most of them are hyper-literate bookworms, and they crush us at Boggle. I fare a little better at a crazy card game called EcoFluxx, even winning once or twice, but I must admit I have no idea why. It’s a game which changes its rules almost every round. I suppose this is meant to simulate “real life,” but I just find it bewildering, and it irritates me vaguely. I have the feeling that maybe I could follow what’s going on in EcoFluxx if only my attention span was better developed. Perhaps this feeling is exacerbated by the red wine, my oncoming cold, and the vast quantities of junk food we are consuming. It’s like a teenager’s dream: chips and jellybeans and nachos and pizza and a remarkable punch with watermelon liqueur, champagne, ginger ale, and lemonade. Games nights at Janine’s are really something. Sometimes, she says, they go on ’til four in the morning…
Janine tells me that on the evening of Easter Sunday, at the Opera House, she met someone called Perry. Perry had just come from a very strange lunch in Darling Point. Throughout this lunch a certain young man in attendance – in fact, the nephew of the host – had worn a blindfold. And he was from Petersham.