Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Sifting through the pieces of conversation he could make immediate sense of, leaving aside the misty for future analysis, he reduced the kid down to a "chill dude wear a pork pie hat image, reflecting the street history of his cultural stereotype": in reality a closely shaven head with a hood, a long black leather coat and a penchant for knives.
She was at the centre of his life, his one sure thing. He called her Aunt Ruth but he didn't know whose sister she was. He just went there when he'd had too much of the cold air on his face, when he became too conscious of his own ricochet, when he didn't have a good enough reason not to go there.
The room she kept empty just for him. He had his own key and she called him Luke and he didn't show that he minded answering to a cross worshiper's name. She was always pleased to see him, any time, day or night, and she never asked questions she didn't know he would want to answer; she was sensitive to the secrets of youth, embodied complicity, it was her gift to him, a space in her life which was his. And there was nothing she expected in return but his company every now and then, a few words over sweet coffee or a glass of white rum, the gentle violence that warmed her when his young breath commingled in her front room with her old treasures.
The night will always find them out. There are no secrets she cannot know. Those caches they all keep hidden in the folds of their flesh, under the bed clothes, nestled snugly in with the unmentionable odours and the unpublished skin, belong to her entirely, and if you gain her trust she may let you share her knowledge of them.
The kid told him about the loose floor board in his secret room, beneath the sheepskin rug, high up on an undiscovered level of Alamandera Mansions.