Penny is walking up Carrington Road with her guitar case with her ipod on. She does this a lot in a deliberate strategy to use the drama of the music to elevate her small life in status. Actions like walking up Carrington Road, which is steep in some spots but really no big deal, areRead more »

Astrid is on her back. Astrid is in the park, under a tree. Not quite under. Enough for shade but not so much that she can’t watch the clouds, which is exactly what she is doing. The clouds are those feathery ones, spread across the sky, she thinks, which reminds her of Prufrock, but theyRead more »

Matt has just ordered his coffee but the waiter has not yet brought it over. He is sitting on the timber bench with his back to the wall, considering whether he ought to have some toast. This involves staring out the window at the passers by, which is how he comes to notice the thalidomideRead more »

Sometimes you just know when a relationship is over. When you’ve done your dash, tried your hardest, drifted apart, grown adrift. Sasha knows this is true of him and Francis. They met three years ago at a record fair browsing through A-K. He was looking for early Elton John and she was after David Byrne,Read more »

It is a Sunday morning and Graham is very busy being offended. He is at the beach and it’s early because that’s the best time to get there he always says. It’s not too hot yet and not madly crowded. These things are true but he takes no great satisfaction in this because he hasRead more »

Jack stopped reading novels in around 2004 he reckons, an election year. Another unbelievable result, Howard back in and the national asylum seeker paranoia well and truly revved up. The offending book – the one that provoked him into action – was a present from his wife Cassy, a literary prize winner about some boyRead more »

Derek is watching the cat as he walks up Glebe Point Road. Derek is walking, not the cat. The cat is sitting on the footpath up ahead. He’s a ginger tom, or not, because something like ninety percent of ginger cats are toms, so hey, this cat could be one of the not-toms. Derek’s handsRead more »

The cafe is pumping for 7:15 am. Not full, but filling up. They are playing music that sounds like a car chase scene from a French new wave film and Brendan can see it in his mind’s eye. He sets the car chase at midnight so there’s no gridlock and also, so he can enjoyRead more »

Stephen stands at the door and he is not sure whether to go in or not. This is Stephen with a ph, not a v. He wears baseball caps because he has this idea that the cap somehow distracts people from his ears which he doesn’t particularly like. He has twelve baseball caps he thinks.Read more »

One time I was at this cafe in Newtown and I saw the writer. The one with the lovely voice that can sound gentle and caring but can also sound like he’s taking the piss a bit. I like him for how he goes through the world, an ex-Catholic with a lot of rage andRead more »

The guy on the bus was handsomer than Robson Green, who played the Aspergery psych on the British crime show on tv. That’s what Janet thought. She started to wonder whether she meant that the guy on the bus was more handsome than Robson Green the actor, or whether the guy on the bus was moreRead more »

It’s after dinner and Stella is sitting in the easy chair watching tv shows on her iPad. She’s watched the news, and a cheffie thing where she learnt how to do grilled sardines with chilli and a salad with pomegranate dressing and now she’s watching some Scandi noir show, all bleak and cold and windswept.Read more »

Simone has a stack of old Drum Medias. Drum media is a free music newspaper that they always have on the doorsteps of pubs and record shops which has a shiny cover but on the inside it’s newsprint. It is full of reviews of albums and gigs, and articles about bands and musicians, and bigRead more »

It was a chilly morning and yesterday there had been bluebottles, but Frank went in anyway. Frank with his recently widowed white hair and his body still pale from this last winter just over. He dunked himself right under. The water was cold. He swam eight strokes out, not far, so he could still standRead more »

On a beanbag in the rumpus room is where you’ll find Max. He is alone but that’s ok because he likes to concentrate. Max loves manga. He loves the stillness of each image, the minimal movement on any shot. The lips, their big eyes, someone’s hair blowing in the breeze while everything else occupies spaceRead more »

It is a cloudy Wednesday and Helena is in the food court eating a falafel roll with extra chilli. She’s had a crummy morning. A cardio ultrasound with all that gel crap, and an email giving her the boot from her favourite account that had seemed so full of promise. The food court is brightlyRead more »

Les thinks he’s old, but he’s only sixty. Les’s dog Carl, who is a Staffy-Kelpie cross, has no concept of time and therefore none of age either. Carl feels good. He likes the mornings, particularly these misty foggy ones that are cold, but not too cold. Les takes Carl for a walk on the edge of the nationalRead more »

Beth is working on herself. She is doing the work. Lots of it is about change and loss and so she’s been digging around into some of the usual contemporary accepted wisdoms, like the five stages of grieving model. Five stages, she snorts. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Beth reckons Elizabeth Whatsherface can keep herRead more »

It’s today, the meeting in the park with her old friend. Another attempt to reconcile and repair after so much sad and hurt. There will be awkwardness and too many coffees she thinks, but she can’t really imagine what it will be like because of how things have been. She wonders if her friend willRead more »

He is making the decision to buy a trench coat. It’s a process. There is some nervousness, quite a bit. It is potentially embarrassing surely, and he’s leaving himself open to mockery. He imagines his colleagues at work – actually, Therese – he imagines Therese sneering behind the photocopier, cracking wise about it, asking whetherRead more »

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