two a.m.


Avril Lavigne covering The Beatles. A small child screaming for his mother.

The cat. Scratching at the door.

Sirens. Sirens.

The wind.

An avocado falls out of my head and onto the page. It splits in two.



I don’t even like avocado. I like how they look in the fruit bowl. I consider decorative, plastic avocado.

The people below come home. Voices. Humming softly. Chatting. Or fighting. They fight a lot. In the mornings there are post-it notes of desperate, passionate love on their front door. In the evenings torn post-it notes of despair litter the parking lot.  Sad confetti.

The possums fight. Or have sex. Or both. I wonder if they take their cues from the people who live below.

The people above move furniture around all night. They are insomniacs. They are dancers. They must clear room to practice their salsa, their foxtrot, their hip-hop routine at seventeen past two in the morning. It isn’t their fault they cannot sleep. They have to do something.

Sirens. Sirens.

A truck on the highway. Or is it a freeway? The pipes hum. Toilets flush. Lights switch on. Off. On. Off. Stilettos strike the footpath. Something falls. Or someone. A match is lit. A car broken into. Maybe. A twenty-one-past-two-in-the-morning snack is made. I was very comfortable in bed. I had found that perfect position for sleep. The music continues. The possums continue. I feel an ulcer on the tip of my tongue. In a few hours the man with the leaf-blower will start leaf-blowing. He always starts at six. On a Tuesday. He is very reliable.

The kitchen table is full of mail but none of it is mine.

Mark James Lilley. He used to live here. I have his mail.

Maria Giovangulous. She used to live here.  I have her mail.

Kevin Chan. He used to live here. I have his mail.

I wonder if they all lived together. I wonder if there was some kind of house-share-love-triangle which didn’t end well and thus led to me living in Mark, Maria and Kevin’s old place.

The fridge is humming.

The kitchen window is open. Possums come into the kitchen and play at being human. Worry about what to cook for dinner. Drink too much. Ignore the ever-growing stack of dirty dishes.

The fruit bowl is empty. That worries me. I need more fruit. Tomorrow. Apples.