Monday, October 15, 2007

Tale of Two Beaches

He was wearing a small trenchcoat and looked a bit like a pint sized Robert Redford, with a clichéd shock of blond hair and an open and engaging impish face.But his shoes! His shoes were black, patent-leather-shiny treads with sharply pointed toes and impossibly long. At least a half size again and rising slightly at the bow like those pixie shoes we all imagine those creatures wear. He was with two friends and they flagged down the Drug Arm bus. We stopped and chatted for a while. They were sober and were simply walking around this beach village because they had nothing to do. They were smartly dressed, fashionably so. His impish grin and self confidence was engaging and we found ourselves talking about school plans (for exclusive private schools), parents and politics. He was in Year 9 and his two friends in Year 12. Articulate. Informed. Aware. Opinionated. Self assured and self contained. Headed home with friends to watch DVDs.

He had a number one haircut and a blue-yellow bruised cheek. Two beaches south. Hailed us as well but for another reason. Curt. Aggressive but not offensive. Lived with his mum in a one room flat. Dad in a one room flat on the other side of the city. Down from the country, thin, hunched against the cold - he was made of high tensile fencing wire. Sharp. Glittering eyes. In our faces, f**king this and f**king that. Mainly cursing “f**king gronks” who had gotten two 14 year olds drunk, stolen their handbags and phones and left them on the beach at midnight when it was snowing in the mountains (i.e. it was cold out).He did not know the girls but had stumbled over them when he came down to the beach with his friend for a smoke. He called an ambulance which arrived, handed out a couple of blankets and left telling him they were in no danger. He was furious at that. All of fifteen or sixteen this firebrand Samaritan, and his moral outrage, with nothing to offer except his compassion, had no intention of leaving the girls on their own least some arrive and molest them. Stomping about in his tight T-shirt angry at the world, at the girls, gronks, his mum, ambulance wankers, himself. And us – we had to leave as well


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