Saturday, May 2, 2009

~ market day paranoia

Most of yesterday afternoon, I spent gathering books from the four corners of this house in preparation for market day at Pinewood Primary. I priced about twelve boxes and left it at that – with all the surplus books in my possession I could open a store if I wanted, but I had to draw a line somewhere. Besides, I also had Polly cast-offs and a bag of brand new knitted baby clothes from god knows where for our stall as well.

Suburban innocence, you may think. The banal activities of an average family going about its ordinary daily business. If only things were that simple and clear cut…

Well, not really. Of course I don’t aspire to mediocrity, but sometimes, in my weaker moments, I do wish I was a little less strange. Then, perhaps, I wouldn’t get into the sort of troubles I’m experiencing at the moment.

Living in Mt Waverley, having a child, I brush up against the mainstream of Australian civilisation far more than I ever have previously. I’ve mentioned at times how odd it sometimes feels. As if I’m a kind of spy or traitor in their midst. Can’t they tell I’m an alien lifeform with two spines, a grey dewlap and a polyhedral skull? What’s wrong with them? Don’t they see the trail of stinking protoplasm I leave behind me, like a Third Stage Space Guild Navigator with influenza? They don’t seem to treat me as an outsider. I seem to be considered as just another parent, albeit somewhat eccentric.

Well, that’s more or less what I am, I suppose. Regardless of the soul-sucking nightmares that have come to life for me recently, I still had an idyllic, convivial, mildly profitable day at the market today, chatting with strangers about who knows what, getting to know the other parents a little better. I actually felt like I belonged – and it wasn’t that bad a feeling.

For Polly it was just a great big fiesta, scattering around the place in a flurry with her girlfriends. Every time she sold something, a book or a toy, she counted up her money and was off to buy another piece of worthless pink rubbish. One might almost describe it as a shopping jag. What’s more, while we were packing up, she received so many free gifts from other stallholders we returned home with more junk than we started out with.

Plus a neat, but modest fifty dollars for my survival fund.

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Anonymous said...

i wish i could donate to the survival fund but i am about to go on the dole and couldn't be broker. best of luck with everything.

Sam Sejavka said...

Thanks for the good vibes, Meredith. So far all the good vibes I'm getting seem to be defeating the bad vibes of the morlocks.