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April 10, 2003
Three people and one fork
I've become so accustomed to my lifestyle that I can no longer recall if it's normal. I've also started to wonder if it's even desirable. I've just taken a stroll around my life, trying to work out what I've got and whether it's working.
I started with a furniture inventory, as that seemed the easiest way to begin. I have a bed, an elderly trestle table, and a great number of bookshelves. Sadly, on the large possessions front, that's it.
The house, meanwhile, slowly gathers more furniture. People move in with all kinds of stuff and eventually move out again, leaving behind useless things they are no longer willing to carry. The house has become a museum for concave lounge suites, dangerous chairs and mismatched cutlery.
It's a sad reflection of my life that I'm nearly forty, and my crappy old house has more furniture than I do.
Recently Mayhem came over and we stood around having a chat. Eventually she suggested that it would be more comfortable to talk sitting down. I disagreed, but nevertheless pointed out the one part of the lounge room that had been vacuumed this century. "Hmmm," she said, inspecting the floor in question, "perhaps we could go to a cafe."
Things are even worse in the cutlery area. There are three of us living here, and we have just enough knives and spoons for us all to eat breakfast at the same time. But we only have one fork, which means that dinner tends to be soup. It's like living in an orphanage.
Luckily, the three of us are coping well with this desperate arrangement, and have formed a caring, supportive unit. Here's part of a recent conversation:
Mispel: How was your day?
Unfortunately, the litany of woe continues. In addition to the broken furniture and the lone fork, the house is also the victim of HRC syndrome. Our HRC stands ominously at one end of the kitchen, masquerading as a fridge.
It certainly looks like a fridge, and is occasionally capable of sounding like a fridge. But it fails bitterly when it comes to working like a fridge.
It's incapable of keeping anything cold. Instead, it just sits there, using electricity. It has a dial that sets the temperature, but, in a masterpiece of irony, it doesn't need to be a dial. It may as well be a sticker. Our fridge keeps everything at room temperature, because our fridge is a HRC. A heavily reinforced cupboard.
One of the disadvantages of HRC ownership is the danger of temporarily leaving the house. Recently I spent the weekend in Yackandandah, and when I returned I opened the fridge with extreme trepidation.
In the freezer section (or the "upper cupboard region") was some nice cheese that I'd bought a week before. I donned surgical gloves and attempted to peel it off the shelf. To my surprise it came off very easily, and with sudden delight I realised that it might still be edible. A preliminary autopsy revealed good news: not all of it was green. Small chunks were still yellow, and this seemed to offer a slender ray of hope.
Just to make sure, I cooked it a few times, and plonked it on some toast. Then I sat on the floor and ate it with the only available fork.
This, then, is my life. Despite the rareness of forks and the abundance of useless furniture, I have yet to give up hope. I continue dreaming of other worlds, of other lives.Posted by Sean Hegarty at 07:49 PM in the Fitzroy category | Comments (1)
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