Good Reading : May 2015
GOOD READING MAY 2015 27 BOOK BITE 1 did so in the wan light of their last winter’s dirty snow. The discussions weren’t overnight affairs, but long drawn-out conversations punctuated by the ups and downs of their daily lives. He had to admit, he did, certainly, that a lot of the impetus was coming from deep within him. An interior place. The boys were unhappy their parents were leaving, and made it known in every way possible. They saw it as a betrayal; they spoke disturbingly in what could only be construed or deconstructed (a term overused in the house, his wife said) as patriotic. The boys had Americanised, had connected themselves to a soil they were born on during an earlier working visit by their parents. Despite spending their childhood in Australia, they felt that American soil was the substance beneath their feet in every way. He wouldn’t be pleased to leave his sons, though with age they were becoming more and more irritating. They ganged up on him with their mother, truth be told. And he didn’t like it. Hearing his wife, close to the twins in the living room, full of regret and lament at the prospect of living on different sides of the planet ... the destabilisation, the confession ... Augustinian in fury and decisiveness ... that their best-laid plans had failed, he couldn’t help wondering if the dirty snow wasn’t a ploy, a reaction of the soil against a love of country he couldn’t believe. What was it they really wanted? The swish house provided by the college, the three cars (admittedly second-hand Dodge Neons), the access to college education for peppercorn fees. Recently, he had found a copy of an Ayn Rand novel – not on his wife’s desk, where it might be cited as research, but comfy on her cabinet by the bed. This had given him pause. He admitted that it was his decision. Really, he had decided there and then in the parking lot, and it had become an obsession and no dissensions would be tolerated. Your OCD is taking over, his wife had said. Just another example of cleanliness and tap checking. I can assure you, go on like this and there’ll be no doubt the lights have been turned well and truly off. But he pushed ahead, forged ahead, and forced the issue. Being on 0.5 contracts, they relied on each other to make it work. One leaves and the other has to leave, basically – can’t survive on half a wage. And what would it mean for the twins? He could see himself stuck there ... with the twins in law school on the other side of the country, anyway ... Years more of Walmart parking lots, dirty snow. Despite his decisiveness, his head was full of static, the snow of American cable television. Crow’s Breath by John Kinsella is published by Transit Lounge, rrp $25.95.