Sitting on Vorm Street
minding my own business in the sun
a guy came up to me.
I knew him. His name was Byron and he asked people to call him ‘Lord Byron’
but no one did.
“Did you know it’s going to rain for the next six days?” he asked.
“Yes I heard”
“I want to sell my car. I’m moving to Brisbane.”
“$2100. No offers.”
“No, too much.” I said.
He waved his hand at me and walked into the café I was out front of.
The door opened and cool air rushed into the street like a river.
I heard the voices of women inside, a baby cried.
A cockroach ran on the wall beside me. It trod on the bricks carefully
like a man does when he is barefooted on sand.
I looked at Byron’s car. It was eggshell blue and forty years old.
He would be selling it because it would never make it the thousand kilometres to Queensland.
The man also smoked in it.
I bought a pair of second-hand shoes off a man who smoked once,
the shoes forever smelled like smoke.
Every morning when I put them on
I would smell smoke.
I wore holes in those shoes, but they always smelled.
That car would never be any good, just like its owner.
Byron came out of the café and stood next to me.
“I’ll take $1500,” he said.
“No. What do I need a car for? I only live around the corner and the centre of town is only
I pointed into the distance where the bridge could be seen stretching across the river.
“Driving only makes things complicated” I continued.
Byron walked away. He looked angry.
I had seen him swear at a man outside a nightclub once
The man knocked Byron down.
Byron’s confidence was never as great again.