A Lost Battle

Her own teeth grinding sound woke her up. She moved her jaws and some saliva brought on the mild sweet taste. Her eyes gradually opened to the daylight piecing through the treetop. It’s only just after ten, she checked her phone, no messages. This is normal for an unwanted waste of space. She tried to get up from the hardwood park bench. Her neck and back were aching. The fucking methadone knocked me out again, she cussed. Her eyes met with a pair of doll eyes belong to a toddler with curly hair. Her face suddenly got slapped by a little thick palm. Boo the toddler uttered covering the doll eyes with two tiny chubby hands. The hands ran down from the doll eyes to the nose, on to the lips, smearing the dribbles all over the face and the giggling doll eyes never left her face. Boo the little monkey called out again with upmost enthusiasm. She covered her eyes and called out peek-a-boo to the curly hair. This caused more giggles rippled out on the playground. The retiree moved in fast and took the hand of the doll eyes, pulling away from her. She saw the retiree’s cautious fake smile. She gave back a fake smile and started walking out the playground.

That was all too familiar to her. She knew she was clean and tidy these days. So, she could not have been mistaken to be a homeless outcast. Then why the fuck people still gave her the look. Yes, that look, the fucking not sure what to do look. She thought it was the dole recipient depressing aura that she was wearing. Everywhere she went, people stayed away. She saw through people. She knew she was not dumb, on the contrary, she was street smart. She ran the phone for her mum’s strip party business in 6th grade. She had an adventurous life by stripping and travelling. If it wasn’t for the heroin addiction, she would still be having a good life.

She got on a bus without destination. Her daily luxury was the $2.50 flat rate pensioner’s travel. She leaned her head to the window looking out to a world she once belonged. Watching the school children waiting at the bus stop mucking around, she imagined her baby will be one of them, being well adjusted to this world. She was in two minds of getting the custody back. She had remained clean for almost two years so she had a good chance to regain the full custody. It had been a numb and lonely two years. She visited her local chemist daily to get her methadone doses. She was drugged up to her eye ball every day. The only difference between methadone and heroin was she felt low all the time. She kept fighting for the chance of being with her baby again. Now when the fighting was almost over, she felt the dread of not being able to dash across the finishing line. She felt so tired, so drained and so incapable of looking after herself left alone her child. The fear of letting her baby down again tormented her day and night. She was waiting to be judged as an incompetent mother and sentenced to a lonely low life, a constant living hell.

She got off the bus and walked towards the scenic cliff walk. The blank state of her mind led her all the way to the cliff top where tourists were posing and taking selfies.

“Breaking news today, a Sydney ex high paid escort killed herself by jumping the Gap in front of a group of Japanese tourists close to noon. It is reported she has been fighting to regain the custody of her six-year old son who is under the foster care system. Cassandra reporting from the Nine Network.”

Sydney Homelessness

I am reposting this as the Sydney street count is fast approaching this month (August 2019).

 

373 people sleeping rough around the inner city on the night of February 19.

I was there counting…

Their faces rushing to me like the dying souls swallowing by the swamp
Their stories I had heard playing like vinyl records

I ain’t got mama ain’t got nothing, papa’ s punches driving me scatty…
If you licked it and you liked it, a couple pearly dewdrops will get you high and die in ecstasy…
I was raised crooked in a dungeon, the city street lights are bright and shiny, it’s so much safer…
Not going back that sty, slave to two pigs from a mode. God I hate them sweet Jesus…
I am a failure as the financial crisis. I have sold my soul to the grog, 10 seconds sober to see my princess walking in school…
When Mama died she prayed God would take me. Now I am here and I don’t know why. Where is my Mommy…
My Dad needs help, he is all schizoed out. My mates can’t help, the weed can’t help…

I was there counting…

One by one the forgotten in our city
The stories were told
None has changed

373 people sleeping rough around the inner city on the night of February 19.