Report cover
Inner urban conservation and development - An independent panel report on a proposal for Smith Street, Collingwood, under Melbourne 2030. Edited by Miles Lewis, August 2004. Order your copy


22 Nov 2005

It is around that corner where the muck pours out of KFCs that I find the bag, its contents scattered � pen, coin purse, a maths text book. Nothing with a name nor anything to define the sex of the unfortunate.

Leaving everything as I'd found it, I took to the end of the block and into the sunset, obscured as it was by the terrace roof tops, their antenna reaching towards that sky from which they would receive the dross that all and sundry allow free reign in their homes.

Let's face it, ALL television distracts. What it may give in entertainment value it robs in the time one spends with humans that do not love you, humans that are dead and humans that are paid far too much to be watched by the millions they will never see, never know.

To my rear a thin lick of moon cuts through the dark blue of the near night. Six hours from now it will be dusk in Mumbai and every one would be none the wiser for it.

From this point, within the proximity of antiquated global positioning satellites, from this moment that I make conscious I am both no one to every one and everything realised to me only. From this point at which countless vectors meet the tired and labored souls of India, the once communal streets of central Prague, the rotting canvas' of Tamawan Village, the bodies of children littering the boundaries of Rio's Favelas and I on the streets of Fitzroy.

My feet fixed hard on gravel, buildings of consequence, none of significance in my life time on either side stand. One or two their doors open, others their windows flicker with the maddening phosphorescence that still bewilders the children of science.

I should be able to enter any as a friend, as a mentor of this community, but I am as far from every inhabitant in my immediate vicinity as India is from my sensory consciousness. I may as well be dead, I may as well be in Sydney or back a block or few. What matters is that I am aware of this singularity, this moment from which I am ... of an nothing, that which others will never be cogent of � such is that which we may call a community in the urban chasm of Melbourne, of any place displaced by the far reaching antenna � making of us connected by demand and yet isolated from the personal experiences of each other � the Internet, the void in which, that which has rent apart, attempts to gain conscious ground...

I want to move, change my focus, my direction but where? Home? And then what? Idle moments in reflection � dope to fill time between learning, between a life invigorated by knowledge and dying? Where is that which stimulates, makes to grow? It comes, it goes. I am in between as are those items scattered across the road. Important once, perhaps longed for now, discarded, irrelevant possessions � meaningless, only I, the thief and the owner aware of their value or relative import.

On the distant horizon I hear the faint shimmering sound of an approaching aircraft, its flat bottom dark as it turns towards the sun, its disk for a moment could be a hole in the sky, a black moon... I tap the Stick to the ground igniting its propellants, grip it firmly as I steer it left into Gore Street, over the rubble, protruding roots, fallen walls, derelict vehicles, rubbish, stagnant water � with Stick I avoid the lot, swaying, gliding, rising, twirling � the brief exercise I give my adrenalin gets me home � the sanctuary still known as Gore Core to the few left alive that find refuge there.

Andrew Garton, 26 November 2003.

Posted by Author smithstreet


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