Crushing pain’s better than crushing boredom
|Image: All Rights Reserved|
|New York : Alfred A. Knopf|
I peg washing on the line.
“At least falling off a tightrope would be exciting,” she says.
“For a second, I guess. Before the crushing pain.” I hang things carefully so they don’t come undone in the wind.
“Crushing pain’s better than crushing boredom.” She stabs her mum’s jeans with the pegs and slaps at the legs. “Don’t you ever feel like doing something different from what you do everyday?”
“All the time,” I tell her, but she’s not listening. She’s talking without taking a breath. “I call this Mum’s scuba suit,” she says, holding up underwear. “She gets pissed and tells me I’ll know all about being old one day. Even when I’m old, I won’t wear that.”
Pegs fall. She leaves them on the ground and pulls more from the basket. “I bet you’re glad you don’t have to cook for your cousins. Bet you’re thinking, Thank God I don’t have to hang out my mum’s underwear. Thank God my mum doesn’t make me hang out washing from the caravan park. Thank God my mum doesn’t make me stay at home while she’s out working.” She steps on a peg and cracks its back.
I peg a towel so it hangs between us but her voice keeps going in the background. “It’s like I talk and she doesn’t hear,” Rose says.
I peg another towel.
“It’s like she’s not even there.”
“Like…” She stops, and what she’s said catches up with her. A yappy dog barks from a yard down the street. We finish hanging the washing in silence. I walk out from behind my towel fence and pick up the fallen pegs. “I might go home now.”
“No, wait. Stay. I’ll cook you dinner.”
“Why?” I ask.
The shadow of a bird passes over her face. “People change,” she says. I’m not sure whether she means me or her. I hang around for dinner either way.
Extract from the book A little wanting song
by Cath Crowley
All Rights Reserved.
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2010.
Call Number: Y English CRO
Extract contributed by Manemegalai d/o Annamalai
Title: Hard Love
By Ellen Wittlinger
Call Number: Y English WIT
Title: Honey, Baby, Sweetheart
By Deb Caletti
Call Number: Y English CAL
By Mary Hooper
Call Number: Y English HOO
Do you ever feel like doing something different from what you do everyday? Why?