>ANOTHER PLACE, ANOTHER TIME

>There’s a picnic bench, down by the river, just visible from my loungeroom window. Its occupants seem to swing between the two poles of my suburb: one day, a leg-stretching, Dri-Glo clad speedwalker; the next, an artistic, wistful water-starer. The one time I sat at the bench, my girlfriend and I ate home made burritos, swatted mosquitos and told each other rude jokes until the last of the day’s light leached out from the river’s ripples. I have never had the compulsion to walk down the hill and sit at the bench alone. In some alternate, perforated life, perhaps, I’d be there, writing, out in the open, among the feuding brush turkeys, watching the ferries stream past. Next to the picnic bench is an enormous tree, an eight-storey eucalypt, dwarfing the set of units to its left. It is up there, I realise, that I want to be, swaying in the perfect safety of nature’s great design. In amongst the green I am a hidden creature, creating, living.

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