Worlds that touch and press

Monday 19 July, 2010:

I have a lot of dreams, all about the same thing.

First I dream that Tau texts me and we’re going to meet. But I’m running late, so I just tell him to come over home instead – and he says he’ll catch the bus there. Meanwhile I’m at the bakery, buying chocolate milk and these little cakes for us.

Then in my next dream, Tau turns up to my childhood home (which is always the uber ‘dream house’ for me; seeming to represent all my baseline experiences). From inside, I see him walking through the trees at the side; just padding along quietly past the guava and the camellias and the plum tree… it’s early morning and the air is like milk, and there’s still dew on the grass. I go open the back door, and we walk up the steps, into the kitchen, and we hug one another.

Then (and this is another, later, dream), I’m in another house, which feels lived-in and empty and prescient all at the same time. It holds an aura of things gone past and things yet to come. I’m there on my own, watching a movie or game promo on my phone. And I think: Okay, I’d better go get Tau.

These dreams make a kind of sense to me. Because there are worlds that touch and press but don’t coalesce.

But I want things to make sense the whole time and not just half the time. I need to bring one world into another. I want to be right inside. It almost makes me laugh; cos it’s so urgent and yet, sometimes it feels so ‘unpossible’.

I want for it to be possible – and for it to matter.

 

Tuesday 20 July:

12 History; Dimario sits down the front and talks to me.  He’s seen Nio – Nio’s girlfriend s a hoe: “She’s tapped everyone; honest, Miss – nearly all the boys I know,“ he tells me.

“I bet she’s not that bad,” I say, absently.

“She is,” Dimario insists. Then, more seriously: “Miss?”

“Yeah?”

“Alexander.”

“Mmm…”

“He’s not good.”

“What do you mean – he’s not good?”

“Oh Miss,“ Dimario says, with real concern in his voice. “He’s on fries.”

“Huh?” I say, suddenly taking notice.

“Yeah,” Dimario nods. “He’s changed, Miss; if you saw him, you’d know – he looks different now. And when you talk to him, he just kind of rambles and stuff.”

I just stare at him, shocked. Dimario nods, adding, “We didn’t wanna believe it either, at first. But we found his P pipes, and he ended up admitting it.”

Oh, Alexander – I think.

Dimario and I look at one another, and the rest of the room seems suddenly behind glass; dim and far away.

I say, reaching for words, what Tau said to me about his dad, “That shit fucks you up.”

“I know,” Dimario replies quietly.

And all day, I think about it, with a feeling of apologetic, blank and dumb helplessness.

 

When I get home I take a bath, and tears run down my face and mix with the condensation from the steam. Alexander: one of the smartest, funniest, gentlest people on God’s earth. I think about his woolly head; his eyes like swirly green marbles; his hard-out beautiful pieces… and I can’t bear it; I can’t. I can’t bear the feeling of crashing up against all this shit; all the time.

 

Wednesday 21 July:

Chris wants to smash Tau: “He tagged my fence.”

I open my mouth to query this, but Chris pre-empts me, saying “I know a Cluzo hit when I see one!”

I have to admit that this is probably the case, but all the same…

“I wanna smash him,“ Chris says, with calm cheer. “Where’s his course, Miss?”

“I’m not gonna tell you that,” I say, good-naturedly, and Chris grins at me.

 

Dimario has a story too: “I saw Taurangi. He was with these other boys, and everyone was shaking hands with me, but when I got to him, I just waited, like this –  for ages,” and he shows me how he kept his hand down flat.

I say, “Oh well.“

Cos what else can you say?

 

Graff – the following personnel have been seconded (by Deans and Deputy Principals) to do literacy and numeracy catch ups instead of regular project:

  • Noa
  • Inia
  • Aperamo
  • Shanice
  • Jack

Apparently they’ll be able to come back once they’ve made up their credits – but realistically, this could take a long time. Mournfullest are Inia and Shanice; Noa is more resigned (he’s good like that).

Still, with Dimario there, I know business will be done. Today he runs his boys, and I see it, and I feel supported. So I let him know without spelling it out, but by my whole manner to him there in front of the others – that he’s the 2IC.

Riley’s the only girl there now. She’s such a tough chick and she doesn’t care. But I have a feeling she’ll be doing either numeracy or literacy as soon as someone catches up with her.

 

Later on, at the end of the class, I say to Layton (who asked me last term if he could transfer in), “Hey Layton, this is the first time I’ve ever seen your artwork -”

“Ain’t much to see…” says Dimario, and they all crack up.

“I’m trying my best,” says Layton, pretending to be hurt.

I laugh, saying, “Well I guess it’s better than hitting the boards.”

“Did Layton hit up the boards?” asks someone.

“Oh yeah – and he said, ‘It’s alright Miss, Hazard said I could,’ and then I said -”

I break off, registering Dimario’s expression of complete bewilderment as he turns and gapes at Layton, then at me. His face says it all, even before he speaks. “I… didn’t,” he says, looking so injured and innocent that everyone rocks with laughter.

“Ohh – snitch!” Layton says, and everyone just cracks up again.

 

I say, ‘Look, you got to be trustworthy, you guys. Especially if I take you out to do a wall.”

They nod.

“The wall’s like our top job,” I tell them. “I’m only gonna take people who are up to it.”

“I’m up to it,” Dimario says.

 

I hear the year 10’s say, “Cluzo’s getting up everywhere – all over the place.”

Riley says to me, as an aside: “Yeah – all over Carthill.” She asks then, “Have you seen Cluzo?”

“Seen him, you mean? Yup, I have.”

“He’s big aye Miss – he’s really getting big now.”

I nod, agreeing. Cos Tau’s getting real big, she’s right. And he’s almost 16.

And I think: well, God – don’t forget about Tau. Not even for one minute. Don’t forget, don’t forget, please don’t forget.

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