Not special

Monday 6 May, 2013:

First day of term. Isn’t much to like about it. All by myself (no Slade). Back to back classes; two twenty minute breaks.


Tuesday 7 May:

Round midnight I take Elroy home. Tau comes along for the ride, then I drop him back at Fitzroy. Via Macca’s – Tau’s raking in the cash at the moment. Got Eddie selling for him at Carthill High; Skat at MC. He just bought ten tinnies for forty bucks (from one of those older boys: the fruit of standovers at Municipal station). It’s good while it lasts, I guess. Who am I to say it won’t last? I hope it lasts.

Elroy’s clicked up with the KB’s. Out on the earns every day. Hasn’t been home for ages, making money, so he says. Or, if you ask me – heading straight for another string of convictions. But that’s because Elroy doesn’t give a fuck, and I don’t in honest truth know exactly why that is. Could be a hundred reasons, and I don’t know.

I feel sad, because I can only imagine which way all this is gonna go, for Elroy anyway. Tau’s trying to stay out of trouble (which is a semi-realistic goal). Elroy’s not trying at all.


He’s wasted as fuck when I drop him home. Drunk, blazed. Texts me from Tau’s (having just turned up there and knocked on the door, not five minutes earlier). Smokes my emergency ciggie on the way through Bream (I have two puffs, which gives me a little jolt of something close to happiness).

Hotty, Miss…” Elroy says, kind of admiringly.

“Why’s that?” I ask.

“I dunno Miss… it just feels like you’re boosty,” he says, making us all laugh.

“Well I’m not,” I tell him. “I’m only doing the speed limit.”


We pull up in Montgomery Rd, and Elroy gets out of the car. “Moving as fast as a snail…” I say, and Tau grins at me. We look on as Elroy goes a couple of paces, then sinks to his knees for a second, like the Pope about to kiss home tarmac.

“He alright?” I murmur.

“Yeah, he’s algood, he’s going inside,” Tau says, as Elroy regains his footing and climbs over the fence.


Tau wants to get a feed, so we go to Carl’s Jnr (closed), Burger King (just closed), and then McDonald’s (open).

“What are you gonna do now?” I ask him, as we near Fitzroy.

“Have a feed, get blazed… then get some sleep,” he replies.

“Algood then Tau,” I say, meaning it most sincerely.


I can’t sleep, to begin with. I put some music on, and make a cuppa tea – then I go back to bed. Where I was when Elroy texted, a couple hours ago.

Tomorrow (today, really). Work, gym, and write stuff down. And write a character reference for Kepaoa – for court.  The lawyer said the more the better. Can’t hurt at all, to have it on the day.

Got Professional Learning in the morning. Supposed to be preparing for ‘Home Partnership’ meetings: perfect time to do my own thing. I don’t need to prepare for Home Partnership meetings, overmuch. No-one really gives a fuck, at the end of the day. The DP’s and Deans say all this shit, but when the kid they’re wringing their hands over leaves school, it all stops… just like that! Honestly, even the ‘caring’ Deans like Chloe. Once Eddie left; once Simeon left… it’s like they were never there in the first place.

And I don’t see it like that – I can’t. Because people don’t just melt into the world and away. They don’t automatically find their place in some magical ‘community’ out there. I think sometimes they need even more than before to know they’re not alone.

So that’s where I stand, and sometimes it feels like stand or fall. But I don’t want to fall. And I don’t wanna see us fall.

At 1:30 I go to bed


Wednesday 8 May:

Elroy’s locked up again – the cops took him this morning. And everyone knows this isn’t the least bit surprising, after all those days of breaching curfew.

Kepaoa comes over with Paki, to get the letter for court. Tells me he’s seen his lawyer again today. She says the police won’t reduce the charges. So it’s robbery, definitely. And a jury trial.

I’m a little bit thrown by this unexpected development, but try not to show it. Kepaoa also looks kind of bewildered at how things seem to be panning out.

Paki is going to court with him tomorrow, so that’s good.

Later I get a text: danks foa da letter ms man ima lucky nigga

I did what I could alright. I’m just holding my breath now, kind of. Hoping, hoping…


Thursday 9 May:

I feel antsy after hearing nothing from Kepaoa all day at school. Which covers the spectrum of possibilities, really. On the way home, I stop at Municipal for a takeout coffee and  cinnamon brioche. The café’s right next to that High Times store, the one that got robbed the other night. I hate that synthetic cannabis shit. Any time I’ve seen someone on that stuff, they’re either sick or playing up. Even the kids don’t really like it. They just say: “It’s cheap,” and shrug, like that’s enough of a reason to do it.

When I get home, Tau texts, asking if I can pick him up. So I go get him, with a kind of acquiescence in my heart.

He’s sober, and seems quite peaceful and happy. There don’t seem to be any dramas going on at Fitzroy; or no more than usual. He just wants to come use the wifi for a while, I think. Scott hasn’t paid the bill and they got cut off.

“It might be a bit cold, out in the sleepout,” I comment, as we get out of the car.

“Um, I don’t mind the cold,” Tau says. “But I’m gonna come kick it inside though.”

“Oh, algood then,” I say, in mild surprise.


It’s companionable, just hanging out with Tau. Both of us jamming facebook, just talking about this and that. I look across at his face, and I think – I love ya, Tau. And I’m alright with that, because I let go ages ago. Let go of wanting to be special, or beloved. After a while I fall asleep on the couch.

Around 10:30, I wake up, and Tau chuckles at me. “Aww.. I better go to bed,” I tell him.

Tau just stays and watches TV for a while, I can hear the sound on, and it soothes me a bit to know someone is there. But I lay in bed and think about Kepaoa, and wonder what happened in court today, and I feel the hot shame of not knowing anything. I think, kind of idly – well, guess I been found out again. I rub my own arms with my fingertips, the way Kepaoa stroked my shoulders the other day. The feeling makes me cry, at last, after the whole day of not crying. To be found out. That’s how I’d describe it. To be found out as someone who’s not special.

I cry, because I haven’t let go. Because I want Kepaoa to think I’m special, when I’m not special at all.

I hear the front door shut gently, sometime in the middle of the night. Tau might have gone out to the sleepout, or he might have walked home. I’m not sure, and it doesn’t matter, because I’m alright with Tau. I can sit with that feeling of knowing I’m not special. I love Tau just as much as I ever did, but the pain of wanting to be loved back has gone.


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