Monday 25 February, 2013:
Conversation with Slade:
21:31: miss I’ll prolly come skool tomoro, still on pills an the other medicine hahaha
21:32: quest was at sch today. i think he was bored. you leave that other med at home, kay..
21:33: haha ill make sure to bring a extra dose for quest tomorow that way he wont get bored haha
21:35: oh no you don’t! you can both just stay bored. I got more paint though.
21:35: oh yo meeeean i can still paint with a fuckd up leg haha lucky it wasnt my hand ae.
Tuesday 26 February:
Indeed Slade is back at school, cast up to his knee in plaster. He manages to stay all day (despite his initial intentions) and I drop him off home afterwards.
Then Tau comes over, and we sort out some stuff with Winz, and the bank. By now I’m already tired, with a dozen things still crowding my brain. I try hard to just sit with it, and not put anything extra onto Tau’s already burdened shoulders.
Leroi and Raphael turn up too after a while, and then little Michael. With not much preamble, Tau goes to kick it with them in the sleepout. I remain sitting on the couch for a few minutes, hearing bits and pieces of conversation and music drifting lightly through the house. For some reason tears well up in my eyes and I make no effort at all to check them; I’m too tired. I go lay on my bed and hug my pillow and cry softly, until my eyes are pink and swollen. I think I’ve had a hard day too, but no-one gives a fuck. I feel like the loneliest person in Municipal, I dunno why. And every time I think of Tau, I just cry harder.
Right after that, Tau comes in again, to ask if I can drop them off at Fitzroy. I don’t think he even notices anything. I’m glad about that. I say yes, and then go and wash my face, kind of automatically. I still look like shit but it’s ok, I’m too tired to be shamed, I just go out to the car and Raphael looks at me curiously, saying, “Miss, you mohe?”
“Um yeah… mmm,” I say, in a non-committal way.
Take them to the liquor store so they can buy some kind of chocolate milk with 13% alcohol, and drop them round at Fitzroy.
Then I go to the gym. Which is actually pretty cool.
Later, Kepaoa texts me. He sounds upset; even shocked. Something has happened. Actually, more than one thing.
First, Teri’s been bleeding. Went to hospital, was crying her eyes out – she’s had a miscarriage. Kepaoa is gutted, he can’t stop thinking about him: Babygangstah – feels like he was already born, he says.
And then, what he refers to as ‘an incident’. The cops have been talking to him. He’ll tell me when he sees me. So I go pick him up.
We go home, Kepaoa tells me more; stuff almost no-one else knows about. Last year, down the line, he got wasted at a party, and got into a fight. Beat someone up real bad. Used a golf club to smash his face in. And now, all of a sudden, a cop has turned up on the door, flown all the way up here. Someone has mentioned Kepaoa’s name to the police. And after all this time, they want to ask him about it. Show him pictures of the guy. Jaw all smashed up and stoved in. “It’s like he doesn’t even have a jaw anymore,” Kepaoa tells me, stroking his own face.
He denies all of it to the police officer, says he wasn’t even there when it happened. But, the investigation’s proceeding. So who knows?
At first I’m shocked by the neutral (not cold) way Kepaoa speaks about it. I guess… it’s happened; there’s no point in pretending it hadn’t. He’s visibly affected by it, but not in the sense that people might expect. I don’t think he’s ‘remorseful’. He’s worried, but he doesn’t feel that he’s done wrong. “Oh well, if you wanna be gang bangin’, that’s what happens,” he says.
And then there’s more about Teri. She’s asked for 500 dollars. Something about the charge for the hospital. It doesn’t sound right to him – Kepaoa’s starting to think she was never pregnant at all. Fake tears and a fake story. He doesn’t know; can’t tell. Can’t think straight, with everything going on. Hasn’t eaten since the night before.
Kepaoa’s arm and leg twitch, as he tells me all of this. I can see he’s ultra stressed about it. He keeps saying she’s a hoe, a bitch. Then he wants to call her, talk to her. I don’t know quite what to say. I can’t read it at all – I don’t know Teri well enough.
I suggest that maybe she’s lost the baby, but needs the money for something else. Kepaoa considers this, and I could see him calm down slightly, at the thought that he might be only half right.
In the end, I just go get burgers, because honestly, he needs something to just physically ground him, if you know what I mean. And I’m way too tired to make a feed. Kepaoa eats and drinks, and then he is able to relax a very little bit. He lies on the couch, weary but still kind of poised. We talk about the ‘incident’. Weirdly enough, some kind of gang documentary comes on the channel we’re on, right then. I look at Kepaoa’s face, which is calm and kind of ‘flat’, not much visible emotion. But I can see that he’s pushing stuff away.
Around midnight, he falls asleep on the couch, tucked up like a kid. Man, this guy… I dunno. But I’m tired, and I go to sleep too.
Wednesday 27 February:
Wake up just as tired as when I started. My eyelids are flickering and fluttering all the way through the staff PD. I can only just handle the day. Stupid tutor, stupid Social Studies. Fuckin sheeit, all of it. Honestly, I’ve never hated teaching so much as I hate it today.
Do things for other people, all day long. Feeling worse and worse and worse. Tireder and tireder and tireder. Trying to be patient with the stupid fuckin’ babies in my classes. Bank transfers for Tau and Leroi. Email the district court to get some paper work which Tau needs. Take Slade home after school. Stand in a mighty long queue at Winz, to drop off Tau’s papers. Go round to Fitzroy, to drop off Leroi’s money (He’s got no ID and the bank won’t let him take cash out; Tau’s new ATM card hasn’t arrived yet). I’m tired of worrying about anyone. Tired of seeing everyone ignore everything. Effort I go to, and for what? No-one gives a fuck, why should they… and why should I? Can’t try harder. It’s unpossible.
Leroi tries making some joke: “Look Miss, there’s two waggers,” (Raphael and little Michael – they haven’t been at school – and all the boys are drinking). But I feel my face go as blank as Kepaoa’s last night. I just say, “Oh well, they can do what they want, I don’t care. I got more important stuff on my mind.” Other people can care about it, I think. I haven’t got energy for caring about anyone extra.
Come home, Kepaoa has taken the key from the French doors. D’fuuuuuck, it’s like a frickin heat wave in there, and I can’t open the door. I feel all pissed off; why would he even take it without asking? And right then, he 798’s me, and I call him back, and the first thing he says, straight off the bat: “Oh, hey miss can you pick us up? Me and Elroy. We’re just over the bridge by the gym, walking towards Carthill.”
I felt my blood surge up and beat hard. I just mumble something like, “Um, I’m real tired – and why did you take the key?”
He starts telling me some shit about how it was when he went out that door and locked it from the outside. I just say, “Whatever.”
And then I hang up.
I send two texts, after that. First one reads:
Iv had a shit as day. My head realy hurts an im tired. An im just a taxi aye.
Second one reads:
Il always do whatever i can for u, thts th truth. Im very loyal, if u dnt already know that. But i dnt like being used.
I shed a few tears, more of frustration at myself than anything else. To be so dumb, and to be played by the masters of mayhem. I wrote that once, years and years ago it seems… oh, how little I knew. And I guess I don’t know much now, either. But I know more than I did then.
I feel actually kind of outraged at all of it. To be so frickin dumb. To have gangstas thinking they running it, everyfuckinwhere they go.
I really do care about Kepaoa. And I just… well, I like kicking it with him, and I do care, and I get it, probably more than he knows. But it hurts my pride to be taken for granted. And to think that when I have my own sorrows, no-one really wants to know.
So, it’s better to just give up, sometimes, than be at someone’s beck and call. No matter how much you care. You can’t drain your energy that way, without suffering for it. I should know that already.
And honestly, fuck school. Fuck it entirely.