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Page 6

Karen Lethlean

I know up behind those grey stone buildings is supposed to be where sunlight tickles bowls of geraniums. With herbal fragrances, lavender, rosemary and basil lifting. Toodyay stone pathways puzzled together, but I can’t deal with the notion of brushing up against the shadow of that building. Even thinking about this now causes an empty grumble from within so great I cannot sit still.

So relieved that John opts for the softer domain amid lycra-clad cyclists, South Terrace. Further dotted with Greek and Italian men who have come from the Cathedral, they amble down the wide footpaths as if inspecting fig or olive groves.

After gelato, coffee and idle people-watching in the early afternoon sun, safe from any prying eyes, be they pacing up the street in Sunday mode, or ethereal visitors from another realm. The Fremantle Doctor sea breeze has swung in as we return to his Porsche. Two giant pears sit, like gnomes, guarding the black leather seats.

‘I thought you might enjoy a nice pear.’

‘What’s wrong with the pair I’ve got?’

I attacked the fruit hungrily, juice trickling down my arm.  But I make sure to suck all evidence away before it drips onto the seats. ‘Aren’t we going?’ I asked between mouthfuls.

‘Not yet, I am enjoying watching you eat.’

The radio plays Australian Crawl, something about ferries bobbing their way to Circular Quay, maybe past those Whiteley-esque landscapes I might see one day. The chorus – Don’t be so reckless...throw down your gun…

Those words hung there, like wisps of love’s afterlife. They were nothing more than symbols or hints of danger, yet also embedded with the notion of further surrender. James Reyne tried to warn me, a warning I should have heeded, but I was helpless as any addict. Those lyrics - this day - should have told me any future with John would be all downhill. No matter how many times I pass that Centre, how many times I walk through that café, how many launches, exhibitions, openings are endured, I will still be trying to stop how these memories haunt.

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