I used to live in the southern suburbs. Not quite inner, but definitely not outer (at least that’s what I’d tell myself). The grass there was threadbare and in my local park the earth was always cracked.
On a Saturday I’d go and get coffee in a suburb where Jacarandas grew. My barista seemed to know me but I couldn’t place him at all. We had odd conversations until one day he mentioned my cats and I pieced two and two together and found Twitter.
He didn’t go by his real name. He mostly liked to take photos of leaves and cacti and doorways. He also seemed to worship lens flares and followed some sort of spiritualism that I couldn’t quite place.
One day I saw him walking into the driveway of a grand sandstone villa on his way home from work. There was a fountain at the front and a hedge from which tendrils escaped into trees. Something about this seemed incongruous with everything else prompting me to try and place him.
When he was 19 and one month he read a book about a yogi that changed his life. That was when he started to see sunlight in a different way.
He is the child of a doctor and a professor who are currently on a two year travel sabbatical — the last time he heard from them was a post on their blog saying they were somewhere in Bangladesh building a well. He eats a baked potato each night for dinner because it is the only thing he can cook.
He often lies on the antique Persian rug in the formal lounge room and counts the dust particles that dance around him. Sometimes he feels like they are tiny pieces of him, declasping, lifting and floating away in the air. He wonders whether he is thinner as a result.
And so on.
One day, a couple of weeks later, when I had driven to the purple and green suburb to buy a coffee, he asked me how I was. I replied with a sigh (it has been a tough week). When my coffee came it was accompanied by a note, torn from a book, and slipped under my coffee. It read:
To be shrouded by others subconscious burdens, let alone, your own is tough. But the energies of the planet are changing. Can you feel the air? Have you heard of the yogis that hide in the mountains to find enlightenment? Listen to your mind.
And I didn’t know quite what to think of this so I folded the note round the wooden stick I had been given to stir my coffee with, slipped it into my purse and continued to check in on Facebook.