the lucky country

It’s Sunday at 11.30am on the street with all the car wreckers. A man sits on a plastic chair on his front lawn. Or the patch in front of his house that would be lawn if it was just given a chance to live and without the car bodies occasionally being dumped on it for a week or so (or until Trevor down the road can borrow his brother’s truck to move them).

The house is crooked. The asbestos sheets seem about to make a run for it, in any direction. The front door gapes in a perpetual yawn born of a lack of inspiration, with its ancient screen door missing a screen. Against the front of the house and down each side, seemingly more solid than the walls themselves, is piled the teeth, metal shards and other half forgotten detritus of a lifetime of work with one’s hands. One can imagine a skinny dog, chained to a rusted Hills Hoist out the back, on grass similarly deprived as that the master of the dominion currently lords over at the front.

The man’s long mullet could be red or just filthy blonde. He could be in his 40s, 50s, or a very careworn 35. He wears a dirty Tshirt, stubby shorts. He wears no shoes, although the ground is littered with broken automotive glass and fragments of rusting chassis from ancient hulks long removed, all bobbing in a sea of dust and cigarette butts. He has the look of a man who knows which hot coals will burn him, and which he can walk across unharmed.

He clutches a can of beer in one hand and squints past the railway line directly across the road. He does not see the boarded up deli across the street, just the watery light of the developing spring day. His face curls in on itself as he raises his cigarette to his mouth and inhales deeply, before crushing the butt under his bare heel.

the lucky country

observer

Perth, Australia

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Artist's Description

A little nonsense based on a glimpse of another world, just streets away from mine. I wish I’d taken a photo. It really needs to be seen to be believed.

Artwork Comments

  • xstephens
  • observer
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