Sunday, March 18, 2007

West and Sensibilities

For the past three weeks I have been distracting myself by living a friend's life. In Mount Druitt. Shedding my inner eastern sensibilities, I headed out west (in his BMW) to look after his house while he was overseas.

Depending on traffic, Mt Druitt can be as little as 45 minutes from Sydney's inner east. If you have an e-tag (which my friend does) you can travel on the cash-booth-less M7! M5 to the M7 to the M4 ... and not a traffic light in sight. I think the trip costs about $20 in tolls all up, but the lovely thing about living someone else's life is that the credit card bills come in their name.

The art of distraction was taken to dizzying new heights under the skin of my good friend. By the end of the three weeks, I had almost ceased to exist. His routine became mine. His vast array of gadgets (including a DVD player and huge television in the bedroom) became symbols of my luxurious attainment. I weeded the garden and pruned the rose-bushes. I collected mail and had really good and very cheap takeaway Chinese food (dinner for $6!) I watched his collection of DVDs and even went to the local Westfield (pictured) and bought some of my own. I answered his phone and used his computer to surf the internet. I bathed in his spa bath and used his bath salts and bubble-bath. And his towels. I used his toothpaste, his soap, his bedding, his pillows and manchester. I drank his coffee with his milk and sugar. I looked out of his windows and answered his front door. I threw his plantation shutters open to the view of his enormous back yard every morning and smoked his cigarettes. I ate from his plates and drank from his glassware. I sat on his chairs at his dining table and walked, barefoot, on his tiles and his fancy floating floorboards. I raced to the airport in his BMW to meet him upon his return, having filled his house with flowers in his vases.

I have learned that I am a man of simple means and needs. Even at the very heights of my invisibility within his veneer, I realised that there is much for me to be pleased with and optimistic about.

I am grateful to know.


Anonymous said...

... and we all know, that it is always better to know ... JD

Geoffrey said...

Indeed it is JD! Incredibly liberating.