I was 17 years old when the taxi… (1980)
I was 17 years old when the taxi dropped me on the corner of Chapel St. and Commercial Road…
All I had in the whole world was $30, my mothers wedding ring, 6 suitcases crammed full of ludicrous costumes, and a crumpled piece of paper with directions to the cheapest Boarding House in Windsor. I was a naive, Catholic country girl from Penguin Tasmania and I’d told my parents, only the day before, that I was moving to Melbourne to make my fortune.
My father, who had barely looked at me since I was born, cast a glare through me that would freeze your soul. My mum sat smoking, a halo of cigarette smoke cascading all around us. Her cigarette was poised, her tongue harsh as fluorescent light.
“But you’ve NEVER been on a plane before DEAR! You CAN’T do ANYTHING! You don’t even KNOW anyone over there! You haven’t got a FRIEND in the world DEAR! No one is going to give you a JOB dear. You’re going to end up DEAD Alannah! YOU mark my words! You’re TOO wilful and TOO defiant and YOU will never ever EVER get a job over there! You’ll be back in a week! No one cares LESS about you over there DEAR. You will be all alone. I’ve told you once, I’ve told you twice, and I’ll tell you again…NOBODY cares about you dear.
She looked at my father when she said the last bit and nodded knowingly to me. Her fingers tap , tap, tapping on the wooden table. My father stared at me over his newspaper, his pale blue eyes like watery pools that had lost their colour for evermore.
“You’re nothing but a little mongrel bastard Alannah. I wouldn’t be you for Quids! Not for quids”.
Mum stared at me. I stared at her. She stared back at me and I stared longer at her.
It was the stare off. And then his trump card “Get outta my sight Alannah. You make me sick!”
I got out of BOTH of their sights and left the next day with Mum waving me off and me screaming back at her that I WOULD be found in a shallow grave and I COULD be dead in two weeks time.
(part 1 of 4)