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More coming soon, I hope

Max and Rosie Finlay live in an apartment nestled in a leafy lined cul-de-sac. At least, this is how upmarket realtors in search of larger commissions described it 20 years and earlier. The two bedroom flat was purchased courtesy of a pilot episode directed by Max. That the soap never reached its pre-pubescent public, was not his fault. Max’s direction was imaginative and creative, within the bounds dictated by celluloid soap opera. It had all the ingredients so dear to commercial enterprise: Sex, violence and anorexic 16-year-olds. It should have been a shue-in. The production company had been beaten to the post by a rival with a similar proposal but offering double the sex and violence.  Max had shrugged his shoulders, metaphorically speaking, kept the advance, and returned with relief to the business of selling retail electronics on the side, and directing amateur theatricals. 

The couple share their home with Jesse the tortoiseshell cat. She had applied for the vacancy at the exact same time that Rosie’s son, Jordan struck his bid for independence at the age of 17. The Finlays have a neon sign above their heads that reads ‘suckers for strays’. This sign is only visible to animals in the same way that only they can hear subsonic whistles.

This morning Rosie lies curled up in a foetal position on her side of the bed, minus Jesse, who is out terrorising the local feline population. Unseasonal winter sunshine forces its way through the slatted blinds, stirring the dust motes, and making striped patterns on her sweat soaked pyjama clad body. The goose down doona tangles around her legs trailing across the hardwood floor. On the border between sleep and consciousness she moves an arm around in frenzied motions.

Her mouth twitches, muttering incomprehensible jargon, while her eyes move in the REM Motion of the dream. Tears a slide under Rosies eyelids as the strains of Metallica waft upstairs invading the room and her subconscious with a sharp stab.

Rosie‘s husband prepares breakfast in the alcove kitchen. He uses an economy of movement that suggests acting classes or physical training, and an abundance of dishes that speaks volumes about the households primary carer. Max is a compact five foot eight or nine, more comfortable in jeans and plaid shirts, than pinstripe business suits. There is a collection of uniforms, as Rosie calls them, in the cupboard, and two suits for locations when he is hunting for sponsors for his play.

Max is in uniform today, with the added accessory of an apron, sporting the slogan Finlay productions. Reaching for ingredients safe within easy reach to the left and right of the hotplates, Max places the bacon rashes neatly alongside the diced tomatoes as the phone rings. He turns down the gas jet and makes a dash for his mobile that sits on the arm of his easy chair. Although Max owns an electronic store, he considers communication via a plastic object a necessary evil he’s thinking of writing an addendum to the book of education entitled boobs with toobs. Max’s son, Jordan, refers o him as old dinosaur.

Using forefinger and thumb, Max activates the detested object and slumps into his chair, with his back to the room and views the court from his balcony. The mantelpiece above the old-fashioned gas jet in the lounge is crammed with Max’s memorabilia. Geometric glass shaped awards for best amateur directing gather dust and vie for space with photographs of Max. Max poses with the lead actor in A Glass Menagerie; Max poses with the lead actor of A Little Night Music.  The inscriptions in them run along similar lines: ‘…my mentor’ ‘my guru’ ‘my inspiration’. In these photos, Max’s a smile recedes in inverse proportion to his thinning hair. There are other photographs, too numerous to mention, that are hidden in the linen press.

‘Max Finlay. Have pity and make it quick.’

Friends and family humour Max’s aberrations.

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