Continued…..Dead Penguin Diaries 2
MOVING DAY…..THE Moving Van is ordered and now it’s late afternoon on a Friday, Dylan is picking it up when he finishes work….we’ve got a couple of hours. I’m worn out, freaking out…..every time I move house I think I’ll die from anxiety.
A huge amount is packed, stacked and ready….a smaller amount is not.
Nick arrives early, after a long hard working day, with shit pay. He’s tired……all he wants to do is go home, have a shower, then a beer and chill out with his girlfriend. But, he said he’d do this, so he’s here, straight from Eastern Recycling, driving massive trucks, bobcats, supervising new workers sorting green waste, metal, bricks…..that kind of thing.
So, he’s standing in the shed looking at me….he’s got that “legs apart, hands crossed over his chest, steel capped boots, dirty jeans, blue workman’s singlet, peaked cap, don’t fuck with me look”, staring down at the preserving pan.
“What’s this?” he says
Me, “it’s a dead penguin”
He just stares at me, looks down at the weighty salt filled preserving pan, looks back …..”why are you keeping a dead penguin, Mum???”
I know he’s about to blow a fuse…..
“I want to keep it” ….pleading my case “it’s an experiment “
He’s had enough, he simply stands there looking at me like I’ve grown two heads.
“WE ARE NOT PACKING A DEAD PENGUIN MUM, YOU HAVE TO FUCKING LEAVE IT”
I’m feeling really upset, I wanted to see how well the salt and preserving spices would work.
Having spent earlier days living near Rudi Mineur, a gifted Book Illustrator and Taxidermist, I was fascinated by the whole process and had been privileged to watch him at work on several occasions….so really, there’s nothing so very odd about my penguin project.
The Penguin and preserving pan are left behind, to my dismay….Dylan arrives with the Van and we begin packing and stacking.
Laughing about this incident last night with Nick, I told him I realised without the proper process of removing the inner organs, and reshaping the body with stuffing, as I’d watched Rudi do, my little penguin would possibly have looked like a long, flat well preserved banana.
We snorted and smirked for a bit, then I said, “anyway, who would possibly have stories like this about their mother at her funeral….go ahead, when I die, you can have a good laugh”, and then I reminded him of the near catastrophe when we finally arrived from the long haul up the Calder Highway, with cats, chickens and canaries…..
He’d forgotten about that……
So, I told him.
MA©️. Winter 2018
To be continued