Story and illustrations by Ia Uaro.
Humour. Socio fiction. Coming-of-age. Love story.
2013 Finalist in Humor
"Give Bronson a hug from me. Tell the little baggage I love him `cause he makes you happy. I talked to my flatmate about him and Mario gave me a recipe for dog toothpaste:
2 Tablesp bicarbonate soda
Add olive oil just enough to make it into paste
Add 2 teasp aniseed essence.
Try this, `cause I think his $26 toothpaste from your vet is a rip off."
"But your schools give you condoms in your first week in high school. They openly teach tweens on how not to get knocked up. Girls over there are quietly immunized against herpes and other contagious sexual diseases, at school, at 12-years old. I know all of this for a fact, you know."
"They're just our government's methods to minimise the risks; to lower the health costs for those who choose to be sexually active. `Cause in Australia the government has the obligation to provide free health care."
"But it drives very young kids to experience sex early! That means you Aussie girls are worldly!"
"The taxi driver is refusing to help with my luggage," a soft-spoken trannie whined. "We've been arguing for ten minutes. He scares me. Could you put me through to complaints, please."
"Will do." While I clicked the Your Say extension, I could hear the taxi driver abusing her because she was a trans. He argued that he never helped a male passenger who only had one suitcase, but he would when there were many suitcases. He adamantly refused to acknowledge that she was not a male anymore. So they were at a stalemate.
While I was definitely straight, I believed that people of different sexual-orientations are entitled to a decent life just as you would want for yourself, even when you disagree with their views or choices. I did not condone this driver's language. "Please get his driver's ID," I told her.
"Honey, the theists claim spirituality is important `cause while this life is transient, the next one is forever. We know that with material things there are always distinct qualities to differentiate genuine objects from fakes. Like, if you visit a jewellery shop, they have valuation methods to appraise diamonds. Suppose there's a god. This god creates diamonds with key characteristics to separate them from fake stones. If He goes to such trouble for the identification of material objects, won't He do the same for the spiritual?
"Supposing there's a god, it stands to reason that He also provides distinguishing qualities to differentiate His genuine ideas from trash, or His messengers from impostors. In this case, my first criterion in discerning a rubbish idea from truth is if it teaches hatred."
"I lost my dress on the back seat of the bus Saturday evening," a girl said. "It was the L90." Right. I gave her the number of Mona Vale Depot's Lost Property. I wouldn't even ask how she lost it!
"What the (bleep) do you think you're doing???" screamed a woman from Perth." (Bleep) trackwork so close to Christmas?! Can't you (bleep) pick a better time? I'll be arriving in Sydney with luggage, a toddler, and a baby in a twin pram! How will I get on and off your (bleep) replacement bus to Scarborough? And I'm a single mother! Who'd (bleep) help me?"
Now what exactly was the privilege of a single mother? Did it entitle her to unrestricted tolerance? Was her offensive language justified? Could we take a poll on this? Or, was she a single mother in the first place because she was so vicious her man couldn't stand her?
"To Pokolbin Prison, please," requested a woman in a very weak, barely audible low voice I could well relate to. A vision came to me of a gaunt, sickly, very depressed lady.
I worked out her travel plan. She had to catch a bus, two trains, and a bus again, for a three-hour journey. Then she asked, "How much would it cost for a pensioner and a three-year old?"
Tears gathered in my eyes. A poor young mother with a young child trying to visit her worthless husband at Christmas!
And she was not alone. "To John Moroney Prison, please," said a miserable mother.
"To Silverwater Correction Centre, please." A sad girlfriend.
"To Long Bay Jail, please." A wretched daughter.
Long-suffering souls requested travel plans for Lithgow Jail, Parklea Jail, Goulburn Jail - you name it.
Come to think of it, there was hardly a male caller wanting to visit a female prisoner. Either the men did not use public transport or they didn't bother to visit. What did this tell you?
Kate had three children. The eldest was Frances, a daughter from her first marriage. Frances' dad used to be a dancer for a famous American singer. If you are of Kate's generation, you most certainly own this singer's records. Kate had been a music journalist, chasing after great musicians all over the world. The dancer was a very charismatic graduate of an American dance academy. The super-famous singer had been very busy. His dancer had not. That was how he and Kate had ended shacking up at his hotel.
Frances, a chocolate-eyed 12-year old with olive skin and very black hair, considered herself a lucky girl because every member of her very big family spoiled her rotten. She had two younger half-brothers from her dad's second marriage, two younger half-brothers from her mum's second marriage, three older stepbrothers from her mum's husband's previous marriage, and two older stepbrothers from her dad's wife's previous marriage.
"Riveting... a young woman who is very keenly perceptive in all people and situations about her."—
on Sydney's Song.
“Sydney's Song is a fantastic love story grounded quite firmly in a suburban setting with real characters. An honest and emotional story of incredible passion and emotion. Its serious story of love and heartbreak is expertly juxtaposed against the humour of the call centre."—JACOB COATES,
novelist, publisher, speaker
"Sydney's Song demonstrates the way in which human beings can thrive under adversity using the power of their hearts and wills."
novelist, teacher, speaker