The view from here: Jason Gray
Stories from Western Sydney
THE BRUCE SAT on his arse and washed hardened bird shit from his Camry in the Umina Beach carpark. I watched him work, legs spread, from the driver’s seat of my Falcon XF station wagon. I’d known The Bruce in high school but we’d lost touch when he’d been kicked out of my group of friends for making too many sad jokes, and being too geeky. We hooked up again in Gosford, after being rejected by hotties at the local nightclub – found each other sitting near the straw dispenser at the bar.
‘Jason, mate!’ said The Bruce. ‘Come here, mate, please! The poo won’t go! It won’t.’
I rose on rickety caramel knees and aging sandals. I wiped the beads of sweat that painted my brow with my wrist and sidled towards him.
‘Mate, quick – ouchie! Help me up, please, mate!’
I grabbed The Bruce’s dark-brown wrists and lurched backwards, pulling his stocky frame up. Suddenly he let out a squeal as two random men tore him from my grip – one whitie who resembled Larry Bird and the other, an older guy, maybe fifty, with facial skin like dried banana cake. Dry Banana Cake Face hooked The Bruce’s flabby biceps from beneath his armpits.
‘Let me go – you brutes!’ said The Bruce, gnashing his teeth. Dry Banana Cake Face spun The Bruce around and smashed his belly with his fist. The Bruce clutched his food belly and winced from the impact, glasses clinking on loose gravel.
‘Hey – leave him!’ I finally yelled as the two men kicked into The Bruce’s chest.
‘Ohhhh…’ he cried, saliva dribbling from his lips.
‘Yeah, nice one, old cunt – you just killed our dezzy,’ said Larry Bird. ‘Dezzy’ is how we say ‘designated driver’ because we’re lazy Aussies. Then turning to me he said, ‘Oi, Caramel Sundae Bitch, ya drive?’
I STEERED THE Falcon station wagon with caution over Toukley Bridge into Gorokan. The Bruce sobbed and moaned as the streetlamps and the moon lit the charcoal and chalk sky.
‘This is it,’ said Dry Banana Cake Face, pointing to a brand-new, grey-brick townhouse, with tarpaulin and piles of bricks from half-finished renovations, halfway up Dudley Street. ‘Park there, Hagrid old son.’
‘I know what this is, I know!’ said The Bruce. ‘This – this is a drug den! Help! Jason, do something! Crash the car into that telegraph pole! Don’t kill me and you but though.’
‘Shut up,’ said Dry Banana Cake Face. ‘This is the house my dead parents bought me.’
Inside the townhouse, I sat squashed between Larry Bird and Dry Banana Cake Face on a beige leather chaise lounge. The Bruce wheezed as bare heels pushed his face and convex belly further into the dusty, off-white forest of shag carpet. Larry Bird and Dry Banana Cake Face cut cocaine and the tops of purple and red Zooper Doopers, laid out on the coffee table in front of an LCD television.
Dry Banana Cake Face flung The Bruce’s polo shirt over his head, snorted pleasure-powder from The Bruce’s belly-button-hole, wrenched up my underwear in a wedgie.
‘Aw, shit, that’s perf,’ he said, picking my nostrils.
‘Why did you kick me while I was down?’ screeched The Bruce. ‘Why don’t we play nice together?’
‘Dude, we broke the chocolate Easter egg cunt,’ said Dry Banana Cake Face, grabbing a purple Zooper Dooper and shoving it between his teeth like a cigar.
The Bruce stood on his thongs with wonky grace and stared at Dry Banana Cake Face, cheeks, nose and mouth contorted. I engaged my chest and neck to yell but Larry Bird covered my unopened mouth with a massive ice-cold hand.
Suddenly The Bruce dove at Dry Banana Cake Face as though he were a motorised wombat. He grabbed Dry Banana Cake Face’s large, flat ears like a rugby trophy, wrenched backwards, pulling Dry Banana Cake Face off the couch, his Zooper Dooper cigar flying to the ground.
‘Ho-ho!’ I said, cheering on The Bruce, my laugh muffled underneath Larry Bird’s hand.
The Bruce landed on the carpet tailbone-first, his head just missing the edge of the coffee table. Dry Banana Cake Face landed nose-first onto the coffee table, the top end of a red Zooper Dooper entering his left eye.
Straightaway, Larry Bird released me and piss-bolted out of the lounge room. The wire screen door clattered against the jamb.
I SAT NEXT to The Bruce in the gutter on Dudley St, as the wail of the ambulance and police arrived and left.
‘My dad never even gave me Zooper Doopers,’ said The Bruce .
Jason Gray is a Mauritian-Australian writer from Western Sydney who became (data-)terrified before and during the events drawn upon for the writing of this story, but is JUST FINE NOW, and will never write about you, kk? I mean, everyone else might... But FFS just bloody leave my friends and family alone, wypipo! ‘Get Out is a documentary’ – Jordan Peele
Photography by Bethany Pal.