Bedtime, Bondi

The Southern Cross sits above the avocado tree and the slow, steady flap of a bat beats rhythm into the shrill electric static of the night’s white noise. Crickets, frogs, the bite of a motorbike revving as it pulls up, up, out of the bowl. Mosquitos leave nothing unpunctured, their leafy homes alive with the fecundity of late season heat and deafening storms. There’s a mango tree that doesn’t bear fruit and baby banana plants, their soft, pale green arms pushing through a corner where, when we arrived, a pigeon lay dead and defeathering. Windows all around, lit by yellow insides of homes I hear but don’t see, look down onto this pocket; Ruby’s parents, the TV-addicted girl, the Frenchman and James and his silent housemate. Their lives – or the private bits of it, at least – are strangely familiar to me now, part of the soundtrack of my languid Bondi evenings.

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