Her eyes followed the direction of the unscented soap sudded flannel as it was washing and making its way up the outside of her left leg, she paused momentarily at the the Tui and Kingfisher tattooed on the side of her left thigh, and noticed how the hair on her legs gave the birds a more feathered look and at once she felt equally repulsed and repressed.
"Pōkarekare ana, ngā wai o Waiapu…" sang the tattooed bird that looked up at her from her leg. Her eyes followed the direction of the flannel as it was making its way up the outside of her left leg. "…whiti atu koe hine, marino ana e…" she replied. She always loved having showers, it was her favourite place to escape to. She liked putting a shower cap on over her ears and listening to the sound of the pitter patter water drops as they silenced everything that was going on inside. Most of the time.
Hinemoa’s scream startled me from my half dream and I remember touching my swelling puku and looking up from Tutanekai’s side of the bed and noticing how her pink nighty with the red lipstick kisses on it like musical notes you see on an orchestral sheet of music was torn. A fragment of memory collected like a Tui gathers bits for its nest are seeing Hinemoa throw clothes into the old suitcase that seven years later she would finally take to Wellington on her Nutrimetics Trip, where she would sell bright coloured lipsticks, eye-shadows and special cream. She wore a lot of that stuff. Especially after I told her how Tutanekai likes to comes in to my room when I’m getting ready for school. He reckoned he liked my feathery hair down there.
He was always working, and he hardly ever spent any time with me, but when he did it was always fun and he made me feel special. My favourite question to ask him was ‘You got any money?’ And then he would sit down and play games with me and he would ask me ‘What hand is it in?’ and I would say ‘that one’ and he would open it up and it would just be the lid off his beer. When Hinemoa was out he would say ‘Guess what’s in my pocket’, and I knew it was the special cream and that I was able to make him happy. He reckoned happier than anything.
After her shower she walks in to the lounge and watches a Tui follow a Kingfisher inside. They both hit their beaks on the window at the same time. She opens the big scratched rimu doors hoping they will fly out themselves, but they continue to flutter about at the bay side window, she goes for the Tui first, but it’s too big, so she goes for the Kingfisher, gently she tries to capture the bird without breaking its wings, she gets a hold of it, lets it free and it flies away. She thought that the Tui would have followed the kingfisher, but he didn’t see what happened to her, he was still flittering and fluttering his plume against the window. He didn’t want to be caught, and he kept flapping his wings each time one hand got near.
Shit My Dad Says
Sent: Monday, 6 January 2014 12:02:03 +1300
is there any chance you know anyone to do with this job advertised today on trademe for fonterra in edgecumbe?
i'd be pretty keen to get this job.
Date: Tue, 7 Jan 2014 12:26:03 +1300
there is every chance I know someone to do with this job. Historically though you get vetted by an outside employment agency that we never get to see who or where the applicants come from. I strongly suggest you get your application in and we will take it from there. I will ask the garage for a heads up.
Date: Tuesday, 7 January 2014 12:57 p.m.
Subject: RE: RE:
Firstly, I would like to Thank you for the most timely response. Secondly, it may be worth noting the historical employment grievances made by aforementioned employment agencies - which if hired directly would ultimately cut out time and costs of all parties involved. Further, research suggests that by networking and utilizing social capital, one has far higher chances of gaining meaningful and suitable employment. Finally I appreciate the overall professional tone of your response therefore I will get my application in as soon as possible.
Sent: Monday, 6 January 2014 12:02:03 +1300
My lecturer emailed me to say
'Just a note to say I’ve really enjoyed reading your portfolio. You work is visceral and powerful, albeit sometimes kinda random. But the randomness is part of its energy. You have a very interesting mind, and writing style. You have real potential.
Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2014 12:26:03 +1300
I always thought that you were a lesbian.