A Stab of Pathos at the Front Door

I came home this afternoon after a swim and some grocery shopping, and was about to get in the shower when a loud knock came at the door.


I went to the door and Alice, Marcia’s “sister” (cousin), tried to come inside.  She is a big drinker, so I stood my ground in the doorway.  She had one foot inside, and the other outside, and I was holding the door as near to closed as I could push it while we debated who was going to win the battle.  She was almost crying and told me she was sick and I need to take her “to clinic”.  I said I can, but I need to get dressed first.  “Let me inside, it’s too hot out here!”.  I said no because I can smell grog, and I don’t let people in here who have been drinking, you’ll have to wait outside.


When she realised I wasn’t giving in she relented, and I locked the door behind me and went to have a quick shower.


When I was done, I went outside to find her, and she’d laid herself down on the footpath along the side of my house, with her arms under her head acting as a pillow, stretched lengthways up the path.  I walked to my car and said “Okay, let’s go”.


Alice looked up at me and said “I’m dying Helen!”.  What?!  “I’m dying!  I’m gonna die tonight, you gonna lose me tonight!”.  No you’re not, come on, jump in the car and I’ll take you to the hospital, you just need to listen to the doctors and do what they tell you and it’ll be okay.  “Nah!  You gonna lose your sister tonight!”.  But as she protested, she stood up and got in the car.


We made our way to the Emergency Department, and I helped her through Triage before heading off to sort the rest of my night out.  As I was leaving, I instructed her to follow what the doctors told her, and she said “Yeah, because last time I bin run away, but I don’t wanna die, you know, like my little sister”.  I know, I’ll see you tomorrow.  Okay, bye!


I picked up John, my little foster boy, from his Mum, and we came home in time for dinner.  Marcia rang to ask if she can stay here again tonight because “I wanna stay with you, not at Visitor Park, there’s too many people there, I wanna stay with my friend”.  Okay.  She’s no problem, stays out all day and asks for little, really just wants the bed, so it’s no loss to me if she stays.  She was out at one of the hostels visiting family when she rang me.


I then had a call from a friend, who was waiting for his partner at a restaurant and she had not turned up, and he believed she was asleep, two doors from here.  So I said I’d go around the corner and wake her.  Once John had his dinner, he jumped on his skateboard and we wandered around the corner to wake her.


Once that was done, we continued on down the street with some lamb I’d cooked, to give it to Kevin who is staying at a hostel around the corner from here, because he has to stay permanently in town now, to attend regular renal dialysis.  We stopped in and delivered the lamb and had a chat.  He was hanging out for cigarettes, and I deliberately took no money with me.  But when he heard that Marcia (his step daughter) was in town, he asked if we could call her, so we did.


She was sitting in town with some family, and agreed to give him some money.  So John and I walked home and picked up the car, then we drove around the corner to pick up Kevin (who is too weak to walk far), and drove him into town to Marcia.  She came to the car window with a $20 bill, then another family member came over and another $50 was passed across to him.


We then drove via Coles for cigarettes, back to the hostel, where our now-happy nicotine addict got out of the car and we came home.

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