Slate roofed, cream brick, vine covered
set in large estates
with huge dogs loping across expansive lawns.
I've driven past them.
They sit in suburbs on hills with views of the city.
Highgate in London, Ascot in Brisbane, Potts Point in Sydney.
I'm not envious.
I'm just more aligned to other planets.
And other lives.
I drive through the poorer suburbs
and wonder at their lives.
I see small houses on small lots.
Fibro, corrugated iron, champerboard.
The yards are sometimes bare.
They're rentals or housing commission.
Some of them are unkempt
but many are proudly neat and loved.
There's an honesty about these suburbs.
A lack of pretension.
I grow to like that about them.
After a while I wander over towards them. They're sitting in the far corner of the activity space and they're playing a game on the TV. A Playstation game I guess. They are totally engrossed and calling to the screen as they compete against each other.
Now here they are in Australia. Their housing commission home is luxury. And here they are playing and feeling safe. I step a bit closer to see what game they're playing. I'm looking for a way in. I want to make contact. They're playing a ball game, but it's not their native game. It's not soccer. I hear one of them call to his player on the screen 'MARK!' It's a term I'm familiar with. I look more closely. My whole body bursts into a smile. An athletic figure wearing the colours of my favourite team, the Brisbane Lions, soars into the air to take a beautiful high catch. A mark. 'Do you like that game?' I ask. 'Yeah, its good' they say and turn back to the game to send their players scrambling for the ball. To take that mark and kick a long low drop punt towards the goals.
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