I want to have children, I do. Every Friday evening, after work, I catch the two four six bus down punt road. On the bus, there is a girl my age. I’ve never see her face because she sits up the front in the priority seat, and I sit in the back. She wears her hair cut short, she listens to music, sometimes she calls her mum. Her baby sleeps in his pram slowly rocked by her hand.
On a gentle summer Monday I take the tram to Brunswick to visit fashion designer Caitlin Shearer at her studio—Toast Workroom, a female run communal space. Warm, smiling, she invites me in and makes me a cup of lemongrass tea. She looks like an Italian movie starlet from the 1940s, dressed in a black knee-length dress she’s made herself, paired with a red swipe of lipstick that could be Dior but she bought it from Kmart for ten dollars.
I grew up in gardens. There is a photo my mum took of me, sitting in the shade of a ghost gum tree in an Enda Walling garden. I’m three, wearing a pale pink hat, you cant see my face under my hat but I am talking to the ants, running my hands through the grass, seeing bright blue sky through whispering gum.
The family tree had been hand painted in gold leaf on a wall of soft lavender. Three hundred years of life connected by silver thread. Twenty two year old Prince Jim, the latest addition, sat with his legs crossed on the Palace floor, looking at his own name and the thread that connected him to no one in particular.