20 October 2008

Auburn Grove 2

Much time was spent enjoying the classics of cinema at the house on Auburn Grove. This we would do after perusing shabby-looking video cassette cases all over Armadale and South Yarra. Our world was filled with 'spunks' and 'real men' like Paul Newman, Montgomery Clift, Clark Gable, Gregory Peck, Cary Grant and ol' Blue Eyes himself all flashing by us in ageing celluloid- mid century pastel colours, deco browns…We'd sit in the dark, shrouded in blankets against the cold night, Despina with her pinkish rimmed coke-bottom glasses that made her eyes appear comically large and which we were fond of teasing her for. Invariably, there was much sugar consumption and interruptions from the boys for watching 'that shit.' Another favourite pastime was going out for coffees on High Street. There were several hotspots. Georgio's was one- though we disapproved of the satanic-looking sculptures in their front garden, like bronzed idols, horned and soulless like the one seen in 1956 The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston (kind of a spunk, more a real man)… Honolulu on High had excellent Mississippi mud cake. And then there was The Deli, a tribute to early 90's excess and architectural fear of colour. Black and white everything and carpeted, the type of eatery that would now have a sign saying 'Under New Management' at the front while the d├ęcor was ripped out and taken out back. Possibly our preteen stomachs suffered from coffee consumption, maybe we ate too much cake but we enjoyed telling Mary and Des- our adoptive aunts, that we were constipated. We'd see who was brave enough to say it the loudest at The Deli, then mooch upstairs to the toilet. Mary and Des would exchange horrified looks at what our little childish brains could plot, the pranks we could pull. On one such occasion Mary was warming up her car's struggling engine outside her house when Nastya spotted a 'spunk' leaving a neighbouring house. Opening her window she bellowed for the whole street to hear; "Mummy! Mummy! Is that Daddy?? I thought you said he ran off with our cleaner!"

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