Gotta Have Sole


My childhood has come back to haunt me. Not since I was in primary school have I felt so vulnerable. It hurt. It hurt bad.

“The cars!” said Tracey. “They’re parked in the drive and the workmen will be here soon!”

Then she nodded back off to sleep.

It was about 6am, and today was the last day the plasterers would be showing up to do their thing and they’d need to back their vehicle up our drive.

I dragged myself out of bed, remembering to keep one eye shut so my brain wouldn’t realize I was up. I considered putting on shoes, but dismissed the idea because I wanted to be back in bed quickly. Plus the physics of lace tying and undoing would surely wake me up beyond hope.

I grabbed both sets of keys and headed outside.

The Red Rocket, my crappy little charade, was the first to be moved. Fortunately, it started up first try, unlike a few weeks ago when it refused to turn over – apparently, they need fuel. I drove it down the side street and parked. Now all that stood between me and my bed was to race up and move the Kia.

Or so I thought.

Before I could even open the door to the Kia I had a rite of passage to endure. For the record, rites of passage are for young adolescents trying to impress other adolescents, not for tired, forty-something husbands at six in the morning trying to relive the glory days of the sleep they were enjoying only minutes earlier.

The ‘fun’ started just three steps onto the grass.

“Sheeet!” I squealed. My closed eye sprung open and my brain went into overdrive trying to figure out why it had been summoned. “What the…?!”

But I knew what it was. I’d felt this before.

I swiped the bottom of my foot and hoped it was just a one off.

It was.

But only because every step after that hurt so much more as I danced, squawked and yelped my way through a field of bindies which had sprung up on the nature strip outside our house. I must have looked and sounded like Frank Spencer, all oohs and aaahs and effeminate wrist movements. I even threw in a pirouette. And if you don’t know who Frank Spencer is, consider yourself young and fortunate.

My only consolation was that it was so early, my antics were going unnoticed.

“Those bindies are a bit hard on the old feet, eh?” said a voice ahead of me. The plasterer had arrived. He was parked on the curb, grinning and watching me through the driver’s side window.

For the record, if you ever want to feel like you’re a kid again, go barefoot through a bindie patch. Also for the record, being a kid is just as crappy and painful and humiliating as I remember it.


“Raising a family on little more than laughs”

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