Slave / Bless

At the 955 Centre in Mt Albert (the sign looks like ‘ass’ if you see it out of the corner of your eye) I found a pink rubber ball that is covered what looks like cat’s nipples. After some experimentation I found that if I presented the ball at the right moment the kitten would take a little nibble at it in a vague confused kind of way.

Rather than write about something that has excited me lately, I thought I would tell you about something that has excited me quietly for a while now. There is an older couple that lives upstairs from us in a largish block of flats that all used to be council flats, only some of them are now. They have occupied one of the council ones for probably twenty years; she is a post office shift-worker and he, from what I can make out, is a sixty-something delinquent Scotsman. He seemingly spends his days rescuing plants, tending his balcony gardens, pot plants and various aquaria, sorting everyone’s recycling, having yams with whoever is about, smoking cigarettes, and playing an ongoing game with the little preschool boys who live downstairs that involves them yelling ridiculous insults at each other: “Monkey man! Monkey man!!,” “Your nose is like a potato,” “You horrible little snail.” “You… you… um… stinky bum” etc. Because plants just keep growing when they are happy, he sometimes needs to farm them out to other tenants. Yesterday he came down and knocked on the door and asked me if I would like an enormous banana palm, an orchid in need of some TLC and some other sticky up plant I don’t know what it is called. After I had put the plants with the others, I read my horoscope and it said “a friendly neighbour will show you the way.”