The three wheel driver who rakes in the miles.
The banker at Hong Kong Bank.
The unemployed man flying a kite.
The genies inside bottles, and the Aladdin’s carpet,
That they all dream of. The open doors of countries
With generous welfare systems, come at a cost.
How you learn to get buried in all sorts of forms,
Showing stacks of job applications that ended up in rejections,
And spending your daylight hours,
Talking to customer service agents,
Waiting in queues, until your number
Is called, and going out for a smoke,
When everything seems to be drowning you.
How you’re now officially a loafer
Jack they call you, like that chain, Hungry Jacks,
A man who used to make an honest day’s work,
Now a con man who stays at home
With his Jill, making love in the daytime,
And buying chicken pies for lunch.
He collects a check with his name on it, as the guilt-trips
Subside, and the mirrors disappear,
And you’re cheering on your footy team,
Wearing a footy jumper at home.
When its all over, you listen to the noiseless
Melbourne night, and its still 9 PM.
How eerie, the ghostly silence is,
And just how nostalgic you suddenly became,
Missing the racket of a noisy Tuk-Tuk.
The number of times you would have cursed at a Tuk-Tuk,
On the road, and now you would do anything,
To hear one speed by. How little you
Can control a pining heart that wants the way
Things were. The Tuk-Tuks on the road,
Reminding you, with an aphorism on the back,
That money doesn’t grow on trees.
Money always comes at a cost, even a dole.
The tuk-tuk and an epiphany,
How absence becomes your serenade,
A song that gets lost to the haunting silence
Of the moment, and yet makes a frail
Droning presence inside a heart,
Enfeebled by saudade.