Susan loved eating fresh barbecued fish, but the thought of having bones wedged down my throat meant I couldn’t last the meal. But I delighted in watching Susan munching the tailor flesh like a primeval woman at the mouth of a cave. Any other time she was refined, correct; a marvel at organisation storing money in envelopes marked Fuel, Rent, Telephone, Matt’s fortnightly spending money.
The kids ate packet frozen fish from the microwave. As Johanna my youngest would say, “I don’t like eating fish from the sea”. Sue and I always chuckled when she said that. Ha! Fish from the sea.
Johanna sat in her high chair eating the same crumbed fish as Jessica but waved her plastic fork and giggled at the kookaburra perched on the back porch. Sue was lost in her meal, bent over stripping meat off the fish from the actual sea. I was having my third beer of the night watching my family’s musings in between eating something I can’t recall. The kookaburra persisted and Johanna cackled. “Dadda hahaha,” pointing at it.
I dropped my things.
“Let’s get closer’, I said.
I undid the high chair contraption and grabbed Johanna – her fork still fluttering. She pedalled away and smudged herself against the sliding door. Jessica ran to the freezer and stretched up high latching onto a plastic bag of raw meat.
Sue crouched down and said, “You must be quiet girls or he will fly away. Remember, quiet girls.”
They tiptoed on the verandah towards the kookaburra who I imagined was laughing under his breath, so impervious to the girls approach.
Next week Part 2