Monday, 6 June 2011
QUEENSLAND, THE DIFFERENT STATE ...PART 1
Reg Silvers stared silently at the photo of his wife Rhianna inflagrante delicto enjoying a bit of cunnilingus from some unknown male. There wasn't any doubt in his mind that it was Rhianna. He had suspected something when she insisted on flying back and forth from Melbourne several times in the past couple of months. There hadn't been any evidence of an affair, but Silvers had a gut instinct and he had learned all his life to listen to his gut instinct.
It was what had made him a multi-millionaire.
He had received the anonymous email only minutes after ending a phone call with His Worship the Mayor of Cairns, Colonel Ken Cush, in which he had enthusiastically accepted the offer of standing as a Candidate for Division 2 in a forth coming by-election of the Cairns Regional Council.
Cush hadn't needed to use any persuasive powers. Silvers wanted another challenge in life. At the age of 72, he was healthier than most people half his age, mentally agile and still Hungry. He was rated in Australia's top ten wealthiest individuals, but he wanted more than that. A challenge would be to move up into the top BIG FIVE. And he had time and energy to do it.
He knew Cush and Bob Horseman had something going on in the Council and he wanted a piece of the action as well.
However the email changed all of that. The anonymous sender had said they had more photos.
Silvers thought rapidly for a few more minutes before grabbing his phone and ringing the Mayor's office. It wasn't the only time in his life he had changed his mind about a decision in less than five minutes, but few of those previous occasions had left him feeling so enraged.
Cush had been stunned at the rapid change of mind. "You're sure?" he had queried, his voice raspy with incomprehension. "Yeah mate, I'm not going to enter into it!" Silvers had answered firmly.
Silvers stood up and stared out his office window. He wouldn't endure another divorce, he thought. The last two divorces had depleted his fortune quite considerably and he was not going to endure seeing his money reduced even further. Neither did he intend to stay married to a two-timing unfaithful little gold digger like Rhianna. Perhaps an accident at sea, he thought, whilst on a cruise to the Whitsundays on their yacht? Rhianna liked taking the yacht out. He liked the idea. He had taken out a million dollar whole of life insurance policy on Rhianna soon after their marriage. It would be an easy way to get another mill. He liked the idea. Just do it!
He was still standing at his window when a car full of middle aged women, members of one of Cairns womens' service clubs, drove slowly past his huge home. "There he is!" squealed the driver, as all the other women in turn squealed with delight and waved their hands at the figure standing in the window. "Reg Silvers, the most gorgeous man you would ever hope to meet!" said the driver. "Ooooh," sighed another woman, "he really is, and a good Christian man too!"
"We must have him as a guest speaker!" emphatically declared a third woman.
Reg spotted the car and its ogling passengers and have a half hearted wave back. Stupid old cunts, he thought disdainfully.
Brandi walked up to the front of the downstairs flat which had a hand-painted sign
stuck to a window. "SAME SEX PARENTAL SUPPORT GROUP MEETING HERE".
It was an old weatherboard Queenslander, rather shabby and in need of repairs. Someone however had renovated the downstairs and built some sort of a unit. It didn't look at all comfortable and Brandi assumed it was probably fairly cheap to rent.
As soon as she stood in the door-way, someone walked out to greet her.
Brandi stared in shock and horror. She didn't know whether the person was a male or female or an extraterrestrial. It was painfully thin and bony, like a bundle of walking sticks, with heavily tattooed arms. Dressed in loose khaki pants and sleeveless button down check shirt, it had myriads of piercings all over its face, through its nose, eyebrows, lips and ear-lobes. And it was wearing a brown trilby hat over what appeared to be a completely bald head.
Brandi stood still with her mouth open.
Berri also stood still thinking her heart would burst. There, standing in the door-way was the most beautiful creature of feminine beauty Berri had ever seen. It must surely be an Angel! She couldn't breathe!
Brandi swallowed and was first to regain her composure. "Is this the Same Sex Parental Support Group Meeting?" she asked, flashing her brilliant multi-thousand dollar smile at Berri.
Berri turned a brilliant dark red and could only stutter in reply. Suddenly, she turned on her heel and fled away from the door, through the lounge room and into the bedroom she shared with Heather. Her heart was hammering so hard, she felt faint. Vaguely she wondered if she was about to swoon or something, like all those virginal school girls in the Mills and Boon crap shit romances. Instead her legs collapsed and she fell onto the bed.
Heather was soon beside her. "What's gotten into you?" she hissed, staring down at the mulberry and tomato coloured Berri. But Berri could only grunt.
Heather stared silently for a few seconds before walking back to the front door where a bewildered Brandi still stood.
"Hello, I'm Heather, please come in will you?" she said politely, understanding at a glance what was wrong with Berri. The woman was absolutely drop-dead gorgeous! she thought, appraising Brandi's dress and make-up.
"And what is your name?" she asked, before escorting Brandi into the lounge room.
Some caution spoke to Brandi, some warning that she shouldn't identify herself as Cush's wife. With her new hairstyle and botox, Brandi knew she wouldn't be easily identified as such, so she had no hesitation in responding, "Kelly Adams is my name."
Heather escorted Brandi into the lounge room, where Brandi noted five couples and their children were already seated. Heather did the introductions and motioned Brandi to a comfortable but rather shabby old chair, draped with a faded towel.
Brandi looked eagerly at the people seated around the room. There were four lesbian couples and one gay couple. The lesbians were Trina and Micky; Deb and Corrie; Charm and Myrna, and she wasn't sure of the names of the other couple. The gay men were Tony and Ky. All had children or babies with them. Brandi noted that Tony and Ky had a very young baby.
She glanced around the room and took in its shabbiness, but noted the posters of children's drawings stuck on the walls, and the toys lying scattered around. She also noted the poster depicting the baby flying foxes all wrapped up like little babies stuck on the wall.
Heather was standing in the middle of the room and speaking. "My partner Berri is like currently indisposed," she began in a hesitant voice. "However we all know why we are here, so I'll ask someone to start the ball rolling if you umm like."
Ky, one of the gay men spoke first. "David and I and our son Tommy have all just arrived here from Melbourne, where there are already several Gay Parent Groups and....
David broke in....."We're just like so GLAD, like, that you are starting one here in Cairns..."
Ky then took over, "Truly, we were a bit worried about moving to Queensland, where, like you know, they do things a bit differently...."
Everyone here laughed, including Brandi. Queensland was the different State, no question about it.
"Yeah, they kill entire roosts of flying foxes here," put in Trina drily, pointing to the poster of the baby flying foxes on the wall.
"Wasn't that just dreadful," added Deb. "I couldn't believe it, when I heard about it!"
Brandi sat still thinking she was so right in not giving her real name.
"In Melbourne last year, we used sound waves to try and get a roost in the Royal Botanic Gardens to relocate to Yarra Bend Park," offered David. "It wasn't that successful, but some further efforts have resulted in the colony of flying foxes dispersing at least...."
"We don't just up and kill flying foxes in Melbourne!" explained Ky with a look of disgust.
"Bloody Queensland!" said Deb.
"Yeah, Queensland!" agreed Charm.
"That Cush is a sociopath or something," said Deb.
"Sociopath is the word!" agreed Trina.
"Poor liddle baby flying fuckers!" said a shrill, high pitched childish voice from the doorway of the kitchen and Heather raced to shush up Monsoon.
Everyone laughed as Heather came back, carrying Monsoon who was sucking her finger, suddenly shy at seeing all the strangers sitting around.
"So can we get onto the subject of our group now?" said Heather, plonking Monsoon down on a beanbag near Brandi.
"Right," said Deb. "We all know it isn't easy for us, and we're facing a good deal of wariness and even outright hostility out there in the mainstream community..."
"Hear, hear" murmered several voices.
"Our child, Elizabeth," continued Deb, motioning a small girl sitting on the floor beside her, happily involved with colouring in a large picture of elephants and lions, "has been going to a Day Care centre two days a week, where she is mostly exposed to the traditional family unit, of Mummy and Daddy and sibling. ..."
Heather interrupted, "Our daughter Monsoon, too..."
"Ditto, our son Lucian," added Charm, nodding at a small boy sitting curled up on her partner, Myrna's lap and sucking his thumb while solemnly staring at everyone.
"And Elizabeth has come home asking questions about, you know, " where is Daddy" so we have had to explain to her that she has two Mummys, but then we pick up a story book, and there it is again, you know, pictures and stories of Mummy and Daddy......"
"If you go online you can find suitable story books for children with same sex parents," broke in Ky helpfully.
"That's worthwhile knowing," said Charm. "I must do a search then."
"But this is what is beneficial to the kids, I think," put in Deb, waving her arms around. "Having a Same Sex Parental Support Group where the kids can be exposed to other family groups similar in nature to their own, so that they don't think their own family unit is so unique!"
"Exactly!" said David, "Which is why Ky and I are so supportive of the idea!"
"Another thing we need to do too, if we can, is to involve ourselves in our kid's Day Care centre, so that other children can see us, and get to know us as good parents and therefore hopefully gain acceptance. Corrie and I go as often as we can, and we volunteer to help out with the children's activities and fund raising and have gotten to know the other parents...." Deb continued. "You know kids are exposed to so many varieties of what comprises a family, single parent families, the extended family, the mixed family.....We are just adding another type of family mix, really."
Everyone nodded thoughtfully. Heather thought ruefully that Berri, with all her tattooes and shaved head, would probably not be accepted by little children. She sighed. She would have to be the one who did all the Day Care Centres and Schools!
Brandi was intrigued. She had never realised there was so much involved with parenting!
She thought of her own childhood, the only lonely daughter of an Australian actress, permanently on location in the USA. She was almost exclusively raised in boarding schools, seeing her glamorous Mother rarely on school holidays. Even then, it was only for media interviews and publicity for her media mad Mother. She had never known what a family was, Brandi thought with a sudden twinge of sadness.
Ky stood up and paced the floor, holding his baby against his chest and rubbing its tiny back.
"The most important aspect of child rearing is the quality of parenting, the quality and satisfaction of relationships in the family and the level of co-operation and harmony between the parents. If you haven't got that, then I think, you're headed for big problems." he said, while pacing the floor.
Heather absorbed what Ky said like a blow to the heart. "The level of co-operation and harmony between the parents". Oh God! she silently screamed, thinking of the growing problems between herself and Berri. "Co-operation?" Christ, she got practically no bloody co-operation. She stared at the closed bedroom door with disgust, wondering how long it would take for Berri to compose herself.
There was a flurry of voices following Ky's speech. Almost everyone seemed to be in a hurry to reassure themselves that they had stable, loving relationships.
Brandi became aware of a pair of eyes fixed on her, and looked down into the face of the small girl lying on the beanbag beside her. The little girl was staring steadfastly at Brandi, while hugging a grubby teddybear. "Youse a pwetty lady," said Monsoon, to Brandi.
Brandi preened, almost blushed. Compliments from a child were just so, so, so honest!
The baby Ky was holding suddenly let out a horrendous wail. Ky jumped, turned and handed the baby to Brandi. "Quick, hold him will you please? I've left his bottle in the car."
Brandi didn't have any choice in the matter. One minute she was staring at that funny little girl, and the next minute holding this squirming red faced hairless little frog thing who shrieked like a banshee. Gingerly, she held the bundle and rocked it from side to side.
The baby stopped shrieking once it sensed it had changed positions. It wrinkled its tiny flat nose, and opened its eyes, staring straight up at Brandi. As Brandi swam into focus, the baby's face relaxed, turning into a huge gummy smile.
"Ooooh," said Brandi in shock, "It likes me....I think."
The smile stayed, just for a couple of seconds and Brandi felt very strange as she leaned down and smelled those peculiar baby smells, of soap, powder and baby skin. Suddenly, her eyes all went teary and she felt her jaw tighten, her teeth clench, and an odd feeling inside her chest.
It was the strangest feeling, she had ever experienced. And she wasn't monged out either!
Then the smile dissolved into a huge yawing toothless mouth and the baby shrieked. Brandi
felt her nipples tingle very pleasantly.
Ky came swiftly inside then and took the baby from her. "Ta!" he said, quickly feeding the baby its bottle.
Brandi was in a daze for the rest of the meeting. The group decided to meet again in a fortnight's time at the same place. She thanked Heather and said her goodbyes to everyone, and drove home to the unit on the Esplanade. As she drove, she kept on seeing the baby, staring up at her with that huge smile. It still made her feel very very funny inside. It wasn't until she parked the car in the underground carpark of the unit complex, that she understood. She had just felt her body talking. Maternal instincts or what the hell it was called. Whatever, Brandi decided, she liked it.
She also thought of the strange creature who had answered the door when she first arrived. She had assessed that it was a woman called "Berri" who was Heather's partner. Never had Brandi ever seen such a strange looking woman in all her life!
It was another terrible argument between Heather and Berri. Heather knew what had happened and she was furious. Insecure, jealous and feeling very pregnant, she turned on Berri, who was still lying on the bed.
"How dare you embarrass me like you did tonight!" she screamed at Berri.
Berri could only grunt a reply.
"So you've been lying here all night playing with yourself, thinking of that Kelly woman, and leaving me to be the hostess, look after Monsoon and clean up!" Heather spat out.
Berri slowly sat up. Heather knew her well enough to know when she was feeling lusty and Oh sweet Jesus, how she wanted that gorgeous looking woman, that divine Angel, that perfectly beautiful creamy woman with the deep red hair! She was sick with longing.
Heather heaved with emotion. They had to do something to try and save their relationship, she thought bitterly.
She had an inspiration. "Berri, I think it might be best if we separate just for a while, and try and get our heads sorted out."
Berri nodded silently.
"Perhaps you can go and stay with Derrick in Townsville for a few weeks...."
Berri nodded. Derrick had a Tattoo Parlour in Townsville and she often worked for him when he needed her.
So it was decided. They would trial separate and Berri would go to Townsville.
To be continued..................