Friday, February 16, 2007

Marsupial mouse version of House of Wax (the horror movie, not Tussaud's)

We're in the middle of the move to Brisbane. I'm working while Lovergirl meets the removalists at our very-cute-but-shoebox flat and reacquaints herself with the contents of our multitudinous boxes. I'll tell you more about that some other time - I'm feeling a bit homesick and don't want to encourage a long maudlin 'stranded in the city' kind of post, or reminiscences of wallabies in the vegies, or walks along the beach, or anything.

I do have a different sort of maudlin post. Something has died in my car. I often leave the windows down on hot days and some small animal has climbed in and couldn't figure out how to get out again.

At first there was just a slight 'off' smell, like maybe I'd stepped in dog poo and the pooey shoe was rattling around in the back of my car somewhere. So I cleaned out the car - no evidence of shoe but I presumed I had solved the problem.

Over the next two weeks of hot Northern NSW summer the car gradually increased in stinkiness, a heady ripe green smell that rose up from the floor of the car and blew in through the air vents. As the car warmed up each time I used it, the smell settled in my gut like a warning, an urgent desire to get away from the stink. Most of the time the car sat in the driveway with all four doors open. When I absolutely had to, I drove with all the windows down and my head hanging out, like a dog.

It's been four weeks and the smell has settled down to a dry kind of blood-and-bone odour. I imagine the dessicated body of some small animal - a marsupial mouse maybe? - now reduced to bones and a bit of fur, lying in the catacombs of my radiator. The poor thing's delight at finding the perfect spot to nest, its plans to woo some other marsupial mouse and raise a family there... and then never finding its way out again.

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