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I would love to see every young person in Australia have a year off alcohol.

Her name is Linda and she has been forgotten.

You see, a name loses its power when it is not uttered aloud.

Linda is a German name and it means ‘flexible and soft’.

Her great, great grandfather came from Germany for a better life and he settled with his young wife in Wauchope.

His name was Hans and he could cut a tree, but when the saw mills closed his better life became a harder life for his great, grandchildren.

They went to work in the sugar mills but she lost her job to technology.

The patient work of a woman sewing a hessian, sugar bag lost it’s meaning, so Linda lost her job.

And her meaning

She lost her softness the day she stopped getting up early to go to work.

It was hard work but it was her work so it made her proud.

What also stopped that day was her saying ‘Good morning Linda’ in her cracked bathroom mirror.

And when her two sons stopped calling and her bum of a husband died of liver failure, her last name even lost its relevance.

Linda is just another ageing woman living alone in a caravan park on the mid north coast of NSW.

See sees herself as rigid and proud but this self appointed noble structure keeps her safe and sane.

Most of the time.

Sometimes she needs to feel a man in her arms but that is losing its charm.

Their calloused hands, beer bleary eyes and stained underwear just remind her of him.

And she is sure that her convenient, warm body signals better, more exciting days for them.

Sometimes the bastards hit her so her company is a safer bet, but safer is not always an option.

When you are forgotten.

So, a few free drinks and an RSL roast dinner from anonymous men can be worth the risk.

And there is always the chance that a hidden wedding band falls out of their discarded short pockets and that will feed her and her boarder collie Roy for a few weeks.

She used to feel sorry for the wife left at home but she has tasted both sides and sometimes you need to accept the unacceptable, just to survive.

And the married men generally don’t hit. They like to cover their footprints in the shifting sands of the mid north coast.

Yes, being forgotten can have its advantages and being alone is different to being lonely and that is her choice.

It started off better than this whatever better means.

Need to read more?

This is an excerpt from One Day, One Life: P. 136-7. One Day One Life

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