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Sport 7: Winter 1991


On my second visit to Melbourne, in the summer months of December 1984 and January 1985, when I was a university student, I spent some of my time reading the books which I was to study in my next university term but most of my time reading books which I would never study, the latter always giving me more pleasure than the former, so that I always felt I was truly studying only those books I would never study at university. I would sit in the lounge of my older brother's flat in the suburb of Carlton or in his bedroom or outside in the sun on the patch of concrete which was the backyard, while he and the woman with whom he was living and the other flatmates were out working. While reading, I would drink from the blue coloured cans of Fosters beer which my brother had left in the fridge. When my brother came home from work in the early evening, I would stop reading and we would turn on the television and watch the news programmes on four or five different channels. My brother and I would exchange a few words with each other about what we had done during the day and sometimes I would pretend that I had been out for several hours in the city looking for work, or seeing places of interest, or doing a variety of things page 31 which the woman with whom my brother lived had often urged me to do instead of sitting inside their house reading books, drinking their beer and wasting my holiday. The woman would often remind me of the debt of several hundred Australian dollars which I owed my brother.

My brother and I would sometimes discuss the book which I had been reading for several hours that day and which I had left in full view on the arm of the chair in which I had been sitting all that time, though we would never discuss the debt I owed him. My brother would then bring into the lounge two tall bottles with the blue-coloured labels of Fosters beer which he had bought on his way home from work and we would drink these until the woman came home. Just before the woman came home I would put the empty beer bottles in a cupboard in the kitchen and I would carefully move the book which I had been reading for the whole day down beside the sofa in the lounge so that she would not immediately guess that the position she found me in when she came home was exactly the position I had been in for most of the hours during which she had been at work.