Finally, a new short(ish) story: Holly’s first job in 1970s suburban Sydney isn’t just answering the phones, it’s dealing with a dodgy overbearing builder who wants to marry her off to his son.
“What’s a Palamar?” Rosemary squinted at the note; it had grubby fingerprints on it and smelt of garlic, clearly the work of Franco the foreman whose spelling was a phonetic reproduction of his accent.
Rhoda and I peered over her shoulder. “Palamar comming 10AM toomoro.”
“I suppose we’ll find out at ten tomorrow,” Rhoda said brightly.
“Palamar, palamar,” mused Rosemary, staring out the window into the muddy mire that was the backyard cum building site. Franco and the boys had left for the day and as usual they had simply downed tools and walked off, leaving shovels, trowels and other equipment in a still life.
Her eyes widened. “Pa-LA-mar! It’s a plumber!”
You wouldn’t believe how excited three people could get over this announcement but working with the builders was like dealing with an alien life form or translating an ancient Egyptian cuneiform. There were rare moments of brilliance in communication. Continue reading