DAVID WITTEVEEN


Naarm Melbourne / IT manager, Masters of Library Science Student

Working from home. Self-distancing.

Library nerd. Zine maker. Aspiring YA writer.



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I am saying goodbye to mansion I used to visit back in the 90s. The mansion is a sprawling bohemian place in the hills outside Melbourne, half Art Deco, half crumbling Victoriana. Ferns and sculptures fill the garden. I used to have a crush on the daughter of the family that lived there, and I'd visit every month or so for one of their big parties.

They threw a lot of parties back then. Artists, musicians and politicians would drink and dance badly to old French pop. The family had a deck of card with dares printed on them: climb the ivy on the South tower, catch a fish from the pond with your bare hands. People would get drunk and pull cards and the nights would descend into chaos.

The family bred Labradors, too: big, happy dogs that would wag their tails at all the drunken revelry.

The parties stopped long ago. The daughter I had a crush on is gone. I don't remember her name, or what she looked like any more. The most recent generation of the family mill push past me, packing up paintings and furniture. They don't know who I am. I find one of the Labradors and kneel to pat her.

'I knew your grandmother," I say. 'She was a good dog.'

The family ignore me.

I stand up. I leave.


(4/4/2020)