Punt Road is almost the only way to get across the river in this ridiculously polarised city of north- and south-dwellers.* It goes past the bottom of our street, and at the other end of it is the freeway leading out to The Boy's mum's, and the farm. We spend an awful lot of weekend time on Punt Road. It is a total bitch.
Last night, after a sweltering day of driving and farming, we were heading home, exhausted, on Punt Road. In Collingwood, I heard the grunting of a small boy's bowel movement, and turned around to see him pink in the face with his head on that curious angle that means 'I am now doing a shit.' The car filled with baby stench and we kept crawling between traffic lights. By Richmond, The Boy turned around to find the kid idly smearing his sausage-thighs with fresh excrement. Oh my lord.
We pull off into a side street, and bail out. It is EVERYWHERE. Everywhere. More shit than I have seen since the early breastfeeding days, only now the kid is a meat-eating garbage disposal of filth and it fucking stinks. We strip him off and find that the wipes container is almost empty. It appears that the only option is to laugh hysterically. So we do. We clean him up, as best we can, reasoning that the last wipe should be used for the car seat rather than the kid, seeing as we can stick him in the shower when we get home. The kid is delighted with the adventure of standing on a muslin wrap on the footpath with the warm evening breeze gently caressing his peachy little bum. We are all three grimy and stinky and pricked with tears of hysteria and exhaustion. And then we get back in the car and turn out onto Punt Road again.
|Turns out not many people take photos of Punt Rd. Me included.|
*Of course, there are western and eastern parts of the city too. It's just that the river has mysterious powers. I have the inner south in my great-grandparents' bones, and have never lived anywhere else, but I spent a good part of my formative university years sleeping in various north-siders' beds and bear that part of town no ill will at all. Some of my best friends are northern types. I would happily live there in another life, but our jobs are in the south, and Eddie is right. Anyway, at The Boy's launch the other week, there were a couple of people from the (northside) publisher's there. Said publisher was pissed that fewer of his friends were in attendance than for previous issues, and put the blame squarely at the south's feet. Universal friend A ran in to a couple that she knew who had made the trek (hardly onerous, with approximately seven tram lines converging not three minutes' walk away and a train station across the road). Surprised, they were, that 'Actually, it's quite cool here!' For god's sake. Of course it is. Just like Kensington and Yarraville and all those other inner city suburbs that you have never bothered to patronise because they aren't Brunswick. These people are from Melbourne, and they have never ventured off the 86 tram. Twenty-three-year-old hipsters. They kill me.