Sunday, February 17, 2019

Fucktangent Wicking Water

Continued from Why Big Sister Loves What Little Sister Hates

Someone was losing their shit and it wasn't in Number 3. The sounds of objects being hurled across the room were well within earshot of anyone sitting on the stairwell and the foul language clearly audible to a small boy sitting on the steps waiting for his dad to come home.

"Fucking things . . " A female voice was going off tap. "$150 bucks for you cheap ass pieces of shit. Water wicking capability I'll be damned. Slimming . . .lose 2 kilos in a week . . that's some bullshit right there."

The door from the middle apartment on the first floor opened with a flamboyant jerk as a scrunched black chunk of fabric is hurled across the hallway, narrowly missing the small boy with pen and paper in his hand and unravelling just centimetres before the front doorway.

"Good riddance..." mumbled the voice before slamming her front door so hard that the dried flower wreath adorning it's knocker smashed to the floor, papery petals drifting like airborne feathers down the hall.

Apparently, these super high tech leggings were supposed to speed up fat loss, flatten your stomach, reduce muscle fatigue, smooth cellulite, and moisturize your gams all that the same time. Sound like something you'd never want to take off?

Alicia Channel had fallen for the hype - and it wasn't the first time. She'd struggled with dieting, hated exercise and these seemed to be the panacea to her woes. Protein Bars twice a day and a salad of kale and egg would drop 2 kg a week. The Keto Diet would render her svelte just by dropping carbs like hot potatoes. In fact, the lashings of butter and cream atop her evening meal had helped her gain an extra 4kgs coverage on her already portly frame. That vibration plate that you stand on for 20 minutes a day would not only help her tone her core but also drop the flab. Of course, none of them had worked. She was still 160cms tall and weighed 75 kilos.

Now, she'd spent a small fortune on magic pants and failed to see the results despite complying with the company suggestion to wear them for eight hours a day, six days a week.  The leggings' fabric fibers supposedly contained microcapsules filled with copaiba, which the manufacturers had warranted would tone and moisturizes, red algae, to stimulate fat burning, and sophora japonica, to render skin smooth and soft. When worn, the friction between the leggings skin breaks open the microcapsules and disperse these ingredients. Yes, Alicia was a gullible person. She hadn't lost weight and was now suffering from a red itchy rash. Probably an allergy to sophora japonica, whatever that was.

It wasn't just the Fucktangent tantrum over a pair of water-wicking leggings that branded her a bimbo. She'd spent a fortune on infomercial products because some celebrity had promised results and despite years of disappointment habitually watched the shopping channel. She had knife sharpeners that didn't sharpen, hair straighteners that didn't straighten, skin creams and lotions that simply didn't do anything for the tiny crows feet dancing around her blue eyes and lip plumpers that did nothing for the small smoker's cracks on her thinning upper lip.

After standing against her door and taking a few deep breaths, she realised that the tantrum was probably a little over the top. Especially since it had been witnessed by her neighbour's boy. She also realised that the pants had cost her $150 after all, and were in too good condition to leave languishing in the hallway. She sheepishly headed into the hallway to retrieve them, spying the small boy on the steps as she did.

"Hey Rolly, sorry about that kiddo. Just got a little frustrated."

Rolly was head down and doodling, trying to ignore the rather blustery woman who tended to over fuss whenever he was around.

"You waiting for your dad? You on your own? How long have you been sitting out here? Why don't you have a key?"

The boy looked up briefly from his doodling and smiled. 

"Do you want to come into my place. I just baked some cookies?"

Rolly politely declined, "It's okay, thank you. I have a muesli bar and I'll be talking to Alex in a minute."

Without paying any particular attention and the tension of the tantrum diffused, she strode past him to retrieve the black bundle and stroked his hair as she returned. 

"Well if you change your mind, just knock.I'm always good for a chat and would love to know what you and your Dad have been up to."

She always considered herself an empath but basically she was the nosey tenant. The one who wanted to know everyone's business and of course to pass on the business of others. She was the gossip of Sanctuary Gardens and an absolute sponge for chatter, soaking up nuance even if the information was unsubstantiated (never let the truth get in the way of a good story) and wringing out every piece of it to all and sundry.  Everyone knew her. She'd introduced herself to everyone with plates of warm brownies - everyone except those who hadn't answered their door. Then even they, had brownies left and a little note of introduction.
"Hi, I'm Alicia. Just moved into Sanctuary Gardens at 2 on the ground floor. Please feel free to make yourself known. I'd love to be a good neighbour and share some more brownies and get to know you." 
Within a day of moving into number 2 on the ground floor, she was checking the multiple mail boxes,making small judgments about those labelled 'No Junk Mail'. Why wouldn't they want junk mail? That's where she gets all her information on specials, potions and gorgeous gadgets. Those who don't want the regular catalogues outlining Aldi specials must be some kind of weird. 

Although having someone look out for the odd, the unusual, occasionally had it's benefits.She was always the one who noticed the strange visitors or when tenants had ''company'', she kept an eye on deliveries and could tell you exactly where Number 7 bought their groceries and Number 5 their soft furnishings. Indeed once she had caught a nuisance person trying to pry open the mail boxes and had shooed a homeless person from the front stoop just as he looked as if he needed to sit. 

It hadn't gone past her to actually lift the lids on unlocked mail boxes and try to ascertain what was inside so many window-faced envelopes, or who's corporate logo was plastered on the exterior. She knew who had what bank account, who received dividends each quarter. She knew who had friends overseas and who was thinking of adopting a dog - simply from the advertising on the exterior of each envelope. She was busting a gut to know what mail was received by Number 3 but they kept their mail flap locked. She had once received mail for them in error, a careless postie putting their mail in her slot. "Department of Human Services" was brandished over the letter and tempted as she was to steam it open, she was not without principles and had replaced it in the correct mail slot. 

"Department of Human Services . . .now that might explain the tantrums, the shouting, the regular repositioning of furnishings." 

Her imagination often got the better of her. Human Services usually dealt with social housing, health, pensions and dole payments, refugee resettlements, carers and people with disabilities. Perhaps the residents in Number 3 were dole bludgers, perhaps they were druggies, perhaps they were homeless and getting their rent paid on her tax dollar. Perhaps they were migrants, or worse, refugees . . .that's it! She had made up her mind, sight unseen that the occupants of Number 3 were not only refugees but Muslim. That's why she couldn't understand the conversations.That's why she'd never seen the woman of the house. Probably incarcerated in the kitchen cooking goat whilst wearing a full nijab. That would explain the loudness . . I mean . . 

"Look at the trolley boys outside Coles," she gossiped to Iris one morning as the twin retrieved her mail, "They're all Afghans you know, all of them. They yell so loud you can hear them over the Muzak. Just yelling at each other and waving their hands around. I tell you, they're just waiting to bring Sharia law to Lilydale. They have no place here these foreigners."

Iris smiled, "You do realise my mum was a 'foreigner'? And most people I meed think I'm a foreigner?"

Alicia bowed her head in faux shame, "Yes, but your mother wasn't Muslim being supported by the Government! And you were born here, so you're OK."

Iris shook her head and bid farewell, leaving Alicia staring wildly at the brass number on the Muslim terrorist's door. That was it. She was convinced. Time to call the Body Corporate together and find out exactly who these people are and to get them the hell out of Sanctuary Gardens.

But not before another half hour on the Shopping Channel. There's this new bra that guarantees firmer breasts and a slimmer torso. Oh! And perfect for the gym thanks to it's ability to wick water. 

Posted for Tenth Daughter Of Memory - 10th River of Mnemosyne Challenge
Muse 4:  Fucktangent Wicking Water


  1. Hah! Alicia and Elsie's (as yet unnamed) husband are the best characters so far. You develop people well. Now for plot!

  2. agreed, but it looks like you've run out of time. Maybe you will finish it up anyway?