A Sunday Kind of Love

Photograph by Lisa Sorgini
Photograph by Lisa Sorgini

IT’S FEBRUARY DUSK, Carlton Gardens. Sit amongst the signs of summer picnics been: paper napkins, folded plates, white bread—scattered across the grass like snow. Notice a couple nearby, walking a little apart—like most new couples do. Norihiko, he’s wearing kaleidoscopic socks, the ones she’ll soon wear too. Julia, she’s in shredded blue. See them stop by cedar, for just a moment, hand-in-hand. See them feel, so suddenly, at home.
 

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Take the tram down Lygon Street, early June. Look out your shadeless window near Barkly and see Julia—taller than usual in Kuwaii shoes. He’s there beside her—carrying a cardboard box of scones and bread: warm, soft, fruit-filled. The street is busy for Friday noon, shop fronts fluttering. See him lean into her, just slightly, and smile. Then your ride, it rings and surges, and all you’re left with are colours—theirs—lingering as flecks in worn tram glass.
 

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See the crab-apple trees bloom, like cherry blossoms, along Spring Street. Walk through the gardens again, to their first Carlton home. Smell the toast being toasted, the violet-skinned tomatoes being grilled. A wide-eyed, flint-coloured cat will greet you in the alley. Look through the leaning garden door to see them, on courtyard milk crates, knees touching. They’re reading morning news, perhaps watching red clay courts—faces lit by soft screen glow.
 

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Look over oceans, too. Travel Sekigahara’s streets on Google Maps. Glimpse faces in cars—stopped in motion along the Nakesendo Highway. There are hushed pedestrians, wearing navy shirts and gumboots the colour of crème fraîche. Pause your cursor at 7-11 to see apples in Styrofoam slips. They’re apples Julia ate, long before she knew of Nori—of peppermint tea mornings, of warm nights at his side. Look harder and you’ll see her, back then, daydreaming on the Shinkansen.
 

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But you’re here now. See Julia in front of you, wheat-voiced and shining. See Norihiko standing, as calmly as an East Brunswick dusk. Neither is nervous; each knows the face they’ll wake up to—so familiar they can make one another out in the dark. Each see mornings stretched out in front of them now: Norihiko’s perfectly poached eggs, Julia’s kimono—musk-stick pink and wrapped around her like a rug. ‘Amore,’ Julia whispers into Norihiko’s ear—every Sunday, every Monday, every Tuesday too.
 

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So fill your paper plate with hummingbird cake, baked somewhere in the hills. Note the initials, J & N, carved into the grain of serving boards, especially made. ‘It’s heartwood,’ the maker, will tell you—‘The strongest wood’, pink and blonde. Then later, pour yourself a Cisk, a Pimms, a juice, and raise your crystal glass to the lilac glow of city skies, to fruit bats flying back. Toast this new love—Julia and Norihiko’s strong Sunday kind of love—then dance. Dance to Aretha. Dance to Nina. Dance to June.

 

 

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About Alice Bishop 1 Article
ALICE BISHOP lives in both Brunswick East and Christmas Hills, Victoria. Her work has appeared in Seizure, Australian Book Review, Overland Online, Visible Ink, and Voiceworks. She is currently working on her first collection of short fiction, titled A Constant Hum . She writes even tinier stories here: @BishopAlice