You know I have a problem that is a bit of a handicap for a wannabe writer. I am unobservant. I could be sent to remedial observation classes I am so unobservant.
For example, a few years back, when I was living in my old flat, there was a car - a brand new car, not an old bomb - parked outside my block of flats for months on end. It never moved. It didn't have any number plates either. Highly suspicious and something that you would think a person with normal observation skills would have cottoned onto within say six or seven months of walking past the car in question each and everyday (except for those good weekend days where you don't get out of your pyjamas or leave the house). But not me. No siree-bob. Just call me Miss Oblivious.
Then one day my friend Tim comes over. Being a balmy Summer day we decamped to the traffic island across from my flat. This wasn't from a love of lead poisoning as it was a very verdant strip of grass with big leafy trees on a quiet suburban street (I have seen slightly bigger traffic islands called 'reserves' around Melbourne - seriously - like the 'Bob Smith Reserve' on a fully official sign). Anyway we settled in with all you need for an hour or so in the sun -- rugs, cordless phone, cushions, books, magazines, 4 litre Coolabah cask -- it aint classy but saves you having to walk back inside for refills, sunscreen, jumpers, cigarettes, market umbrella, large sandwiches, tim tams, water, a few changes of outfit, a compass and a few other necessites (see why I don't go camping) -- and laid back and relaxed.
We were getting to that lazy, hazy, oops there goes another glass of Coolabah stage when Tim says to me "why has that perfectly good, brand new car been parked outside your flats for say six or seven months without moving. And, you know, it's got no number plates." To which I responded, "I dunno."
See, not very observant. I can't even describe the car. It was new. It had no number plates. That's it. I say things are green when they are orange. I say things are left when they are right. I would probably, if pushed, descibe Kylie Minogue as a six foot tall, black man who can't sing (hey, I'm unobservant not dead).
But, I will say in my defence, I was the one who worked out the car belonged to the guy next door who was involved in some kind of organised crime, drug smuggling type operation. This explained why he had a flat that had minimal furniture and why he went away for long periods of time with the windows wide open. See the flat was just where he distributed the stuff. His real residence was some palatial drug-lord home elsewhere. Maybe Brighton or Caulfield. He had bought the flat under an assumed name because you don't need to show ID to buy a flat if you aren't getting a bank loan, which he wouldn't need to do because he paid cold, hard cash from his drug money. When he was home, that is when a major shipment of the stuff came in he would have lots of people coming and going because they were his drug dealing bitches.
This all tied in nicely with the big haul of cash that had been found around that time near Balaclava station -- long time Melbourne residents might remember this; it was splashed all over the news for a while and is further evidence of my lack of observation skills. I walked past that spot everyday on the way to the train and didn't find one skanky 5c piece on the ground and some other bugger walks casually down the same lane and spots bags of cash. And, to be honest, I don't think I would have been handing the cash into the police unless they disguised themselves as Thai beach bar margarita makers.
So anyway, why this big time drug lord had an unlicenced car parked outside his bodgy, drug-front flat was never fully evolved except as evidence of his dodgy dealings but it does prove that what I lack in observational skills I make up for in imagination.