ArtView May 2015 - Page 17

deranged and won’t listen, won’t care. I have to be credible. I have to be coherent, orderly, the way she is. She’s beautiful. And kind. Small, and sort of fraillooking, but the hardest worker. She never sits still, she always has to be doing something, or making something, with her blue-veined, fine-boned hands. You would forget, after a while, that she was missing five joints on her right one. You just stop noticing, so industrious she is, with what she has left. ‘It’s like you’ve got a condition,’ I tell her in mock disgust, whenever she sews or draws or types, and Mum will laugh. But she’s a bad cook, a really bad cook. I took over doing that for the both of us when I was ten and she was trying to hold down the country-town bakery job and the thing at the doctor’s clinic that didn’t work out because some sleazebag called Graham kept inventing illnesses just to harass her for a date. It was the only thing I could do to help, cooking, and I’ve just kept doing it, through every move, every new upheaval. We had to leave town, I remember, because of that man, Graham from Rainbow, with his isolated farmhouse, extensive gun collection and pack of pit bulls. There was nowhere to go, everyone knew everyone; they all had an opinion. And everywhere my mother turned, he’d be there; taking up her time, wanting her all to himself. It was suffocating. 4 Lim_AstroDaughter_final.indd 4 4/06/2014 11:53 am