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Authors: Karina Almeroth

Tags: #romance, #comedy, #girl power, #australian, #commodores

Shampoo (3 page)

BOOK: Shampoo
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It was, thank you very much. Till
she tackled you.”


I FUCKING TRIPPED!!”

We paid the bail, me having to ring my sister
and get her to pay over the phone using her credit card.

Oh my God, SHE WENT OFF.

(you’d think I’d got arrested)

Then she laughed (clearly she was still drunk).
“Only you and Evvy could get yourselves arrested. It’s like
matching Dumb with Dumber.”


Fun with Funner, you mean!” Ever
called out, overhearing Nat on speaker on his phone (I hadn’t
brought my phone).

Ever and I then stood outside the station, the
morning having risen hours ago and now bright and blue. “Well,
that’s the most expensive date I’ve ever been on,” he
said.


I now owe my sister FOREVER, so
thank you,” I said.


Ha ha. Hahaha. I keep seeing you
plough into that cop-”


Hahahaha! I keep seeing you pissing
against a wall while you’re being handcuffed!”


Fuck, I’ve never laughed so hard in
my life – ”

Then he really focused on me, stopped before
me. Towered over me. Gave me chills. “You’re not what I was
expecting at all.”


You were expecting Nat?”


Yeah, actually.”

Then he leaned in and kissed me.

Kinda was a great first date.

 

 

Monday 15 May 2000

3.33pm

My first official day back at work, after six
long months off.

Weird how absolutely nothing has
changed.

Daryl Agnew is still as groovy as ever (our
resident drag queen), being very confusing with his sexuality,
since he loves to dress in drag yet he loves Holdens too, and is
constantly on the phone to Holden, barking, “When’s my new Monaro
arriving?” Meanwhile he’s wearing ‘60s cat’s eye glasses and his
hair is immaculate and holding enough product not to light a match
near him.

Seriously, him and his wife’s little pink
presents and cards got me through back surgery and all that
loneliness and alone time and, well, you know. Major traumatic bad
break up with Rick.

Soon as he saw me, he was all, “Pinky!” and
giving me big hugs.

Everyone gave me big hugs, actually. Benny in
the warehouse said, “Pinky!! My only friend is back!”

(sure. Benny has a million friends. Everyone
loves Benny)

The bosses, Daryl Young and John Cash, are
still as cool as ever. Entrepreneurial, and running Sin like
they’re living out their midlife crises. Gerry, the financial
controller (and oddly, so much like Dad), Renee, the office
manager, all the reps, the warehouse crew…everybody the
same.

And Matt Johnson.

Not sure why I mentioned him all on his own,
except that he’s been on my mind constantly since our team building
exercise last week.

I guess being handcuffed to someone for hours
does that to you!

Evvy hasn’t called. But I guess we both only
got out of prison like, yesterday.

 

 

6.56pm

Another bloody call from Sharon
downstairs.

She’s seriously driving me batty. Every time I
go downstairs to use my toilet outside, she traps me, and makes me
stay for HOURS with her. I’m gonna have to start peeing in a bucket
upstairs if this doesn’t stop.

Now she’s got my phone number
though.

 

(why? Why? Why did I give it to her?? Why??
What is wrong with me?)

She did help me unpack and create my pink unit
though, when I first moved in six months ago. So I deal with
her.

Plus I think she’s really lonely. But why I
have to suffer for that, I don’t know. But suffer I do.


Karina, you have to get down here
RIGHT NOW!” she near screamed.

(oh God, why??)

I hung up the phone and headed downstairs, and
she let me in her back door. “My toilet’s blocked,” she
announced.

Do I look like a plumber???


And Ken is going to be here, in
like FIVE MINUTES, and this is SO EMBARRASSING, help me SCOOP SOME
OF THIS SHIT OUT AND PUT IT IN YOUR TOILET – ”

It was just too much for me. “Sharon, if you
think I’m getting my hands up to my elbows in your shit –

(you’re crazier than you seem)


Oh my GOD, but he’s gonna be here
ANY SECOND – ”

Ken is our bigshot real estate agent. All suave
and good looks and flirt and charm.

He saw me coming a mile away, all my belongings
stuffed in the Civic (including the cat), and bruises still fresh
on me.

I signed the lease on the spot, without being
made aware the unit has an outdoor shower and toilet (toilet
outside, shower under the apartment block).

When I got to the unit and went to unpack, I
just sighed. Not much I could do now!

I so need to move.

 

 

 

8.26pm

I think all I’ve done for six months is eat
Cheetos, sip Coke, and watch Bo and Hope get together on DOOL after
like, two decades apart.

I’m so bored. I need a social life
again.

I’d like LOVE again. Not sure if I’ve ever
really had it properly, or been truly loved back.

Now that’s just sad.

 

Saturday 20 May 2000

3.55pm

So the Honda Civic TRULY died this week. With
me stranded on a roundabout at Venner Road. I decided then and
there, it was loan time. I have to have a car to get to
work.

And I decided on an Holden
Commodore.

 

(best car on the planet!!)

All the warehouse boys have Holden
Commodores…the girls have pretty feminine cars, Festivas and
Barinas and weird, ugly bubble cars…

 

Benny, a white VS Series II ute…Little Jon, a
silver VK

 

(love the old VK’s),

 

Lachlan, a mustard VG ute, Matt, an emerald VP,
gosh, too many to list…there’s an old turquoise VB (in immaculate
condition), another VN

(I say another CAUSE I NOW HAVE
ONE!!!!),

another VP, a VR…

and on the other side of the car park are the
bosses’ cars…all BMWs and Mercs and Jaguars.

But I’m not interested in them. I only have
eyes for the Holdens.

 

(and more specifically, Commodores)

 

I have a bit of a love affair with them,
actually.

Really, it’s Dad’s fault. We were raised
constantly being told, “There are two types of people in this
world: Ford people and Holden people. Pick who you are, and run
with it.”

Plus I was born in Elizabeth, South Australia,
home of the Holden factory. The whole suburb was Holden mad. Holden
boot parties every late arvo out the front of houses and in
driveways. I remember my dad and all his brothers with their hotted
up Toranas, standing around, drinking.

(Uncle Keith still does it)

So of course, when I needed a new car from the
Civic of Nat’s dying, I went straight to the Magic Mile at Moorooka
yesterday arvo to check out Commodores. Fell in love with one SO
BADLY, took it for a test drive, and roared around the block to the
caryard guy laughing nervously.

 

(my first roar around the block in a Commodore.
Will never forget it. Best moment of my life)

Then I begged Dad to come look at it, cause I
didn’t want to get ripped off or buy a dud. Dad grumpily drove it
round the same block I had, with the exact same leadfooting as his
daughter, then said, “You just want a Commodore cause of Dan and
all his mates.”

I was shocked. My own father doesn’t know me
very well, if he doesn’t know he’d brought up a little
revhead.

I just hadn’t had the opportunity to BE a
little revhead yet. I only just got my license not even a year ago,
after 35 driving lessons.

(yes, 35)

And I never even SEE Dan’s mates!

 

(except Evvy. But I didn’t even KNOW he has a
Commodore! All I saw was his weiner. As we were being arrested. Not
his car. But I couldn’t exactly tell Dad that.)


You’re always raring to go with
life, Karina,” he continued his (attack) lecture. “But then you get
knocked down, each and every time. Sometimes you just have to cool
it.”


Oh like I have for six months,
lying in bed, recovering from a broken back and multiple surgeries?
With no friends and nobody around me?”

(and after I’d just had the crap beaten out of
me by my stupid ex, I thought, but Dad hates to talk about anything
like that. Or anything, really. He just likes to joke around and
escape reality)

Dad hates when I talk like that, too. He takes
it as a personal affront against him, like he’s failed me, he
hasn’t been supporting me or around me, he’s a workaholic and would
rather be working than by his daughter’s side.

When I wasn’t even talking about
him!


Not to MENTION, on your FIRST
OUTING OUT IN A YEAR, you wind up IN PRISON – ”


That was a COMPLETE
MISUNDERSTANDING, I TRIPPED!!”

Dad snorted. “Tell that to the
judge!”


I will be!”


You just need to slow down, and not
rush everything – ”


Dad, we only have a limited time on
this earth, and most of my time so far has been crap. It’s about
time I had some fun,” I declared. “I deserve it.”

Dad just sighed. “Sometimes I can’t tell if
you’re really, really wise, or just very stupid.”


Thanks, Dad.”

 

(he just grumbled)

I bought the car!!!

I love it so damn much. Been roaring around the
neighbourhood in it all afternoon.

I traded the Civic in for $200 off the price,
and halfway to the car yard, the Civic’s gear stick jammed, and
smoke started coming out of the engine, and I had to drive the rest
of the way there in second gear, praying the engine wasn’t about to
explode.

Gotta get ready. Got a (nother) date with Ever
tonight.

Hope we don’t end up in prison
again.

 

 

 

Sunday 21 May 2000

5.12pm

Had such a great night last night. Bit upset by
my stupid family, but whatever.

I rang to talk to Nat just then, and got Dad’s
girlfriend.

She was so fucking rude!!

Straight away, she was launching into me about
getting a loan while I still owe Dad money.

Seriously! After all I’ve been through. Why
can’t my family just cut me some slack?? I needed a car TO GET TO
WORK, to pay them back their precious money!

Then Dad gets on the phone and was all shitty
and snapping. By the time Nat got on the phone, I was in tears.
“Don’t worry about them,” Nat said.


They never stop, it’s always one
judgement or another. They MAKE SURE I feel worthless –

Anyway…

So Evvy and I met at Balmoral cinemas, and saw
the 6.40pm session of ‘Gladiator.’ When I spotted him in the foyer,
his face lit up

(I could get used to a guy’s face lighting up
like that when he spots me. Not in anger/hate etc. Been so long),
and he said, “Hey, Jailbird.”

I stopped before him. “I see your fly’s done up
for this date.”

He laughed. “Shut up and stop being so funny
all the time. I’m the funny one.”


Oh, I know. I’ve been laughing all
week about last weekend.”

The movie was good. Ever kept looking over at
me, then when I’d meet his eyes and whisper, “What?” he’d go,
“Nothing,” and turn back to the screen. He did it so often I
whacked him.

Then Tom and the boys rang Ever

 

(odd, he’s become an Ever to me, not Evvy, like
everyone calls him)

 

on his mobile, and asked us to meet them in the
city, and Ever was all, “Nah, I don’t feel like it – ”

And I started yelling, “YES! YES! Let’s meet
them in there!”

Evvy groaned into his phone. “Apparently
Jailbird here wants to try to get me arrested all over again
–”

So Ever followed me in his Commodore

(oh my God, he has a HOT Commodore, a black,
sleek, sparkling brand new HSV VR ClubSport, like seriously brand
new and glittering),

 

back to mine, and, oh dear, I found it
EXTREMELY HOT, being followed by him in his sexy car.

(Holden Commodores are just SO DAMN
SEXY)

Once we were at my place, since I was so
excited about having just purchased (loaned) my hotted up
VN

(oh God, I love her spoiler and fins, I’M SO IN
LOVE),

BOOK: Shampoo
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