John A Scott
"In the darkness he undressed and slipped cautiously into bed, wondering if the decision to leave his underpants on had been erotically sound...Blair, holding in his stomach, just allowed the edges of their bodies to touch. It looked at least as if Julia would be passive. For that he Gave God thanks.
"Enter Eric Blair, wit and would-be lover. Shambling through tutorials, galleries, amateur poetry readings, soirées and sex shoppes, he sets out in pursuit of Julia...but who is in pursuit of Blair? What terrifying information is contained in the areogrammes? And whose body lies chopped up in the suitcase...?"
No, this third time she would be gone. An afternoon, a weekday bleached by summer light, would see her taken from him.
The previous year, his mother, swaddled in the pink blanket of her winter's coat with its suspiciously clinking pockets, had been escorted through the gates of the old Melbourne airport. He stared down at the tarmac, the rain-heavy wind sniping at its shining surface. His father, now beside him, leant exhaustedly against the rails of the observation deck, his trousers darkened with the run-off from his plastic raincoat.
Ten yards from the waiting plane she made a break for the departure lounge. Taken by surprise, the flight attendant set off in pursuit. There was a brief struggle - in appearance not unlike a paratrooper reining in a wayward chute - before her spindly frame with its hillock belly and thrashing matchstick legs was finally subdued. Throwing her arms in defeat about the shoulders of the attendant, she was carried in a bizarre parody of matrimony up the aircraft steps and across the threshold of another life. Until the telephone call from Sydney.
From the Penguin paperback edition, 1988.
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