ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

On his way to be paid a wage that can’t keep up with inflation at a company that’s one dropped client away from folding has let out a long breath on the bus this morning, hoping that next year will be the year that things finally change for him.

The Channel Country regional salesman for Franco-British Paints told The Advocate that he’s not taking much time off over the break because financially, he’s already at breaking point and needs to keep “his ear the grindstone – or whatever it is”.

For Christmas, the 39-year-old explained that he initially had plans to visit his family interstate but because of the sudden surge in airfares and fuel, he’s decided to stay at home and smoke cannabis to the point where he’s completely disassociated from time and space.

“It’s becoming somewhat of a ritual,” he told our reporter as they waited for the D45 electric trolley bus at the Green Road interchange in Betoota Heights.

“Airfares go up every Christmas and I get stuck doing the same old thing. They actually tried to come out to see me here a few years ago but they’re on the pension so it all got a bit much. But I’m 39 at the end of the day, I should be able to manage an airfare, shouldn’t I? Christ, I’m just glad I never had a family. Where would we live?”

“I should’ve done a trade or something, I’d have a house by now. At least a flat, anyway. But yeah, look, I’m going to go into it now but yeah, this normal sort of life that everyone else seems to have just never happened to me. Just work and bills, some friends but they’re all moving on with their lives. Anyway, it doesn’t depress me, that’s for sure. I’m lucky I just don’t have that gene,”

“Which is why I think next year could be the one that turns it all around. I can’t see, if you’re in my position, why you wouldn’t just hope things turn around. Maybe, I should go to university? Maybe I could join the Navy? Sure, the food’s shithouse and you might sink but at least that’d be something. It’s not smoking cones on my couch and listening to slowed down, reverbed 90s Pink Floyd on shitty Apple headphones that crackle like granny’s radio,”

“It’s something to look forward to, the next chapter.”

More to come.


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