I THINK, I think, I remember how I was put in my first foster home. The abuse at home. The fights. They got too much for Mum.
“Hide in the car,” she whispered to me. “I’ll be there soon.” And I slunk to the garage and squeezed in the back. Ten minutes later Mum got in the car and drove past the house. After we rolled down the driveway and were no longer visible from the house windows, Mum slipped me some Tim Tams.
We visited a psychologist. I remember little of Sally Ferret but she was the one who made the call that I needed to be in a foster home with my eight-year-old brother, just for the time being.
The two story home was easily the nicest in the rough section of town. A smoke deprived DOCS worker irritably shuffled us in the house. The parents were in the kitchen. The two kids our own age watching Dragon Ball Z.
They were Aborigines! I’d never been so close to an Aborigine before. But I didn’t care. Dragon Ball Z was on TV! We didn’t have TV at home. This was fantastic.
Ryan was my own age. Keagan was about my brother’s age. They had a Nintendo 64 and the best game they had was Snowboard Kids 2. We watched Dragon Ball. We played Snowboard Kids all day.
But I will never forget that moment one afternoon. The foster father – a solid indifferent man who towered us all – handed his kids a pack of Pokemon cards. “Here you go,” he said to them, right in front of my brother James and I.
“What about us?” I asked as the kids thanked their dad and tore at the foil.
“Those cards are out of our own money,” the father said.