New boss in town

MY favourite restaurant in Kempsey was a place called Louis Cafe. It had the style of a 1950s American diner with early Hollywood posters on the walls. “Overpriced,” my Mum used to call the place. But they served Spiders. So logically it was the best place in town. There was a new manager of DOCS. My social worker and I agreed to meet him there. We sat at the table as the manager sat across from us. He brought out colourful balls from his pockets – five, six, seven – and juggled them flawlessly. Slowly, faster, a colourful blur of orange, red and blues. Two hand. One hand. Tobey said he used to be into clowning. “Can I have a go!” I asked, so after the meal we went to the nearest semi-private place. I learned to juggle underneath the main street bridge. I used balls made of rice and balloons. “Wow!” Toby said to the social worker when I was able to juggle three balls. “How old is he?” “11.” “He has the reflexes of a 13-year-old.” And I felt special. Not that shit sort of special either. I’d been marked in that group many times. No. I felt naturally gifted. We made my own juggling balls so I could become the welterweight boxing champion of the world  earn the reflexes of a 14-year-old.

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