I heard Dad’s belt buckle clatter as he pulled his jeans on, a sure sign that he was about to leave the house. I got out of bed and knocked on his door, stepping over dirty clothes and computing manuals to reach him. He was sitting on the side of his waterbed lacing up his sneakers.
“Where are you going?” I asked.
“To K-Mart” he said.
“Why? Can I come?” I asked.
“The new Madonna album’s out” he said.
Dad stood up and headed toward the door.
“But can I come?” I asked, grabbing his hand as he walked towards the front door.
He looked down at me.
“If you start annoying me to buy you anything I won’t take you next time” he said.
“I won’t, promise!” I said as I ran off to my room to change out of my pyjamas.
I bolted outside after I heard Dad rev his Yamaha. He had already reversed out of the driveway and looked set to take off without me.
“Wait for me!” I said, struggling to lace up my shoes and put Dad’s spare helmet on at the same time.
I jumped on the back, careful not to touch the chrome exhaust with my bare leg, and we took off down Wanneroo Road. There was nothing I liked more than being on the back of the motorbike.
When we got to the shops we headed straight for K-mart at a clipping pace. I gazed lovingly at all of the display items in the Games Workshop, Australian Geographic shop and Toys R Us, suppressing the urge to plead with Dad to buy me a board game, a novelty Kangaroo coloured pen, or really anything. When we made it to the K-Mart Audio Visual Department we were greeted by a massive monochrome poster of Madonna with her long lashes shut and her big, shimmering lips opening in a moan hanging above the counter. Dad strode right up to it, where a teenage girl was pricing cassettes.
“Hi, I’ve pre-ordered a copy of Erotica” he said to her.
“Oh right, of course, what name would that be under?” she asked.
“Clive” he said.
“Oh, sorry, I meant what’s your surname, your order will be under your surname” she replied, blushing slightly.
“Salvage” he replied.
“And what’s your name?” he said, with a sleazy look on his face. She pretended not to hear him.
“Here you go” she said, presenting him with a gleaning new CD with the groaning mouth as the poster on the front cover.
“That’ll be $29.95” she said.
Dad paid in cash, and we walked out of the shops, away from all the toys. He slipped the CD in his motorcycle jacket, and we got back on the bike.
As we were making our way back out to the entrance, I started feeling sleepy.
“Dad, what would happen if I fell asleep on the bike?” I asked.
“You’d fall off and die” he replied.
I was scared stiff for the first couple of minutes, but since I’d stayed up late the night before eyes started drooping again after a couple of minutes. One time my head jerked back after hitting the back of his jacket after drifting off.
“I almost died!” I thought to myself as we raced back down Wanneroo Road. I wondered what being dead would be like.
When we got inside Dad went straight back into his bedroom, and I listened as he put the CD in the CD player. I heard some low beats, followed by Madonna breathily sing “Erotica. Romance. I like to put you in a trance.” By the time Madonna had confessed that she was going to let her mouth go where it wants to, I decided that it was probably time to go to the park. I yelled out to Dad to tell him I was leaving but I don’t think he heard.