House number two was above a shop in Sydney. The corner of Parramatta Road and Crystal Street to be precise. When the bikie headquarters was blown up, our windows shook. And there was a drive-by shooting the night of our housewarming. The housewarming and shooting were unrelated. A customer at the brothel a couple of doors down was evidently unhappy. We, on the other hand, had several cases of Carlton Draught and couldn’t have been happier.
My ancestors on both sides lived on the top of shops, so I feel comfortable in them. This was my first house of my very own. I was at university, studying to be a public servant, or so I thought. I loved this house, with its funny, random stairs to a couple of rooms. I had a little alcove for my desk and a sunny room, up three stairs from there. The room had two doors, but no way to fit a double bed in the room and open both of them. We were a classic student household. I missed my mountains but loved the crates of beer and handpainted foosball table. One night, in the midst of a wall climbing competition, I put my foot through the wall. The frame we hung around it lasted much longer than my tenancy there.