On the drive, we tune the radio to whatever is local. Eventually one station drops out and another has to be found; pushing buttons through static till something sounds like song. But as we get into the hills the only thing that plays clearly is football commentary. Not the football I know – not soccer – AFL. But commentators sound the same everywhere – the same passion, the same pitch, the same staccato excitement. And the familiarity is soothing.
My dad listens to football on the radio, or he did when I lived at home, more than a decade ago. Football was on Saturdays but in my memory the weekend has blurred; Sunday roasts and football on the same day. The commentators screeching as dad preps the potatoes and mum gets in from the garden. It’s autumn and we’re having parsnips and I’ve finished all my homework and there’s something really good on telly at 8pm.
No one ever tells you you’ll miss a home roast dinner this much. No one ever tells you you’ll cry thinking about chicken.
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