Some people find the dawn enchanting. A time of beauty when the quiet can be felt: A time of contemplation as you prepare for the trials of the day ahead. Sky Crystal was clearly one of those people; an early riser who, even before sunup, was always insufferably nice.
A new millennium flower-child in search of the nineteen sixties, Sky meditated first thing every morning in her correctly aligned cosmic environment, the spare bedroom. With white walls and no decorations or furniture to distract, the room was stark, but certainly not empty: A large glass pyramid in the centre of the floor dominated, while a variety of potted plants around the room threatened an invasion of green.
Smoke spiralled upwards from the incense burners at each corner of the pyramid as Sky sat inside, eyes closed, legs crossed and iPod plugged. Above a background of soothing ambient music, the voice of a west coast American man oozed, “Don’t let negative feelings ruin your day”.
Sky concentrated as the wisdom of the latest new-age messiah from California eased her into the day. “Remember how when you were a young child each day was a new adventure. All the sights and sounds, and smells around you seemed to lift you up and carry you along as though on a cloud. That’s how all life should be. That’s how your life can be, so make sure you start each day with nothing but positive thoughts.”
Next door, Jane Thomas was not an early morning girl. She thought dawns were best slept through and couldn’t remember when she last saw one. On the morning of what was to be the first day of her penultimate year at school, that most tranquil and peaceful of records was shattered when her father, a dedicated and determined early riser, burst into her bedroom.
“Come on, wakey, wakey. Rise and shine. Today’s the big day,” Dean rejoiced, hovering over his daughter’s bed waiting for some sign of action.
Jane peeked out from under the covers. The clock radio glared 6:07 back at her forcing her to close her eyes again. “Is this a bad dream about the army, or the start of a nightmare?” Jane said in a voice loud enough for her father to hear.
“Got to be bright eyed and bushy tailed for the new school,” Dean exclaimed as he swished open the curtains, filling the room with light.
“The nightmare, I knew it,” Jane said to herself. This was a day she had not been looking forward to. A day her parents had carefully saved for over many years.
Madge Thomas was also nervous about the day. An attractive woman in her forties she had dressed with extra care this morning for the drive out to her daughter’s new school. In her best suit and the expensive Italian shoes, kept for only the most special of occasions, she looked particularly elegant. Her husband on the other hand, looked his normal everyday self in his bib style apron and polished brown brogues as they sat down at the kitchen table for their first tea of the day.
Dean and Madge Thomas never ate breakfast, preferring to start the day with a cup of tea and the television news. A small story about Alan Bond’s return to the world of deals caused Dean to sit up with interest. The real-life soap opera of Alan Bond and his once great property and brewing empire had run its course, ending with a stretch and her majesty’s pleasure where he painted some nice pictures of fellow crims. Reduced to colour spots at the end of the news, the Bond saga was by now little more than a subject of idle curiosity and gossip for most Australians, but not for Dean Thomas.
Dean was not one of those fair weather supporters who praised Bond when he won the America’s Cup only to denounce him a few years later. No, he remained a loyal admirer of the Bondy so carefully created by a legion of myth makers and media masseurs.
For Dean most things were either black or white, and as far as he was concerned Bond was whiter than white. Madge however, saw the great virtue in greyness.
Next door, Sky Crystal completed her preparations for a day of business and personal success. Standing trance-like in front of a full length mirror she spoke with confidence to the image of herself.
Sky, your dreams will be fulfilled and you will succeed.
Whatever you need to know will be revealed.
You are intelligent, capable and thoughtful.
You have prepared the business well.
You will have plenty of customers.
Selling the products of love and enlightenment is a good road to prosperity.
All is well.
I am true.
Sky had chanted the same affirmation every morning since her cosmic awakening two years earlier at a workshop on spiritual positivism in Los Angeles. While, she was sure she felt better for the chanting, Sky was still waiting for her new-age business to improve. Waiting and hoping.
In the next episode, “Double terminated”, Sky enthuses about the virtues of crystals and warns Dean Thomas that rubbing the glass front of the deli bar could be dangerous.