I see Ben around a bit. He lives down the road. He’s a great-grandfather and he’s lived in Bondi most of his life.
Ben makes me smile because he has a thing he does. Mid-mornings. after he’s taken his great-granddaughter to school, he comes out to the road and sits in his little car and reads in the sun.
He wear Superman nylon boxers and a tweed driving cap. And leaves the door ajar even though the street is a busy one. He reads mostly historical fiction and Sidney Sheldon. But 9 out of ten times I see him, he’s not reading, he’s snoozing.
So cute. Ben’s found his spot.
Which is a spot that isn’t meant to be ideal, but because of this, it becomes more than ideal.
There’s a bunch of old women in North Bondi who, every summer afternoon, sit out on flimsy beach furniture and share a beer in the tiny driveway outside their block of flats. They could walk 100m to the beach and have a view and a breeze. But the randomness of their spot works for them.
I was once doing this massive bike ride in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney. I suddenly had an urge to stop at this spot. It was just a spot on the track. Not picturesque. I sat my bike down and lay on the rocky ground, my head propped on a log. I didn’t bother to take off my helmet. And I fell asleep for ten glorious minutes, with ants crawling all over me and twigs sticking into my bum. Never have I met a sweeter, sunnier spot. It was because of the rocks, the log, the wrongness of it that made it sooooo good.
A spot can just be random. But it becomes a favourite because it works. The randomness of it. The wrongness of it. It makes it whimsical and special.
You found your spot?