She speeds | Otago Daily Times Online News

I was kicked out of Brockville once. I had just finished my shift at Little Sisters of the Poor and was performing a half-halo in my sedan when a car drove towards me without slowing down. In fact, the driver accelerated. I read this gesture as hostile and even though I was in my caregiver uniform and away from my workplace, I gave him a lone middle finger to let him know how I felt.

It was a mistake because he turned around at the bus stop and stalked me all the way down the fun twisty Brockville Rd slide. He was still following me as I drove through the Kaikorai Valley and up to Kenmure.

This errand boy seemed determined to hunt me down for my gesture, but rudeness or addressing someone too directly are practically crimes in Dunedin. He gave up on terrorizing me as he exited the roundabout towards Highgate, and I then resolved to give less fingers to other drivers. Or only to cars without spoilers.

There are several places in Dunedin where the police tend to catch you driving unlicensed, unregistered and unwarranted and Brockville is one of them so it pays to keep a lower profile than your tires .

Another thing Brockville is more famous for than being mashed by the police is Shayne P. Carter, who didn’t learn to drive until middle age. He was too busy playing guitar while humming and mocking himself in the mirror to learn anything practical. Imagine growing up in Brockville without learning to drive. Shayne Carter is weird! Someone on Twitter tried to tell me that technically Shayne grew up in Glenross and that I resisted doing the sensible thing, which was to block her for messing with my story.

One thing that would draw more people to Brockville would be if there was a statue of Shayne Carter. Like the Peter Pan statue in the Botanical Garden, but instead of being dedicated to eternal youth, it would be a sanctuary to earn your license later in life.

One thing I know from reading her memoir 147 times is that learning to drive changed Shayne Carter’s life for the better. And that the artists forget to check if there is water in the car when they go on long journeys. Poets hardly ever drive, which is good. Too busy making garlands, watching lupines and starting fights.

Probably the best place to erect the statue of Shayne is at the bus stop near the shops in Brockville to warn riders to pay their fines. But really, the perfect place for Shayne the Brockville bronze is in the front runners.

Brockville Upper Field is possibly the darkest place in New Zealand, unless it’s the two days of the year when we get good snow. It’s like Christmas then. In July.

It’s also a good place to hide if you’re having an affair and too cheap for a motel. So I heard. Technically, business is impossible in Dunedin because everyone knows someone who…but people persist with them, sometimes even on social pages, also known as court news.

After the weekend sports are over, the top field is empty. He has a nihilistic energy. There is not there, there. It’s a goth music video from Dunedin waiting to happen.

My great-aunt says great art has to have swing, it has to have movement. So Shayne the Bronze will have to hold a guitar and his knees will have to bend like Elvis. It seems certain that Shayne P. Carter would hate Shayne the bronze, but that hardly matters.

Statues are politically out of fashion, usually because they depict white men who have razed the very ground they are placed on with just their colonial gaze. But fortunately Shayne is also Maori, so Shayne the Bronze will remedy an imbalance. Also, a lot of brown people live in Brockville, it has been the scene of many cozy parties, including the 21st century one I was invited to.

My son’s father was wearing a tuxedo with a crisp white shirt and no bow tie, eating meat patties in a garage when Marvin Gaye came on the PA system. I was the only one screaming and he laughed and let me dance to Let’s Get it On. He was acclimated to letting me do a dick of myself at that point. I was also tormenting a Lenny Kravitz ex so it was a perfect winter evening to just wear a cardie and a dress as I was born here and it makes me cold hardy by default.

What I failed to mention about Brockville is the view. One thing the Little Sisters did well, aside from dying, was lunch. All residents, even those in wheelchairs and the insane, were seated at tables with appropriate placemats, cutlery and napkins. Caregivers briefly acted as foster staff, even those sneakily pouring food into elderly mouths with the bibs underneath we had to call feeders because they weren’t infants.

There were small glasses of sherry and an artist was making his glass with a spoon for a drop of pinot noir that had been in the fridge for weeks. And spread out before the ancient and not so poor was this city and its sleeping volcanic hills overlooking the sea on all sides but the west rising behind us.

After a while I forgot how amazing the view was. I was too busy working in that suburb dominated by the State Houses, up there at the top of the bottom of the world.

-Talia Marshall

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