It doesn’t take long for me to be headed for the Quix convenience store, another Turramurra location I’ve had a long relationship with. Mostly my relationship has been the buying of ice creams, and hovering around out the front eating them.
When I was a teenager I did my best to imagine Quix like a convenience store from an American film: Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, or Heathers, or Clerks. In my fantasies, I’d walk up there at night and hang around outside with my slurpee and interesting people, people like me, would appear and strike up conversations. We’d go on adventures, walking around the streets at night, having conversations filled with wonder.
As I waited for the lights to change so I could cross the Pacific Highway, I noticed there was a For Sale sign outside Quix. On the 9th of November it would be auctioned at the Hilton hotel in the city. Apart from the sign, the store was functioning as normal. A man was manoeuvring his Hummer out of a parking space, the huge rotating brushes of the car wash were looming over a hatchback, and inside the store there was a crowd around the ice cream fridges. A big man in the kind of casual wear that rich people wear on the weekends gripped a white Magnum, while others peered in to choose their particular ice cream. I was worried that my desired one would be sold out, but when I looked in I saw that in the depleted fridge there was one section that was still full: the Golden Gaytimes.
It had been a long time since I bought a Gaytime, although they are one of my favourites. (And yes, the Gaytime has a website, quite a preposterous one – those from other lands can click to see what the hell I’m talking about here.) I was shocked to pay $3.90 for it, though, which was double what I expected it to be. As I paid I noticed a bowl with dented apples in it on the counter. A sign above it read “Fruit! $2!”. I felt sorry for these apples in such plastic surrounds, located next to packets of individual doses of No-Doze.
Outside I unwrapped the Gaytime, which, although expensive, was of exactly the same taste and appearance as they have always been. I bit into it and watched people filling their cars with petrol, feeling as if I was in a toy model of a service station. No one, of course, came up to talk to me, as no one ever has when I’ve been here at the Quix. But in the near future, things will be very different, when I own the place.