Dad owns the pub. If anything happens there, he gets the final say. That’s what he tells me. But it’s kind of like family here, ‘cause I know everyone. Good cunts. I’m supposed to stay upstairs but I don’t. Everyone likes to see me and Dad likes to have his boy there and then Mum gets kind of angry and happy at the same time because she wants me to go back up but she likes seeing me hang with the boys and likes seeing Dad smile. My bedtime is eight thirty but I usually get to stay up later than that.
Kingi’s my favourite. He’s a truck driver and I want to be a truck driver when I grow up. He comes to watch the rugby and have a few. When he hits the piss he gets real friendly and I sit up on his table. That backer’s shit eh boy he says to me, and I nod and tell him he’s right. We’ll get em he says and I nod again.
My bedtime is kind of sweet when I do go, because I have all of the All Blacks cards on my wall. Piri Weepu is my favourite and every time he’s in a game I stay up with the boys and watch him score. The rest of my bedroom’s just normal stuff, but I have the cards Blu-Tacked on the wall where my head goes just so I can look at them. I got a Umaga poster too but that’s on the other side of my room. Dad is always downstairs so it’s better than no goodnights. Sometimes I say goodnight to Piri before I hit the sack.
The ground is cracked and dark brown. It’s all wood still. Most pubs are lino now, but we’re still wood. Dad wouldn’t have it another way. I like the smell of it and I like sitting on the metal at the bottom of the bar. Usually there’s people standing there just having a few, but at the end where there’s no seat I can sit there and just watch the game if none of the boys are there yet. Usually they are though. I used to have some toys behind the bar, and Dad would put a blanket down for me. I still have a couple but I don’t play with them. Rugby’s pretty serious, you have to keep your eye on it.
I was joking around with Joey at school and we were fighting at lunchtime, and I was winning. We were just laughing but I had him in a headlock and I said to him ‘you’re going to accept it and you’re going to like it, boy’ and wasted him.
On my birthday when I turned eight Kingi and the boys gave me a Hurricanes scarf. I look just like them now. Dad looked real proud when I wrapped it around my neck. It’s too long but that’s OK. It’s the colours, you have to wear the right colours. Just one of those things eh.
Billy said that Carter was a sad so I hit him and told him to fuck off. He was crying heaps and I said sorry but he shouldn’t have said that Carter was sad. Miz Saker was real angry and I had to stay inside for lunch. She asked me if we were friends and I told her we were, and she asked me why I hit him and I told her why, and she got a bit upset and said that we don’t hit people just because they like a different rugby team. She said rugby’s all well and good but it’s just a game. I reckon she doesn’t get it. Probably doesn’t get it. She asked me if I ever saw anyone else hit someone because of what they said about my team. I told her that no one messes with my team, or else there’s a smash. Kingi smashed a guy who was from out of town for it. She asked me who Kingi is and I told her he was one of my boys. After he picked me up and we sat at the table just rooting for the team. Kingi’s a good sort. She said she wanted me to tell her friend about the boys, and about why rugby was important. I told her of course. She probably needs to watch more games and chill out.
Her friend was this guy from Wellington. Bit thin and he wore a tie. Sometimes the accountant has a tie. The boys give him shit but it’s all good. I didn’t give him shit because I don’t want to get in trouble. Someone’s always trying to get me down. His name’s Mr Wilkins but he says I can call him Simon. He asked me what home’s like and what I do there for fun. I told him about rugby and he asked what I liked about it. I just told him about the boys and hanging with them. He said it sounds fun. I said he should come around for a few and he said a few what, and I said my Dad owned the pub and he could have a few beers and meet the boys. He said he probably couldn’t ‘cause he lives in Wellington and watches rugby there. That’s choice. All good. I told him about the boys and he asked me to do this thing for him where I drew him a house. I’m not good at drawing but I tried anyway. I drew the upstairs, where the small kitchen is and the bedrooms. And the TV, but I don’t really use the TV there. I drew the pub and the metal at the end of the bar and the tables and the big TV where we all watch the game, and I drew where Dad stands and the stairs. Then he asked me to draw people into it, and I put me and the boys at the big table, and Dad behind the bar. Simon asked me where Mum was so I drew her upstairs, with Jaina. He asked who Jaina was and I told him my sister. He asked what my sister does. I just said she plays upstairs.
Jaina is still little.
The next time I talked to Simon he asked about Mum. He said what does your Mum do and I told him she just backs up Dad. Dad’s good like that, always has Mum around the bar too. But she just stays around the kitchen and checks us upstairs. Pretty much. Cooks a good feed though. Every Thursday is roast and corn. Used to be Friday but the boys didn’t eat much then. Mum says Jaina will learn to do the roast when she’s older. She’s still just a bub though. You don’t mess with my girl eh.
I’m sitting at the bar with Kingi and this guy at school today had a nudie mag. She was sitting on a toolbox and had her legs open. It was all red down there. This chick at school got really upset. Said we were being dicks. Bitch was just angry we weren’t looking at her. I ask Kingi about women. He says you ever seen a naked chick man? I nodded at him. Then you pretty much seen it all eh?