S Sense

Morning. Early.

The sun is still trowelling a gold gilt onto the trees that line the dirt road which winds its way down from my shack in the hills. Im going to work. (I love saying that.)

The Barina bounces from rut to rut. I concentrate and try to avoid potholes that are bigger than my wheel diameter which isnt huge. Once I got stuck in a Commodore tyre track.

My brain is not working well. (What was that last prime ministers name?) You see, I have already worked a day (yes, a whole day) this week and got through it. Champion. That was worthy of a little celebration last night. A glass or two of wine. A slow dance to Ruby Turner. With my pillow.

And now, Im off to work a second day. In a row. Im worried I might be turning into a workaholic.

(Once I worked four days in the same week!)

The wallabies munching the tall grass along the road are well used to the high pitched whine of the Barina and merely lift their heads as it careens past.

I slip some funky beats into the cars stereo. (Hey, Im a groover.) Its loud, but cuts through the low rumble in my brain.

One joey, too young to be used to anything, is startled by Gloria Gaynor and takes off across the road directly in front of me. I veer a little, drop into a dark pothole, turn on my headlights, change down a gear and scramble out again.

Down the hill a bit, a tall man with a shaved head is walking very, very slowly in the same direction as me. He has bare feet and an Indian shawl wrapped over his shoulders. I reckon hell make Lismore by the time the rising seas do. The sun glints yellow off his noggin. As I pass him I turn round and see that his eyes are closed as he walks.

Looking forward again I realise I have dropped into another pothole even deeper than the first. I reverse out.

Further on, I pass a woman who is walking towards me. But backwards. Yes, she is walking up the hill towards the tall guy with his eyes shut, backwards.

As I pass, I look around and see she is laughing. At herself. At the noisy miners that have taken flight at the Barinas passing; at the sun which lifts itself effortlessly higher than the trees theyre nesting in; at I will survive booming out.

Looking forward again Im surprised to see that I have not plummeted down a pothole but merely run off the road surprising an old buck wallaby and collecting a gum branch in my wheel.

As I pass my communitys entrance, kids waiting for the school bus all turn to the Barina and start some pretty exaggerated disco dancing, laughing madly.

Finally out on the road to town, squashed in my tiny car with a tree branch scraping the road, nodding my cowboy hat to some dire disco, Im amazed at how weird the people I live with are.


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