So, were sitting out on the small porch that comes off the kitchen of this little flat by the sea. Its past one in the morning. Im drinking beer with my hosts. The ocean tang floats in on a seabreeze, wafts through the back door, through the lounge room and kitchen, and out past us to bump into the still warm Camira where the salt is deposited and starts to eat at its noble bones.
The moon is shy, just visible behind the mountain range that runs close to the coast. Whats it up to?
Ive just finished a gig at the folk festival in Bulli which is just down the road. I did a lacklustre set in the grand old pub. Bummer. Dont tell anyone.
I knew it was going to be a weird day. My first gig was in a tin shed next to a greyhound track. As well as the barking, the nasally race announcer obviously didnt realise that having speakers on every telephone and lighting post within a hundred metres ensured hed be heard by everything with an ear within a two kilometre radius. Especially next door in a tin shed.
Dave and Lisa, my hosts, met about a year ago. Now they have a three-month-old boy asleep in his cot. Theirs was a fruitful meeting. They came to my gig. Lisa walks inside.
Im drinking and trying to understand the vagaries of stand-up comedy. I mean, when its going well, its bliss. Every nuance gets a response. But sometimes (rarely, thank the goddess) theres you blinking in a bright light, little rabbits of fear scampering up and down your spine, getting about as much response from the audience as youd get from a corpse.
But its not the audience thats dying.
Dave tokes contentedly on his fag. He kindly doesnt mention my gig.
Have you seen my bag, Dave? asks Lisa, coming back onto the porch. I cant find it.
After some fruitless searching, an awful truth sneaks into our early morning brains like an unwanted visitor. While we were sitting on the porch, some bugger has blown in through the back door and stolen her bag with both their wallets inside.
Now Im angry. About the theft and the gig. Dave is more philosophical and pacifist. (Well, he did paint NO WAR on the Opera House during the blood lust days.)
Police are called, details taken but catching the thief is not really going to happen.
We sit back on the porch. The breeze knocks in vain on the locked back door. The moon has done a runner. Today is nearly buried. Good.
Tomorrow Ive got a gig in the horse stables.