I am officially stood up
it was friday and I had just finished my afternoon shift at Black Wattle Gallery ahead of me was a home alone evening for John and I. Greg had hived off to elsies place for a footy game. we are into the final countdown of the season and each weekend is nail-biting love affair. he took the wife and the baby with him. bec’s away, me and my man home alone. I discard the take away curry option because I have a couple of chops in the coolroom and decide a movie might be the go. one of those action types that don’t highbrow us about anything in particular except serve up the hero who is often a bad good guy winning the day and the girl. it is a tired old formula and I blame Hogan’s heroes, Bonanza and the Avengers for this deviance in my character. why don’t I get off on comedies like Cheryl does? Greg did put it on a little britain show the other evening and I was challenged to watch it which I did but I don’t think I laughed. I blame the benny hill show for this state of affairs. so I called into our united service station that has been in the hands of the Indians ever since Guy and Tanya sold it. I spend ages in their movie room allowing the chink chink of sale and slam of credit machine and have a nice evening wash over me. I finally choose one, an overnighter but in all seriousness it is a dismal collection . I take it up to the counter and this is what happened. are you new? the young Indian man asks me uh??? are you new to town? he repeats a tad impatiently. aaahh no..been here about 30 odd years with a bit of a grin. you haven’t been here before?? aaah yes.. he fires off a in a not to be understood communication with her in the back room, she replies in a not to be understood language. have you any id? he asks. what the heck is going on? I am thinking. how about my driver’s license I say holding it out? he looks at it, you live at wandella ?? I detect suspicion from him but why? yes, you have probably seen me in here . I stop smiling perhaps that is the problem. no he shakes his head handing the card back to me . more conversation between him and her. then he says that will be a $20 deposit and when you bring it back we will refund. just forget it thanks. no problem he says . I wander out into late friday arvo traffic snarl at the petrol pumps have a yarn thru a car window to Luciano. he laughs and laughs telling me that he has heard a few stories like that. and then a friday later I am in Cobargo again a meeting for coffee at Chalk and Cheese to finalise the survey for the Black Wattle Gallery and who wants to do what in terms of workshops. I am finished and walking towards to the car when John roars around the corner on the bike stopping when he sees me. where to my man? Bodalla he says, to get a matchbox car for the little kings birthday on sunday. yep he will be two. well how about meeting me for a curry on your way back? you won’t believe it because I didn’t but he said no. things to do ,this and that and didn’t know how long and … ok I get it . I am officially stood up. see you at home then. so I head off to Bermagui for sausages for a beach bbq, eat a danish pastry and indulge in some whale watching. the waves are troughs and peaks with choppy little white caps but no whale not like monday when I sat at the beach of souls and saw a massive black shape heave up and over a splash and flick of a tail an oh my god moment again!!! I drive back to Cobargo with the setting sun full square in my eyes and I hum and ha and hum and ha and then decide to go home and what , have a sandwich for tea that did it. I sit and eat a chicken curry at sweet home cobargo there is music later but for now it is me dining alone though people are passing thru for take aways. Cathy tells me she is getting married only been with Bob for 17 years so why not? a beach ceremony ,she has been trying to die sand but its not working so she is buying it over the internet instead. are you coming up to the opening of the Monet mobs watercolour exhibition? Elizabeth asks I am. she has to report on behalf of our local rag the triangle so she takes off her apron and heads off. the exhibition is on at the lazy lizard gallery which used to be Bass Gas when Guy and Tanya had it and then they moved up the hill and sold to the Indians. from servo to gallery . I follow and join a gathering of shapes and sizes and colours, a barman with a bow tie, a fire in a drum on the pavement , champagne corks popping, dips and spring rolls, chips and olives. the Monet mob are a group of women who have been painting together for 7 years, none are under 50 and the oldest is in her 90’s. for most of then it is their first exhibition and it is good work. they are humble and speeches flow, cameras click children run around. the sky darkens and John turns up freezing has a glass of wine, a snack, a chat, a look at the art. perhaps we are having a date after all.