the holy days are over



Tuesday : time for Jess and Kingston to return home. Greg drove down from Canberra to pick them up in their borrowed truck aka a ford explorer. playgroup starts up this week; the second year of uni begins.

The holy days are over.

Our friend Mac had ridden down from Araluen for a visit on his on road /off road BMW  and he was ready to go home too. The fish weren’t biting and rain is forecast, he said.

I’m going to ride with him as far as Moruya, John tells me after breakfast. I am playing Thomas ball games with the little king helping vaguely in the pack up. I look at Jess, that’s ok mum we are readyish. I want to come too, I reply.

It made sense to meet up in Narooma at Montague for a coffee. Kingston wraps himself tightly around me his fingers twirling in my hair his eyes glassy. Gandma he says, I love you. I love you too, I say.

The sky is grey puffballs of white, layer upon layer of thick woolly woven clouds. it is sombre, it is holding on the verge of drizzle… suspended teasing. A cool wind accompanies us .

 We pass a car and a boat for sale sitting on the layby at the top of the hill as we enter Narooma. The aquamarine blue waters of Wagonga Lake shine thru the spotty gums. Goolaga squats pregnant green silent in the background. John stops as does Mac and we  read the details printed on the car window.

Jess turns her gaze towards it as they enter town.

Low mileage fat tyres leather seats immaculate condition tinted windows  discussed over coffee and slabs of orange almond cake, carrot cake apple muffin and a bubba nino.

A beautiful day to ride echoes Mac John and me. Is there a day that isn’t?

Sahi and friends are sitting at the front of the café. She comes over and runs her eye over the legend of Kingston John. He ducks his head into his Mum when Sahi tells him that she hears lots of stories about him at our Saturday morning writers group.

It is obvious that we all go back and peer thru the windows of the Mazda 3. It is obvious that we ring and inquire further and still more obvious that the man should turn up five minutes later with keys and the service record. Info is sought and given, seats are sat in and a drive around the block is had.

Kingston and I explore down the hill a little way. We discover a rusting hulk with a cacti and a tree growing out of it. It is on its roof in much the same position Jess found herself in a few weeks ago when she slid across a wet road one evening then back into a bank followed by a roll or two, that part she doesn’t remember. The windows shattered except the front one ,the engine was still running and she dangled upside down having a close encounter with her mortality.

     On closer inspection the wreck becomes  a very old truck judging by the door handle we discover.

Even metal returns to the earth.

A copper pulls up in his blue highway car and puts out the orange cones. Kingston watches the process of waving and  testing. At one point Mac and Elio the seller seek rego information from the copper.

Negotiations take place and  Greg shakes Elios hand. The deal is done.

Everyone is surprised.

 what happens now? it is lunchtime so we decide to meet up again in Moruya for a bite to eat.

We are  following the steps of a dance, a dance that choregraphed six seven eight  people to a hill in a beachside town on a cool morning to buy a car.

John opts for  the scenic route via Kianga and Dalmeny. Mac follows. Baranguba Island ( Montague to some) is a mystical outline on a pale blue washed  sea. The chunky rocky outcrops along the coast catch the white white spray that wave up and crash down.

Jess was lucky very lucky. She  managed to contort her body out of the seatbelt and climb out thru a window. Three men were running down the road one on the phone and one stepped up with first aid training. The police the ambulance the firies arrived. Her aunty came gathered her up and took her home. Her body battered  bruised and whole.

Like a stone thrown into the dam the after effects rippled out thru family and friends, a moment to pause and attend, to become present to be grateful to remember something perhaps.

Toasted sandwiches arrived the cool wind sweeping around us at our outdoor table where we run into  activist law student mother Lisa on her lunch break. She will be admitted to the bar this winter. And then offer herself up pro bono to the greenie’ s saving the planet one tree one marine park one koala at a time.

We check out her new ultra cool soft blacktopped BMW car. She says, I turned 50 last year,Dad died in August Mum in October and my partner told me he loved someone else. So fuck them all I bought myself a beamer.

There was no more to eat. The debrief wound down.

Another round of hugs and kisses and we all departed for our homes.

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