I was hanging half out the door with my rucksack in the left hand, and a rosewood ukulele in the other when the car begun to roll away, mother in her usual fashion screamed her goodbyes from the window and it was over. I was leaving home. Again. It was not that long ago I remember they used to stand at the isle, mum would hold my hand and tears would well as she kissing and hugged the last moment away. I imagined I was dragging my new rucksack to the far ends of the earth. As it turned out I just shifted interstate. From one town to the next, riding on a cheap roller coaster that does multiple laps to make up for it’s short lived thrills. If I'm to be non-sentimental about this, and in light of my age, I’ll have to presume hot chicks probably don’t dig slobbering mum’s doting at airports.
I begin to ponder this while I check the baggage. Late. It had been a tough stint this time around, begging up some sort of entertainment from an otherwise entertaining City. Home life had been hectic, not the place for a young man to have been living with a girlfriend. As it were, I only had to refer to my empty purse to see what had become a big bummer in all of this. I was leaving as broke as I had arrived. Something about the City had become distinctly expensive, and if am to try nail that bitch down I would have to say it was everything. We drank from recycled jam jars that cost $15 and were filled with a squirt of spirits and a freshly squeezed lemon. Like the small wooden benches we were sitting on, the City seemed to be lacking substance. It was not until the Art Director was gone did I realize what, or more correctly, who was missing. Original people. Some suit had built a plastic underground at street level and put Robocop at the door. When I asked around, I only found a fool who was so crazy for women he believed his own trip, and the other guy, well he just had a bad hip.
So, once again I find myself sitting in a queue waiting for an airplane out. It was only a few weeks ago I was strapped to some pokey desk, when a call came through. It was the desert and they were looking for me. I sat in the chair staring at the filing cabinet blankly when the voice on the other line asked how much blah blah. They were going to pay me too! And now here I am sitting in this queue staring at some rank chick. She sat opposite me, okay enough, root-able I guess if you were desperate like those poor pioneers. No wonder half them got locked up for a cock in a rooster. They’re too loud. Off topic. She was not God’s hand picked fruit by any stretch. Thankfully for those around, she hid it under her beloved collection of the stick mags.
She peered out from beneath the naked women, to catch my bewildered eyes staring at her.
“You’ll be right kid”, her salted tongue rasped.
She must have smelt my fear, it was obvious I was staring. I started to think maybe I looked like one of those kids on the first day of school? If that was the case, she was definitely the one a few grades older named Bianca, who was licking sack behind the sports shed.
“Where you off to anyway?” she whispered across her sour lips.
I jittered a little and mumbled, “Karratha”.
She was not going there. Instead she was heading to a huge hole in the desert. She described it to me. “Newman”.
“You’ll be off soon. I still have a few hours”. She informed me.
She cleans after miners, and the miners as well, she doesn’t tell me this last bit.
She had been to Darwin. Enjoyed knifing some wild pigs out off Humpty Doo.
She was a miner’s daughter, and was sick of moving around.
“You got a girlfriend?” She finally asked.
Karratha spilled out over the PA system. It was time, I smiled at her and said goodbye. Clutching my rosewood ukulele I started for the door.