Breaking Chronology

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You should never start a story with someone waking up. It’s cliché.

These were the first thoughts that came to my mind as I awoke in the back of my car. It was dark. Wet.


It had been a long time since I’d seen rain. I immediately missed the endless summer of the Kimberly’s dry season as I crawled into the drivers seat and put the air con on.

It was fucking cold.

I’d blown it. Gone too far South too quickly and here I was in a Dominoes Pizza Carpark at 4am listening to the generic thud of a club beat a few doors down. In fucking Mandurah.

I rolled on. Got a coffee from a pig-faced man at a Caltex who slid it through a drawer in the window as the shop was locked up. ‘Scooby Snacks’ by the Fun Loving Criminals played over the crackly speakers. Rain fell lightly. The coffee burnt my tongue.

I went to check the spot. Famous for bodyboarders. The sun was coming up. I was not optimistic.

Chaotic Explosions of water erupting with the stiff southerly whipping spray into the rock groyne. Rebounding swells which gave the place its status flew at every possible angle into fresh swells.

A chopped up whirlpool. Not inviting.

I surveyed the scene and spied two lads couched over a fire. The bigger of the two spied me too, and waved me over.

He invited me to the fire, and gave me a beer.

We drank and smoke as the sun came up. The big lad was a bricky, but he’d been out bush. He’d hit everything you could think of when he drove lorries for the mines. Emu’s, Roo’s, Wedgetails, Wombats, Children, OAP’s….

His mate was a muso and had the roughest meth mouth I’d seen on a 22 year old.

We cooked a feed of fresh caught Hering and Squid and it was one of the finer little cook-ups I can recall.

When the sun was well and truly up in the sky they gave me the few remaining beers and took off.

I watched those waves smashing and bashing each other just over the rocks as I finished off the cans.

Watching what drew me here. Holding onto what made me stay.





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When it was slow going at the resort we got a few nights off a week and you’d find a lot of the staff down the beach. They’d be swinging in hammocks or casting lines into the still sea as the sun dropped behind the headland.

We’d all be drinking beers and talking shit. Getting to know one another. It was early days.

There were more staff than guests. The hours were light and the workload easy. I was still earning more than I was back on the Gold Coast doing double the hours.

And it felt like we’d all lucked out.


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Rough days. Headaches. In the sinus.

It’s the smoke. The wine.

The beauty was all but lost on me. The glass like sea when I crossed to the island. The empty beaches all to myself. Wonderful seascapes. I felt like shit. And when you feel like shit, you see the shit in everything.

It seemed a dry, cold and windy place. Overfarmed and overloaded with grey nomads poking their silly saggy necks into every nook. They stunk of split pea soup and stale piss. Filling every rest area and campground with their retirement plans. Bulky Winebagos and sandflies, man.

I tell you I don’t know what I am on about.

Smile and the world will give you a shit-eating grins stacked high as Mauna Kea.

The end.



Like the Highway.

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This is Hum and his son. Their Nepalese.

‘Like the Highway’ he said when we first met. I used to work with Hum in Melbourne years ago. Cooking.

The dude knows how to move. He’s a gun.

He cooked goat curry for staff meals on a few drizzly winter evenings.

When he stopped cracking jokes and grinning I’d know we were in the shit.

They worked him hard at that place. He was sponsored. Earning that PR.

Over 70 hours a week was normal.

A couple of years after leaving Melbourne I was visiting town and we met up.

He was still working for the same Restaurant group but soon he’d be running his own shop.

We went to Mt Dandenong to see the view. It was Drizzly.

He showed me the cafe he was getting set up in the outer suburbs.

Then we went back to his house and  ate goat curry.