It was such relief yesterday to know that I had someone who wouldn’t mind at all when I arrived after a hell journey, let myself into their flat, and jumped into their bath. Bliss. Ellise is my heroine – she bought mueseli for me to eat, loose tea leaves and a special block of brie….how could you find a better freckly friend?
Yesterday went as follows;
Wake at 3am – too early.
Drift in and out of sleep til 4am – still too early.
Alarm goes off at 4:30am. B jumps out of bed and gets dressed in the loo so as not to disturb M too much and is more than commonly startled when M’s mother appears out of the blackness shrieking ‘It’s a quarter to five! You’re late! You’re late!’ Half naked, yet curiously calm, B explains that it’s actually half past four. M pulls himself from bed and gets dressed. Usually in situations such as this one he screams around trying not to run late, sighing and tapping his foot as B looks for socks, lipstick etcetera. Not this time. B realises M has chosen path of non-involvement. She is both resentful and thankful.
Bus station – 5:05am. The driver asks B for her train ticket. B looks blank. The driver realises B is one slice short of a loaf and instructs her to call train booking office. M is looking patently unconcerned. B is hyperventilating. Train booking office is closed til 6am. Driver tells B that all he can do is take her to Maryborough station and she can hope there’s a seat free. What else is there to do? Driver adds that B’s suitcase is way too heavy. B dwells on Ford Prefects observation that humans are in the habit of stating the bleeding obvious, kisses M goodbye and departs on bus, praying they’re will be a free seat on train.
Get to Maryborough West 20 minutes later. No mobile coverage. No change for phone. Nice station man calls booking office. Listen to hold music. Nice lady books poor B a seat on train to Brisbane. Relief. Train arrives, B gets on and is entranced by train-cam: a camera attached to the inside of the drivers compartment (you can tell it’s the inside, because occasionally you see a windscreen wiper sweep a bug off the windscreen) which not only shows what you’re going to see out of your window in two seconds time, it also tells you how fast the train is travelling, what the next station is and how many kilometres until you get to it. Just as B is getting tired of train-cam they put on Johnny English – the Rowan Atkinson/Natalie Imbruglia vehicle, which is, for the most part, largely crap, however for anyone on the train not wearing headphones it must have been quite odd being surrounded by a carriage full of people all laughing in unision ever fifteen minutes or so.
Arrive in Brisbane at 9:30am – it’s incredibly civilised. From the same station (switching now to first person) I am able to get another train straight out to the airport for $7.50. I am wildly impressed.
Kill two hours at airport with food, book and laptop. Get on plane at 1pm. I fly the plane with every fibre of my being all the way to Melbourne, where I land it with the power of my gritted teeth and clenched buttocks. Flying is not something I wholly enjoy.
Take one look at the remarkably blue sky and realise that my father is definitely going to be sailing and won’t be there to pick me up. Miss first Skybus while looking to see where VirginBlue have hidden my guitar. Get second Skybus into Spencer Street, which is where I begin falling toward hell. My suitcase (to state the obvious) is too heavy, and as well as this, has been designed for a midget – its handle that you grip in order to make it roll along is too low, and so I have to angle myself in a strange hunched manner, with my laptop on my back and my guitar in the other hand. It’s torture. I can only do twenty steps at a time before I have to stop and reorganise myself. Miraculously I finally make up to platform thirteen (naturally, it’s up a huge incline and is the furthest away – why doesn’t Spencer Street Station have LIFTS???!) and wait five minutes for a Sandringham train.
Get an SMS from M – am 50 metres off Fraser Island and just caught huge salmon. Hot. Sad. Because he put the work ‘sad’ in, I do not throw my phone against the cold, clinical train wall.
I get off at Windsor, where journey goes from fairly vile, to insupportable. By the time I’ve made it up the ramp with satan-suitcase I am totally depleted. I call a taxi. I get put on hold. I hang up. I start walking/staggering the two blocks to Ellise & Dave’s flat. I can’t do it. I finally see a taxi – I am so thankful that I give the guy ten bucks to take me a block and a half. Please god, let Ellise have remembered to leave the key out. She has. I fall into her flat, look in the mirror in her bathroom and see a country hick who has been sanding, painting, plastering and bucket-flushing for the past month and a half…I run to the phone and call my hairdresser…..she’s out of town.
Twenty minutes later I am at an Indian restaurant with father and sister, Noel and mother. My mother states; ‘So you’re not going to stay with me at all?’ in a vaguely accusatory manner. I explain that I’ll be staying with friends/sister that live closer to the city. ‘Well,’ she says, ‘I want you to come over while you’re down here, because I need you to fix my printer.’
Ah, my mother – truly she has the tact of a free-falling house brick. After dinner is over I get dropped back to Ellise’s oasis and can’t help myself. I dive into her bath. Sonic the cat gets her paws wet playing with my toes. I get out, put the kettle on and Ellise gets home – it’s lovely to see her! We talk ’til eleven and then I reject her for my mattress on the floor. Sleep is my new friend.