Written 28 May, 2020.
Our last day, unbearably beautiful. I ring back my friend S in New York, because she rang me accidentally at 5.30 am. I can’t do the maths. tell her about the scam and she urges me to ring VISA. There’s lots of good stories, they’ve been generous in this pandemic. I agree to, as soon as it’s light. When I ask her if she’s keeping safe, she says they’ve had a chance to leave New York, for her sister has a spare house out in the country, but the sister’s husband refuses to give up their spare house. They might need it if one of them gets the virus. Yet she says she loves me, says S sadly.
Over breakfast- we’ve taken to having breakfast family meetings because there’s so much to be done here, though K complains bitterly because she wants to flip between Radio National and Triple J – I tell GG about ringing VISA. He doesn’t want to- it’ll be useless– but i’ve told that S I will, so I insist.
And S is right. The man on customer service is wonderful. While GG goes away to check on a detail about Solar Shop Online, I tell him about Google Earth and how I talked to the neighbouring companies.
I’ll do my best to get the funds back, he says.
My chapter comes back, reprimanded- it’s not academicy enough, it’s written like a story- where was my head? I try not to cry. I’ll leave it a few days and my mind will fix it up, I tell myself and believe. I decide to do one last video about the mind and creativity, but the tide’s not low enough until late in the afternoon.
I’ve only got one take in me, he says. He voice comes in sighs and groans. No, he’s not mad, just exhausted.
I can’t wait to leave, he says for the tenth time today.
We use Dy’s beach, his boat behind me, the neighbours walking by and going out on their jetty to the canoe, Dy dropping something in his house and an avalanche of timber falls, the birds picking a quarrel with each other. I’m doing a “how to” talk, which I find dull, but a friend has messaged me saying that it’s all very well to say we must return to thinking like a five year old, but that’s just a cliche, and how can anyone do that? So I must explain how I’ve taught people to do this for a hundred years. I’m a bit dull, exhausted like GG, but I do it in one take. We’ll upload it in the city, where the speed’s better.
I begin to move the garden in the wheelbarrow rom the pots on the pontoon, where the veggies are yellowing and only half the size of the ones in the garden, though they’ve had more sun. As I bend over them, suddenly Dy’s there.
What would you like me to keep an eye on, till you come back?
I straighten up, annoyed at unexpected tears, and ask him in an even voice to keep an eye on the sprinkler, to check if the veggies stay perky. The sprinkler here often gets clogged with wet dirt, I tell him.
And eat out of it, I say.
I wish I could throw my arms around him and hug him. Like I do with all my friends, I’ve fallen in love with him. My friends don’t have faults, they have interesting, endearing ways.
You’re right, Beth Wonders, Love is the answer.