Hair and blood matted the underside of the Toyota and wrapped around the bender like a cummerbund. Judging by the jolt and the general shape of red mist she saw in the rear view mirror, she’d hit a wallaby.
She’d had a fight with her girlfriend and was making her way up North via the Hume when she hit the poor animal. She pulled into the first stop she could, a petrol stationslashSubway and got out to inspect the damage. The car was mostly OK, but she could tell that the mess would take forever to clean. She rubbed her foot against some of the red and when she took a closer look at her shoe she almost puked. Her hands started to itch, almost as if she was having an allergic reaction.
She went into the slashSubway, ordered a coke and thought back to the argument that had rocketed her up North at over a hundred kilometres per hour. She was trying to convince her girlfriend that they needed to move up to Sydney because that’s where the best medical college was, but her girlfriend wasn’t having any of it:
- “You know how I feel about Sydney, it’s dirty.”
- “Dirty? What do you mean? Melbourne’s dirty. It’s fucking filthy.”
- “No, I don’t mean dirty like that… it’s dirty, like, in Melbourne hipsters do heroin, but in Sydney, junkies do heroin. Dirty like that. You know what I mean?”
And when she didn’t, she got in the car and took off. Now, two hours later, sitting in dinky dive, drinking a coke, she felt like a fool. She looked up at the young Asian guy who served her. It was the same face that beamed at her from a small framed picture next to the register. Jason Lim, Employee of the Week.
She gave the young man a smile, and went home. Her girlfriend was waiting for her by the front porch, and when she saw the car she said, “Jesus Christ, Val, what have you done?”
Written on Wednesday, 14 September 2011