“A journey is a fragment of hell.”
– Bruce Chatwin
Date 23rd August
I was worried about the pack this morning because it was as big as it gets with the food drop. I was also worried because I had to walk so far and my feet were in a bad way. Basically, I really didn’t feel like walking.
But, it was ok. I didn’t really struggle at all and the sandals were good to walk in. My ankles are sore now though because obviously they don’t support your ankles like the murder-boots do. I felt like a bit of a knob in them because I didn’t have a pair of thin socks, so I had to wear odd socks and wearing velcro sandals with jeans is like the stupidest thing in the world, but I told myself that it won’t matter because no one cares AT ALL about what kind of shoes I’ve got on when they’re driving past me at over 100km an hour.
All the truckdrivers waved at me today! A couple of people beeped at me too. It makes me feel good when people do this.
When I got to the pub I dropped my stuff off in my room (which was really, really nice!) and headed straight for the shower. I washed my hair! Yay! I’d been fantasising about food for a couple of days and I’d been thinking about what to get when I arrived in Goomeri, which has a big supermarket:
First, I’m gonna get a lemonade iceblock. No, I think I’ll get a bottle of milk. Do I want chocolate? No, I just want plain. Are you sure? You don’t like milk, remember? Yeah, but I feel like I really want some plain milk. Ok, so, I’ll get the milk and a packet of Doritos. Ohhhh, but what about the cheesecake? I really want one of those, but I might get sick if I eat all of that stuff at once. Maybe they’ll have cheesecake at the pub on the desert menu. Actually, I think I’ll just get the lemonade iceblock for now and think on the rest of it after that. Yeah!
So, that’s what I did. I went back just before closing time and got the Doritos and milk. I haven’t really been able to drink plain milk since I had cancer, but for some reason I just felt like I HAD to have it when I got to Goomeri. I also got a tea strainer for my coffee. I decided to leave the cheesecake until Murgon.
My friend Josh had contacted me the day before to say that his good mate Danny would love to have me stay with him and his wife. I couldn’t because I’d already arranged to stay at the pub and they were giving me a room for free, but I got in touch with Danny anyway and he came into the pub and we had a drink together. He was such a nice guy.
When I was talking to Josh I must’ve whinged at him about my feet and just basically feeling really crappy. When I got into Goomeri, Josh’s wife Sam rang me and said she was going to bring me new shoes. I told her that I’d be fine and that my feet are the hardest feet to fit, so there’s no way she’d be able to get shoes for me anyway. Still, I thought it was a really nice thing to offer and it made me feel really good 🙂
Ange at the pub organised for me to some washing and she even dried it for me. I was sitting in the bar waiting for her to tell me I could go grab it out of the machine and she came over to the corner, gesturing for me to go over to where she was standing. She was trying to be secretive because she had my bra in a plastic bag and was hiding it from the men in the bar. “Hang this up in your room,” she half-whispered, “I can’t put it in the drier, it’ll shrink.” I thought it was pretty funny.
I talked to Frederick at the bar for a while. I thought he was a bit of a knob. I didn’t really like him too much and could tell that he’d become an arrogant git given half the chance. But, I had made a promise to myself that I would become a better listener through practicing tolerance and being less judgemental, so I arrested my negative thoughts about him and we had a conversation about travelling. I think he was just lonely. He whinged a bit about how unfriendly the pub was, and how he’d sat there for 2 hours and couldn’t strike up a conversation with anyone. He really wasn’t my kind of person, but he didn’t seem to be a bad guy, so I sat with him as long as I could put up with him, which wasn’t that long really. There’s only so much complaining I can stand.
As I was walking up the stairs to put my clothes away (Ange had given them to me in a beer carton), this lady smiled so nicely at me that I stopped to talk to her. She introduced herself (Margaretta) and invited me to come and have dinner with her and her family. I told her that I was staying in the pub and that they were giving me the room for free because of what I was doing. She then told me that Joe (who owns the pub) was her son and she introduced me to him. I thought he was really good looking, like a tall version of Ash. They all ended up leaving before dinner, so it was just Margaretta and I. As Joe was walking away he told me to order whatever I liked off the menu and to put it on the tab. What a nice guy!
Margaretta and I talked about lots of stuff over dinner. Eventually the conversation went to horses. She started talking about a horse called Reebok:
“Where did you get him?” I asked.
“On the coast,” she said.
“Did you buy him from Kunda Park?” I asked.
“You bought him from me.” I said
She was dumbfounded. This kind of stuff has been happening so much that I didn’t think it weird, just another thing that’s happened, like stuff happens everyday.
I sold her Reebok 20 years prior. I didn’t know Margaretta, she just responded to an ad I’d put in the newspaper. The only contact I’d ever had with her was on the day she came and rode the horse and said she’d buy him. I don’t remember if she took him that day or if she came back and got him later.
I hated that bloody horse! I’ve had horses all my life and that one stands out as the worst of them all by far. He tried to kill me so many times on purpose. I really don’t know how anyone could’ve like him at all, plus he was so darn ugly, but Margaretta said he was her favourite horse of all time and she’d kept him for the rest of his life. I always felt bad about selling him to her because I knew he was dangerous, and I did tell her what he was like, but still, I didn’t want anyone to get hurt. She said she had a few falls off him, but she didn’t care. She told me he had a sore back and that’s why he behaved like that. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t, but I think being a psycho had a large part to play in the way he behaved: collected and calm one second, psychotic murderer the next. That horse swore me off Thoroughbreds!
1.There is always something we share in common with someone else. After all, we are all human, we all live here on the same planet and we all come into and go out of the world in the same way. Giving someone the opportunity to share part of their story with you is a way to better know yourself. How often and how well you are able to do this depends on your ability to listen and to notice; not only in how well you listen to and notice others, but how well you listen to and notice yourself.
2.It’s difficult to know why people apply active hate or active disrespect to a group of people (as is racism). Wouldn’t it require much less energy to go “meh” because hating changes nothing? I’m not sure what people want to achieve by hating. If they could get rid of that particular segment of society that they so despise, what would that give them? There are a few people in my past that I have really hated, and for a long time, but if they were gone, would it change anything for me? The answer is no. The hard part about a question like that is that it requires you to take responsibility for the way you feel, your ideas about the world and your place in it.
Lunch stop. A bad lunch stop! There was a dead kangaroo right where I planned to sit. I don’t know how I didn’t smell it, ugh! By the time I noticed it, I’d already unpacked my chair and stuff. I had to go and sit about 50 metres away from where I’d taken the pack off because it was so gross! I could still kind of smell it. Not the best way to try and eat food.