Bill was flying in to Dubbo Airport on a little Qantas turbo-prop. He almost walked right past me because I was pondering why Dubbo Airport has 3 gates onto the tarmac. The gates are 10 feet apart, and each one opens onto the same apron. People going through gate 1 can mingle with people going through gate 3, but only if they walk through the people in gate 2.
A fluorescent orange terry-towling hat wobbled past my line of sight, breaking my reverie. Only one person in the world wears a hat like that.
"Bill!" I called.
He looked at me for a moment. "Are you my taxi?" he asked. I nodded. "Then this is for you." He handed me a plastic shopping bag full of 2 great lumps of delicious-smelling fish. "I caught the fish in the Huon at Franklin. My mate home-smoked them for me, and I promised myself that whoever picked me up would get half."
So I got half. It helped with what happened after I'd dropped Bill off and arrived home. One of the Uni people who interviewed me was waiting at my house.
He saw me, and shook his head before I could even ask the question. "You didn't get the job. I supposed you guessed when you didn't hear from anyone?"
"Yeah, I sort of suspected it," I lied.
"The bloke who was appointed has a box full of qualifications: electrical, telecomunications cabling, even a rigger's licence." There was a long silence. "You were good enough for the job, it's just that he was better," he added.
We exchanged some small talk about how hot it was yesterday, and how bad the storm was in Sydney last night, and all the while I was thinking 'fuck fuck fuck fuck FUCK.' He mentioned that a part time position might be coming up, if I was interested.
So tonight I am scarfing down half a kilo of home-smoked atlantic salmon, from Tasmania, and washing it down with a six-pack of old fashioned Porter Ale from the Malt Shovel Brewery, and feeling very, very disappointed.
It could be worse. I could have missed out on the fish.