You weren’t expecting her back so soon, but maybe it wasn’t so soon after all. She said she’d be passing through town again and wanted to see you as well as return to the four places where you had taken her previously for refreshments. Only she knows why. So that meant returning to the Leura Garage for $6 ‘rustic’ bread all the while remembering when bread used to be complimentary whenever you ordered a meal somewhere. Then what? Back to the Carrington, you supposed, for another Bloody Mary, where likely the chap behind the bar would once again be uncertain as to how to make such a drink and request a reminder of the ingredients. So she talked him through the process, taking the tabasco from him in the end to give it a decent splash rather than the mere sorrowful drops he was adding. Then it’ll be back to Pins on Lurline a little before three only to be informed that the kitchen was closed and service would resume for dinner a couple of hours later. She only wanted a glass of wine and some olives. Something to nibble at most. ‘What is it with some businesses,’ she wondered, ‘where the thought of earning a few extra easy bucks seems so foreign? An old Jew would never pass over such an opportunity. I can say such a thing of course, the old Jew being my father.’ And then finally? That would be back to the bland airport lounge bar, otherwise known as The Lookout, where the view, unlike the bar’s attire, didn’t tire, where after finishing a glass of beer that tasted of frothy flowers and fennel and deciding whether to order another which could also very well taste of some other part of the garden, you thought you heard a jumbo jet cruise by overhead, and you wondered whether right at that moment someone was being served a complimentary bowl of nuts. Then you could walk to Echo Point again and watch as white cockatoos glide by beneath you. And then all was right with the world again. And will be again. Maybe she knows when.

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