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August 9th, 2007 - Nick's Valve [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Nick Verne

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August 9th, 2007

Stupid Adventures [Aug. 9th, 2007|05:25 pm]
Nick Verne
This afternoon, due to some at work ennui and curiosity about the contents of some mail, I cut out after lunch and headed home, there to pick up the keys to Mum's car for part two of my journey. I needed the keys because Mum left the letter for me on the car seat, seeing as there are other friends staying in the house and she wanted it to stay private - said friends don't have her car keys. So I left Elizabeth bay after a few minutes rest and took a train out to Wollstonecraft (change at Town Hall, avoid the school kids out early, sit next to queeny young thing with shopping bags). Next it was the twenty minute walk down to the Mann's Point end of Greenwich, past the spot where I got run over at 12, past all the houses grown large and mansiony, up the side path to Mum's, collecting the mail from the mailbox (not mine, Mum and Len's), meaning to leave it for them inside. Spare keys for house are gone - guests have them and have gone out, forgetting to leave them there for me. All was not lost - I still had the garage key and car keys, so went to the garage to run my errand (clock already past 3:20, ticking away). The mail for me was a 401K statement of no real consequence. I had been afraid it was a "please take your money elsewhere" letter, because I'm no longer with that employer. So far I've clocked up 1.5 hours for this.

Still, Greenwich has its compensations, so I took my walk down to the ferry wharf enjoying the nature noises and general lack of other people in the way. I was the only passenger waiting at the wharf, and the ferry wasn't the usual Sydney Ferries vessel. Sydney Ferries are in bad shape these days, and this was yet another ring-in from a private ferry operator. They drove that thing weirdly, accelerating hard, creating big waves at Hunters Hill, generally learning the ropes (literally in the case of the deck hand). I sat at the back outside and bobbed gently waiting for the return journey to begin, taking in the blues and greens and browns through bleary dazzled eyes. It was already after 4 p.m. before we moved back to Greenwich, thence to Birchgrove where things got weird. On the wharf was the first corpse I'd ever seen, lying face up, one foot twisted askew, motionless, cap covering top of head. The deckhand got off the boat and got down to see if he could administer CPR or something, and the situation diffused. The corpse was merely dead drunk, finally being roused to get on the boat with us. Birchgrove is a weird place - rich, but with blue collar roots and (clearly) some hard drinking waterside workers still working and drinking, oh, about a bottle and a half of rum by the smell of this guy. I was first off the interloping ferry, accursed beast, not the ferry of my adolescence, and up through the turnstiles (or rather down, since the tide was high and the floating jetty was sitting higher than the fixed wharf), quickly through to Alfred St and suddenly running for the 311 bus to get back home. Three hours of public transport and walking, about twenty miles covered, all for a glorified bank statement.

Somehow, I'm glad to have done it.
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