Vegas boundPosted: August 4, 2012
I am 9 days on the road, a day away from my target, and the sciatica plaguing my right butt cheek to back of knee is threatening to lure me from my active driving position to stop at every roadside lay-by and channel Annie, my physio, who would optimistically encourage me to engage those muscles that have lain fallow for almost 48 years.
The road from Lightning Ridge to BrisVegas is paved with many roadworks, diluting my goal to reach ‘Vegas by sundown, and compelling the selection of a suitable roadside sleeping point. Moonie Crossroads called me. From the care in selection of signwriting font, to accuracy of grammar, and claim to clean loos, I was easily drawn in.
Laying claim to Australia’s Largest Wild Pig Display, I was simultaneously horrified and fascinated by the people who sought and killed said animals. Booking a room in the single bed wing, I circumnavigated the caravan park/accommodation area 4 times, watched by two guys on the verandah of their unit – clutching tinnies, craning their necks, and offering no assistance – then grid-searched the staff quarters around a pile of retired highway signage, reconsulted the mud map roadsign, and finally gave in, returning to the servo to query the harried, but terribly pleasant, young man at the till. Moments later found me starfished, all four extremities of my person hanging over the bed, laid out by a takeaway pudding from Lightning Ridge, and a ‘Yoga Tea’ sachet from a half price box I purchased in Renmark, Victoria, bestowing longevity and overall wellbeing on those who drank it. Om.
In the morning, as I sped away from the triumph of taxidermy Moonie Crossroads represented, I decided my last day of solitude would make the most of listening to stuff W wouldn’t sit through, and the eternal educational improvement of my unworthy and easily-led-into-temptation soul. Terrifying myself with podcasts on industrial seed-oils, grain misdemeanours, and sugar, the evil clothed in white, a colour one equates with all that is pure and good, I feared I needed something truly frivolous lest I confirm life without bubbly wine and lemon meringue pie was simply without value. I had never seen fields of cotton until I neared Brisbane, and I couldn’t help stopping to examine it, feel it, and consider the implication of the lives lived in the US South, snatching me back from the precipice of being the shallow twat I was. My gratitude journal flamed.