The tradesmen outside my shop need the bakery. They glance in at me, continue past (‘wrong place, this isn’t the food’) and one of them says, ‘lawn weather!’
The rain is blowing sideways.
Back at their ute, the tradesmen, who are wearing shorts and t shirts, stand there with their food, serene, not hurrying. They watch an orange traffic cone skid past them on its hip.
‘Council! They can afford it!’
On the ute, the passenger side windows are all the way down, swallowing rain. But the drivers lean over the ute tray, examining things, passing things, balancing pies and coffee. One man pulled at a rope, help up the end of it. They all look at it and shake their heads. He thumps it against the side of the ute. They discuss something fervently, probably the rope. One man, the youngest, wraps one end around his waist and performs a kind of dance. The oldest man there turns his back and comes to stand in my doorway. The other two laugh. The rain continues – surely they are getting cold…
‘I’m outta here.’
‘I’ve seen Wombat drive one of them.’ They all look across the road. ‘Wombat is a fool. I told him, too.’
‘All right, Murray Bridge, it is.’
And they all climb into the ute, wet seats, wet clothes, the rope packed in again.
I think, well, goodbye… good luck to Wombat.
Artwork by Pascal Campion