Somewhere, in some other time zone, they’re playing Bee Gees music and welcoming the athletes of the world. Not here. I think I’m glad of that. It’s cool and overcast. Morning quiet. The river is dark and shining and wider than it has been for a decade. It feels like I can reach out and touch it. I might.
Through a boneyard of lost River Red Gums, a pelican glides on the breeze, wingtips feathering the water. Butcherbirds start up a chorus and the petrified forest becomes a conservatorium. A Whistling kite flies over me, flapping hard. Something hangs from its talons. Shining and quivering. One less carp in the Murray.
There’ll be one less man in an hour or so. It’s almost time to go home. Time to learn how to earn a living. On my own. No direction. No net this time. A fresh start – or a disaster. Only if I jump will I know. Only if I leave my place by the river. And head somewhere.