Lost and found

by Stephanie on November 11, 2010

Back in June, these few paragraphs and a meditation on death and animals (that eventually became the ‘Cattle Country’ post at Overland) were originally the same piece of writing. I’m not sure why I never posted this part. Perhaps it felt unfinished.

*

Cadie left me a couple of days ago and I’m sitting in the now-deserted Kalala Station waiting for my cousins to come and tow me out. The Brunette Downs races are on this weekend and the whole station has cleared out for five days of partying 600km away. I was going to be one of them, but after losing the gearbox, somehow preventing my car from rolling at high speed, and not getting myself and my sister-girl killed in the middle of the Territory last Friday night, I have other priorities.

I dropped my detox briefly after the drama. I picked it up again when two beers and a scotch had me waking up feeling poisoned, seedy and in a foul mood the following morning and I thought, I used to feel like this every day. I used to feel worse. And ironically enough, the lapse helped me realise how much I value having a cloudless mind. Alcohol is a strange drug. I wonder how many of us actually enjoy it, and how many of us drink because we’re expected to drink, because we expect ourselves to drink, because we’re told it’s an enjoyable state to be in. It’s a giant joke, isn’t it? That those who consider themselves the most intelligent creatures on earth go out of their way to fry those very faculties that brought them the things they value.

Kalala is on devil-country. Termite mounds haunt the plains and sinkholes collect carpets of dead leaves. A cold wind has started blowing over the last few days, and while I’ve loved every minute of my time here, I’m struggling not to let the exasperation and frustration of car dramas drag me down. Because it’s not just this, it’s the thing before it, and the thing before that, and the twenty other things before that. Nobody said it would be easy—me least of all—but every time I think Okay, it’s sorted, I can keep going now, something else lurches up out of the dust. I’m starting to feel careworn.

I have friends who embrace victimhood, who expect other people to be available at every turn to drag them out, who refuse to take responsibility for their choices and hate the very thought of struggling for something. But I hate not having choices. I hate not being able to fix things. I hate not being able to make things right by myself, for myself. I hate not knowing what is needed to make things right. Ignorance is hell.

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