I go return to Australia now, as myself, a middle-aged man. I end up spending much time reading in a dark pub and saving really good memes. The room where I’m staying is compact and oddly shaped, on the corner between two long rural streets. The whole thing is very much a nostalgia tour but it’s made more difficult on account I didn’t have Google Maps in Australia back then. I remember one thing on my to-do list: “ivywalk”… though I admit I don’t even know what that was. It’s relaxing — yet nostalgia itself is a kind of pain, the bittersweet pain of a place you cannot truly go back to.
At some point near the end of this trip I consider revisiting the town I spent the last days of my younger trip in, Shepparton, where I was humbled as a salesperson and walked up and down the sheep inhabited main street. This is… somewhat close to my real-life waking memories. I try to think of even one person I could visit there, and the one who comes to mind is the charming old lady Josephine, the only customer I feel I actually helped, getting her new bill put under the name she’d always chosen to use: Jo. And yet she was fairly old then, and that was 14 years ago.
Curiously enough — and this is the waking truth — last November I had a brief lucky few hours when I could’ve bought deep discount plane tickets for Qantas 100-year anniversary. I had a three week trip for two all queued up (for $1400!) yet ultimately we decided that even that wasn’t quite low enough for us, what with food and lodging too. I’d quite forgotten about that untaken chance… today would’ve been about when we flew back.