This is what you do at 37,000 feet after watching DiCaprio disembowel a freshly dead horse, in a snow storm, then climb inside and batten down his bloody hatches for forty-eight hours. I was hurting for the cameraman who had to film it.
Then you think about the Somerton Man, what he did in the station, because you know he didn’t go outside to find a hotel and take a bath.
He was in the station all that time, waiting.
Then something went wrong.
Half an hour before landing at Brisbane – a place that doesn’t care if you don’t like it – you plan for the worst to happen.
You get off the plane.
Customs will do a full bag search because you only declared the carved wooden cicada, life size, and not the oxbone cricket trap and the finely engraved and intricately finished tooth pick (it couldn’t be ivory ) container.
The 8 year-old iPhone is flat, credits expired. The airport retailer is closed.
The car has been sitting in the carpark for 10 days.
The car’s battery will also be flat.
.. and the driver’s frontside right tyre will be on its rims.
There will be no taxis at the airport (this is Brisbane).
It will be raining, and cold, after so many 32 degree days in Kowloon.
The Commonwealth Bank asks you to ring them when you try to try to book a hotel room using your Travel Money Card.
Patrick runs the forecourt at the IC Hotel in Kowloon, has done so since it opened in the 90’s. He’s a small man, nuggety, sharp with his tongue and hands as he waves his boys in and out of the Porches, Mercedes, R’Royces, Maseratis, Bugattis … showing people in, shepherding people out.
Anyone watching from the Executive Lounge windows, the ones that overlook the fountain in the middle of the forecourt, would have seen him hug a gray-haired man yesterday.
One ivory, the other white.
Two shades of bone.