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The Husband and I were on the lam from domesticity and arrived late one night in rural Bathurst. The town was full for the autumn racing carnival, and the last vacancy was at The Irish Pub where $55 bought us a very large prison cell for the night. Seriously. The hotel, built in nineteenth century, shared its architect with the local gaol. If that sounds off putting – the publican was friendly and the room smelled clean. Close your eyes and it all disappeared for a good night’s sleep.

I awoke early the next morning with a dream still alive. “The start of day five thousand and nineteen of our adventure into the great unknown,” I said that out loud and woke The Husband.


“Day five thousand and fifteen. I was writing a log in Star Trek.”

We lay together in the newly awake warmth – me doing the maths in my head. “Five thousand and nineteen days. That’s a long time, isn’t it? How long have we been together?”

“I don’t know,” he said, “13 – 14 years.”

“So long. So how many days have we been together?”

One of the joys of marrying a geek, “Open Xcel,” he said. “Type in today’s date, then minus the day we met.”

I pulled out the laptop and typed. When the answer appeared it was 5,019 days.

The cursor blinked.

I blinked.

The Husband blinked.

“We’ve been together 5,019 days?”

“Not yet, it’s the start of day 5,019…”

What happens to passion? Where do orgasms go? If energy is neither created nor destroyed – what the fuck happened to mine? Those thoughts lead us on this particular adventure. I had ten days off and was sick of solving boring problems. What will we eat? What do we need from the shop? Pay the bills. Do the BAS. Wash the cat…

I decided the antidote to the great ennui enveloping us both – was driving off into The Great Fucking Ennui of the Australian desert.

Husband wanted to escape too, but he couldn’t afford the time off work. Which was daft, because he worked for himself – in internet technology. He sat on his arse divining pixels all day. My days were no better – writing friggin’ screenplays for a living. Divining whole worlds out of 26 letters and Wikipedia. We could do that anyplace.

Of course anyplace was the problem. The virtual world had over taken our real world. Telecommunications was undoing real communications. Our on-line community was our main community. Oh yeah, and I was about to turn 50.


Years of age

I typed another equation into Xcel. “I’m 18,263 days old.”

Husband took the computer and typed. “Hey, another four and a half years and you’re 20,000 days old.”

“Twenty thousand days old!” Didn’t I learn this at forty? It took a while, but finally I found the mantra of my maturity: It’s not my fault. I just kept breathing.

Husband hunkered down under the bedding. “You know what? You’re pretty good looking for an 18,147 day-old.”

“5,019 days and you’re still here.”

Here’s something that’s kept us together for 5,000 days and some nights. Surprise. I like him. He likes me. He’s still willing to embrace the whole dumb adventure of being. Still willing to up-sticks and runaway with me.

“Day 5019 of our adventure into the great unknown.”


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