It’s just after 9 pm. My husband and I are at the dam face not far from where we live. It’s cold, but not unpleasant. The she-oaks, which normally sing even with the slightest breeze, are quiet tonight. The clouds are illuminated by a waning moon. It’s like I’m in an episode of the X-Files – I half expect to see something slither out of the water. At a nearby picnic area there is a man with his tan and white staffordshire terrior he calls Princess. He’s cooking a steak on one of the gas barbeques and smoking a cigarette. His home is parked about 100 metres away – a blue VN commodore – with a tarp over the front window and an eskie resting in the boot. I feel like I’ve just walked through his bedroom. I want to ask him how he defines himself: is he homeless, a lone wolf, a nomad? Does he like living rough? I walk on, leaving him and Princess to their steak.
Tonight I struggled with the novel. Nothing was coming and I was becoming more frustrated with myself. I had to leave it alone. I often find that going for a drive clears my head so I suggested to my husband that we head out to the dam. Driving is his passion and he was quick to agree. I had not expected to see Princess and her human camping at the dam face and was initially disturbed by the site of a man living out of his car. I worried for him. My main character is a drifter, as I define him, yet Ben’s life seemed more romantic that what I observed with Princess and her boss. This feels like a case of synchronicity or is the universe educating me? Just in case I came home and wrote down all that I observed.