The moon forms weird shapes in the ripple of the pub window. The dark-haired woman leans her head against the glass, tapping her fingertips against the windowsill in anxious patterns. There is a story lingering in the back of her head. She cannot remember if it is a story someone told her a very long time ago, or a story that she dreamt of once. When she tries to fix upon the details they slip away, like lights in fog.
They call it a wall, but it is a funny kind of wall. You might have seen them around. Crushed basalt rock sandwiched between sheets of reo. The sides go up, then the rock is added from the top. That’s the job of the gang, to hand the rock along the line and then up to the person on the ladder. I’m sure there are more efficient ways of doing it – elsewhere they’d be prefabricated beforehand. But that’s not the point.
Message Received 21/06/2051:
MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY. Immediate evacuation requested, sanctuary and aid requested. MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY.
Reply Sent 30/06/2051:
Attn: Noplace, mayday received. Parliament is discussing your situation, expect decision within six months. Please tender more information on your situation to assist with Parliament’s decision. Please state the nature of the emergency.
When I was sixteen, I wrote a romance short story by stringing together clichés from Jean Kent and Candace Shelton’s The Romance Writers’ Phrase Book, a kind of thesaurus for expressions such as ‘his strong hands roamed like carefree mustangs over the melting softness of her body.’ Now, as I reread ‘The Dark and Stormy (And Writhing with the Raw Sensuousness that Pressed Them Together like Soldering Metals) Night’, the story sings with supercilious delight at my own cleverness. You can tell I felt no stake in this story. It was not about me, or for me.
Unions have a proud history of enacting some of the most important social changes in modern times. The quality of life enjoyed in Australia today is a direct result of hard fought for gains made by the trade union movement. We can count among these the 8 -hour work day, annual and sick leave, relatively high wages, and environmental protections through green bans and ongoing campaigns such as the NTEU-backed Stop Adani campaign.