It is three o clock in the morning and I am the last one left in the office.
I may be tired, but the night is tireder.

I guess that means I have won.

Too tired to rush, in the dry night heat of an Australian summer I cruise through industrial suburbs, beginning the drive home.

I get distracted by the petrol station; a small, unclean white island. The trafficless tide draws me in.

I need food, if only to stay awake.

Those erratic white neon tubes,
Illuminate years of accumulated flies and insects.
The metal flyscreen of the shop's door is alive with the ping and twang of the summer beetles trying to drown the light with their carcasses.

The faint smells of oil and grease provide a pungent masculinity.

I am the only customer. The area feels like a stage anticipating the next act.

The distorted AM radio churns out those utterly forgettable tunes that only the insomniant would or could listen to: remaindered songs for remaindered people.

The day-dwellers have husked the store. Remainder food. I pick something from the offerings.

In his eyes I see the same cosy tiredness and irrationality brought on by lack of sleep that I know well. I also see loneliness and caution. "two fifty" he mumbles. I hand him the money. "Going to work?" he asks. "No, going home".

Suddenly, I don't want to talk. I need to feel a pillow under my head.


Revelling in the empty roads, the B grade music, the moonless night, the world seems to feel lonely and I wish there was some way to comfort it.

Maybe it likes these aesthetics of loneliness, this elegant sparse, scattered carelessness and silence and hint of pools of cool between the gum trees, the dry creek beds, the sandstone rubble.

Both the road and the sky are endless and pointless and the world has known this for a very long time.

My car grunts up the driveway and I remind myself I have to rise at seven.