Having gotten home just after 7pm I was tired, as only 5 hours on the road can do to a person. Despite being keen to get to work and start organising the stuff for Lemmy I was also very hungry, I’d only had a snack since lunch time and that was about 3:40pm when I stopped for fuel. I ratted through the freezer looking for something to eat and the best thing I could find was a packet of meat pies. In the absence of anything else, I had been on holidays remember, I decided to throw a few dog’s eyes into the microwave and nuke the suckers to oblivion.
For those of you not acquainted with the Aussie meat pie, or dog’s eye as some call it, it’s a casing of pastry filled with a meat product, the kind it’s best not to ask where it came from with a puff pastry lid and on top of that you pour a good lashing of tomato sauce. So next time someone offers you a ‘dog’s eye with a dead horse’ say yes because it’s one of the best meals you’ll get! There is some out there who also suggest you can’t nuke a pie because the crusty pastry goes all soft, but to them I say “Bullshit”, if you know how to do it of course it works.
So it was dog’s eyes and dead horse for dinner after a long drive from the far east of the state. There wasn’t much I could do at 7pm on a Thursday night to help along Lemmy’s cause but as I ate I considered those few things I could do and which order I did them in. Once I finished eating and while the kettle boiled and I made coffee the computer booted up, when my coffee was ready so was my computer.
Given I’d been off line for nearly a full week, I don’t tend to check emails when I am on holidays, the first thing I did was check emails. It was of course full of the usual jokes, junk and spam from various correspondents. There was a few follow ups to interviews I both needed to conduct and would conduct in the future and there was one email from my boss asking why I wasn’t at work and whether I was in the country. It was of course information that he could have gotten from just about anyone else in the office but I think it made him feel important if he used email. I replied to his email telling him I was on leave and but would be back in the office a few days early to work on something, with luck he’d get the email before I wandered into the office by lunch time the following day.
With the formalities over I set about researching Lemmy’s task. Loading up Google I started by searching the list of names, places and items he’d given me. As each screen came up I firstly scanned the page to see if the information was relevant, then if it was went back over the details and worked out how relevant it was.
I began copying and pasting notes into a document file and added my own notes as I went. My usual plan when it came to writing was to compile a large amount of information then weed through it and condense it into something more palatable, then do a final edit and make it presentable. I had about a page and a half of information when my mind kicked in and reminded me that presenting my information to Lemmy was not going to be as simple as giving him the file.
I’d seen some pretty impressive gear at the mansion but I hadn’t in my travels seen a computer which meant using a disc or flash drive of any kind possibly wasn’t going to be the answer. My first thought was that I’d just take my laptop and let him view the information on that, but there was a niggling doubt in the back of my mind as to whether a device from the ‘real world’ would work in Angel City. To me that meant my only choice was to take a hard copy with me. I looked blankly at the space on my desk where my printer had once sat, I say once sat because when the last one I had died I never bothered to replace it. Between emails, flash drives and my ability to print anything at work I decided a printer just wasn’t something I needed at home.
If I was to take a hard copy with me I was going to have to print the information at work. Ok that’s not a big deal I had full access to a fast printer and would not ever be questioned how I used it, but that didn’t mean I didn’t need to be a little bit careful. I made myself a mental note that all things I typed up had to be ambiguous. It wasn’t that Lemmy was asking to me get information on things the average person couldn’t access but like keeping my phone number list private so that some important people’s numbers didn’t get out into the public domain, or keeping my email secure so conversations didn’t make the tabloids, keeping some names and places out of Lemmy’s documents, especially his own, would be beneficial.
With that in mind I edited what I had and continued with my research. Despite my long trip home and the tiredness associated with being on the road I was still sitting at my computer at 1am. I had thirty pages of information written and in unedited form and I still had more research to do. I stared at the glowing screen for a few minutes contemplating whether to continue with the research, start editing, or just go to bed and leave it.
What I actually decided to do was go and make myself a stiff drink, I didn’t know if it would wake me up or put me to sleep but I knew it’s what I wanted and I would accept either outcome. Despite doing it thousands of time before the cracking of the seal on the bottle of Jack Daniels and the first smell of the liquor as I removed the lid were extremely satisfying, but this time it sent my mind instantly back to Angel City. I poured a generous slug into a glass then topped it off with coke and ice from the fridge and headed back to my desk.
Sitting, staring at the screen I lifted the glass towards my mouth. The scent hit me first, then the bubbles of the cola, but it wasn’t until the liquid was making it’s way down my throat I realised something. Although it didn’t make me cough and spit out what was in my mouth, I liked JD too much for that, just like the cigarette out the front of the pub it tasted different. It was something I couldn’t put my finger on, maybe a little sweeter, maybe a little more harsh on the throat, I couldn’t pin it down exactly but it was different.
Several minutes later when the glass was empty, I told you I still had an unshakable taste for it, I decided it was definitely bed time.
Previous Angel City story here.