We've reached Ballarat. Beautiful.

             After about half an hour of driving we pull up to a petrol station. Me and Monroe step out and wander into the servo while Scott fills up the tank. The fresh air is beautiful.

            “I gotta piss,” Monroe tells me, and goes over to the bathroom.

             I have nothing to do while I wait for her, so I drift back over to the truck. I open up the back. I ask Turner if he wants anything – ciggies, snacks, drinks. He says yeah, chips or something.

             “Scott, what about you?” I call.

             “I’m alright,” he says.

              I go to the front of the truck. Milani’s got the window open, his arm hanging out. I ask him if he wants anything, and he says he’s all good. I go back to the servo and get Turner’s chips. Monroe comes out of the bathroom, gets herself a coffee, and calls the guy at the counter “honey”. She calls everyone “honey”. She’s a darling. I almost feel like a friendly person with her.

             Monroe has a sweetheart, too. From Korea. She’s got little pictures of him in her purse. He’s very pretty. Monroe doesn’t write him letters like Milani does – she just sighs about him. Really, that’s all you need to know she’s in love.

             We get back inside the truck. It’s cooled down some by now, which is nice.


             It’s a few hours later and I reckon we should be in Ballarat already, though there’s no way for me to tell. Milani and Scott are in the back with us. Halfway through the drive Arch offered to drive and Turner said he wanted to see the view. Milani’s taken a couple books with him on this trip. He’s lying down reading one, out loud. “Marley was dead: to begin with.”

             The truck slows to a stop. Turner raps on the door.  “We’re here.”

             “Fuck,” says Milani. “One line in.” He gets up and puts the book down in resignation.

             Turner opens the doors and the white light of the fucking dump that is Ballarat streams in. Scott's asleep on Monroe's shoulder. She nudges him and says, "We're here." He lifts his head, yawning, then groans at the sight of Turner.

             “Fuck you,” Turner says as he helps Milani down.