I shift my weight trying to get comfortable as the wire digs into my back. I’m sitting on the hard, cool concert floor of the base’s car club. The metal, wire fence encloses the four cars that are being worked on. One of them is my boyfriend’s pride and joy.
“Banner” is a dark green and black, dirty, well used and loved Hilux. I would tell you the year, but no matter how many times he tells me, I forget. It has a sturdy silver tray and spotties. The tires are so big they almost come up to my hip. And it currently has no engine in it, or anything under the bonnet anymore. It’s been sitting in the workshop for months now, waiting to be fixed. It’s got that red dusty look, that the Northern Territory is famous for and it looks kind of sad. The Boy has been saving patiently so can fix and build up his ute, making sure it’s perfect for when we can go 4wheel driving and camping again.
I shift my weight again, knowing I’m going to have those diamond shaped wire imprints in my back. The Boy chuckles a little, as he finally frees whatever it is that he was working on. He must of noticed my discomfort because he disappeared around a corner and appeared again with a plastic looking arm chair.
“Here you go baby,” he puts the chair down and gives me a soft smile, “it’s the comfiest, non-spidery one I could find.”
I give him a peck on the cheek, “cheers babe.”
I settle into the chair and put my feet up on the three tires stacked in front of me. It’s definitely better than the hard floor and the fence I was using as a backrest. It’s strangly comforting here, watching the boys work on their cars, listening to their rap music. Everyone seems peaceful. Occasionally, okay maybe more than occasionally, you hear a long stream of swear words, followed by a guy throwing something or slamming a car door before storming out and cooling down for a few minutes. But they come back to finish what they’ve started, they always come back. I’ve come to learn that fixing cars, or building up your own is quite infuriating. Especially when most of the boys here don’t know exactly what they’re doing. They’re just reading manuals, scribbling things in their note pads and putting the skills they’ve learnt at work into practice on a car.
I’ve been staying at his place since Wednesday afternoon. It was my birthday on Friday and since he couldn’t come to Darwin and I didn’t want to spend my birthday alone in my sad little dorm room, I jumped in my car and made the 3 hour drive down here. It’s been wonderful so far, he made me feel so special on my birthday. My first one away from home. He gave me one of my birthday presents but apparently the other one is in Darwin, for my birthday night. He won’t tell me what it is and I’m going to have to wait weeks until he can get up there.
I’m sweating slightly now, even though I have a big fan blowing straight on me. I want to curl up in the air con, preferably with him. But I know I won’t be able to drag him away from his car. Not for awhile yet.
Maybe, just maybe, I might be able to entice him with lunch. Apart from his car, I know how he loves his food.