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‘That’s good.’ ‘Are you good?’ ‘I am good,’ one of them said. Once, Tim had stood in that spot and realised that he was at least a couple of hundred metres from the nearest person – that standing there was about as physically isolated as it was possible for him to get. But now Eliza was there. Tim felt that it was somehow enough for them to stand there, in that expanse, and be, at the very least, not unhappy. Eliza placed her hands on his face. They smelled of eucalyptus, and she kissed him. They walked back to Tim’s house as the light became golden and cold. *

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‘I applied for a job yesterday,’ said Eliza, ‘but I do not expect to succeed.’ She had graduated some months earlier, and this had become a common conversational theme. Tim retrieved the milkshakes from the fridge, and joined her on the sofa. He turned on the television, picking up and using in succession the three remotes needed to get the sound working. There was special breaking news coverage – an earthquake off the coast of Japan had caused a tsunami. There was limited footage. The disaster was monochrome, impressionistic, seen through the low-quality filters of mobile phones and security cameras. ‘It got me thinking, you know,’ continued Eliza. ‘There was supposed to be this path there for us.’ There was a shot of the wave hitting a coastal town. The water was already full of debris – more solid than liquid. The street could have been any one of thousands, but Tim thought he could see buckets of indigo dye through the grain. ‘We’re the coddled generation. We’ve been told since before we could speak that we can achieve anything,’ Eliza persisted. Some cars were caught in the water – on their sides, flying with the current. The overhead angle made them look like die-cast toys tossed in the mud. ‘So you do well in school. You work hard at uni. But it’s not true. And it’s like, okay, now what, you know?’ 13

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On Dit Edition 81.8 - Hearsay  

Hearsay: On Dit's creative writing edition.

On Dit Edition 81.8 - Hearsay  

Hearsay: On Dit's creative writing edition.

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