Daytrippers /April 22, 2016
Photos: Chris Wilson
He said the path would lead us to the lookout, but we were headed inland. Barry led the way; he’d tied tampons to his wide brim hat, “It’s for protection ya know, against the flies 'n that,” he said. Slap slap slap on his face and neck as they grazed cross his sweaty skin. He swung slowly with more conviction, if not with more success, as the flies multiplied. It was then it started to sink in that we were lost, but no one would admit it. After about two hours of rugged bushwalking the trees started to thin out and we could see the open air. Off in the distance we could see a fisherman; Jules suggested we go and speak with him. He was accompanied by a goat with a small hat. The goat remained dead silent and moved as little as possible. The goat stared straight at me, and I felt he was trying to speak to me. So I focused all my brain’s capacity on transmitting a message. I honed in on his face and stared back with a burning desire to open our live chat. I thought if I could take in every little detail it would unlock my fate and gain the wisdom of the goat. I stared as his beard, a perfect little beard about an inch long and rounded like it'd been shaped with a barber’s loving touch. I noticed the gap in his mouth in which I could see his front teeth with brown stuff on the edges and gums spotted with freckles. I took step closer to engage with his eyes; his pupils were rectangular and the lagoon of color reached the edges. I didn't move, the goat didn't move, if the transmission was going to happen it was now. I tried to listen with my mind and wasn't getting anywhere. I'd lose focus, wondering who maintains his beard and why he hadn't blinked.
Shit. I hadn't blinked...I needed to blink so that it might open the line. We maintained locked eyes, just me and him; by this stage it felt like there were four inches between our faces. I linked and I waited. Still no message from him. I knew my fate had been written by the goat’s wisdom. I couldn't tell why but I knew it was meant to be. I stared deeper one more time and in a gesture of desperation, I transmitted the first message to him. Still our gazes were locked as if we were inside a tunnel.
"Gooooaaaat, can you hear meeeee?" I wished again. "Yeah mate, I caAaAaAn". Bam, like an orgasm, my body was covered in a film of energy. I immediately fired back to keep it going, "That's cool, what's ya name mate?" He replied, "I don't have one." I started losing focus. I'd asked a stupid question, I had to know the right question to ask, I knew my time was limited. The sweat started to drip and I could feel the flies landing on my skin. Slap slap slap. I regained my focus and engaged one last time with all my might into the goat’s stare, just me 'n him.
I could feel the question starting to form. The words were morphing in my brain. A change in cells created electric pulses between brain nodes, and then somehow they were being formed into the English language. I could sense every stage of its manifestation like I was God. The question came and it baffled me; the question manifesting was actually the question itself, "What's the question I'm meant to ask?" So I transmitted that directly to the goat, "What's the question I'm meant to ask you?" His rectangular pupils moved upwards as if he was signaling to the sky, I moved my gaze up a few inches and could see a sentence on his hat. "Don't be a dickhead" it said, and I realized the masterful goat had revealed the answer and the question in one, in plain sight. The goat nodded and I transmitted my final message, "Thanks, mate.” I'm not sure if he received it, I could tell the channel between us was weakening fast. My ears started to regain their use and the voices of Barry and Jules talking to the old man took over. They were discussing the weather and staring at some halfnaked girls in the distance posing for pictures.