Once of many, many times I was walking along the waterfront towards Hunter Street. It was one of those days where a storm is in the offing and the sky is simultaneously strangely bright and grey – like it’s been solarised with an 80’s fairlight video effect.
The area was largely deserted and a dog was barking with such a persistent rhythm that my steps had fallen into pace with it and I was so tuned in I could barely hear it for a while.
Approaching Mawson Place, I realised that I could smell smoke. Still neatly tucked away on it’s shelf below the orange public telephone, the Hobart phone directory was in flames. Kind of unreal looking. Kind of surreal looking. Kind of like another 80’s video effect now I come to think of it, a clumsy superimposition.
A large black labrador, the source of the barking, stood facing off against the flaming phone book, persistently coughing out his deep, cycling pattern of WOOF.
As I stood staring – a stupid art student mainlining the visuals straight through the eyeball – a cyclist whisked by and without missing a beat snatched up the phone book and threw it into the river.
Some men on a boat cheered and the lab wagged his tail.