I had a fling with The Author at a writer’s festival and then he flew north. We messaged each other almost daily on Facebook. I’d take him out to dates with me, eating on my own in a restaurant, tapping madly away on my phone to him, describing candlelit corners and delicious food. We co-wrote erotic short stories together. I was preparing to leave Melbourne and hit the road for work for a few months. We made plans to meet in Melbourne and then he’d come to Tassie with me for a week. Why not? YOLO!
So I packed up my life into the back of my car and with The Author in the passenger seat, I drove onto the boat that would take us over the strait, the Spirit of Tasmania. He ate two chocolate éclairs just as we were boarding.
I had YOLO’d my budget on upgrading to a deluxe room at the front of the boat with a double bed so that we could join the nautical mile high club. Upon boarding I was pretty keen to join that club immediately but he wanted to eat dinner first. The restaurant on the boat charged $25 per plate, so to get his money’s worth we shared a plate which he’d piled up with 2 steaks, 3 pieces of fish, 5 quiche pieces, chips and some vegetables. I had one of those pieces of fish and a few chips. After he ate everything else on the plate, he picked up the plate and licked it clean.
As we made our way back to our deluxe room, the boat went through the headlands and got rocky out in the open water. We giggled as we staggered back to our room. The boat continued to sway and lurch and rock. I stood up, kept balanced, focused on the television and drank soda water to settle my stomach. He sat on the side of the bed with his head in his hands.
For the next four and a half hours he vomited. I left now and then to get him crushed ice, get myself more soda water and watch bits of ‘Noah’ in the boat’s cinema room to escape the noise and smell, which was so bad I had to leave our door wide open.
The next morning he still felt queasy as we drove off the boat along the winding roads along the coast. It was the first time he’d been ‘overseas.’ He took photos of goats and lambs along the way. My colleagues generously gave me the day off to show The Author around, but he was too sick to do anything but watch DVDs on the couch. The house was freezing and had no reception, so we drove back into town to buy The Author a beanie, gloves, scarf and an oil heater.