‘What was your favourite part?’
‘I’m not sure. You?’
I imagined Annabel and I were walking along Hobart dock. The morning sky was clear, which it was, and the chill in the air only encouraged us to make the most of our energy, which it would have. The reality is that I’m sitting at the airport waiting for the flight to Melbourne.
‘I liked the pubs,’ I said. ‘They reminded me of England.’
‘How so?’ I imaged she held into me as we past a corner. I would have stepped across her to walk on the side of the water. It would make me a human buffer from the edge, though mostly this would be figurative, but then again that would be apt too.
‘Wood, untended, unmodenised.’ I counted the reasons I felt comfortable in the Hobart drinking houses. ‘They weren’t sterile I guess. And the beers were fresh from local breweries.’
‘The one at mona was good.’
We thought about the beer and then the Museum of Old and New Art, code named mona (lower case lettering intentional). It was an astounding complex. The combination, or perhaps jamming and mashing, of new ideas with old ones. It was inspiring. It shifted the mind from the daily grind of walls and roads to see new achievements and constructions. The building itself, as well as the concept, was as much a revelation for the brain as the gallery contents. It was like the lair of a James Bond villain, and an opportunity to see how the other half live. It felt like creeping inside a private world, with the veil aloft enough to appreciate the showing. It also made me want more of that world.
‘You couldn’t get anything in there,’ said Annabel.
We approached a cafe, or so I imagined, at Salamanca to have a final breakfast in Tasmania.
‘No, I can’t draw.’ I thought about how to make some conceptual piece that would justify entry. Perhaps some ideas, written on pages, delightfully framed and hung on a wall for visitors to read and thus get the ideas stuck in their own head. However I suspect the layers of experience, talent, and social contacts into the world of mona are too great for someone of my age.
‘What else did you like?’ She sat at an outdoor table and I stood, knowing my roll would be to enter the cafe and order food for one.
‘Lot’s of things. The climate, not the weather but the conditions. The all encompassing mass of the area. The nature, the people, the buildings and the ideas. That total accumulation which wine dicks call terrior.’
Annabel smiled at me. She knew what I was thinking and said it.
‘This text is not funny.’
The writer scrolled the page. He could feel Dean and Annabel slipping away.
‘I know. It’s got no adversity. We should talk about some negatives and mock them.’
Annabel faded further and the cafe along with it. Outside a window an aeroplane taxied to the boarding gates.
‘What if I built a giant shoe made from other shoes as a sort of comment on shoes over time, as a way to blend the creation of footwear with the idea of human evolution and global expansion via the use of an object designed to protect our fragile sole. I could call it Big Shoe to Fill, and challenge visitors to add their shoes as a way to improve upon the world of creation. A means of making us, all of us, see that we can pull together to enhance big ideas. How about that? Do you think mona would buy that?’
Annabel didn’t reply. A thin blonde woman in a tight red jacket spoke into a microphone and called for sections of seat numbers to queue before her.
‘No,’ thought Dean. ‘I didn’t think so either.’