Previously on the rewound world: five, and later, four, post-apocalyptic travelers were crossing the Nullarbor Plain, seeking a distant brightness and chatting about this and that. The first episode is here.
You’re first to my mind in the morning,
the last to leave at night; a part of me of you,
my dreams and feathers.
The bearded mariner, long gone
from the ocean, put down his quill.
He’d heard a knocking sound.
We came upon a shanty with a jaded café sign
and a menu with a Special of the Day—
anchovies fallen from the sky
with Mastercard and Visa garnish,
coffee, freshly found.
Deirdre knocked, and a bearded waiter answered.
He bowed arthritically and led us to a grimy table
with scatterings of tooth-pocked credit cards
and rusted mugs of muddy water.
Once we had it all, he reminisced,
chocolates mochaccino and Earls Grey,
cherries jubilee and spicy fish frappé,
but nothing’s been brewed or served here
since the Martians went away.
And I’m afraid there’s something else:
at management’s insistence,
I must speak of the unfeathered albatross,
and the meaning of existence.
We whispered in a huddle.
— Authentic cuisine and service, with ample parking.
— I’d like to check the Google rating. I don’t trust myself.
— I have concerns about his sanity. And mine.
— His albatross guilt requires professional attention.
Deirdre was our spokesperson.
We thank you for your gracious offer
to share your tale,
but we are done with that.
An unchewed credit card or two
wouldn’t go astray though.
We debated in good faith and a compromise
was reached: cards of gold and platinum
with the faintest indentations,
and the waiter would discuss the weather.