April 10th Stomach Trouble
I awoke to perhaps the least pretty day in a while. Amelia and I were leaving Wilson’s Prom. She had a doctor’s appointment, and her malaise that had kept her from hiking with me was acting up. It seemed a good time to get on the road. It turned out to be more than just stomach trouble, and she was admitted to the ER that day in order to figure out just what ailed her. Frank and Prue were both at work, and I was very glad I was available to drive Amelia around as she was hurting pretty badly. Frank came to the hospital just as Amelia was getting settled in. Once she was admitted, he took me to lunch - completely unnecessary of him, but typical Stone generosity. I did have a very pleasing steak sandwich, perhaps the best of the trip. We talked a bit of rowing, and I drove back to drop off Amelia’s things and wait for Prue to take me to the train that evening while Frank went back to check on Amelia.
The three of us met back at the house around 4:30pm, well and truly in need of a drink after what had become an unexpectedly dramatic day. Frank and Prue were in what I thought remarkably good spirit despite the circumstances. I believe they were just happy that Amelia was in the process of finally being diagnosed. As we chatted, Frank turned to me in a serious tone and said, "Mate, there is one problem that I have with you." I froze. I had, I thought, endeavored in every way to be a good houseguest and was a little shocked and eager to know what I had done wrong in Frank’s eyes. I looked a question at him. "You just don't take good enough care of yourself" picking up his bottle of beer and motioning with his pinky at my now empty one. I sighed and rose to my feet. "You want one too, Frank?"
A half-hour later I found myself at the train station after Prue had dropped me off. I love traveling by train. Something about the expectation of waiting on the platform and the classic squeal of metal on metal provided a conducive environment to reflect on my trip until now. I had finished just about everything I had set out to do. With Wilson’s Prom now finally under my belt, I had a few days in Melbourne before heading back to Canberra. The morning Jonno picked me up for the Lats' wedding, I got a call from Anthony. He had seen my facebook message about my broken bike and offered to switch bikes with me. I was absolutely floored that he would do this, and asked him again if he was sure. He had midterms that week, and it would take a bit of logistical juggling to make it happen. Either way, it was now looking like I might just be able to bike all the way to Sydney. With completion of my trip now once again an option, I was starting to feel how much I had really wanted to finish in Sydney and not Canberra. Anthony had laid it out pretty clearly when he said, "I was going to be pretty disappointed if you didn't make it to Sydney. No one in the States knows where Canberra is, and as far as they’re concerned, it could be 100 km from Perth." As of late the logistics and constant movement, while exciting, had started to wear on me. However, if Anthony was willing to go this far for me, I knew that I could sure as hell make it to Sydney. The train pulled back into Southern Cross, and Jonno and Suse had cooked eggplant and couscous.