Jesse Maskell
Jackadgery, NSW, 2016

Victor. Thu 21 July, 4:15pm. One moment tucked into a million. 1800km up the guts of NSW real wheat belt towns, in the rain for two days roads flooded sending us back through Tullamore four times more than I’d ever want to see it, the Tarago got us out and got us everywhere we ever wanted to go, thank you mum and dad, and got me home safe yet again. This hill for one minute almost at the end, the crash site, barrel-rolled down the hill at 100 Ks an hour, a miracle we both walked away over a year ago now, sorry for the van, I hate Grafton now. A title on the line and finally in the same team after all these years, you midfield me defence, second on the table, three games to go. Road tripping when Vic had to find a place to live and missing the last semester of his masters for this, getting back to the scraps of work we both had, him a new job in limbo, me as free as I’ll ever be 23. But you’re always as free as you’ll ever be. Splendour we came we saw, but it was more a date with the Northern Rivers. The warm, green hinterland. The clear Pacific water. The feeling and air and smell walking into your parents’ at Mullumbimby now six years on from the first time, this is magic. The next Sunday we’d roll some team 7-0 in Melbourne sun, me and Sach barely fit to walk but cruising, under the spaceage Bolte that’s sent our opponents home tail between their legs all season and two games left now. You flew home with things to deal with and I found myself sick turning for the worse wondering what the fuck I was doing driving headlong blindly into crazy Illawarra Highway passes on a Thursday night, bends too steep for a road with cliff edges and locals fanging utes behind me on their way home from South Coast building sites, I