She had outgrown the city. The lights, sounds and smells that had seemed so exotic as a young woman five years ago just felt like artificiality, noise and stink now. The promise of the constant nightly thud of the nightclub at the end of her street filled her dread as she dragged herself home from the office another day after day.
There had to be another way. She had to get away from the endless trudge to work, the smog, the noise.
Suburbia would not do. She regarded the streets of project homes as a sort of purgatory for those unwilling or unable to commit to either the city or the country. The potentiality of being forced to converse with someone so entrenched in such an indecisive mindset gave her hives.
Or at least, she imagined it did.
She had a good imagination.
Then the lockdowns came. The endless cycles of orders to stay indoors away from harm’s way were initially met with due compliance until the days turned into weeks, the weeks into months and the months seemed to be stretching out to years. Then, along with the consistent bad news on the 24 hours news stream everyone started to get sad and fat, including her.
She almost missed the thud of the nightclub.
Unfortunately the absence of noise was not met with silence but rather the thud of the small bored child in the unit above; effectively replacing the nightly beat with a daily scream, giggle and crash.
“I’ve got to get out of here,” she muttered each time another wail started to crescendo from above.
In her less motivated moments, she drifted upon the real estate sites and even contemplated suburbia where she would still have children as neighbours but at least they would have a backyard and not her ceiling to play on.
That’s when she saw it.
The farm with its little two bedroom cottage, no neighbours, no noise.
The farm with its low, low price and long, long distance from lockdowns.
She could telecommute! It was only an hour away from the city and when lockdowns finished she could negotiate working from home.
She made an offer above the asking price; convinced that some other poor desperate city dweller would snap up her sanctuary.
Needless to say, two months later she was sitting in her new living room surrounded by her belongings recently delivered by two surly, masked up removalists. It should be mentioned that they weren’t surly all of the time, once they were finished, one of the men winked at her, said good luck and they both laughed themselves stupid as they trekked back out to their van.
“Rude!” She muttered before deciding that they weren’t mocking her but were instead just extremely jealous of her new idyllic lifestyle remote working away from lockdowns.
To cheer herself up, she reached for her phone to put some of her favourite dance hits on Spotify.
Spotify did not work.
She tried YouTube.
YouTube did not work.
She dialled her provider to make a complaint.
There was no reception.
She sat on the floor and regarded the boxes surrounding her.
If suburbia was purgatory then this farm was hell.
And outside the kookaburras laughed.