It was a hot night. An old friend came over for a late dinner and we sat outside and drank cold beers and talked about life and what you can do about it and the answer was: nothing.
My friend is a cop and his girlfriend is an academic and she is soon to leave for a posting at a US university somewhere in the mid-west, with the prospect of a further posting at another campus closer to the west coast; while a university here in Melbourne is also in the throes of making her an offer, but being a university, its bureaucracy moves like a glacier; so she will be more likely to take one of the two US postings. There must be a shortage of academics. I don't even know what they do. They must do something.
So if she goes, that's it. You can't be in Australia and have a girlfriend in America. He is a single child of aged Greek parents who speak little English and who depend on him. He won't leave them to follow her. It sounded to me as if the girlfriend didn't care either way and he'd be better off facing reality and cutting ties now. But he couldn't. Plus he had an eight-grand ring in his pocket that he wasn't sure whether to force the issue with or not.
Eight-grand rings don't force issues, they just sparkle and glister and confuse. But you can't advise, you can only listen. I listened and we ate. We ate spinach paneer and I grilled some fenugreek roti on the barbecue. Have you any idea how good fenugreek roti smells when grilled?
The smoke from the barbecue drifted across the garden and into someone else's garden and it got dark. We had another cold beer. My friend is leaving for Bairnsdale tomorrow for a week, as part of a police special response group co-ordinating emergency services in the bushfire zone. It should be a nice quiet change for him.