On that cold, bleak night I was out late at the shops: it must have been about nine o'clock. It would be a late dinner.
The car radio was chattering to itself. I turned it up slightly. Behind the voice were sound effects, like a radio play. Behind the soft commentating voice that sounded very much like the late Whispering Ted Lowe but wasn't, there was a clatter of metal on stone, a military screech here and there, a distant trumpet, and a faraway purr of drums: noises off (in the theatrical sense).
The radio play continued as I drove down Pascoe Vale Road into Moonee Ponds and pulled into Pratt Street. In an apartment overlooking the carpark, part of a screen could be seen in an uncurtained upstairs window of an apartment. The head of a horse was visible, until it disappeared stage-right into an obscured section of the screen.
The supermarket was brightly over-fluoro-d and vast and empty, except for some shelf stackers dressed in their dirty green corporate colours, like tired Robin Hoods. No shoppers except me. Everyone was at home watching the horses and the soldiers and the drummers.
I was back in the car fifteen minutes later, and the semi-obscured screen in the uncurtained window was still glowing. Part of a blue sky and a spire from some kind of ancient building could be seen; a castle perhaps or a cathedral. I turned the car radio back on. The soundtrack agreed with what was on the screen. Whispering Ted Lowe's voice was still caressing the microphone but the clattering hooves and the drums' purr had finally stopped and a bugle could be heard, notes disappearing into the blue sky behind the spire. I drove home to throw someting at the stove for dinner.