Chapter 1 Our Friends are Lost in Time

Chapter 1 Fear and Paranoia
Chapter 1 Fear and Paranoia

Chapter 1

In search of meaning

The origins of


Our Friends are Lost in Time

It is the tragedy of adventurers that their mortality is great, and each death leaves them more tired.

The waves that wash the shore, count for the dead. Warriors in canoes, bodies from the great rivers, drowned in flood. Beneath the sea lies Froggy, Roy, chained below decks in the prison ship, captors and captured alike in rusty gloom.

Downey is there, at the wheel of the Gondwana, a fateful name, at rest in the lost continent. His cargo of crayfish escaped; predator became prey, the biter bit.

We know the sea-lice; lower down a barracouta to them and pull up a bag of bones in half an hour. Washed off the rocks, the fisherman is bone in one many-mouthed meal. Many a straitman has drowned, and few bodies are recovered.

There are the nameless dead, carelessly buried at Chimney Corner, at Preservation, on King Island; sometimes a blackened hand, like seaweed, pierces the sand and clutches at the air. Who were they, what were their names, what boat, what lonely end?
“I found him dead on the beach and buried him.”

Some die in bed, of strange tumours and fevers, some on roads, like rabbits knocked and broken; some still live.

To live past your friends; uneasiness sets in, as though a man is cheating, gets more than his share of life. Or sometimes, to feel oneself a ghost, living beyond the appropriate time for death. How often we have looked at each other and said “Well, this is it,” and somehow lived again.

And always, that strange awakening after death. Did we really escape, or are we the man who watched? Are our bodies too gone down, in that previous time. Have we become transparent, strange, seeing the world with new and different eyes.