I watch the beaten brown toes of my boots pick their way through the swirling red dust of the track. The afternoon sun still manages to glare through the thick curtain of dust and sting my eyes so I keep them lowered, my face obscured from the invisible gawkers by my hat.
I glance up at the distant growl of a diesel engine and spot a large truck trundling down the track straights towards me and the weatherboard pub.
This outsider's movement makes my skin prickle despite the pounding heat as I suck in my breath. Eyes down again I continue on my bee-line for the pub, trying to shake off the anxiety that tightens my cracked lips.
My feet baulk slightly as they leave the red dust of the track and step onto the hot rutted concrete of the pub's verandah. The shade slices through the glare and I look upwards, my eyes locking onto the darkened green window of the pub's heavy door-making explicit to my sticky flesh the coolness that lay on the other side. A long desired oasis.