Let Me Tell You About... The Kindness of Strangers, by Laura Kebby / by Laura Kebby

This week has been a period of ridiculously faced paced highs for me, and my schedule has probably tripled in terms of deadlines and pressures on my creative outputs. But… I love it. Actually, my life in general is slowly becoming more chaotic as I move through, which is how I found myself using my tiny hatchback as a roving office. It’s also how I found myself stranded at the back end of the horseshoe beach carpark at 3pm on Tuesday afternoon, sweltering in the heat, after finishing four back to back interviews. I turned my key, mentally relieved for some downtime during the drive home, my mind already with the wind in my hair tracing the beautiful edges of the ocean road with some tunes acting as a backing track for my own personal car advertisement. I turned the key. Nothing. Mentally hitting the ctrl, alt, delete, I tried again. Nothing. I opened my door, which was a big mistake (in public). Like I said, I’d been using my car as an office lately (freelance writers unite) so coffee cups, V cans, notes, pens, a jar of vicks vapor rub and Queen’s entire back catalogue on CD spilled, colliding with the sand and gravel of the car park. I didn’t know what to do, but in that particular moment I didn’t really mind. I am always forwarding things for ‘future Laura’ to think about, this was definitely one of those times. I’m also trying to measure my days by my achievements, rather than failures, and even with this slight car mishap I was still on track to coming out of this day on top.

Looking out into the harbor, with my mini rubbish tip still decorating the gravel bag lady style, I smiled. A shag (or whatever their appropriate scientific name is), was perched atop a worn wooden pylon surrounded by sea. I don’t really know much about them except they enjoyed solitude so completely which fascinates me to no end. You often see them, wings spread, catching rays of sunshine, winding down, after a hard day of just doing what they do… Alone. They are probably one of my favourite animals and a lot of the time, I really feel like that shag on a rock, as the saying goes, in the middle of a chaotic sea. Although I do have a day job, the majority of my work is a solitary experience and most writers work best this way. But, as I am beginning to find out, sometimes it’s important to trust those around me and learn to lean on some collaborative efforts. Just as I was about to hop on and enjoy the ride of an extended train of thought, a man approached me and brought me back to my flat battery and the rubbish tip at my feet. “… I’ll help you out, I know what it’s like”. A sigh of relief escaped my body. I think he also said something about jumper leads, but it was really that particular part of the sentence that stood out for me.

Today marks a new delivery month for Newcastle Mirage, something I always personally celebrate. I also make a point of taking some time think about the kindness of one particular stranger in particular, someone who is now a very good friend, who took a chance on me. I may still be working from my car, sorry… roving office, but my writing has a home. And that is something that neither money or an NRMA road side assistance membership can buy. I have started to keep some jumper leads in my car, but they aren’t necessarily for me. A good friend of mine often speaks the vibes and thoughts we put out into the world always come back to us, in one way or another. So here’s me, with my jumper leads, both metaphorical and physical, ready to further restore the faith in the kindness of strangers, for you.