Melbourne Ekka 2004

Melbourne Ekka 2004

1 December 2018, just before 5.00 a.m AEST


In a dream from which I would awake, a setting of a carnival, something crossed by the Brisbane Ekka and an American state fair, nothing familiar, only great lights in the night.


In the distance I saw Ruth was sitting with family. It was as if I was lost wandering around the fair grounds. I approach Ruth, sitting across a large table. I asked how she was. Ruth could not speak, but she just mimicked the death gesture of playing the violin.




I cannot even say sorry, Ruth. You are not here and never will be. I was distant. I now wish I had been much more present in your death. I had drifted away, became too busy, protecting myself from your death. I now wish I had been closer to you; that I had dropped everything for you in the dying.


I now feel no comfort in you, the memory of not being here. I am lost.


Ruth, you found comfort in thinking I would find someone after you were gone. I said to you honestly I do not know.  Now, there is nobody.


All I want here for you, to say, “I love you”, like we once said, and said too little.




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Neville Buch (Pronounced Book) Ph.D. is a certified member of the Professional Historians Association (Queensland). Since 2010 he has operated a sole trade business in history consultancy. He was a Q ANZAC 100 Fellow 2014-2015 at the State Library of Queensland. Dr Buch was the PHA (Qld) e-Bulletin, the monthly state association’s electronic publication, and was a member of its Management Committee. He is the Managing Director of the Brisbane Southside History Network.

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