Adelaide went to town.
She hopped on the tram with her youngest child, had coffee with her corporate happily-salaried husband (his shout) then picked up the fringe tickets she had booked for the excellent array of children’s shows.
It was not a cool day, and her little boy fell asleep as she wheeled the pusher from Rundle Street and back towards the Mall.
Adelaide crossed at the Hungry Jack’s lights, walked past the man still singing how much is that doggy in the window, past the balloon sculptor, past the woman painted in white doing that statue trick, the man playing the didgeridoo, the dudes playing footbag, the south americans offering to paint your name on a grain of rice, and bumped into Pluck.
They made her think of her mother and cry in the way that the sound of violins often did.
And still, her little boy slept.
Adelaide turned the pram around, walked back the way she had come, turned down that small dark street and waited at the lights.
She watched the students crossing towards her, but she felt no nostalgic pang, no twitch of I wish that were me. She crossed North Terrace and pushed her little boy up the Art Gallery ramp. The blast of conditioned air reminded her of the days when this had been her refuge, when she had hidden in here between lectures not wanting to go to the refectory on her own, afraid of what she might find in the undergraduate reading room.
Adelaide knew the painting she was looking for.
She did not mind that before she could reach it, she had bumped into one of those people she had not seen for years, but would still call on as a friend. He was there with his mother, just back in the city for the night. She did not mind that the conversation was stilted, that she still had nothing to say when people asked ‘so what do you do?’. She did not mind that he was not the only person who had stopped ringing whenever he came back to Adelaide.
They said goodbye, and Adelaide reached the soft, circular seat. She sat and looked around at the paintings from ‘victoria 1890s’ for 45 minutes. Every now and then she lifted the hood of the pusher and watched her little boy sleep and it was all she could do to stop herself texting everyone she knew to describe her day and to tell them that life was ace.