In the Regeneration - the man-made messiah

Chapter March 8, 2012

“I think it could be interesting,” he said lightly. “And you?”

“I’m going to London.”

“Good for you.”
He should have guessed – they all go to London. Even Max had been to London. Only on a footy trip of course, but… he’d been there. He nodded affably, but with no real enthusiasm. To Max London looked pretty much the same as Melbourne – full of buildings, traffic, and untold millions of unbelievably busy, self-absorbed people. London was just a lot bigger, and, no doubt, much more expensive.

“But – why would you want to go to India?”

“Why not?”
She was obviously unimpressed –

“I’ve got plenty of time,” he added thoughtlessly.

“And what’s that meant to mean?”

“I mean – I’m in no particular hurry,” he said. “I know you powerful young women like to be constantly on the march but…”

“Powerful!” she scoffed. “I’m not powerful! And what do you mean – on the march?”

Propelled by habit, or perhaps culture, Max eased into battle. Of all sport he probably enjoyed this the most. In its own way, flirting had always been the most dangerous game in town – you just never quite know where you’ll end up.

“Well, you know, from what I’ve observed,” he said with a smile. “Women, as a group – I don’t mean every woman – but as a group – do seem to be in a bit of a hurry these days – don’t you think – you know, to get ahead and all that?”

Here we go again…
The comment was simply cultural, just an example of the “good old Australian tease” Max had been brought up on, meant as nothing more than a light-hearted provocation – made merely to amuse. Comments like this were part of the common banter, tiny tests of a unique sense of humour which more often than not completely missed their target. Max often began his flirting like this – just to set a few things straight from the outset – just in case someone made the mistake of ever taking you too seriously.

“I mean, really,” he goaded, “I know how you women are about time.”
If Max was testing her, and the odd fly on the wall that had survived the flight so far saw it that way, it was a test she immediately failed –

“Do you now! Well! We’ll see about that!”

When are we supposed to see about that?
Mate…you may have time to spare, but seriously, you don’t have time for this!