Larnook. Monday, 8.15am
‘It’s supposed to raining,’ she says, looking at her phone.
I look out the window next to the table where we sit. The sun is shining, the valley sparkling in its light. A single cloud hovers above the western ridge. Apart from it, the sky is an empty blue.
I sip my coffee.
‘It’s a sunny day,’ I say, stating the obvious.
‘No,’ she says, swiping her finger across her phone. ‘Supposed to be raining.’
‘What do you mean?’ I say.
‘Ninety per cent chance of rain,’ she says. ‘Look.’
She turns her phone towards me. I see a blue screen with squiggles on it. Outside, I see a blue day with no rain on it.
‘It’s a sunny day,’ I say. ‘And good coffee.’
‘Thanks,’ she says.
‘I reckon it’s supposed to be a sunny today, too,’ I say.
‘No,’ she says. ‘Look.’ And shoves her phone closer to me. ‘It’s supposed to be raining today.’
‘It’s a bloody sunny day. Look at it.’ I say, and point outside where a wallaby is sitting on its tail exposing its tummy and pouch to the sun. ‘It supposed to be what it is. Surely,’ I say, a note of exasperation in my voice.
‘You’re just being stubborn,’ she says.
‘Now you’re being aggressive. Look. It says 90 per cent chance of rain.’
Once more the phone is in my face. I don’t look at it. I look her in the eyes instead.
‘But it’s sunny,’ I say, desperately.
‘That’s the 10 per cent chance of not raining. Doesn’t mean it isn’t supposed to rain,’ she says. ‘Proves it is, actually.’
Oh god. I lift the mug and drain the remaining coffee. Maybe it’ll kick my brain into operation because I’m missing something here. It is good coffee. I heard her grind the beans and saw that she was using Mackellar Range coffee. That range is not far from here, no doubt its coffee crop bathing in the brilliant light of this rainy day.
‘If it’s not raining,’ I say, nodding yes as she lifts the coffee pot over my cup and raises an eyebrow, ‘then it’s, um, not raining. And not supposed to. Otherwise it would be.’ (Okay, it’s not Socrates, but it’s the best I got.)
‘No. It just proves the 10 per cent part of the prediction is correct,’ she says, pouring me another coffee. ‘And if the 10 per cent part of the prediction is right, then all of it is right.’
‘So, you’re saying that this beautiful sunny day proves it’s a rainy day,’ I say.
She looks at me with that smile that mothers use when their children are being recalcitrant.
‘It says 90 per cent chance of rain today, so, obviously, there’s a 10 per cent chance it won’t rain. That’s what that is,’ she says, waving a hand vaguely at the window, behind which ‘that’ is bathed in sunlight. ‘The phone is correct.’
‘Oh. What if it doesn’t rain at all today?’ I ask. ‘Is the rainy day prediction still correct?’
‘Yes,’ she says, pouring herself another coffee, and offering no reasoning for that answer. And I don’t ask for one.
I can’t compete against the combined forces of BOM and Apple. And as I don’t have a smart phone, I really have nothing to back my assertion that it’s actually a sunny day – and was supposed to be a sunny day.
I sip my coffee staring at the day that isn’t. She scrolls her phone.
‘I should take an umbrella with me, I guess,’ I say, watching a joey poke its head out from its mother’s pouch, its large eyes blinking in the sunlight.
‘I would. Supposed to be raining today,’ she says.