Just back from a weekend in Sydney. The Australasian Association of Philosophy’s annual conference started today. We went down a few days early and I fled back to Canberra this morning before the philosophers really got going. Laurie presents her paper later in the week, but this afternoon she was on a Career Workshop panel about balancing career and family. At precisely the time she was doing this, I was back in Canberra, standing at the side of the road with a small baby, wondering what to do next. I had just locked myself out of our apartment. Apart from the baby—who responded to the crisis by repeatedly trying to walk out into the middle of the road—my inventory consisted of no car keys, no money, and only the vaguest notion of the first name of the agent for the property company who own a couple of units in this apartment complex, which doesn’t have a custodian. Cathy something? Or was that the name of the owner of the B&B in Sydney? The person who would assuredly have the relevant information to hand couldn’t be contacted, because she had her phone switched off, seeing as she was giving a talk about work/family responsibilities. Carolyn? Carmel? I’m pretty sure it’s a “C” name. Every other person in Canberra I’d be in a position to phone for assistance was out of town. They were all in Sydney, at the conference. Some of them were probably at the workshop.
Now that I’m back on the right side of the apartment door (the child is still alive, by the way), I can see just how this sequence will play out in the upcoming film version of my life. The director cuts back and forth. The baby has discovered where the dumpsters are and is making a beeline for the abandoned washing machine. The audience at the workshop chats sagely to one another about the domestic division of labor. The actor playing me picks an apartment door at random and knocks, hoping someone is at home. He gets ready to brandish the baby, in order to simultaneously signal his non-threatening nature and his desperate need for aid.