An open Letter From Nate Kinski

A few words from a man of few words.

What if Nate Kinski, played superbly by Meyne Wyatt since 2014, put his thoughts into an open letter, before slipping quietly away in one of the infamous yellow Erinsborough taxis? He’s never been the type to wear his heart on his sleeve but if we – and Ramsay Street residents – were to read his innermost thoughts, they might go something like this.

“Alright, so by the time you guys get to read this, I’ll be on my way to Darwin. I know I didn’t get the chance to say a proper goodbye. But it all happened so fast. I had to make a snap decision when I got the go-ahead for re-enlisting, and there was no time to waste. And you know me. Don’t like a fuss.

“I know I haven’t been the easiest person to get along with since I rocked up in Erinsborough. Karl and Susan, I reckon you thought I was a bit odd. I wasn’t in a good headspace back then. If you’d seen what I’d seen, been where I’d been, believe me, you’d have known why. And you’d have known why I didn’t talk about it much. Death was a daily thing. Civilians and soldiers being blown up. You lose one army mate, then another, then another. That’s why I was here, a mate’s funeral. Anyway. That was then.

“I didn’t know you Kennedy guys before I came to stay. What can I say about you, Susan? You’re the best. You even forgave me for nearly burying you alive. That’s PTSD for you. You think you’re done with it, then it comes back to bite you. But Susan, you really helped. I should’ve thanked you more, but I’m not one to be demonstrative. Well, not unless it involves a remote control car or a game of cricket. Then you’ll see me get emotional alright! Yes, I owe a lot to you both. And Karl, you’re alright, apart from the music. And the MAMIL gear you wear on the bike. I liked living with you, except for that blue box stuff. I’m all for a bit of sauce if it’s a spunky guy in a high vis vest and not much else, but when you catch your aunt by marriage and the local doctor dressed as … Wait, enough. Let’s not go there.

“Yup, I’ve made some good mates in Erinsborough. Had a couple of big romances too. Shame they didn’t work out. Chris, he was just desperate to be a dad. I wasn’t. I’ve seen the horrible things that can happen to kids, I couldn’t cope with having one of my own and worrying about them all the time. And Aaron, well, I hope you know I love you, dude. But you choose family over me. And I suppose I get that. You’ve got two brothers in Erinsborough. You reckon you’ve got a career going. Though, come on, mate, I don’t see being a PA to a girl of sixteen and a crim like Paul Robinson as a career. You need to find your own path, just like I have. One day you will.

“I needed to come to Ramsay Street, to work out what I wanted out of life. And now I know. Aaron, we had our good times. We got off to a rocky start, didn’t we. There was the Boys In A Box thing. Not one of Naomi’s best ideas. I felt like a total jerk, but I can laugh about it now. Then there was the time when I tried to make cocktails to impress you. I made a right pig’s ear of it and you didn’t even like cocktails, as it turned out. But we got on the beers and had a good night, once we’d got rid of the olds. Karl just doesn’t pick up on signals when he gets chatting about The Right Prescription.

“Aaron, I know you don’t totally get why I had to go away last time. Well, there was one reason but that’s between us. And by the time I came back, you’d moved on. You didn’t know where you stood with me, and you had every right to have fun. But now I’ve seen that guy, Tom, the one you thought was dead in the explosion, I know he’s a phoney. Please stay away from him, he’s trouble. I’ll miss you lot, Aaron. I’ll miss your cute smile, your crazy ideas, hell, I’ll even miss you calling me ‘Eyebrows’. And not many people could get away with that!

Sheila, I’ll even miss you. You’re a bossy old coot, but you’ve got a good heart. You didn’t like it when I was your boss for a while, though. You thought you knew better than me how to run a bar. I’ll let you into a secret, Sheila. You do. But I never told you that, cos I didn’t want you getting big headed. You always stuck up for the gay customers, and I appreciate that. You even became a gay icon. But Sheila, what you know about being gay you can write on a beer mat. You stereotype us, which is a bit daft when you remember that I’m an army guy. You won’t catch me acting camp or wearing bright clothes. You’ve taken on a lot looking after that granddaughter of yours. I know you miss Kyle and it fills a gap. Kyle’s another person I liked. We had some laughs. I feel sorry for Amy being dumped like that, but he must have still been in love with Georgia, all along. Sheila, you should think about yourself a bit. You’ve got to take care of your ticker. Rest up and don’t be a martyr.

“Tyler, me and you have been great mates. We have that man bonding thing, if that’s what you call it. I guess you needed a buddy, and before Aaron arrived, you only had Mark. Mark, you’re a good guy but you can be a bit stuffy. You should chill more, instead of fussing about cleaning and putting the spice jars in a neat line. Surely a cop wants to relax off duty. But then again, you’d lost your girl, and you haven’t exactly had much luck in love since, have you.You need to find the right woman and have a few kids, then you’d stop worrying about mess.

“It didn’t matter that I was running from my army past, I still saw a lot of loss and destruction in Erinsborough. A tornado, a car accident, a school fire, and now an explosion. They were the worst ones. Jeez, I’m gonna tell everyone I meet, if you want a quiet life, don’t go to Erinsborough. I feel a bit bad leaving right now, what with people going through such a tough time. Poor Sonya, you’ve only just dealt with Toad being paralysed and getting mobile again, then Steph rocked up. No offence, Steph, but you do have baggage. And now this Walter. I know Toad will look after you, Sonya, but just watch yourself, don’t get taken for a ride again.

“I don’t suppose Paul will get to read this. I’d hedge a bet that he’ll be behind bars by the time I’ve got my combis back on. Can’t say I have much sympathy there. You all know what a bad time me and Aaron had over trying to find out what he was up to before he went bankrupt. Maybe his past has caught up with him at last. I can’t see who else could have caused that explosion, to be honest. Amy, I’m sorry, I know it’s harsh, but I think you’re going to have to get used to jail visits. And Steph, you believe he’s innocent, but you’ve got to think about yourself now, and getting your boy back for good.

“As for you Willis folks, I cant tell you how sorry I am for what you’re going through. You’d dealt with enough already, but losing Josh and Doug, that’s just awful. I’m glad that Chris and Josh made their peace after Josh coward punched him when he was out of his tree on grog. Josh was a decent guy. Got himself in a few sticky situations but, hey, we all make bad decisions. I wish I’d got to say goodbye to him. Should be used to that, shouldn’t I, not getting to say goodbye. This is it, then. I’ve learnt a lot from Ramsay Street and I won’t lose touch, what with Karl and Susan living there. The army was calling me. And maybe that’s just it. I left the army, but it never really left me. It’s a gamble. But I know it’s the right thing to do. And I owe you folk of Ramsay Street for helping me get my head straight.

“So long. And for God’s sake, no more disasters. Stay safe.”

I know I’m not the only viewer who will really miss Nate. He’s been a very different character to any others I remember. I would love to think that he might pop back in the future, with his comical expressions, his monosyllabic responses and his droll sense of humour. Thank you, Meyne, for dealing with some very heavy storylines in such a sensitive way. Good luck in whatever you do next. Don’t forget about Nate, though, because the viewers definitely won’t.

S’long, ‘Eyebrows’.

© Carol Ann Wood
June 2016

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