Oh good lord I've lost the knack of blogging. Laziness I suppose. Or being busy. Buying a house. And killing dreams.
I don't think I killed the dream on purpose its just that my One Day I Will Have Very Own House is now the house of my daily existence. Reality has been rubbing against the dream and causing blisters. The first and most unexpected blister is Mr X, who I will now call Withnail if only because when I think of myself I say "I".
Monday morning was my first official getting out of bed early to write before work morning since I moved in (no name for flat yet). Everything began well. I woke up. I put a jumper over my pyjamas. made coffee and sat down at my newly assembled old desk. I was just about to think of a complete sentence when Withnail, banging and clamouring all the way, emerged into the living area to make his lunch for week and lace up his shoes. I don't know if this is his normal habit but he began to read his mail out loud, interjecting the text with exclamations of "Cunt!" every fifth or six word. The letter was from the strata company but welcoming us to the building and listing emergency contacts.
The dream died in other ways. It is not the incredible design den sure to strike envy into the hearts of every mortal human, the way I always assumed my very own home would be. Withnail has a tendency to leave little messes about the place, piles of receipts from his wallet, a yoghurt cup inexplicably full of water on the side of the sink, shoes under the coffee table, neatly coiled guitar leads and electrical things piled carefully on the corner of the rug. I don't understand his messes, not yet. And the furniture. Oh dear the furniture. There are more books than bookcases, the long-promised dining table has yet to make an appearance and then there is the coffee table. I can barely bring myself to describe it.
Withnail has an aunt with an eye for bulky furniture on the brink of turning back to its natural woodland state of rotting wood and falling generally into the ground. Assembled together in her large and beautiful home its quite an appealing aesthetic but as a singular coffee table in the middle of The Dream its quite another matter altogether. I find some consolation in not having to bother with coasters. I suppose.
If there is one corner of The Dream that survived its split evenly between my bedroom that I painted, wall-to-wall in a colour called Dark Harbour, and my bathroom. My very own bathroom. There is another bathroom that I assume Withnail is in raptures about calling his very own bathroom. Long have I dreamt of a shower where there are only the necessary things of one person, not a household full of shampoos and soaps and conditioners and three different brands of toothpaste and tampons, as is the way with rented share houses. Three days before settlement Grizelda patiently waited while I chose matching everything from the supermarket. The shampoo is the same brand as the handsoap as the moisturiser as the shower gel. One matching set of everything with acres of room in the shower for the pointing of elbows and bending over to wash feet. If you'd ever seen the bathroom in The Peach you'd understand...
I suppose I could be more specific about being for the first time ever at the mercy of no one but myself and my team mate Withnail, who despite being awfully snappish and tall is quite trustworthy. For the first time ever I can lock my door and know that not one person can force my locks and return me to the streets because if you've ever been homeless, like me, you'll know that the fear of having nowhere, not one place in the world, is something that once begun does not lightly leave. Not until now when reality caused blisters on The Dream.
This morning the whole situation is starting to remind me of that episode of Dr Who where the Doctor convinces Ace she is half wolf or cat or something in order for them to get back from Crazy Planet 4 Million but the Doctor knows the whole time that Ace will suffer from this action.
On second thoughts it might be less like that and more like he's just letting me do this part of the deal because he thinks I'm better at it, or less afraid or something, than him. And I'm just not handling the stress well. Last night I smoked a cigarette in the shower. News flash - I quit smoking last year, so about five months ago now. Oh yeah, the deal.
So here's a super quick and confusing catch- up. Grizelda and I moved out to Summer Hill when Mr Oddweird, the landlord of The Peach, defaulted on the mortgage. We have a part-time housemate here in Summer Hill at Eggers, the new house, and I don't like it. The house is pretty but part-time housemates confuse my vibe. Cut jump. Grizelda has a boyfriend. She wants to move in with him when our arrangement with part-time housemate ends this October. Cut jump. I ring my mum and complain, violently and with great passion, about being swayed by the winds of housemates. Cut jump Mother offers me some assistance to buy a place of my own. Cut jump. Mr X wants in on the deal so we set about buying a place together. As friends.
Single People Alone Together.
Its so crazy it just might work.
Skip forward again to the present moment. As in this very exact moment in right now time. Grizelda's cat Oscar is asleep on the end of my bed, a bus pings and rumbles its way past my window. My mobile telephone lays flat and dormant by my pajama-clad legs. This is fucked. How many times does a person -in-the-middle-of-negotiations-to-buy-a-property have to phone the real estate agent to actually get through to them? HOW MANY?
I returned from the wedding triumphant. That had a lot to do with Spencer, Grizelda, my family and a few more friends like Ron and Robert and Mr X, and the usual list of suspects.
You see, about a year ago my brother decided to get married. Some time after that he decided to get married in a park, the same park where I was attacked by a man some years ago. The park is located in the town where I used to live with Artboy.
I haven't really been back there, not since I came crawling into The Peach.
I wanted to attend the wedding I just didn't want to go back to that town or that park or that region. I didn't even want to think about it. Spencer and Grizelda both received invitations so we stuffed ourselves into Grizelda's tiny red car and drove and drove and drove.
I packed brandy for the journey. Brandy and painkillers for my broken foot. By the time we narrowed in our trajectory we were one sheet to the wind. Arriving at the park, grass by a lagoon really, the first thing I noticed was the exact spot I crawled away in the mud, undercover of darkness, when I made my getaway all those years ago. The second thing I noticed was the white cat fur on my black dress left there surreptitiously by Oscar the kitten. I decided to focus on the dress.
I saw my brother arrive in a car full of men wearing tuxedos. A familiar sight thanks to his years of playing in big bands. And then my parents and then the ceremony and then nothing but acres of goodwill.
Spencer and I were drunk and chatty with relatives and friends alike. My parents kept ageing and beaming then tearing up and doing it all over again. I performed one good deed. There was the bridal waltz, and her parents walking up to join in, and my father with his wife and there over at a table sat my mother by herself. Her partner nowhere to be seen, I think she was photographing something. I stood a little uncertainly because of the wine and my broken foot but I made to over to her table and held out my hand. I lead my mother to the dance floor. She said "I'm not sure how to do this". "It doesn't matter", I replied. And so we waltzed on that roomy floor in between the tuxedo-clad big band and the hundreds of pair of eyes.
Afterwards my aunts and uncles came surreptitiously one by one to tell me what a good thing I had done asking my mother to dance. I did not disagree with them but I looked at them a little beadily. Its been some time since a relative thought highly of me. I thought for a moment of my dead grandfather and wondered.
After my brother took his new wife away in a car Spencer and I stole all the wine we could and started drinking while Grizelda worked at driving the car. The turn off to my old house came up ahead of us. I felt uneasy but shouted at the very last second 'turn here I want to see the house'.
Grizelda found the old house easily and brought her small car to a stop across the road from it. The new people had ripped out the old weeping cherry tree and chopped down the jacaranda. There was a white metal letterbox in place of the crazy old wooden one my father bought from a man who carved things with a chainsaw.
I remembered the last time I was there. Half mad and convinced I was being followed by a cube of sorrow. This time I was not alone. We got out of the car and crossed the road. Spencer and Grizelda held back but I walked on my broken foot, all dressed up and drunk. I walked right up the driveway smoking a cigarette and taking huge swigs from a stolen bottle of wine.
Memories that house seemed like a huge shadow falling over everything I do. I stared at the front door and waited for something to hit me until something did. I don't need this anymore. I ground out my cigarette on the red brick driveway, shrugged at the idea of Artboy and walked on back to the car.
Half way home Spencer said "You did good tonight". And I thought yeah, I did.
We sang and drank and laughed our way back towards the city. The street lights started growing on every corner and maybe a plane roared overhead or if it didn't it could have. People were walking everywhere on the streets and there was life more than darkness and the big solid feeling of coming home.
Yeah. I was going to wait until moving day and then change to a new blog for, you know... change etc.
I fucking hate waiting.
I'm closing this chapter early. We've begun dismantling The Peach, stripping out cupboards, throwing out junk, deciding which furniture to take with us to the new house. The Peach is in a wreck and I love it. There is stuff everywhere. Mountainous terrain in the lounge room and hallway. Never has getting to the kitchen been such an adventure.
I was waiting to find the words to sum up my time in The Peach. I was waiting but I've given up. If I don't know by now then I'll never know. This is an old case of show don't tell, there are thousands of words already here. Read them if you can be bothered. I probably won't.
I'm going to let this chapter slide gracefully backwards into memory and highlight reels of bad and good and struggling to recall in just which rooms squares of sunlight slid across the floor. I feel all right about that.
You can follow me if you'd like to, the new joint is locked for now, while I look around and see what I might become. Try in October, you'll probably find the door unlocked.
I'm freaking out, retrospectively. I'm no Helen Razer or Charlotte Dawson but in my time there have been two people posting me death threats, a bunch of truly horrible trolls calling for me to kill myself because I am the world's worst writer, and two entire blogs, not blog posts but actual whole blogs, dedicated to writing as much horrible crap as possible about me. FUCKWITS!
Helen Razer wrote this excellent article. I advise people to read it.
Yesterday Mr X flagged down a taxi and zoomed us over to Surry Hills to see Spencer and Abdullah play solo sets at Adam Lewis's Sunset People at the Hollywood. This boring background information is crucial for two reasons. Reason the first, I like being zoomed in taxis. Reason the second, a mystery occurred at the Hollywood. It was time for The Peachette Detective Agency to solve another case.
The detecting business is more tricky than I thought. So far I have solved no mysteries despite opening my first detective agency thirty years ago. Someone must have slipped determination into my beer because when a new mystery presented itself I went ahead and solved it.
Who wrote "WHY AREN'T YOU DATING ADAM LEWIS? HE IS A BABE" on the tiles in a toilet cubicle at the Hollywood?
I know but I can't tell you. The investigative process was furious and swift. People were questioned, text messages were sent and Adam Lewis became bemused.
By the end of the night beer provided an anaesthetic effect on my broken foot and pain became a memory, which is a shame really. There's nothing like a limp to add a hint of the hardboiled to working a case.
The triumph of solving the case has not been dimmed by the watertight confidentiality agreement made during the investigative process. Triumph whilst sometimes exhibited externally by yelling, clapping, smiling, crying, jumping, dancing or hugging is first and primarily experienced in the mind. Besides, I know who dunnit and in Hollywood that's all that really matters.
Oh and in answer to the question in question. I would date Adam Lewis but I might be arrested for dating someone young enough to be my son, I think. I haven't done the maths but that answer seems right to me.
I have become angry at my foot, just as Gemma was angry with her tonsils. I don't about Gemma's tonsils but my foot is letting me down. I haven't had a car since Superman smashed and killed the Zammercarship (and after that our friendship) so for three years now I've been walking everywhere I want to go. I had intended to buy a bicycle but Mr Oddweird put an end to that dream by requiring me to save my all of money for bond on a new house.
This is where the foot comes in again. I need it to walk with. I need it to get to work in the morning and back home in the afternoon. I need it take me to the shops and down the hall to the kitchen and back up the hall to the bathroom and then wherever else in the house I wish to be. I need my foot to work.
My foot doesn't work. It hurts when I wriggle my toes, it hurts when I roll over in bed, the other day it hurt when I turned on the shower and water hit my skin. It hurts when I stretch my leg or stand up or sit down or put on a loose sock.
I'm packing up the contents of The Peach one-legged and unsteady. Yesterday I spent four hours ironing every piece of linen in the house, standing on one leg. The story of packing is boring, even on one leg. First I select a cupboard or drawer or corner and go through every item checking if I need it or can donate it to charity, sell it or throw it out. I thought I would be overwhelmed by the onslaught of memories inadvertently attached to every tiny thing I own. This is what has happened in the past but I find myself enjoying the ruthlessness of culling. I don't know if its the crazy pills, the foot or lingering thought that this house turned out just to be a house and nothing more. Nothing like the temple of my personal salvation I thought it was going to be or was, from my time to time. Nothing but walls and a place for me to wander around in temporarily.
I am finding that I can't follow a thread of thought. I am unsure about almost everything except the urgent need to cull and ongoing anger at my broken foot. People keep asking what the new house is going to be called. I suspect it might end up being The Embassy. I don't think that's a very good name but it floated out of my mouth while I stood at the front gate with my left palm flat against the brick wall topped with wrought iron spikes. The Embassy. It sounds ridiculous, more ridiculous than The Peach. What are we to be called? Ambassadors? Diplomats? That's even worse than Peachettes. I suppose I'll think on it a little, when I stop being angry at my foot.