Monday, 4 July 2011


Airplanes. A great place to write. I spend so much time on them writing stuff that I wonder if that is why I travel at all. It is the perfect place to write. I can sit in a cluster fuck of people and ignore them completely. Pump the music up and chip away at the thoughts in my head.

This time, it was Sydney and Canberra that borrowed me for a while. It was meant to be more Sydney than The Capital but minds changed and plans went with them. Don't ask me why. I'm not sure I know why yet.

Bernarda was the first to see, squee and hug me on arrival in Sydney. We jumped out of separate taxis outside Allison's place in Surry Hills across the street from each other. Wielding a bottle of bubbly and the sweetest, most loving smile she greeted me. Reminding me why Sydney is another home for me. A place I belong and long for.

On this plane, they are serving food but I only want a red wine. I used to worry about the order of things before. Like dessert after dinner, when I now have it before if my mood guides me there. There is the rule of wine with food. Responsible service of alcohol except when the food is plane food and eating that is not so responsible.

Ahhh.... responsible. I want to only ever write it with a lower case R. It is far too big a word already, without engrossing its importance. Feeding its ego with stress and overvalue.

Bernarda and I got Allison's neighbor Claudette to let us in to her place. Claudette knew to expect a Brazilian called Bernie or a Darwin girl called Damana to turn up and ask to be let in. We took the third compound option and the neighbour smiled as she let us in. We know the people on that street very well. Allison has been there for a long time and I lived four doors up from her for a short time. That was at a time when my life was falling apart and I couldn't keep my ducks in a row.

Oh, do ask me about ducks later. There is a story there.

We let ourselves in to Allison's and as Bernarda grabbed the flutes, I opened my suitcase and made the big decisions. Must I change out of my Black Milk lace bell bottom tights or would they sensibly help me acclimatize?

We got distracted by the glasses of bubbly and discussions of new wave condoms before important lacey-like decisions could be made. The bottle was empty as we swanned out the door and hailed a cab heading for Linda's place in Marrickville.

Marrickville to me will always be a suburb close to the airport that is home to one of Australia's best boxers. It will also now be the suburb Linda lives in, where a week earlier down the street a man shot himself in the head when cornered by police for a recent criminal act. Associations.

Linda is an American friend who was having a housewarming. For some reason I always end up at her parties and leave said parties with trouble trailing loose behind and many incriminating photos imprinted in digital worlds.

This party was no exception. The moment when you hear yourself declare "let's make these photos look hilarious for facebook" is often the end to what could have been a fun and reserved night. I don't know if it was the mulled wine or the shots of grey goose in large plastic party cups but all I remember after that declaration is lying on Allison's couch and requesting a bucket with some water in the bottom.

Seeing Linda later for a girly cheese dinner brought out another Damana Sex And The City moment. Apparently, on arriving at Linda's she asked me to remove my shoes. Everyone else had but I kept ignoring the instructions and giving one reason that I thought would explain everything. "These are Campers heels". This seemed like a free pass to break the no shoes rule. Even lying on Linda's bed in shoes.

Fortunately, Linda is nothing but class. She expressed her discontent and we continued a lively night of wine and cheese and wine. Next time, I'll find an attractive man to help me take me shoes off. That could be the new doorman for Sydney inner-west parties.

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