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459 Fitzgerald Street
North Perth, WA, 6006
Australia

Loving and Leaving and Returning and Stuff

Tahlia Palmer: Steady Eye

Loving and Leaving and Returning and Stuff

Andrew Ryan

If you read these things regularly, you will know that I’m headed back to Perth for a bit, after almost 5 years of living it up drunkenly in Melbourne’s darkest, loudest corners…

…and now I’m fucking sick of it, and want some sun, and want some family, and want some beach. This will be my last column written from Melbourne for at least three months. I am thinking of little else at the moment, so here are some ramblings about it.

Today I walked from Collingwood to Fitzroy in order to situate myself in a comfortable bar with free internet, to make benefit this week’s writings. The temperature is 14 degrees, it is raining, I was trudging through puddles with a big old tipsy smile on my face because about an hour before that I thought, you know what? Fuck it, I’m going to drink a pint with my dingus ex-boyfriend and then drink more pints on my dingus lonesome while I write, because this weather makes me fucking depressio and I need some alleviation that I am incapable of finding elsewhere in rainy weather when I have to be out of the house. Fuck you Melbourne. Seriously, fuck you. No wonder there’s so much fucking heroin in this city.

So I was walking up Johnston Street, listening to Bauhaus and remembering the first time I ever heard them. Bauhaus was one of those bands that made me pay proper attention to music. I saw the film clip for the track Mask on Rage one time when I was about 14, and I was transfixed. Coming from an affection for Marilyn Manson’s creepy/dark aesthetic, I could sense the history, the context, the brevity, and something inside me turned a little bit goth, I guess. I wanted more darkness. More spooky. And really, there’s nothing quite like a drumbeat that rocks you back and forth without you even being conscious of it. But mainly more music. More. Deeper. Something a lot deeper.

Walking up this street listening to this song so loudly that I couldn’t hear the traffic or the rain on my umbrella, with that aforementioned tipsy smile, I was looking forward to hitting my usual seat at the bar on my freezing cold butt and nestling in to have a big old rant about why I can’t wait to get the fuck out of this damn city.

Things might have been different if it were a sunny day today. But it’s not. They are so rare here. Three days of sun in spring and then BAM: “Fuck you I’ll make you sick” says the sky and the wind, for a week straight, whilst elsewhere in this huge fucking country the sun is out and the weather is nice and everyone seems to be getting married.

That’s why I originally got a ticket to Perth for next week: a wedding. One of my first ever housemates is getting married to the girl he predicted he would marry when they first starting seeing each other however many years ago it was. Four, maybe? I was broke as hell when he asked if I would come back over for it, so my beautiful, long-suffering mother kindly gifted me a one-way ticket, with the intention for me to buy a ticket back when I had the money. But then life happened, one thing led to another, and I decided to move out of my house and take a job that lasted only a month…. Giving me zilch to come back to Melbourne for- at least for three months. Next school semester? Who knows. Fuck it. Perth summer: a cheap and welcome life change. Whatever happens after that happens. NO PLANS.

This could so easily be a grass-is-greener type situation. However, I’ve thought about it quite a bit and the way I see it, if I am feeling so fucking beaten down by the weather of a city in my favourite season of every year (HAIL ON CHRISTMAS DAY IS NOT VERY FUN), then fuck, may as well get the fuck out. Go to this wedding. Hang out with all the babies that have popped up in the homes of my family and friends. Swim in the Indian Ocean and look out over the horizon and be struck by the comforting feeling that there is very little man-made shit between my body and India.

I might be crazy when I get back, or I might be saner than ever; this is different to other times. Life is a weird thing and I want to see what the hell is going on in my home city again, for longer than 2 weeks this time. I also want to get away from here.

I’m concerned about how angry I feel right now. Maybe it’s the beer. Maybe it’s from seeing this most recent of ex-boyfriends, and learning that his new girlfriend used to work for one of my photographic idols. Maybe it’s the cold that sits deep in my bones. Or maybe it’s the urge I have to have to not be tied to any one city, some kind of lust for a nomadic existence which I’ve felt creeping up in me. Maybe this is it, the change I need, to drop everything again, and just do whatever from here on in.

Fuck man, I don’t know. Beer. You certainly have a way of making me both positively and negatively excited, and the escapism that comes with drinking makes for interesting brain movements, interesting thoughts. Hits to the core of the bullshit, whilst also creating more different bullshit.

I used to drink a bottle of red wine- at least- every time I wrote these columns, over the last four or so years; sometimes on painkillers, sometimes on sleeping pills… and you know what? I had no idea what I was doing. I still don’t. I don’t think anyone has any idea what he or she is doing, and if they think they do, they’re probably suffering from some kind of Dunning-Kruger effect. But maybe not. Maybe they’re just more able to concentrate than I am. Better at planning or something. Goal setting. Goal achieving. Structure. Training. Ability. Institutionalised perhaps. But I kind of want no part of that. Free spirit etc whatever.

But what is this weird feel in my belly that drags me from place to place, house to house, bar to bar, from situation to situation, falling in love with ideas and places and people and whatever else? That nomad thing. Or some ambition to not get bored. Or to not stagnate. Do whatever the hell I want. Everyone should just do whatever the hell they want.

I keep getting distracted by how angry advertising makes me. By analysing the graffiti in toilet cubicles. By watching humans. By the rage I feel towards obvious class warfare, by the fact that class difference is still even a thing. By trying to imagine what life is like outside of a city, outside of a culture that I know too well to feel comfortable existing within. Thinking too much about these fuck-outs. I gotta get out of here. I gotta get out in to the desert or something. But first, I’ll go home.

So uh, I’ll see you next week Perth.