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459 Fitzgerald Street
North Perth, WA, 6006
Australia

How I Dealt With Blazing Swan- Inception

Tahlia Palmer: Steady Eye

How I Dealt With Blazing Swan- Inception

Andrew Ryan

We drove through fires to get there, farmers burning the dead ends of their crops, and then we wandered for days through the suburb the hippies built, stuck right where the farmland meets different desolation. A salt lake glistens in the rising sun, after a flash flood the night before, which brought out the fear of death, the celebration of life, and a whole lot of frogs making love in the swales. I haven’t smiled (or smelt) like that for years. Hell, maybe never before, and I’d certainly never explored rocks and bushland in such a way. Nor have I sheltered in a car the way I did that night when half the camp was washed to the other side.

Picking our way through the double-g’s and the acid causalities as we moved from bar to bar, the adult children around us attempted to make peace with their own bullshit, through costumes and face paint and too many hands in a massage. The conversations dried in a drugged out way, and the flesh was on sweet display. Not sugar sweet, but sickly; it begged for attention because something somewhere snapped at some point, and they need to feel absolutely supported by their human siblings. And they created the perfect space to do it, and I watched, and I appreciated the glimmers of honesty I observed.

From stage to stage we moved, too. We came from many places, but most seem like their homes are made of sandstone, and I don’t really have a home, so I was jealous, because I imagined something beautiful. We all shared everything, and only paid a couple of dollars for the privilege of multi-intoxication. Vegetables simmer together on the stoves of those more practical and properly preparious. These friends are hilarious: Irish and Australian humour melting together as accents are exchanged like drugs, in fun. “Porterakkk” screamed repeatedly from beneath the setting sun.

Music as connector, as instigator, as inspiration. The smiles are as intoxicating as the jam sessions. I’m in love, and that feels like enough right now. His bottles of confidence sloshed warmly and comfortable through my veins, like they were a part of my chemical makeup all along, and the only time we parted it was so he could belt the sounds of his strings and his words at the people who shouted his name.

Doof tunes drove us crazy, so we drowned it all out with laughter.

The woman handing out the watermelon slices was dressed like little red riding hood. I wonder how this kind choose their costumes, and what they expect to come from them. Their desperation drives me fucking crazy. My different desperation drives me crazy. Our clashing desperations drive me the most crazy, but my sun/salt-burnt face aches more if I frown to think about it, so I won’t: neeeeeeiiiiiiiggghhhhh, it is all simply absurd, clomping like horses in their stupid shoes, buckles and straps and fur and whatever the fuck else, tacky and quirky, furry and silly, half-open-minds getting buffeted in the outback wind; they wouldn’t know true experimentation if it punched them in their glittery, dithering mouths.

Watching two things burn/ a temple and a fucking giant swan/ one is the biggest fire I’ve ever seen. The orange vests are collecting detritus, throwing stuff to be consumed by the big, big fucking fire. More drugs? More fun. Connection is so easy amongst those who crave a burn, which is probably most of us. Even the ones not here.

Stories about the rains, and now it’s dryer than we expected. At least there is no moisture, except for our socks, not right now. Not tonight. Not like when all of the power went out except for our tent with the boys and the guitars and the screaming, water rushing down to the salt, wrath of god on the high and the hippies, a wasted cover of The Stooges bringing up the sun. Nah, now the clouds are gone and the stars are fucking gorgeous, the fire burns burns burns and booze booze booze and drugs/ drugs/drugsdrugs.

The dregs of doof-sceners move camp to camp as the tents and decorations are packed down and torn apart. Cackle laughter from acid pushed too far, and I can’t handle the thought of seeing another pair of furry pants or shoes ever again. “Living the dream! I wouldn’t have it any other way”, they say, as they answer a question they were hoping you’d ask, before you could even answer theirs. Begone, creatures; though I appreciate your mentality, you are not my chosen kind. Each human wants something different, I suppose.

Dear you: Your stories keep running and driving, they push your heart in to your brain and through your mouth, and the words keep you satisfied, moving and full. I could watch it forever. Someone once told both of us that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, but somehow we have both been thriving on it. Juxtaposition is a powerful bitch, especially when you’re wasted for four days in the near-desert.