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459 Fitzgerald Street
North Perth, WA, 6006
Australia

Steady On 2015

Tahlia Palmer: Steady Eye

Steady On 2015

Andrew Ryan

I’ve had a little break from contributing to CPN over the big holiday period, not because I was having a big holiday, but because Dionysus visited my home for 5 days, and influenced my friendship circle in ways unimaginable to those unfamiliar with the lifestyle encouraged by the Greek diety. Gettin’ dirty with our diety. Gettin’ turnt up with the winelord. Gettin’ nude in His honour.

When He left, my mind-world was in a sort of open-minded shambles, and it took a good week to collect my thoughts and recover.

This recovery mostly took place on the grounds of Falls Festival, Lorne, where I was working in The Village painting the faces of punters. There were 16,000 people there, and it was god-awful. I talked to so many strangers, I painted so many faces, and I stared at the trees and thought about what was lost on that country when white man decided it was his. I also paid too much money for my food in the town before and after the festival. Fuck tourist-time in a beach-side town. Fuck that. http://www.coolperthnights.com/articles/steadyeye/851

But I got back to Melbourne with a few hundred bucks for my efforts, and a little painting in my sketchbook of a man hovering above the ground. Not bad, not bad. Memories of my friend Marty’s two hour + dj set: like: he dropped “Pink Cigarette” by Mr Bungle http://youtu.be/TwWQYg7aS5o which caused me to sprint to the front of the dance floor, sun rising, dancing passionately with nary a care, like an intoxicated, excitable Audrey Horne with a giant grin http://youtu.be/gAcrXtMltOs
Not bad, not bad.

Before the fun times at the festival, there were days of cold and wet and wind. One night I drank a lot of whisky on purpose and cried in the car. The joy of Dionysus was leaving my system. But when we got back to Melbourne, the sun came out and the wind began to blow like a hair dryer. It happens for a few days at the beginning of every year. The northerly desert wind buffets the neighbourhood trees- and it felt as if the wind was responding to the presence of humans, those of us who chose to stay outside of the houses to appreciate the race-through-the-leaves; the wind paralleled our passions and frustrations and our collective creative excitement for the year to come. New Year, No Fear, (Maybe) More Beer.

In this wind, one of the large wooden poles supporting the grape vine outside my bedroom window came down, falling towards the other. The grape vine is now folded, and much of the fruit has gone bad. We are not sure if they are food grapes or wine grapes, but they are green. We are not eating the grapes. The apricot tree, however, has provided many fruits for our consumption. There is a large fig tree too, but I do not like figs so much. Maybe a pear tree right up the back, but I haven’t checked it out yet. My backyard is large and wild.

In this large and wild backyard, a stray cat gave birth to some kittens. We’ve been attempting to domesticate the cats, we fed them special baby animal powder mixed with water, then kangaroo meat and then chicken necks, and now that they are old enough: kitten biscuits which provide all the nutrients they would usually get from the bellies of the animals their mother killed for them. We don’t want them killing animals that aren’t mice or rats. Maybe pigeons are okay. Introduced pests to feed an introduced pet. We haven’t seen the daddy cat around for a while. Don’t know if he’s still delivering birds in the night time. The kittens are starting to spend the nights inside.

Peter is moving his stuff in to my house today. We’re going to share my room and my house and his furniture and all of our food for a few months. It is hot and he and Alan are sweating from moving and carrying things, there is not much stuff, but there’s enough stuff and heat to sweat… though I am sweating just sitting at my desk. I have been planning things to do over the coming months so I don’t feel bad when the weather changes again, when I’m not sweating any more—- Dionysus left me with a sense urgency in my creative work, make it bigger, make it harder, make it stronger. Divine intervention, also, lunar intervention, and I’m all pumped and raring to go.

But I am still sweating, even though not two hours ago there was a storm overhead and heavy drops of rain fell and thunder crashed… so I am still planning. I just read that in preparation for this heatwave, there has been free movie and swimming pool passes handed out to the homeless in the city so that they can escape the heat. I think this is a nice gesture but it is still ignoring the main issue. The homeless need more than free access to an air-conditioned cinema. Someone was telling me that in one American state, they decided to take all of the money usually put in to soup kitchens and the like, and just divide it amongst the homeless, as well as offering them places to sleep. I can’t find anything to back this up (I hardly know which keywords to search for), but seems fairly straight forward. There are so many empty buildings, empty because no one will pay as much as the owners demand… And now that the sun is down and the storm has come back, what extra help have the homeless of Melbourne been given? They can’t sit in the pools at midnight.

Marty has chosen to be of no fixed address, so he is escaping the heat and the storm in my house for a bit, with his saxophone and his computer with the editing software I need to use and his gifts of decadent food and possibly some home-tattoos for us all. I would let anyone sleep here if they wanted to. The backyard is large enough for many tents. One day I’d like to have a property where anyone can sleep without being hassled, so long as a contribution is given back to the community of people sharing that property.

Welcome to the Gregorian calendar’s Year 2015. I am 27 now. Pretty sure I won’t be dying of Rock and Roll.