Well I’m on a plane, and I’m watching the one Arctic Monkeys video clip that’s on the screen for free. They gave us free food (1) too, but it’s not really free you know. I am bound, by something inside my spirit, to remember where everything came from. The metal, the petrol, my clothes, the wax in the lead singer’s hair. All of it.
Tonight I’m going to be drinking whisky and eating lentils with one person who’s going to be on tour with them, those monkeys, and one person who’s going to come to Hobart with me, a little monkey. I was born in the year of the monkey, that’s why I am cheeky and use swear words to make her laugh with raised eyebrows.
Before the video clips I watched Jamie Oliver cooking up a curry (2). Last night I cooked a curry (3) from a recipe of my friend Graeme who I grew up with. Growing up I called him ‘Grime’, and one late afternoon in the back of Grime’s sunroom there were a bunch of skaters all hazed out from drinking tinnies and there was the smell of burning flesh periodically in the room because they were all getting branded. I watched for a while. Then I burned part of the five sided star into Bronz Brown’s leg – that’s his great name – and then I got my own burn. Three dots in a line on my wrist. I didn’t say why, but secretly I got the three burns for the trinity.
So then one night, years later I went to a new friend’s place for dinner and there was a picture he’d painted on the fridge. It looked like a normal weed painting, but in the middle was a forearm and a hand, with three dots on the wrist. It was exactly like mine. He’d painted it long before we knew each other. But there it was.
I’m watching the song on repeat, the Monkeys one, but I still couldn’t tell you the meaning of the song. The film clip has tractors in it, and it’s in the same slow motion that every bloody film clip is in these days and the singer’s hair is just how I remember it from real life.
They fed us lamb korma, and Jamie Oliver was cooking sweet potato korma, and the curry I made had sweet potatoes and split peas in it, innit. One curry in a plane, one on a screen, one in my memory, a little curry trinity.
But before I got on the plane I was at a cafe with a Swede. He has great hair, always swept a bit to the side, and was wearing a mighty ducks jumper and a denim jacket over the top. He told me how in one bike ride three people had stopped him, made him take out his headphones, and tell him where he got the jumper. He laughed so hard when he told me how up himself he felt saying “I got it in an op shop in Sweden”.
Well this wasn’t intended to turn around in a circle, but last week me and the Swede were at an afterparty for the Arctic Monkeys and he started getting all weird, like I’ve never seen him before. All shaky. All focussed on this one thing. And the one thing was getting a picture of himself with the lead singer, the one with his hair gelled back on his head. The one that actually looks like a rockstar. This Swede has tattoos over his body and all of them are pictures and quotes from his favourite bands.
Well you know, it’s the Swede’s going away party when I get back from this trip, and he wants five of his best friends from here to each tattoo a letter of the word “Perth” onto him. I’m gonna do the ‘e’. A five sided tattoo, to really bring it all home.
Now it’s the next day and I’m in Hobart. We did drink whisky, we did eat lentils, and we did each go on our separate planes, some to tour the world, some to one small hilly and chilly island, a dot off the coast of the mainland. Today we drove down to Marion Bay, where several people in this story but not me had been at Falls Festival in January, watching or playing, and all drinking whisky and tinnies in between. My friend had a curried scallop pie and we all ate looking out across the hills and the waterways of this far away place. And as we drove away we saw a tractor in the mud, abandoned and rusting with its tyres stuck down in there. And we just passed it once but it’s getting replayed now in slow motion in my mind and in your mind – our own little afterparty of these small things and how they might all fit together, perpetually, forever.
(1) lamb korma
(2) sweet potato korma
(3) sweet potato and split pea curry