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459 Fitzgerald Street
North Perth, WA, 6006
Australia

Microbial Universe and a little Tired Lion at the White Star

The Amber Fresh Chronicles

Microbial Universe and a little Tired Lion at the White Star

Andrew Ryan

Whenever I go away, I never go to see music. See, when I’m away, down the south way, I drive for five hours straight into this womb. It’s a womb made of cute parents, heaps of granite, cold blue-green water flecked with seaweed and moonlight diamantes, If You Are the One episodes, and a bed that lies on top of suitcases full of love letters.

By the way, something happens between when we are an embryo and when we shoot out of the womb, (a lady squeezing the hand of her friend and screaming swear words with sweat all on her brow and wearing a big rainbow coloured poncho even though the nurses tried to get her into white scrubs too, as the exit strategy), wherein we are “seeded” with a whole heap of microbes that stay with us for our entire life. My friend, a hot partly red-headed doctor with a well-cut fringe, told me over breakfast. I’d slept on her and her boyfriend’s couch, and soon I’m going to room-share with their housemate. Me and the housemate talked about having bunk beds, and about making a movie with him (from Methyl Ethel), Drage (from Drage and Darling Rangers), Jake Suriano (from Hideous Sun Demon and Kitchen People) and Lochlan Gibbons (from being a DJ). All the hot tall boys in the city with striking faces. Me and the housemate talked about that tall boy movie, but me and the doctor talked about microbes.

So, we get this universe of micro-organism planted into us. My friend’s finding out the source – the lady’s vagina? The lady’s butt? The lady’s gut? Some alien implantation. In three years when she gets the answer I’ll pass it straight on.

So yeah, usually down south I don’t go to shows. I’m in that womb, seeding myself on the past in my childhood bedroom, with the bed-on-suitcase scenario.

But this time I sent my friend Amber (yeah, same name) a message to say “Want to go to the Earl?” So we went to the Earl of Spencer (corner of Earl and Spencer streets of course) and drank some wine and listened to her friends complain a little bit about Bali. Amongst the conversation pieces she said “If you feel like you should do something about something, then you should listen to that voice and not silence it.” This was her summary of her and the friends talking about Bali and poverty and everything else, and it made me very very proud that we are highschool friends She’s seeded three babies with microbes for their life, she started young, as a teenager, one of my favourite teenage mums.

So then we went down from the Earl of Spencer, old Albany pub with nice lighting and leftovers of people’s pies dying slowly again on their plates, a real fire in the fireplace, people talking about their coastal town real jobs and swilling red wine and beer, to a babies’ pub, the White Star. Amber works at the drug rehab place in the town and I could see her recognise and not acknowledge people who come in to get help, protecting them by looking out across the room and not stopping her gaze for more than the tiniest moment. She knows how to protect people and how to seed them, as I told you.

Well, yes we were at the White Star. What a name for this bright beacon of just drinking and some music. It’s brighter than it would be in the city. The music made my ears bleed a little bit inside, all the interior universe running away from the sound. A local band played first, earnest, with their own neon sign of their band name chewing up power on the stage as they played. The music was not good for my taste, but they were still beautiful, sweating away, so many cables, so many pedals, their own mixing desk. Too much, but I still watched the bass player with a happy feeling in my body, swinging his glittery green bass around and jumping in time to the lead singer. I wondered if they played in church as well, with all the jumping and all the enthusiasm. If they sang with their own accents I could have loved it too.

And then the PERTH band, all the way from PERTH were almost ready to play, Tired Lion. I was a tired lion (oh shit, they probably have that said by people all the time), but I was very much wanting to see some songs, we were bored in the White Star and it was all too too loud even in between, but I wanted to see what would come out of the body and mouth of the beautiful singer, swinging her own interiorly glittery self through the room, humour and disdain all mixed together it seemed to me from her spirit. When they played what came out was beauty and glitter too, her beautiful voice strong and grungely and clear and wiping lipstick accidentally over the microphone and back over her face, her hair going all ways, she acting and being like someone where people look and know “She’s a star”. But then mainly I listened to the guitarist. So measured and true to what was needed. It was like other music, so I couldn’t float into it and away, but it was a powerful, skilled version of the things it was like. The other Amber loved it too.

Well eventually I had to get back to the womb. Climbed up on the suitcases and put the covers over my head because it was actually the Winter Solstice or one day off, and talked on facebook into the night to my friend Ben about poetry and video clips and family matters and all the other things. And then floated out into sleep. Me, my microbes, the image of the Tired Lion girl’s face all strong and pure, the image of my friend Amber’s measured summary of all of life, the forever thankfulness for warm things and knowing up in the city there’s a couple hundred interconnected friends, microcosm, all making things, loving each other, symbiotically growing some good, real thing, even if it’s just for a little while.