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GOING FULL HEARTBREAK FOR AUSTRALIA DAY 2016

The Amber Fresh Chronicles

GOING FULL HEARTBREAK FOR AUSTRALIA DAY 2016

Andrew Ryan

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well, i’m in full heartbreak mode again. it’s a mode i’m quite used to, but i just realised walking through the rain in paris that even though i do this all the time i’m still not very good at it. like, i could have become a master by now. i could have worked out exactly the right ratio of crying time to lightening the mood with jokes time, bath time versus looking at yourself blankly through puffy eyelids in the mirror time, what to eat, what to listen to, which type of friends to lean on and how hard to lean.

yes, in fact i might write a small book of advice for myself about this for next time. included will be a self-portrait in the shower recess, with one big winter coat on the floor of the shower to lie on, the self-body curled into the teeny square of shower, head resting on dirty washing from the heartbreak-er and then another layer of coat on top to cover over the crying figure. this photo will have a cross through it though, and be included in the pages “what not to do”, or, “what not to do unless you make meaningless self-focussed art from it later, like, a comic, or say, a video clip, or a poem.”

anyway, this type of heartbreak i could make a book about, but then there’s many other kinds of heartbreak, if there was to be a series, that i would have to get other writers in for. say, a self-help book on what to do about the heartbreak that comes from having parents that actually don’t love you, or say, the heartbreak that comes from having your whole country stolen, or say the heartbreak that comes from losing your family to bombs, then going to another country and having people yell insults from their cars at you in the street. yes, a series.

when i say “walking through the rain in paris”, i really mean “walking through the rain in montreuil”, which is a place far away from the images you might have of “paris” in your mind. this is a special place, where just up the street they found some kalashnikovs of the people who’d come to shoot everyone up a few months ago. the guns were sitting in a car just around the corner from the shower-coat scene. i’m not sure if the guns had been shot yet, or if they were waiting to be used. either way, they were there, at least fulfilling their purpose of “just being”.

so, how do you put two people back together? it’s harder maybe than putting a country back together. for putting a country back together you can take action, like matt aitken apparently did a few days ago, getting the elder Noel Nannup to talk to a whole bunch of people by the side of the river about that place, the stories of his people, speaking through a big heartbreak into the spirits of a whole riverbank of mainly white young musicians. i wasn’t there, but it’s still enough to dry my tears up actually, and pull me out of the shower recess and unfurrow my brow at the audacity of a friend to make some step at fixing our whole country on Australia Day.

hmm. otherwise, if you aren’t presently surrounded by legends of your own time you could try drying your eyes with pieces of stale bread, and then feeding the bread to white european or black western australian swans; or you could find a bookshop that has a piano in it and play songs based on the hundred phases of petty griefs; or you could cut little bits off your thumb and arrange them in a small frame for a Christmas present; or you could learn to fillet any type of fish. anyway, these are the things i would try, if it weren’t for the fact that even from the depths of full heartbreak, one small person’s small attempt to heal BIG heartbreak of a whole history of injustice can put everything back into place.