Good DAY to you sir,
I say, it is quite the downpour outside. It is positively tropical, and it is certainly very noisy as I sit here alone a-typing in northern Melbourneo, because I live in a converted warehouse, and the roof is made of tin or some other noisy metal; may the lord protect us if it hails. My bedroom is steadily flooding from some unseen leak as I type this and I do not know what to do so I have evacuated to the kitchen table, which has a marvellous view of the Queen Victoria Market and the skyscrapers of the Central Business District. I ate a bacon, egg and sausage sandwich for breakfast. I have not been drunk or had a cigarette in two days. I am doing tremendously, old chap.
I am listening to Beethoven’s 9th, which is coincidentally the same piece that Alex listens to in A Clockwork Orange while hallucinating vividly about murdering people and whatnot. But you needn’t worry; I am not going to murder anybody at all, not even hardly, and – good heavens that rain is ridiculous. Remind me to text Landlord Steve and get him to sort it bloody out.
Those five stars indicate that time has passed since the preceding two paras, time that I spent mopping my bedroom floor with two damp rags, swearing – under my breath at first, then quite definitely over my breath. Water is everywhere. Milbourne is awash. The rivers are rising. We do not have much time. We cannot tarry!
And now as charming Mr Ludwig van Beetroot Farm swells his string section and daubs my brain with sonic Listerine, I pray you would harken to me as I burst like a lyrical phoenix and bloom into a gaudy supernova of tooth-snapping verbosity and hither-to unparalleled cheek.
It is almost one month in Melbouroone. Where the cock did the time go? I have not done much, though also I have done a lot; it is clear I am yet to locate the mind I lost when I moved here. But I have two jobs now, which is quite lovely.
One is a freelance job an SEO agency at a very fancy office on the 9th floor of a very fancy building in the centre of a very fancy street: Collins, to be exact. I feel an absolute squib walking to work abreast with suited and booted businesspersons while I don a baggy backpacker shirt, ketchup and beer and mud spattered. But I have no money, I cannot buy new clothes, and so any energy spent on fretting about my predicament is energy wasted. Fret or frolic, the outcome is the same: I am poor as shit, and that is fine.
The SEO job is only three days a week until later December, when, assuming I have not failed miserably in my duties, I will have the option to turn full time. The other job I have taken is performing SEO and copywriting for a Japanese restaurant, which may or may not pan out depending on how much they like me and believe in my abilities as a writer and man. Together, these two freelance jobs mean I am in business for five days in every seven, which is Good and Right and Proper, and with a smidgeon of luck I shall have funds enough for a new Xbox a week hence.
Jeanne is coming to Melbourg soon, and I am looking forward muchly to our reunion. I have also received news from the north, where Seth, Kata and Koen are working at a farm for food and board. They are due to be in Mebblourne come the summer, come Christmas, and these are joyous tidings indeed. I have forsaken all plans and notions of returning to the United Kingdom for December; though it did grieve and afear me to imagine the Yule without the company of my oldest friends and much-loved family, I now have the exciting company of new and much-loved friends, and thus all is right with the world.
Homesickness seems to come in long cycles; cycles that take longer with each rotation. I am not homesick anymore, I am fine. It would be lovely to see my family of course, but they will be the same whether I see them tomorrow or in a year. I am not hurt to have missed All Hallows Eve for the third year in a row, and I am not in the slightest ached to be missing Bonfire Night even as I type this spicy memo. It does not matter, it is a day, there are going to be many more days. I am content.
I like living in Melborious now, because I have company and job and home. Yes, the jobs are peculiar in nature and stop-start and my home is leaking right this second all around me, and my friends are splashed across this vast country like an eager spurt of ketchup across a plate of chips and scraps, but nonetheless: the ingredients for contentment are all present.
My housemate Julia is very intelligent and kind. Kate was the truest of heroines for letting me crash with her for two weeks. Nicola puts up with my drunken idiocy with aplomb and verve. Will and Robyn are excellent and I do enjoy their company quite wonderfully, and Vic and Rob (who may well read this, so I must be nice about them) are the Best People.
And when Seth and Ben and Minh and Casper and Jonna and Edie and Koen and Kata and Lachie and whoever else is going to be in the vague vicinity arrives come December: Ho! The gang will be reunited once again, and long may we drive around town in the rumbly old white estate which invariably has ‘twat’ finger-written in brown dust on the back window (by me).
I suppose at one thousand words of diary now reached you are probably feeling slightly cheated that I have not regaled you with any stories or hilarious shenanigans from my life. Well, here:
I got spectacularly drunk on Halloween at Nicola’s place and we watched a horror film and I crashed there overnight because I was too drunk and scared and in the night tried to find the bathroom but accidentally found myself trying in vain to climb inside her wardrobe for a wee. I do not recall the event with any clarity beyond a vague night time sensation to relieve myself and feeling quite lost and trapped. Nicola informed me the following morning that when she had woken up to find me half inside her wardrobe, she understandably asked me what the hell I was doing. And then, so she informs me, came my reply, from within the wardrobe across the darkened 4am bedroom: “If you tell anyone about this I’ll kill you.”
Well, there you have it. I am happy, I have made a new life for myself yet again. It took three weeks in Melbonk, it took three months in Berlin. Perhaps the next time it will take three days, and three hours the time after that. Isn’t it odd – you never really hear about people doing that sort of thing outside backpacking trails, you know, the whole ‘fucking off to a new city with not a thing’ thing. And yet, though it is stressful and head-punching and eye-straining and ego-kicking, it is very doable.
I fear these diaries may slow for a time now, old friend, because I am entering a more stable and happy part of my life. I will not bore you with the toings and froings of life in a city; you already know it. I have everything I need and perhaps even slightly more than I dared to hope for, and I feel ready for the future, full of purpose and vigour. I am in a beautiful city surrounded by good people, and all is well. If adventure should arise I will write again, but until then, adieu, adieu, adieu.
In fact, perhaps a more proper parting phrase would be ‘adios’.
Why? Because – lean in now, listen close, don’t tell anybody about this or I’ll kill you – I have started saving once again: I am going to travel the length of South America!