I got invited to a party by someone I had met once at another party in Melbourne. I didn’t want to go but I did. I got very drunk there and then I didn’t want to go away. I stood in groups of people waiting for when it was my turn to speak and when it was my turn, I spoke loudly. I woke up in the bed of the person who had invited me without my underwear on. I did not know what had happened, but I did want to go (far) away then.
Vinicius nearly left me – but he didn’t. I was so thankful that I cried and cried and cried. I loved him even though I did not think about him all the time and I did not want to be with him all the time. I don’t think I would like that kind of love anyway because I like to think about different things and he doesn’t like dumplings and so it would be annoying if I wanted to be with him when I also wanted to go to Dumpling Hut. I hadn’t read about love like that or seen it in movies, but I thought it was okay not seeing it anywhere. I definitely hadn’t seen it not be anywhere. That would be different, I suppose.
I got out of debt (I still don’t know how).
I went on holiday and five days before I came back I found out that I didn’t have a job. I wasn’t expecting that.
I went back into debt.
Rose, a friend from primary school, got married. Vinicius and I went to the wedding in Brisbane. There were other friends from primary school there. Vinicius and I got to the house we were staying at together and all the boys went outside to play with a ball and the girls sat inside on the couch and talked.
One childhood friend, Emily, told me about how she had talked to another girl from our primary school at Rose’s engagement party. The girl had said to Emily ‘it must be nice to have property’ when Emily had said she was buying a house in Moonee Ponds. Emily said that she wouldn’t apologise for owning property because she’d worked really hard and she deserved it. I thought about how much harder it felt to not work than it felt to work hard and how when you had to work hard to find work, you felt like you deserved nothing. I nodded and said nothing.
All the girls except one had boyfriends with them. They and their boyfriends said we a lot. One we was getting married the next week, another we was saving a for a house. One we did not eat garlic. I found that one confusing – a shared digestive system.
One we who lived in Sydney asked Vinicius why he didn’t like Australia much. He said it was racist and he didn’t feel comfortable. We said that that was unfortunate but that there were only pockets like that. I said Cronulla Riots. We said pockets. I said Sydney was where the Far Right grew up. We said pockets. I said no. We said ‘Look at Western Sydney’. I didn’t know what We meant so I said nothing. Vincius said nothing. Vinicius hadn’t been to all the different pockets to find out if he felt comfortable in some of them so there was really nothing more to say (but a lot more to drink). Rose and her husband cut the cake.
Rose danced with her husband to a Michael Bublé song. She looked really joyful – like she was about to burst into tears – and I tried to imagine dancing with a husband to that Michael Bublé song and feeling that joyful but I couldn’t, so I applauded and ran outside and burst into tears.
The next morning, I left my friends from primary school where they’d been. I threw up in a bin at Brisbane airport and Vinicius held my hair and I held his hand (tightly). We went back to Sydney.
It was raining in Sydney. One of my housemates texted me and asked me if I could go and make sure he’d closed his window. He said he didn’t feel comfortable asking anyone else because his vibrator was on his bed hahahah. I smiled and hunched up my shoulders. And jiggled from side to side. And hummed three little hums (hm hm hm). Then I texted back that I couldn’t because I was on my way to work already sorrrry.
At the crossing on Pitt St and Bathurst St a woman with grey hair put her umbrella over my head. I rang up and told my mum about it – how nice it was, how I wouldn’t have done it and asked why that was. Answer: I didn’t have grey hair yet.
I got off the bus. It wasn’t raining anymore but it was very dark. I checked around in the street and saw noone so I started singing ‘And I’m getting me back on the road now, But I’m taking the….’ but then I thought maybe there were people around whom I hadn’t seen and who hadn’t seen me. I thought that maybe they would hear me. And then follow me. I took the short way home (slight jog).
My mum asked me if I was coming down for Christmas. I said I wasn’t sure and I’d call her back. After I hung up, I thought about it. I thought I might be jealous of all the attention my cousins’ kids and my brother’s kid would get and of the attention my brother and cousins would get for having them. I thought I would tell her that. I also thought that I didn’t really think that, but I just thought it was a funny thought to have – to say I had.
I thought about how many things there might be that I thought and that I said I thought, only because I thought they would be funny or insightful (sad) to say. Or write.
I called my mum and said yes, I’d be down for Christmas; I could make the cheesecake if she wanted.
I got on the bus to work on Parramatta Road, got out my wallet and pretended to tap on. The bus driver said ‘We’re not going anywhere until you’ve tapped on’ so I did and the bus moved and I started going somewhere.
Jessie Perrin is a writer currently based in Sydney. Her work has been heard on FBi Radio and has appeared in publications including Scum Magazine, Ibis House, Lor Journal and Voiceworks.