Brought to you by Caitlin Fraser and Rhys Nixon.
Review of transport journeys to romantic trysts
by Caitlin Fraser
We lived in a city where neither of us owned a car. I moved around a lot in those days but when I think of going to your house I think about the very first time. I walked. It was early in the evening and I stopped at a liquor store to buy 40 ounces of beer. The beer was to calm my nerves about meeting you but also to give me the courage I needed to walk through the bad neighbourhoods alone. I crept under the 101 overpass, and tried not to make eye contact with the people who lived on the street. They turned in their sleep under their bags and blankets, as others fell out of the bars, spilling their drinks and lighting their cigarettes.
It was cold and the beer made me colder – I felt breathless. It was a weekend and there were people everywhere, but then again there are always people everywhere in this city. When I got to your apartment I was shaking, but when you answered the door I saw you had a beer in your hand too, and that made me feel OK.
★★★★ for the ambience, and the novelty of being in a foreign city. One star lost for the homeless man on the street corner who spat at my feet.
This was a very reckless time in my life. I was doing things like spending indulgent amounts of money on beauty products and craft beers, and spending time with boys who were much too young. I had a lot of cash to burn and I spent most of it on toll roads to your house. I had very little patience for traffic, and would avoid it at any cost – that cost was $8, one way. You lived in an unfamiliar suburb in my home town and I felt out of my depth, both navigationally and emotionally. I took the easy way out, in more ways than one, and the money spent was worth it in order to make the journey into unchartered territory a little bit easier.
★★★ for the win-lose toll road situation. One star gained for your sweet little cat, who would greet me on arrival.
I have less money to spend now, so I only take one toll road to your house. It’s a new tunnel, with four lanes and bright lights. I like the feeling when I drive into the tunnel, like I am submerging into a sea of flashing colours. Coming out of the tunnel is like coming up for air. If I time it just right, the bats are making their crossing over the city and are spread out over the sky before me. The tunnel unfolds in a jungle of concrete bridges and off-ramps, and driving with the bats makes me feel like I am the only person in the world.
★★★★★, with a bonus star for the sounds of you playing your guitar coming from your room, before you realise I’m there.
A PANIC ATTACK I HAD AT A TORO Y MOI CONCERT
by Rhys Nixon
I went to a Toro Y Moi concert because it only cost 5 dollars to get in and I had the night off work. It was part of some outdoor festival that happens every year. I had never gone, so this time I did.
I waited in line for about half an hour, because my tram ran late and I didn’t get their as early as I would have liked to be (I normally like getting to events early).
The crowd was full of mostly young people, with a few mid-life crisis couples who said things like ‘I’m not racist, but…‘ and I pretended not to listen, but live texted the conversation to a friend of mine anyway.
I wandered around on my own looking at some stalls set up near the stage, but I didn’t have any money to buy the corn on the cob they had cooking over an open fire, or an expensive beer that would have probably spilt on the floor as soon I left the bar.
I decided to sit and wait for an hour and a half for the band to start playing.
I became noticeably gloomy the more I waited on my own, watching people meet up with friends.
I had tried to meet up with friends but they were busy, and that was cool.
I didn’t bring earplugs, which made things worse, because I usually do bring them because I was taught about hearing loss in music school and have since become paranoid about it.
I started to get distressed.
I wanted to lay under the stage where it was dark and musty.
I stood closer to random people, so other people wouldn’t think that I was on my own, and I kept looking around so it looked like I was waiting for someone.
Everyone around me was laughing and I wanted to tell them to stop because it felt like they were laughing at me.
I felt like I’d been ditched.
The band came on and they were loud, but not too loud. Loud enough that it intensified the feelings I already had about not bringing earplugs.
Everyone around me was laughing and dancing, but all I could do was kind of sway so I wouldn’t stick out and wouldn’t text my partner about how terrible it was and how bad I felt.
My partner came and picked me up so that I wouldn’t have to catch the tram. We went home and watched The X Files together.