Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Confetti & Acorns

The path to Holy Trinity is strewn with confetti and acorns. It reminds me of our weekend adventures in England, when we would all pack into the dark red Volvo station wagon and go to churches and castles. If we happened to pass a fancy car tied up with a white satin ribbon, I'd emphatically insist we stop. In spite of my present resentment of weddings, I was once obsessed.

Up until a few days ago, the path to Holy Trinity led to my favourite op shop. It's tucked away from our High Street, only moments from the haberdashery store that resembles a leftover set from Are You Being Served? and the uniform shop that mends the school blazers of the rich and bullied. I'd walk that path alone after writing class and look for ages and ages.

I found amazing things in that op shop: books for 33.333 recurring cents, 7" records for 50 cents, Alannah Hill blazers for $20. You did need patience to wade through it all, there were times when there was nothing of particular interest or value. You'd see the same things in the racks for months and months, a Honky Tonk record or that taunting electric blue leather jacket. Could I get away with it?

I'll miss that ritual, the records and books, the jewellery and jackets, the confetti and acorns. There was a kind of warm solidarity associated with it: writing and looking at records, instead of marrying and being a lawyer. I doubt I'll ever shed that sense of expectation, but I enjoyed those moments alone when I did.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


I don't remember much from that night. It was upstairs at Pony and we were there for a show. Some acquaintances were on stage and an unlikely pair of friends were hooking up in a corner. I'd occasionally see glimpses of someone I thought knew, but I was hopeful and mistaken.

For some reason, I think it must have been the second time we met. You bound up to me, breathlessly with a trademark enthusiasm. I don't remember what I was wearing, but you were wearing your AMIENS WHATEVER tshirt. It was a in-joke and I never understood what it meant.

We somehow got onto the topic of the words we weren't allowed to say. I told you about how, as a ten year old, my best friend told me off for referring to movies as films. It was in exactly the same way that my estranged brother told me off for using the term genre. Saying a word like that was just so embarrassing.

You met me with a similar anecdote, of how you casually and accidentally referred to cordial as concentrate and consequently, kids taunted you endlessly with that term for years and years. It riled you up and upset you, in the same way it upset me. It was baffling how an ordinary word could come across as nerdy or pompous.

My details of that night are sketchy at best, but I often contemplate that youthful compulsion to say a dumber word in order to convey a dumber image. I think of it more and more, now I am allowed to be as open and gregarious as I want. I live now without bullies and censors and I can speak, free of reproach and ridicule.