To post or not to post? I thought about this good and hard. In the end I decided that I really wanted to go with this whole postcards thing and if it was going to come out like a journal, well then maybe that's how it was supposed to be. So if this seems even more personal and raw than usual…Sorry! But hell, I reckon if we can have reality T.V then we can have reality fiction too. Part one of a small series.
I had to laugh as I got on the long distance bus at the airport, stowed my case and tuned into the only local station I could pick up. It's downright surreal that they should play this song now…
Wait for me
I'm coming home but neither of us waited did we? It only took six months of stasis to seal the deal. Well I suppose it was almost better that way. That way you never had to find out first hand what an incredible selfish arsehole I could be without even trying and I never had to throw a pillow at you or want to strangle you for the million and one friggin' phobias you had. And I know you'd say now, well, we were very young.
Still, I remember. Parts of it I shouldn't. Where I'll lay my head tonight. Twelve and a half years ago, shaking with sensation and fear. The look in your eyes on the hill, reaching up, reaching down. Let's go walk around the lake. I was definitely showing off. I used to ride this circuit in four minutes flat, I used to power up this hill and come cannonballing down at about 90k's. Sometimes I liked to sit on top and think; it's a good spot for thinking. Wanna come up? I remember you giving me that knowing laugh and me gulping. Oh you're subtle kiddo; like a sledgehammer. How did that happen? Can't recall. All that's here is the memory of the realization that went off like a bomb in my stomach. You want me to take that step and if I don't soon, you will. I nearly died. Shite, this is actually going to happen. A lifetime's missed connections finally firing up and flaring in soft summer explosions born from that initial, almost accidental terrified touch. I dropped my head. The hill by the blue lake… Now honestly, how could a girl ever forget that?
And it's important that you know this, even though I'll never send this letter. I don't even know where to send it anymore. It was like nothing I'd ever experienced up north, the place I thought of as home. There, everything I did, tried to do or sought out was a deliberate act of defiance. All the late nights, sneaking out the window, trotting down to the park to meet the girls at school who wouldn't talk to me in public. That should have pissed me off, but I loved it, loved the notoriety, enjoyed being an absolute pain in the clacker. Driving the folks mad. You think I'm making it up? I'll show you. That was before I got forced to spend a year in the arse end of the world, where it wasn't quite so easy to get away with murder; opportunities for just conversation with someone who'd understand were non-existent. So I calmed, what the hell else could I do? But you were completely different from all that. You became the sweetest affirmation of life and love a person could ever hope to see. A renewal of the knowledge of who I was, a message that isolation usually ends sooner or later. And I guess that's why I'm writing this. I never thanked you; for saving me from myself.
21 days, that was all I could give you. One mighty twist huh? Yeah you'll finally meet someone. Unfortunately you'll be going back north in less than a month. We kept Australia post in business for weeks. When the dust settled after I left home you said come down, the people here can help you. But I didn't go. If I went it would have only been for you and we both knew by that stage that we were totally incompatible. Still hot for each other though. Remember when I took a week off from the refuge? I saved for ages to catch a bus down and from the time you met me in the city, all through the train ride south, the wait at the station for your friend; we barely spoke, just exchanged significant looks. Op-shopping later with one of your friends. It came out then. She turned to try on a shirt; you ran your hands down my arm, a glint in your eyes I hadn't seen in six tumultuous months. Oh yeah. We weren't at all suited, but damn I had to fight to stop from leaping on you there and then, probably scarring your poor friend for life. And getting back to your place, passing on dinner. Dinner be buggered, there was a huge bathroom waiting for me, the place where you'd made a plaster cast of my torso before I left the first time. I hope to god you don't still have that you know. Funny, it was almost like being back on that hill. Another affirmation. You gave me more than I deserved and I'm not sure I gave you anything worthwhile apart from confirmation. Thank you. That's all I wish I could tell you now. Thank you.
I'm sure you've changed. I know I have. In ways we couldn't have begun to imagine. But one thing's picture clear as this bus hurtles down the highway. They don't live by the lake anymore, closer to the ocean now. One day though, I think I'll hook the dog up to the lead, head up the road, and climb that hill. Maybe going back there will bring me closer again; maybe I'll feel like I'm not in suspended animation afterwards. I just want to stand in a sacred place and remember what it was when I was alive and furious and not afraid of anything. I just want to smile for a little while and drown in the things you taught me. Isolation usually ends sooner or later…