‘Strayan Public Holiday

People talk about how St Kilda has changed. I think about how the drugs have changed. I think about how Paul Kelly preferred Melbourne over Sydney and how I do too. People talk about yuppies and and selfies and lattes and menthol cigarettes. I think about how Australia has changed. About eskies. About tupperware salad bowls. Avon. Water skiiing at the bay. Snags. ‘Mato sauce. Dropping in on someone on a weekend, them actually being home.

The doctor told me that life is a continuum the other day. A continuum of what? What is the common link? How do I find the story in life? The nut that rolls and roughs. The barb in the fence that repeats itself. The spine of society. How do I piece it all together so it all makes sense?

It’s the AFL grand final this weekend. Eagles and Hawks. We get a day off. Doesn’t matter because I just quit my job. Forget the peak hour train, the lattes, the sushi, the clients, the  buzz nights. Have a day off! A week! A month! Just take the time to care for yourself, mate. Then figure out the rent.

Back in NSW, mum always paints the door the colour of the footy team in the final. Dad’s $1500 wooden front door! This year she’s gone blue and yellow, my sister lives in Perth now. Everywhere I walk, it’s brown and yellow round here.

People are running by with earphones in their ears. I can hear birds. It is spring! How did I not realise there were no birds for the past three months? They cut the tree down next door, the light reaches the mould in the bathroom now. Easy cleaning. More time to spend outside.

We’ve had a cracker of a week, the sun has shone like a diamond and the wind has lain low. Good on ya Melbourne. It’s been a rough winter with Abbot and now the sun must shine. Somehow.

When that wind picks up from the desert in the dry summer heat and sweeps its way across our tram tracked roads, I won’t be thinking about crazy tram lady, or the good sandwich bar or the big guy with the blonde pony tail who stalks Chapel Street. I’ll be thinking about how everyone has changed. How we once were a tight knit society doing things together. About how we mimicked our Aboriginal people in a communal life of sharing like the imported bird that seeks the attention of its native friends.

And another thing I’ll be wondering then is, after each nut we’ve had, each barb in the wire; I wonder who will be leading the country then? Who will make a day a public holiday then?