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Sunday, April 26, 2009 at 6:01am 

An anonymous lady with a really thick accent stopped me in the street yesterday and started excitedly saying the same thing to me over and over again. Finally, after deciphering her broken english and hand gestures (a finger pointing to her face, making circular motions), I figured out she was asking me if I was from Afghanistan. Hmm. Really? Afghanistan? 

“Um, no.”

Oh, well “Blah, blah, blah, blah, change for a 20…” or something of that nature. I’m guessing maybe she was from Afghanistan herself and regardless of how much a longshot it was, she wanted to make me feel like we had some sort of connection before she got to the heart of the matter.

Today another lady stopped me and said, “Are you famous or have I seen you before?” The answer was no to both, but I stole Afghanistan lady’s sign language, pointed in a circular motion to my face and said, “Famous.” I didn’t give her a chance to ask me if I wanted to buy whatever kind of book it was she was selling. I had to play the role of a busy ‘famous’ person with no time for such street exchanges. 

Speaking of famous people, don’t you miss the days when you could just unabashedly and openly adore Michael Jackson? I do. He rocked my world, you know he did…


Wednesday, April 22, 2009 at 12:13am

Miss Goody Two Shoes!
How do you do?
A mouse and an owl said that you were not true
Is it something about the way I relate?
Always the sage in discussions of fate
Three’s company
Two is a crowd
I heard it myself
You said it out loud

 Sunday, March 15, 2009 at 12:51am

“I’m so over it.” That’s one of those typical Aussie expressions that’s crept it’s way into my vocabulary, so much so that I can’t remember if it was already there or if it was genuinely introduced while down under. Safe to say it crept right in, it did. Things have a way of doing that. Habits, I mean. Just trucking along and suddenly you’ve picked up this fucking…thing, that’s stuck to you like glue. Sometimes we’re oblivious, but there’s usually that minute where you acknowledge it and make that fork in the road decision – hmmm, well, well, well, what do we have here? Now I can either keep right on with this, or shake it off. Cliché, cliché, cliché, but that old hindsight, eh? How many goddamn times I wish I had’ve just opted for the shake off. With something as benign as this glib expression, I suppose it doesn’t really matter much whether or not I incorporate it, but it’s representative of something, particularly the phrase itself. “I’m so over it.” 

I’ve always thought I didn’t have much of an addictive personality, but if I’m to be truly honest, who am I kidding? I’m not unlike any other human being, I’ve got a penchant for habit collecting, and I’ve come to the end of my tether with them. It’s such upkeep, high maintenance, and I simply can’t be bothered with them anymore. The problem is, admitting you have a problem is merely the first step, but figuring out how the hell to teach the old dog some new tricks is the damn difficult bit. And now I think I’m obsessed with my obsessions. How on earth does one unstick the glue and just “let go…”? Hmm? Can anyone tell me that? Breathe? Chant? Fast? Think? Not think? Run? Stay? Sing? Dance? Cry? 

Seeing as it’s all aboard the honesty train, I’ll keep on for a few more kilometres here and admit that not only am I obsessive, but I’m also greedy. I’m greedy and I’m impatient. I trick myself into thinking that as soon as I’ve learned a lesson, decided what I think I want for myself, I should be able to SNAP my fingers and kazaam, voila, presto, turn into Cinder-friggin-ella leave the step-sisters and swashbuckling {can you just say “swashbuckling”? I’m kind of obsessed with somehow using that word} behind and move onto the ball gracing the place in my glass slippers. Oh, Cynthia my dear, my darling one whose eyes are sparkling and full of fun. Patience is a virtue, my friend, and I daresay it’s the missing ingredient in these visions you’re concocting. So you’ve sussed how you want to be, where you want to go. Guess what? There’s this really crucial part called a journey that needs to take place BEFORE you get to that dangling carrot. There’s no magical potions, no button for omniscience, no “goo gone” for bad habits, just boring old awareness, hard work, patience and the realllly important part of realizing you’re already there. The future is nothing but a mirage. 

Fine, I get it. But despite it being all well and good to believe that everything is as it should be, live in the moment and la la la la that kind of bullshit, on another level, it’s still essential to find a way to kick the bad habits, refigure some new ones, carve out a place for yourself and develop a scheme to push forward while still being present in THIS moment. Unfortunately, even though I know I can use the regretful actions as fodder for the reshaping the future, I’m in a headspace right now where I fucking hate having to deal with the consequences of the choices I’ve made. Trundling along in a haze of dope smoke and distractions got me into a few quandaries, and I’ve managed to attract all kinds of unattractive addictions to behaviours, patterns, and mindsets that I chose to hang on to. Enough already. Out with the old, and in with the new. I’m acutely aware of all (*most*) of the habits that hold me back, yet I just – can’t – seem – to – get – there….Ah, but there it is again…that “there” thinking…where is “there”? Aren’t we HERE??

I visited a psychic during the Christmas holidays of 2007. She gave me a lengthy list of insights into my aura. “You’re home is no longer your home. I see you living far, far away next to the beach, surrounded by desert.” Check! I somehow managed to make that come to fruition. So here I am living in the faraway land, and for some reason her other words are suddenly resonating. (Funny how someone can say something and it just stays with you, oscillating back and forth between your conscious and subconscious mind) “You think that if you fix this and fix that, all will be well, and everything will be good. But you’re missing something. And it’s like you’re putting clean clothes on a dirty body…” My good god I can’t count how many times I’ve tried to figure out what this cryptic comment was supposed to mean for me and just come up short. Nevertheless, I think my circumstances of late and obsessing re my obsessions have put me in greater stead for deeper understanding. 

I have a number of recurring dream themes. One of them I’m in a house and I’m trying to get to the third level. The house clearly represents “me” and the level climbing is demonstrating my quest for consciousness. It’s like I’m trying to “awaken,” but don’t know the way. Sometimes I manage to make it all the way up there, and depending on the dream, different things take place. The last time I got to level 3, I was supposed to see a magic show. The only problem was, I chose a really shitty seat and in the end, I missed the whole thing because I was too busy fiddling with the buckle on my shoe. 

Segway to my other dream theme where there is some sort of major catastrophe or natural disaster. Sometimes there’s a flood, and other times there’s a fire, but in both scenarios, I’m busy looking for my shoes before I can get away from the danger.

Interestingly enough, last weekend, I experienced a real live tremor. It’s a downright insane experience to have the earth move under your feet, but synonymous with the dreams, and speaking of feet, on the cusp of what could very well of been a major natural catastrophe, my instinct was to run into my room and grab my shoes before I got the hell outside. 

What is this preoccupation with my feet and my shoes? The earth is fucking moving and you need your sneakers? Missing the magic show for a broken buckle? Goddamn it girl, wake the fuck up. You’re busy fixing this, and fixing that, finding your shoes and fiddling with fuck all and you’re missing the magic that’s right in front of you. 

Are the shoes representative of the obsessions? Is that what it is that I proclaim to be “over”? In the wise words of my mom, “Give your head a shake.” You can’t expect to clean up your act for real and move along the track with your best foot forward when you spend the whole precious time you’re given worrying about what you put on those feet. Just move em. Just walk. Go barefoot if need be, just get over it.

 Friday, February 20, 2009 at 2:52am

“Hi there, it’s Cynthia calling from blah blah blah on behalf of blah blah blah. When we were upgrading the local telephone exchange in Epping, we noticed you’re no longer with us? Well, we want you back and we want to reward you for coming back! How much are you currently spending on your phone bill?”

“I don’t know.”

“No? Is there anyone there who can speak about the home phone account?”

“No. I want you to say something dirty.”

“What’s that? You want me to tell you about our internet deals?”

“No, I want you say something dirty to me…”

“Oh you mean about the washing? The laundry?”

“No, say something sexy.”

“Sorry son, I’m afraid they just don’t pay me enough for that.”

“I’m wanking it right now.”

“Reallllly? Well happy days then. You just go about your business and have yourself a good day.”

“What’s your tit size?”

My tit size, eh? Fortunately I had the good sense to hang the hell up before engaging any further. “Oh you know, I used be an A cup, but you know, I have put on a few pounds recently, jeez, I don’t know, I’m guessing I *might* have jumped to a B?? Maybe??” I should’ve just gone along with his perverted teenage fantasy being as non-sexy as possible and see if it foiled his precious wanking plans and exposed his ludacrous behaviour. Wouldn’t of made a lick of difference. I reckon you’ve either got the pervert gene or you don’t. No grey areas, no two ways about it, and my level of sexy-ness contributes very little to the situation. How does a phone call from a telemarketer re your internet motivate you to masturbate? Seriously. You’ve got to just be the kind of person who is primed and ready to pounce on any kind of prey when it comes to that. 

I had to laugh when I hung up the phone, but upon reflection, it’s absolutely no laughing matter.Yeah, he’s some ‘harmless’ pre-pubescent dork who’s sitting at home using up all his monthly download allowance on, but the sad part of that scene is he’ll grow up into that kind of man who ends up being my boss at work, rubbing my shoulders as he passes by, and commenting on my ass as I bend over my desk (and that’s a whole other story.).

So there I am, standing at the tram stop last night patiently waiting for a tram. “P*SSY!” some d*ckhead yelled as he drove by. Awesome. Thanks. “Hey there sexy!” screamed the waste of space in the very next car. Jeans and a sweatshirt folks. Not as if I looked like I was meant to be ‘working’ on that street.

“Holy f*cking god!!!!” I shouted. The innocent bloke calmly carrying his innocent beers down the road past me, whipped his head around and probably assumed I was some impatient twit frustrated by a way-layed tram. “Am I wearing a sign on my head that says ‘Disrespect me!’???” I felt like asking. Really, I’m beginning to think I’m giving off some kind of vibe, pheromone perhaps, that’s calling all perverts from out of the woodwork to feel they’ve got permission to have a go at me.

I was introduced to a gentleman, wait, scratch that – a male, recently by two separate friends from opposite ends of the earth. A friend from Canada, and a friend from Byron Bay both said to me “Hey, when you get to Melbourne, you should hook up with my friend ‘So and so'”. Two totally unrelated people both pointed me in the direction of the same dude. Coincidence? Maybe. Probably not. Anyhow. We meet up. Not surprisingly we get on like a house on fire. Lovely. So I agree to meet him a couple of times, because hey why not? I’m swinging single and wouldn’t mind someone treating me like a lady for the first time in a lonnnng time, and with two solid references, he must be a decent fella, right? Wrong. On the third day of ‘hanging out’ after an afternoon ‘together’ we’re sitting at the pub with him and his mates. We’re not there 10 minutes before he’s left me at the table with a crew I don’t know from a hole in the wall while he’s off getting some chicks number, brushing her hair out of her face, and just generally making me want to barf. This is the third time in my life when my significant or not so significant other has completely and utterly disrespected me right to my face. Footsies with my best friend, or feeling up their ex, time and time again, the men I choose to share my time with, choose to show me just how much they care by waving around their wandering eyes. 

I made a visit to the chiropractor this week. She made some readjustments to my spine. All kinds of ancient history and emotion can get locked up in your body, especially in those tricky old vertabrae, you know, the part that holds you upright, keeps you moving…A slight shift in my shoulders has equalled a major shift in my awareness. Old patterns and familiar situations are presenting themselves left and right. Break the cycle, open your eyes and learn the lesson lest you be burdened with this forevermore.

My goal for the next phase is figuring out how to rewire this flashing neon sign above my head from reading “I’m your next victim” to “I’m goddamn worth it.”

 Wednesday, January 7, 2009 at 4:23am

5:10 p.m. already. Wow, the day sure goes by fast when you don’t get outta bed until noon. I slept 12 hours last night. No particular excuse for being so sleepy other than I’m convinced I crossed over to another dimension in the dream world, and while I didn’t really enjoy the vibe or the scenery, I was far too curious to tap out too soon. What an adventure.

Like most dream states, I’ve returned with only a few morsels of remembrance, but I do recall saying to my travel partner, (I don’t know who it was accompanying me, but I was conscious of someone’s presence) “I have never had a dream like this before…” I was able to look down at my body, and the way I felt about everything was so different, so real.

A few snippits: I was in the shower when I started feeling something crawling at my feet. Before I even looked, I knew it was a spider so I jumped up onto the sides of the tub, held on to the nozzle and sure enough, as I glanced down there were soapy spiders escaping from the drain.

Then I was walking someone’s dog down the road, or rather, there was a dog pulling me down the road. I remember so clearly the tug on his leash, the intense pull… Just as the dog was about to lead me into an unknown, dark forest, I tried to gain control and snapped back on his leash, jerking the dog away from his destination. Apparently not the thing to do because the big brown dog turned around, bared his teeth, and attacked me, biting me in the neck. Just as his teeth were about to sink into my flesh, boom, I’m in another story.

Once again, I’m wandering down a dimly lit path. I turned around and saw an old lover walking behind me. “I miss you!” I cried out. “I’ve never missed you like this before!” In my waking moments I don’t miss him, but then again, he’s not someone I’m destined to share anything more with, not in this lifetime anyway, I know that. But there he was, trailing along in my footsteps.

Cut to me standing and looking out a window, yet again followed by my mysterious guide. As I peer out at the night-time view, I see my family’s house on Bonavista Dr. in Cornwall, PEI. I was overwhelmed with a sense of longing. I miss home.

When I finally mustered the wherewithal to rouse myself from my slumber and end my scrooge-like journey, I could barely open my eyes. I looked into the mirror, and it was no wonder as my eyes were swollen to look like golf balls; one of those inexplicable ‘allergic’ reactions that happens to me once in a blue moon. An aversion to pixie dust, perhaps? Ha. Needless to say, I cancelled my job interview. It’s nervewracking enough trying to sell yourself and make a first impression, let along squinting at your surveyor through swollen lids. Just wasn’t meant to roll that way today.

So what am I to take from all this? 

Spiders are meant to be the “weaver of dreams” – a symbol to remind us that our lives can move in many directions, but it is up to us to do the work and choose the path we desire.
Dogs? A loyal companion, leading me down a dark, unknown trail. Why am I resisting? Maybe I do need a kick in the pants, or a bite in the neck as the dream would have it.
Then there’s my familiar old lover, and my old family home? Are these appearances just representative of the comforts I yearn for? Someone to love me? Some place to call home?
As the swelling subsided and I was able to open my eyes wide enough to face the day, I decided it was time to wander the streets of my new city. I was perusing a funky, little art gallery on Elizabeth St. and when I saw a print depicting a scene from Halloween, I felt another pang of longing. Even though I’ve found myself missing the snow recently (I never, ever, ever thought I would say that) and I thought I could do without a full on winter, I just can’t see my life playing out in the absence of autumn.

It amuses me how often I set out to accomplish things with one task on my agenda, and the further along I go, the more it becomes clear to me I have an entirely different set of priorities and lessons to learn. (“You wanna make God laugh? Tell him your plans.” says John Bradley) This trip was supposed to be about saying goodbye to winter, hello to surfing and here I am, 4 months in, haven’t had the urge to set foot on a board and surprisingly missing the sense of accomplishment that comes from trudging through a cold winter day – the feeling like you’ve earned it.

The kangaroo and emu are two prominent Australian animals used to symbolize the country’s motto of moving forward – you see, neither or these animals can actually move backwards. Maybe that’s all I came here to do? Get my head on straight about which path I want to head down. Get some balls big enough to brave the dim route through the forest. Onwards and upwards I gather. I also find it interesting that I’ve been in this city for less than a week and on an average of about twice a day, I get asked for directions…I guess I look like I know where the hell I’m going, even if I’m just as clueless as the rest of them. 

Push my way through another day and see what Sleepy MacGee has to teach me tonight.

 Saturday, December 20, 2008 at 10:29pm

So I guess it’s my fate in life to shed light on things. I wonder if that’s because of my name? During my mother’s pregnancy the name she had picked for me was “Rebecca.” As soon as she saw me she said, “Nope, she’s not a Rebecca, she’s Cynthia…” Cynthia means “Moon Goddess” in Hebrew…something about shedding light on things…maybe that’s why the full moon seems to effect me so deeply?

When I checked into my hostel in Bondi on Thursday evening, the beautiful young girl in my room was named Rebekka, and we had a conversation about our names and how we got them. We had a really great conversation about a lot of things – Christmas, home, friends, work, and finally, the extremely strange girl sharing our room. “I’ve worked in a mental institution for 3 years, crazy people don’t scare me, but this girl – I just don’t know what she’s capable of…she’s very weird. I think she’s into witchcraft or voodoo or something…she stares at me when I’m sleeping. I was going to change rooms, but now that you’re here, I feel safe.” 

She wasn’t kidding. “Don’t sleep there. That bed is cursed.” Was the first thing the odd one barked at me when I came in the room, so I could identify with what Rebekka was on about. Details aside, suffice it to say more strange exchanges unfolded, and the stories my new mate relayed to me were enough to make you a bit wary of her to say the very least. In any case, we went about our business. Rebekka decided to go to a hot yoga class. It would be the first time she ever tried it. She asked me about every single piece of clothing she was wearing. “Is this ok? Is it appropriate?” Purple pants, orange shirt, brown shoes. She was a very attractive, bright girl. “What’s the time?” she asked. “7:15.” “Ok, see you! Have a good night!” 

That was 3 nights ago. Her stuff is exactly as she left it. Her bedsheets tangled. Her toiletries left beside her bed. My eagle eye and practically photographic memory can attest…she hasn’t been back to that room. Her stuff is untouched. 

I had to go opening my big mouth. There are times when you shut it, and you move on with your day, but this doesn’t sit well with me. Can’t shake the bad feeling. I feel like I’m in a really bad movie. It’s like I’m reading the script each step of the way. Ugh. When I came home late last night and saw she still hadn’t come back, I alerted reception. “Rebekka hasn’t been here for 3 nights and p.s. the other one is realllllly weird.” They thought she was off too, so they gave me another bed for the night and kicked out the other one first thing this morning. Ok, so fine, they got rid of the troublemaker, but what about my new friend? Weren’t they going to do something about her? Pretty, young girl travelling alone. Wasn’t there some kind of protocol? We’ll leave it for another few days.

Fuck that. You can sit around on your lazy arses if you like, but I’ve got to do something about this. I searched through her bags, found a number and an address. Her friend picked up the phone when I called one of the numbers…”We haven’t seen her in days either….” Sweet Jesus help me. 

I just got back from the police station. Told them everything I could think of. What clothes she had on (why the fuck did we have such a detailed conversation about her clothing??) what time I last saw her, where she was going, her name, her address, her suspected number. Oh, and also mentioned about the mysterious one she had been put off by. While I did say, for what it was worth, about seeing her sitting there staring at her hands on the night Rebekka disappeared, I left out the part about the odd dreams I had about her and how I had a vision of a girl screaming. Figured they might not take me so seriously then.

SO. Now I’m supposed to just go on with my day. Yeah. Awesome. I’ve never felt so thankful to be named Cynthia in my life. Cross your fingers she shows up.

Saturday, December 6, 2008 at 4:20am

“So, how’s everything at home in Canada?”
“Oh, pretty good.”
“Gettin’ pretty cold there now is it?”
I don’t know why I despise small talk with this man so much, but I do.
“Yeah, it’s starting to snow…” I answer, just dripping with sweat. “Where did you say you were from originally?” 
“Sydney. I moved up here in ’89.”
“Oh, that’s nice. Do you think you’d ever go back there?”
“No, it’s getting a bit too ethnic for me.”

Ding, ding, ding!!! We got it. I knew there was something that put me off. My instinct was pedophile, but no, he’s a blatent rascist. (of course, not to say both can’t be true…)

“Really? Hmm, that’s funny because that’s exactly what I miss about Toronto…you know, all kinds of cultures living together harmoniously. I find it’s a bit too white here.”
“I don’t like it. I find some Middle Eastern cultures move in to a place and they just take over.”

Well, that’s the pot calling the kettle black now isn’t it. Isn’t “taking over” the white man’s middle name? I can’t even believe I’m having this conversation. And it’s that fucked up look in his eye as he searches my face for some sign I want to commisserate. Forget it, buddy.

“It’s really too bad you feel that way. That’s exactly what I miss about home. I don’t share your sentiments at all.” 

What is the appropriate response to this? Especially when it’s the maintenance guy at the resort you’re cleaning rooms at – a job I don’t give two shits about. Do I waste my breath and even bother getting into anything with him? I contemplate tossing the hoover bag at him, but figure that won’t solve a thing. The conversation quickly shifts.

“It’s pretty beautiful in Canada. Not that I’ve ever been there, but the pictures of the Rockies are just amazing.”
“But you’ve got all those bears…”

Oh my dear lord. Was this man educated by donkeys? He sure seems like an ass.
Yeah, you know we’re just dodging the bears left and right in Toronto. It’s a bit dangerous but you get used to it.

“I’d love to go to Canada.”

Really? Please, don’t bother. We definitely don’t want you. Sigh. Double sigh. Dudes like him give Aussies a bad name.

I’ve been feeling very Canadian lately. When I set out on this journey it was with the “We’ll see…maybe I’ll stay here…I hate the snow anyway” attitude. I don’t know. The true north strong and free feels pretty near and dear to me at the moment, snow or no snow. We’ve got loads to be proud of. Sometimes it takes being half a world away to appreciate it.

 Monday, December 1, 2008 at 9:03pm

I woke up to a real nice email this morning. The kind that brings a tear to your eye, not so much happy, not so much sad, just real emotion, one way or the other. Good ol’ Jonny King. If ever there was anyone who knows how to bring tears to my eyes, it’s him. Anyone who knows anything about us and who we were can most definitely vouch for that.
We met in Baba’s Lounge, it was love at first sight, and away we went. Always a warning sign. “Whoa, you’re alive…who are you?” J Kun said to me, it might of been that night or shortly thereafter, “Ooh, be careful. You two are like huge fires and if you put that together, it’s a recipe for trouble.” How can you resist though? Fire naturally wants to spread and we both had lessons to learn.
My god. The fussing, the fighting, the passion. Chucking his stuff out the window, bawling my eyes out when it was “over” for the third time, never a dull moment dans la boudouir…the ups and downs and rollercoasterness of it all…Three years we kept at it, kept at each other, hanging on to potential and what could of been. Finally, finally, we both turned a corner in our minds and figured the purpose had been served and we transformed into mates of the closest kind. I know your deepest, darkest, but hey, let’s watch a flick, smoke a j, and be civil…Time and space are wonderful healers. The best.
Almost 2 years since our cohabitation on Havelock St., my firey flame has cooled, he’s on to other business, we’re on opposite ends of the world, and you’ve got mail. “CYD, hope you’re doing well, blah blah blah, I wrote a new song – even if you don’t like it, listen to it at least once – the last bit is about you. Take care, love you, Jonny Bon…” So what girl doesn’t want a song written about her? Show me one.
It’s called Guardian Angels and it’s giving props to those who’ve crossed his path and shed some light.
The third angel was a ginger snap
She kicked my fuckin’ ass and I love her for that
Probably the only reason I’m not flat in a casket
From alcohol levels and the reds just maxin’
Easily could’ve been my wife
How much you need to say about someone who saved your life
‘cept they’re an angel for certain
and if you hear me CYD, then you’d better be surfin…

Ha. That’s the kind of thing you hold your breath through, with a big exhale to follow. Phewf.
Some kind of crazy, odd closure, light years away. Not that I needed it, but it’s that little reminder that you never, ever know why you cross paths with someone. We meet people, we construct ourselves for them, we surmise and devise who we want them to be, we relate, or try to, and spend so much energy trying to determine how the hell you’re supposed to “be” together.
Yeah, Jonny, I did kick your fuckin’ ass. But you kicked mine too. Yeah, you’re right, I should be surfin. And it’s an appropriate little push.
I met someone recently. A lovely, kind soul with an enormous but fearful heart. It gets confusing trying to know what to make of it when someone like that gets put in your way. Do you sign up for three years or settle for 3 days? I remember just looking at him thinking, “What business do we have with each other?” I don’t know, I’m sure he doesn’t know, and the truth of the matter is that it doesn’t matter. Not to our small minds anyway. The universe is ticking along, making its moves, planting its seeds, making it work and our job is just to be light, and share as much love as possible. That really cheesy expression, “Better to have loved and lost than to never loved at all” comes to mind. Even with all the tumultuousness of Jonny Bon and CYD I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. We’re all guardian angels for one another. No more me than you, my friend. Cheers to that.

 Monday, November 24, 2008 at 2:45am

Had another very pertinent dream last night. I was walking up an alleyway and it was snowing. I was so confused and a little annoyed because I was thinking, “I’m in Australia. It’s not supposed to be snowing. What the hell is going on here?” Then this man in a huge, black coat came up behind me, walking along, acting all normal when he started attacking me. I smashed my purse into his face, pulled out my cellphone and tried to call for help but I had to hide the phone in my jacket for some reason and no one could hear me.

FUCK. How symbollic and appropriate after my day yesterday. I am so fucking fed up to here with perverted men. I am honestly so tired of it. 

I saw a sign posted at the hostel, “Casual cleaner needed.” Sweet. I’ve been officially unemployed for well over 2 months now. It’s been a hoot, but it’s time to work and at this stage of the game, anything will do. So I called the guy. 4-10 hours a week helping out with cleaning his bed & breakfast right around the corner from where I was staying. How convenient. So I meet him at 9:30 the next morning, exchange pleasantries, have a cup of tea, and after asking me a bit about myself and my qualifications (a philosophy degree AND experience cleaning hotel rooms! What a catch! Jesus Christ.) he asks me to come around the next morning to get started.

The first day was fine. It didn’t seem odd to me that he was actually doing the work with me – after all, I did need SOME training. Hospital corners aren’t rocket science, but they do require some explanation – so fair enough. We had some nice conversation and everything seemed fine. He was ridiculously particular, but that’s his perogative, I’m just there for my cash in hand so I can afford to eat something, so what do I care?

The second day was an entirely different tale. About a quarter of the way through my 3 hour stint, I just got the no feeling in a real bad way, to the point where I texted my friend, Caroline and said, “I think this dude is a pervert – if you don’t hear from me, call me…”

“I had to rebuild this bed. These two huge people about 115 kilos each were just bonking away on it and broke it.”
“Um, OK,” is what I said out loud, but “Bonking on it? What in the fuck are you telling me this for?” is what I damn well should have said.
“Oh, and I should have told you not to wear any coloured clothes here. I see you’ve got a bleach spot on you already.” Yeah, you would notice that spot on my breast, wouldn’t you?
“Oh, this is just shit anyway, no worries.” 
“Really? I thought you had dressed up.”
Yeah, sure. I dressed up to come cleaning. You wish! Tank top and shorts. Looks like I should’ve sported my fucking snowsuit despite the 30 degree heat just to curb your enthusiasm.

The unnecessary touching, sexual references, and him tagging along beside me while I did what appeared to be useless busy work was enough to make you sick. But the sickest part of the whole affair was why in the name of god I felt obliged to continue being nice to the shit. Why didn’t I just leave? When he came in the room with a drill and said, “Stick em up or I’ll drill you,” I should’ve shouted, “How about I punch your stupid perverted face in?? Touch me and I’ll scream so loud your ears will bleed.”
Nope. All I could muster was a blank stare.

That’s what’s so insidious about men who behave that way. It puts women in such an unfortunate postion. Unfortunate and utterly unfair. You know in your gut something isn’t right, but it’s like you don’t want to jump the gun, be presumptious and put someone in their place and have them be like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, relax, I was just trying to be nice…” Like fuck you’re trying to be nice. You’re trying to get in my pants, or at least you’re having a jolly old time leering at them.

I’ve had my pathetic, fat, balding boss purposely spread rumours we were sleeping together (I’d rather slit my wrists than touch him with a ten foot pole), my former professor corner me in a bar and stick his tongue down my throat and subsequently stalk me, countless men, just being selfish, outright perverts. The list goes on. And where does that leave me? Where does that leave us women? I feel I have a right to be myself, to be sexy, or to just be left alone and I don’t think it’s one bit fair at all that I should have to be at all concerned about whether or not someone wants to sleep with me, undress me with their sicko eyes, or even just indulge in their lame-o fantasies when I’m just trying to work, study or whatever. 

I remember a time a few years ago when I naively thought things were equal. HA! Hilarious. LONG ASS WAY TO GO. And I don’t know how we can ever really get there. I love men. I love connecting with men, they’re generally a fantastic species, but there’s those bad apples that can really just spoil the whole damn bunch. And I’m in the headspace at the moment where I just have no time for it. 

I was standing in the shop after “work” (perv zone) telling my friend the reasons I sent her such an odd text, recounting all of the weirdo moves this dude was making and who walks around the corner? Him. Mr. Bend-over-you-missed-a-spot himself. “Hi,” and I turned totally red and bolted for the door. I don’t know if he heard me, and I don’t particularly care. All I know is that I’ll be damed if I dare put myself in the situation where I let a man make me feel that way again. I quit.

Friday, November 21, 2008 at 12:54am

“Do you wanna hear something funny?”
“Yeah, definitely…”
“You’ve got a tiny ocean in your ear.”

Brilliant. I love the way non-native English speakers chose to phrase things. It’s so goddamn charming. And it illuminates things in this way that’s missing with the mother tongue. That was Sina, my dear German friend referring to the pool of tears that had collected in my ears as I lay on the beach, bawling about all the bullshit. Her efforts to console me got me thinking about the ocean. I had a real shit day and the first place I wanted to go was the sea. 
Before I decided to jump ship in the Tdot I was dreaming a lot about the ocean. A few stand out more than others. One where I was looking out the window of a highrise and below I could see I was surrounded by a moat. Suddenly, as dreams always go, I was swimming in the water, away from the polar bears and underneath the turtles. Another I was swimming across the ocean with my family, my sister and I were lagging behind, doggie paddling, with our heads barely bobbing above the water. Not too far off the way I feel right about now.
The most vivid and eerie dream had me walking with my father and brother, looking down the edge of a cliff at the surf crashing up against the rocks. The first day I arrived in Byron with my father and brother and I trekked up the cliff to the lighthouse, I stopped dead in my tracks when I peered out over the edge to see the exact same image playing out in real life. This was my dream. Exactly my dream. No possible way I could’ve ever put all of these elements together, yet here it is – everything as it should be – right next to the ocean. 
I found myself back at the beach at the end of the day, sitting in my friends van, looking out towards the water, discussing forgiveness. As our conversation rolled on, the clouds rolled in. This time instead of feeling like I was reliving a dream, it felt like I was witnessing a scene that should of been a dream; it was all too surreal. There was what looked to be a pirate ship way out in the waves, Julian Rocks sitting off the center, the lighthouse churning out its beam, huge gangly storm clouds draping over the sky and moving overhead at an alarming speed. The forked lightning was zig zagging every which way, connecting with the water like it was its job.
“You’d better go now if you want to get a swim in before the hail storm hits…it’s coming…” two surfer dudes warned us as they collected their gear and hopped in their van. Just a quick dip to make it all right. Dom zoomed into the water, meanwhile I abstained because a) I don’t think lightning and water mix and b) I just had to try and absorb the friggin scenery. “Really? This is really happening? Ok. Sure thing.” The rush back in the rain still felt very accomplished. Stormy weather but we survived. Just being on the beach and giving it all to the universe felt very fitting after our conversation about attempting to let go.
I reckon we cross a million little oceans every day, just like the one made of tears Sina sussed in my ear, and the ones from my dreams. Sometimes you gotta contend with huge obstacles, and sometimes you can just kind of keep your head above water, but you gotta do it. And I suppose the journey is a tad easier the less shit you’re dragging along. 
Yeah, lots of things aren’t perfect. Shoulda, coulda, woulda on so many levels, but there comes a time when you have to even just energetically forgive the misgivings in order to get to the other side. I talk/think about this a lot lately probably because I have a sneaking suspicion that each time I get rid of some baggage, I look again and I’ve still got heaps to go. I don’t think it’s that unique, really.
Some days it’s easier to brave the storm than others, but sitting and having a good cry on the sand in the midst of it all is a helluva lot better than not even making it to the sea at all.

April 2018
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