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2012 slips through the fingers

AUSTRALIA | Sunday, 11 November 2012 | Views [1229]

Jay-Z's new album with uncooked Parental Advisory chunks.

Jay-Z's new album with uncooked Parental Advisory chunks.

And Melbourne is the winner of the current location sweepstakes. As will be revealed in a story recreated from failing memory and an alcohol induced reduction of brain capacity, it has been an interesting ride leading to here. And just to confuse the matter further, bringing the reader down to my usual level, I’m only in Melbourne for three weeks. So, the real winner is Fremantle, but I had to leave there for awhile to afford myself the time and space to reconnect with my traveling tales.

In the interim, I have taken in the aforementioned trip to Broome, and a quick ‘blow as much cash in a week’ trip to Thailand. With tattooing the main reason for the Thai trip, I had plenty of time to write a few journals at long airport stopovers and brief points between pints. Returning home to Fremantle with a new suitcase packed with worthless crap, I must have also packed my brain with an overload of idiot. My computer was running a bit slow, as it may have picked up a virus being unable to cover it with condoms as I had my fingers, toes, wallet, beer and sandwiches. A quick tweak here, a deletion of suspicious files there and everything was in working order again. Along with any possible digital nasties went my rather benign and non-malignant journals.

I’m starting to feel such a strong theme running through my adventures that I would be surprised if my readers weren’t able to pick up the life lessons I so easily overlook. Any trip I take is bound to involve one or all of the following, a missed flight, a broken camera, a complaint born from either my anatomy not being well suited to a particular form of transport or technology out-smarting me with the simplest of functions. That may also explain why inanimate objects also get the better of me as well. Throw in a few parties I can barely remember well enough to relate, a torrid affair or two and a few poor jokes and that’s me for the last decade.

How can I tell the story now without repeating myself again? For starters, I haven’t missed a flight in the last five now. Before the Thailand trip, my rubber arm succumbed to a single request from visiting Broome friends to share a hash cookie with them. The consequences were that all three of us found parallel universes before we found the airport. Ash had been waiting patiently for us and was incredulous that I could think that completely stoned was a great way to enter a country that executes people who even know how to spell druggs ;-) It certainly made for a very comfortable plane ride although drooling non-stop on the arm rest didn’t really add to Ash’s comfort levels. I also did a few trips between Singapores various airports before actually asking someone where my plane might take off from, with the barest leeway of time left.

Enough of my well documented stupidity, let me focus on some of the highlights of what has been another amazing year. As time drew nearer for my return to Broome, I knew something was different this time. Acknowledging the fact it was 2012, and not 2010 when I last flew to Broome, satisfied me for longer than it should have. Something else was different and it only became apparent after a few days basking in some Cable Beach sunshine. I wasn’t done with Fremantle! The other times I had returned to Broome had only been after every conceivable aspect of fun in the previous place had been seen, tasted, drank , licked, free-based or somehow desecrated.

The Freo Dr had offered to help me get my approved managers course if I stayed. Broome offered to rewind my life span another year if I was willing to make my life an eternal Groundhog Day. As tempting as that sounded, mature decisions have been this seasons fashion and I chose to return to Fremantle and ‘further my career’. I thought that just meant ‘live longer’ but apparently smart choices can be accumulative. After making the first responsible choice is as many years as I can remember, I celebrated with such aplomb that I can’t remember much else of my stay there.

There was an amazing beach wedding with friends from Matsos. Their nuptials had to remain a secret so their friends and families back home didn’t realise the wedding they were waiting for was going to be a sham. The beauty of the ceremonies setting was matched only by the depth of the receptions revelry and debauchery. It was such a day of love that it rekindled my interest in the more companionable aspects of a woman.

I returned to Fremantle to turn that rekindling into a bonfire of passion with anyone half decent I passed on the street. I had every intention of staying for awhile but it seems my itinerant ways were still scaring off would-be suitors. I was starting to think that bachelorhood was legitimised selfishness and continual rejection was affording me no option but to see it as axiomatic. Fortunately enough, devising more and more complicated ways to prove I really am an idiot for pure entertainment value fills up my time without the need for company.

So, I went about tentatively making plans to see Fremantle as a home base for the time being. That involved moving out of Trev and Abbie’s love nest as they moved on from their adoption of me and into having a child of their own, who wasn’t yet ready to borrow the car all the time and steal beers from the fridge. Finding a home has a four part selection criteria. The house has to be a liveable option and not feel like the last tenants were the Manson family. The housemates have to be friendly, companionable and not actually be the Manson family. The location has to be a manageable distance from work and friends and not have a name like Compton, The Bronx or Sydney. And the fourth part is the housemates have to want you to move in.

The last criteria caught me out a few times as my mouth forgot that my audience was not trying to be polite and non-judgemental. They were judging the ever-loving shit out of me. Saying that hip-hop is the musical equivalent of DEB and that country music was best left way, way out in the country nearly got me forcefully removed from a house I would have really liked to have moved in to. There could have been some issues once a stereo was turned on though.

Further draining my good karma account was a heritage listed building right in the heart of Fremantle. I took a bottle of wine to the ‘interview’ and was greeted like a man with the last bag of weed at a Snoop Dog, er cat, um Snoop Lion concert.  All four selection criteria were not only ticked but gold stamped and I was welcomed in before the wine had even taken effect. If there was a computer game called ‘Design your dream home’ (There probably is such a game, and I’d google it if I wasn’t too busy googling your Mum’s name!) this place would be the default template for awesome.

Heritage listings in Fremantle are as plentiful as rainy days are in Melbourne with over 3000 restored colonial heritage buildings built in the 1800s. My new home won recognition purely on the fact that it is a great place to live even without any doors. There’s a front door, and doors on the toilets, but nothing else. You want to play music? It had better not be DEB or else there will an ever escalating volume war to drown each other out. You want some sexy time? Play some DEB and hope it turns into a music volume war.

Luckily enough, therein resided the best roomie I have ever had (Acknowledging the distinction between people who were friends before they became roomies!) Kirsty is Scottish, works for Ikea, and is a mirror image of my interests, except for the UFC understandably. We have so much fun that our rooftop party space, The Purple Coconut, has its own facebook page to keep track of events we get too smashed to remember.

Then, to exhaust all superlatives about the place, the middle room was vacated for me to annex and Ash from Broome to move in to my room. Now I have my own private balcony and Ash’s FIFO routine frees up his room to be a home cinema even when he is in town.  Now I had better head off to help old ladies cross the road just to keep my karma account in the black.

Tags: flying, fremantle, friends, weddings

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