busy week (life @ 28)

Monday’s too long gone to remember at this stage.
Tuesday is flat-out at work. I come home late and do my regular trip to the gym, followed by a shower, change of clothes, bowl of 2-minute noodles for dinner then out the door to see a friend / co-worker of mine play in North Fitzroy. The weather has been stupid crazy in Melbourne lately, trams are delayed and I’m cold, wet and frustrated. I call it quits halfway there and end up at The Bar With No Name in Brunswick St, whereupon the owner regales me with stories of machetes, thugs and small-town fish & chip shops. Serendipity sees me leave just in time to catch up with two compatriots, so a nice end to a so-so evening. I get home late and crash.

Wednesday is typically my karaoke night, but this time I’m off to see a karaoke drinking buddy, ‘Mr Brightside’ (so called for his song of choice), play at Northcote Social Club with one of his bands. One friend bails on me, but it’s all good because the hospitality of another knows no bounds. The luminously delightful Miss F____ cooks up a fine feast of salmon, black rice and capsicum. We share stories and imported beer, and discuss whether the Laotian brew (imaginatively named Beer Lao) tastes more or less socialist than the official state beer of China. Such fine company makes me dally, then the heavens open, taxis are scarce, and I end up catching the last song of the set. They’re just the first act though, so I hang out for many hours with Mr B and his friends, and friends of friends of friends. I get introduced to his crew by my karaoke non de plume, which if nothing else is a conversation starter. Bad emo jokes are told, bourbon is consumed, I end up talking music and politics to a bunch of people who I realise, with a slight sense of dismay and confusion, are ten years younger than me and have no idea what I’m talking about.

Thursday is my Day of Rest. In bed by 9:30. I sleep like the proverbial dead.

Friday, and I’m eating brains and raw meat for lunch; I cook like a vegetarian, and eat out like a carnivorous extra from Indiana Jones. I cancel my regular gym session and engage in after work drinks. Old co-workers are invited out and the alleyways of Melbourne are drunkenly explored for Black Russians and late-night Indian food. Everyone gets the meeting times and places confused, my (female, straight) boss goes after a woman in the corner, and I get a tongue in the ear from an ex rugby player. I think I lost my iPod somewhere in the middle of all this but I’m currently hoping it’ll still turn up. We finish up at MOO, then I spend thirty minutes at the taxi rank waiting with the human petri dish that is Flinders St at 1am.

Saturday sees a friend from work visit with her beagle. I’ve had about four hours sleep, so the last thing I should do is a) entertain guests, b) have lunch in the blinding sun, and c) walk the dog around Yarraville in the midday heat. Yet I find myself doing all three and so easily fall into bed for a catch-up sleep. I wake up a few hours later to find I am running late for a birthday party. We start at a bar, then roam the streets of East Brunswick until we find a spot with live bands. (It’s a nice, dark night. Gigantic soft toys sit on verandahs, their glassy eyes following our passage.)

Sometime after midnight the bands finish and our little group splits up. I take a tram-ride down Lygon St; seems like Mr Brightside is back out on the town after his CD launch at the Evelyn Hotel earlier that night, but the content of his phone messages suggest that he’s too drunk to give me directions to where he is now. I tarry in the city, foolishly hoping for a quiet drink at the Long Room but find it crowded, noisy and drunkenly middle-aged, so move onto the Flinders St taxi rank for the second time in 24 hours. This time the line is depressingly long; judging from the high heels, disheveled bowties and small pieces of cake clutched in a hundred hands, a wedding party has just broken up and doubled my wait. It takes me almost an hour to get home. I eventually crawl into bed after 3, wondering where my week disappeared to.

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