Sunday, 7 June 2015

Day 1: Nostalgia reigns supreme

When you move out of the city, something must happen to your expectations. Everyone in the city is beautiful! I can’t stop looking at them; making eye contact and smiling at the woman with perfectly scuffed boots and woollen socks up to her knees; the young man with endlessly long legs encased in skinny jeans. Wishing I could sit and have coffee with a truly spectacular and symmetrical man with a black beard and peacoat to die for. Or kill for.

In the city, sense of possibility rolls over me in waves. I wake up much too early; a symptom of the regimented at-home life with the early morning gym routines and the constant go from when I open my eyes to when I close them again. I know why I do it, and what the end is; the means seem justifiable, but here and outside of my life I’m not going to pretend I don’t wonder.

I soak everything in, I eat it up in great big gulps like it’s going to disappear. I stay at a friend’s and am granted my own bedroom like a prize. I can pretend I live here this week. I wear my brown leather boots and skinny jeans that seem to be the uniform of Melbourne in winter. I carry a bag full of books to the Melbourne Uni library and busily type away on my new MacBook, glancing up to see that in fact, every other student madly typing in the place is also on a MacBook. I feel like we’re all part of something, and I suppose we are. They are all younger than me, and I am only 29.

I know I don’t go here, but I am pretending I go here, just till this assignment is finished, just till the end of the week. I want to go here again. I want to work here, and live here, and have the coffees with the handsome men. I can conveniently forget that when I did go here, when I lived here some 6 years ago, I barely ever had the sort of coffee, full of potential and electricity, that I am currently fantasising about. I was never single and carefree. This new Melbourne would be so different from the old Melbourne, and I’d have to renegotiate the whole deal before setting foot in it.

It’s hard to tell whether I prefer the anonymity of cityscape, or the “where everyone knows your name” of my home town. There’s a sparkly prize in the tiny town fame which is so easy to grasp, but my grey-sky self likes the fact she could disappear, if that’s what she wanted.

I romanticise the whole-fucking-lot of it. The red brick of the back streets of Parkville, terrace houses all lined up and falling apart in the way that only property worth actual millions of dollars can do. There are grassy verges and parks, the grey/blue cobblestone gutters for twisting your ankles on when you’re drunk and headed home. It’s never quiet, and me who loves quiet suddenly loves noise instead. Trams and construction work a few houses up - people and sirens and horns, a car driving past with the windows down and Beethoven’s something-or-other blaring out rudely like it thinks it’s hiphop.

This afternoon I get a little time with one of my favourite Melbourne women and her collection of awesome boys. I get banter and nonsense with an old friend that’s new again. I get to play trivia with people I do not know from countries I have not been to yet.

City, you are more than alright.

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