Notes for a song

Month: April, 2012

Reader Request #1

I hate taking the 96 on Sunday evenings. After 7.30, the trams run a lot less frequently. Not to mention the stop nearest my house is the worst tram stop in Melbourne, no seat, no protection from the elements, traffic speeding by on both sides. And for some reason I always get there late. Partly because Tram Tracker lies. Partly because I am convinced I can walk the two long blocks from Smith to Nicholson in less than 8 minutes. I can’t. But also that Tram Tracker thing.

This particular evening in question I felt I was making good time, despite Tram Tracker’s lies. It felt like it had been about 7 minutes plus I had only listened to two tracks on my ipod. I sped up as I felt the rumble of tram on track in the distance. I rounded the corner into Nicholson and saw the tram pulling up to the stop. I was still quite a few steps away so I picked up my pace. Luckily, two young gents had spotted me through the back of the tram and one placed himself against the door of the tram, preventing the driver from pulling out.

I started to run as the boys motioned for me to hurry. What fine young fellows holding the door for me! I finally reached the tram and headed for the back door where they were. Just as I neared, the rascal holding the door blew me a kiss and stepped out of the way as the doors shut with me on the wrong side of them. Leaving me to spend the next 22 minutes at the least user-friendly tram stop in Melbourne.


How not to behave at an art opening

My friend had an art opening last week. She had been working so hard for it and totally deserved to relax and enjoy her opening in her lovely polka dot dress. She did not deserve to be picking up her artwork after I kicked it over. Ooops.

Before you jump to conclusions let me explain. I had on clunky platform shoes. I was feeling distinctly uncool and awkward around all the well-dressed gallery goers. And I didn’t realise how close I was standing to one of the works (engaged in some thrilling conversation about a crappy work week no doubt) until I kicked it over and everyone inhaled sharply and glared at me.

The artist handled the situation with aplomb, she casually left her conversation, strode over, picked up the piece, righted it and returned to her conversation as though nothing was out of the ordinary. That’s how you should behave at an opening.

As for me, I’d say some flat footwear and some fancy footwork are required before any more forays into the art world.



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Last weekend, I felt a surge of adventure and inscribed the words “notes for a song” hastily on the door of a bathroom stall in a bar I was patronizing. Total self promotion. I was going to do it again elsewhere, but then suddenly felt embarrassed and so, there is only one marked toilet door in Melbourne.

If you, dear readers, can tell me the name of the bar where this shameless act occurred, I will make up for my defacement of public property and send you an original work. Your choice – poem or prose.

Getting ready v. going out

Getting ready is when you can play DJ, blast your choice of music (be it Prince, Beyonce, or Wu-Tang, unless you’re like me and then it’s all three) out of your speakers. There’s none of those “filler” tracks you have to put up with at the club.

Going out you might hear something you love but haven’t got round to putting on your itunes, or something completely new. You could hold your phone up and find out the name of the band, or ask a beguiling stranger you’ve had your eye on if they know.

Getting ready you are your own stylist, you can prance around in a million different outfits, imagine yourself gliding across the d-floor in your heels. Going out often ends with your heels slung over your shoulder, or the distinct feeling you would’ve been happier in your PJs.

Going out you get to perve on other people, people-watching is the new porn. Everyone is looking their absolute best (until the night turns and it’s their absolute worst). You get to make new friends in the bathrooms, sharing make up tips or lipstick.

Getting ready you can talk about anything you want, be as loud as you want, drink as much as you want (as long as you live close to a bottle shop). You are with a band of friends, you are invincible.

Going out you might have to raise your voice above the music, then lower it again to avoid looks from the table next to you. You might end up engaged in a political debate with a complete stranger and realize the alcohol’s causing you to lose. But you could also meet someone who says their favorite book is the same as yours and writes their number on the inside cover of another book they are recommending to you.

Getting ready holds all the promise, all the potential, which would all be wasted if we just stayed at home.