Howling wind. That’s a concept with clear visuals. When you think about howling wind, you can see it, picture it, hear it, feel it. Funny thought, as wind alone is unseen. It is only through the objects it moves can we see it – water, trees, plants, dirt, dust, toupee, skirt, paper, trash. Through its manipulation of objects like these we know that it is there.
As we stood looking out over Point Impossible, it was doing just that – howling. Little sparklers of mist flaked off the tops of the swelling waves, the current moving as one from South to North as if it were a choreographed rouse. Not exactly inviting. That’s okay, I’ve been uninvited to plenty of things. I still go, though. An invite should never stop a person from doing the things they want to do. And that tidbit of uninvited advice plies well here now.
Wind-whipped, burnt we stepped from the ocean and packed our things, then retreated back the 100 kilometers to Melbourne. Once home, we rode our pushies (bicycles) to a pub for cheap beers and trivia night.
We came in third place and were awarded a $25 bar tab. Twist: there were only three teams. We were in first place after round one, but in that round we won two jugs (pitchers) of beer. It is those jugs we blame for our fall from grace.
The first jug was won by discerning Beatles songs from a single lyric. My compatriot despises the Beatles and so it was left to me. Six out of ten. First jug. The second was a game of guessing. Specifically, we had to speculate on the amount of eggs that were used in the world’s largest Easter egg hunt. The answer was 501k. Second jug.
With trivia in our past, we retired to the porch where we quickly descended into an argument. It was over a woman, I admit. Not a woman there, physically, at that moment, but one from home. Neither of us cared for the other’s tone, and frankly, my compatriot did not want to hear me speak of this woman any longer, and so he became upset. I, too, became irritated and shrugged him off. Declaring he was leaving, I encouraged him to go. And so he left. I stayed back to drink our bar tab alone.
The rest is blurry, but I spent the night playing cards and pool with a group of anonymous Australians and Scots. One Scotsman was vehement in his certainty that Scotland would be independent of the U.K. after the Referendum coming up, sparked by Britain’s sudden exit from the EU. Sure, I said.
We ended up in a downtown afterhours balcony pub, puffing cigarettes and drinking whiskey. I walked in at six in the morning, haggard, kebab in hand.
When I woke the next morning, my compatriot was gone. I spent the morning washing myself and my clothes and cleaning up the small messes I had left around the apartment. They had started to gather like spots on a cat.
A call came in from my compatriot detailing his locale, and we agreed to meet and settle our differences. At that time, I did not know if it meant a duel to the death or simply a handshake.
It was just a handshake, and for that, I was grateful. Although, I’m certain I would have handled myself fine in a duel. Disagreement settled, I decided I would refrain from bringing up the woman’s name again. This did not keep her from my thoughts, however, and in the coming days I would speak depend on the ears of strangers to satiate my need to speak of her.
Later in the night, after we’d shared several drinks, we bicycled to the local Kebab diner. In a convenient and apt turn of events, a duo of traveling musicians were set up across the street, loudly belting Beatles songs. If you recall earlier, I mentioned my compatriot’s hatred of the Beatles. As such, as the duo played “I Want to Hold Your Hand” on Brunswick Street in Melbourne, it annoyed my compatriot. “God damnit,” he said, as we entered the Kebab diner. Given our recent tiff, I took a little joy in this.
His hatred of them, I reason, more due to the fact that largely everyone else has embraced them. A bit of a contrarian in some regards, my compatriot reveled in his loathing of the British foursome.
Inside, I ordered my kebab and he ordered his “HSP”, which I haven’t the faintest clue to what it stands for, but it is essentially meat and French fries slapped with a battalion of sauces. It comes in a Styrofoam container and as we exited the diner with our food, my compatriot took a funny step off the curb and fumbled his meal to the ground. He stood in disbelief over his spilled French fries, meats, and sauces, while Beatles music played loudly in the background. Stray streams of sauce had hit his pants.
I’m not calling it karma, because I don’t think it was. I do, however, believe it to be almost perfectly poetic.
My compatriot scooped the feed from the street, Beatles still playing, and glumly road to the nearest convenient store to replace the lost meal with an easy open bowl of top-Ramen-esque noodles. Both meals came in Styrofoam containers.
All for now.
More later, as always.