Life in the ghetto, or, Why is there bread in the driveway?

For two years, we lived in a block of flats tucked into one of the busiest streets in our suburb. For a time there, it was nice living here. The flats all desperately needed work done to them, but the neighbours were nice people, and we all got along, helping each other out and spending time together after work.

The blissful bubble was short-lived, however, as rent went up, many of those people were forced out, and new people came in – people so desperate for a place to live that they paid the higher rent. Nobody else would approve their rental applications.

Soon driveway cricket summer became “pretend we’re not home” winter, where you’d refuse to answer the door unless someone used the secret knock.

The junkies upstairs spent time with the junkies across the driveway, alternating between friends and enemies, depending on the drug supply. The shouts and cries of domestic disputes seeped through cracks in windows and holes punched through bedroom doors.

It got much worse after we left, with the SWAT team coming in and molotov cocktails being thrown through windows. Today though, there’s just some confused bread laying in the driveway.

Clearly, there are no ducks here. Nothing lives here by choice and aint nobody gonna fuck with a duck if it wants to leave… no, the bread is just another example of the bogan attitude that is the way of life in the ghetto; once something lands on a communal area within the bogan realm, it must either decompose on its own, get blown against the fence by the wind, or be broken down by wild animals, otherwise it remains there for all eternity (or until the landlord sends the cleaning man around to remove the shopping trolleys, broken doors, couches and mattresses).

Coming back here to visit a friend has been great. Nowadays, the flats are filled with schizophrenics going through sexual identity crises and an incest brother-sister-couple. The police have done a couple of patrols (we just assume the flats have been added to their beat) but nobody has been hurt or had anything stolen, so all in all, it seems to have been a successful stay.




How the old teaches us new tricks

My nose, re-pierced

Hello world from Sunny Melbourne!

I’m on holiday, visiting the friends and family we left behind when we moved back to my tiny home town three years ago.

It’s been a wonderful return to the city we fell in love in, filled with smiling faces and constant laughter. The kind of laughter that only comes out when you are in the company of people who feel like they have little pieces of your soul inside them. The close ones.

It’s also been a time for reflection and thinking from open car windows. I got my old nose piercing reopened yesterday. It’s been nice to realise that life isn’t as black and white as I’d always seen it. I can be both Grown Up, Responsible Bri whilst being Nose Piercing Bri. Those two people had always seemed separate entities to me and now it’s a marvel to discover that I can be all the different Bri’s, all at once. It’s so exciting to no longer be afraid of where possibilities may lead me.

The sobriety challenge hasn’t been challenging at all. I haven’t been tempted to drink, I seem to somehow be aware that I simply don’t need it. I think anxiety over an inevitable upcoming binge was something I constantly carried with me in the past, and that in itself would usually lead me to drinking. No longer experiencing that anxiety seems to be all the reward I need to keep firm in my decision to keep alcohol out of my life.

Right now, life feels like an amazing gift that I’ve only just now taken out of its box. I’m having an amazing time seeing all the cool stuff it can do.