A notepad for a mind

Peruse at your own discretion.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Not 'til I Can Read by the Moon

I am a time-waster. A procrastinator. There is absolutely no use denying it. It's been, what, five months since my last blog post? And this is due not to the fact that I've been too busy to write, but rather, I've been too busy wasting time; and hence, haven't had anything to write about. Funny, that.

This year has been a fairly uneventful one. One would think that the year of 19 would be the most exciting year of one's youth; the last year, the year to expend the final drops of teenage irresponsibility before the big two oh creeps up and smacks you in the proverbial face with its, "What are you going to do with your life?" and, "What, haven't you got your license yet?" and, "Aren't you dying to move out?"

I don't know, no, and I haven't the money.

I suppose that's the crux of the issue at hand; life needs money. It's alright for someone to use the justification, "I can't, I'm broke," for their inability to buy pricey concert tickets or airfares to exotic places, but how many people buy a cocktail dress and a pair of shorts and have to go without lunch for the following week? I don't know, but I can empathise with them.

I'm not looking for any pity; I deserve none. I quit my waitressing job a few months ago because I was underpaid, the owner didn't speak English, management was lax and they were going broke. I have been "between jobs" ever since, and I'm surviving. I have it easy compared to some; there are people on the very streets of this beautiful city who have nothing. Indifference and the self-importance of your average middle-class individual have allowed them to become almost part of the Melbourne scenery: the beggar outside Melbourne Central; the drunkies and junkies at the Flinders/Swanston McDonalds in the early hours of the morning; the bracelet-weavers and footpath-chalkers who use the only tools they have to stay alive. It's a heartbreakingly hopeless existence - or so it would seem.

Upon my return to uni, I noticed a little coffee cart labelled "STREAT" on the first floor at Melbourne Central station. I've not had the opportunity to buy coffee there yet, but I most definitely will.  STREAT, it turns out, is "stopping homelessness the delicious way"; it is a new "social enterprise providing homeless youth with a supported pathway to long-term careers in the hospitality industry." This little coffee cart and the food cart at Fedaration square are staffed by the homeless, and used to provide them with hospitality training and certification so they may have a future in the job market. Every 10th meal and organic fair trade coffee of a loyalty card holder goes to a homeless or disadvantaged person. These carts are just the beginnings of one of the best attempts to combat homelessness in Melbourne I've come accross. It feels good to know we're not all rich thoughtless arseholes.

Perhaps, with the beginning of such grand things, this year hasn't been such a "nothing year" after all. The illness that plagued me like a blowfly trapped in a bedroom for a few months of this year is all but gone, and I seem to be slowly and sloppily overcoming my writers' block. I may not have the money for my piano lessons, but by scrimping and scrounging I've saved up three quarters of the dosh I need for the piano/keyboard I've craved for over a decade.

To be honest, the last couple of months of my existence were probably the best I've ever had.  I saw the incredible Tim Burton exhibition, was part of the crowd that sang Underground leaving Megan Washington amazed, gave up meat (and convinced myself I have to eat mushrooms), had my mind blown by indie noir cabaret, and somehow became very, very close to people who are so very far away. Thanks to the beautiful human beings in my life, I'm bridging the gaps that money made around me; in December, I'll even fly for the first time. On a plane, but you get the cheesy metaphor.

"Seals" photo by Alex Williamson;
edited by Hannah Tricker.