Sunday, March 15, 2009

This raging life

What happens at 9.30 on a Saturday night? 

Well about an hour ago, the kids of the neighbours next door sold 2 grams to the even younger kids from down the street, and with their spoils have headed off to the nudie bar up on Sydney Rd and are currently getting a private show from the freshest young thing on the menu who just this week arrived back from Bangkok with her new pair, which have been workin' a treat for her now for five nights running.  Right this minute, as she's blowing a bubble with her grape-flavoured gum and shaking her new acquisitions in front of young Aristos' slavering leer, she's trying to work out how many more weeks of bucks' parties and footy club break-ups she's got before she's able to pay off her investment.

Not all that long ago, I would have been down at the Evelyn by 9.30 on a Saturday night, already with six or seven pots under my belt and watching Matt Healey from The Fireballs bashing-out psychobilly power riffs whilst hanging upside down from one of the designer-unfinished-ceiling beams.  As I swayed and staggered back and forth across the sticky carpet (occasionally in time with the music), I'd catch the eye of one of my fellow revellers; an eclectic mix of piercings, fedoras, acid wash denim and faux fur-trimmed parkers, and give a conspiratorial nod which would be returned with a welcoming grin.  The Evelyn Hotel's always been a bit of a freak show, and back then, I was as much part of the circus as anyone.  At 9.30 on a Saturday night, the front bar of "The Ev" was a scene of tribal belonging, in which I, with my pains-takingly scuffed and muddied work boots, slashed jeans and skin-tight, Albert Einstein t-shirt, was as much a member of the community as anybody.

But things change.  Tonight at 9.30pm, I was on my way back from the convenience store where I'd been charged with the mission of procuring life-or-death quantities of chocolate.  I was in a tremendous rush to get back for RocKwiz, because sitting at home in front of the box watching people enjoying themselves at the pub on a Saturday night is about as close as I get to it these days, and I couldn't afford to miss even a minute of the fun.

In my urgency, I unthinkingly broke one of the after-dark golden rules of all discerning inner-suburbanites, and executed a short-cut down one of the sinister, cobbled alleys along which the night soil men once executed the householders' sanitation requirements in the wee, small hours, but along which decades of decay and misuse had left nothing behind but uneven, broken blue-stones and fetid microcosms of breeding parasites.  As if staying-in on a Saturday night and watching TV wasn't enough of a signal of the inevitable ebb of time, the contrast of my current circumstances with the good ol' days at The Evelyn was brought crashing home to me when a misplaced step into one of these breeding sites, from which my trusty, Saturday night work boots may once have spared me a pedal dowsing, saw my sandal-shod sock suddenly transformed into a stinking, slimy mess. 

I cursed as the mucky ooze blended with the tinea in my inter-digital spaces, and I staggered blindly around the corner of the alley before catching my dry foot on something soft but solid, and sprawling onto the dirty stones.  "Fuck off, will ya old man!" howled a female teen with pin-point pupils who was down on her knees in front of her male companion who, with equally narrowed, yet un-focusing eyes, was grinning slyly at me.  Clearly the afore-mentioned "even younger kids" had successfully cut their 2 grams into something a little more voluminous and were out here in the alleys making their product work for them as only crack can.  Shocked, disoriented and curiously embarrassed, I mumbled some lame apology for my disturbing presence in their nocturnal habitat, and I soggily and groggily hot-footed it back home with my chocolatey spoils to hug my wife in a fierce embrace which silently shouted, "Don't make me go back out there again!".

There's oh-so-much going on at 9.30 on a Saturday night, but that doesn't mean we all have to be a part of it.  There's a place for everyone, and being locked-up tightly behind security doors and shuttered windows, with a beer and chocolate and watching make believe junkies and whores in far-off America on CSI is definitely mine.

Don't go near Mebourne's alleys after dark if you're an old, yeller suburbanite.  Pic: http://farm4.static.flickr.com

5 comments:

Ann oDyne said...

"Down these mean streets, a man must go, who is not himself, mean."

(Raymond Chandler, in one of his great novels)

do it again next week, with backup, boots, floodlight and camera.

F.G. Marshall-Stacks said...

Ms oDyne is a yak-brain if she thinks the DonkeyDad is gonna put hisself at risk.

Of course back in his Evelyn rafter swinging days, the scene in the lane was the same, and he didn't even notice it then.

DonkeyBlog said...

True Mr Marsh, I was usually out there chucking, pissing and/or dreaming about getting felacio

Luis Portugal said...

Hello
It has a nice blog.
Sorry not write more, but my English is bad writing.
A hug from my country, Portugal

Ann oDyne said...

felacio? you need to swing by Bwca Brownie & Boggart blog for Fr. Flahtio

because it's too peaceful here.
I hope that's a Good Thing.

peace and love, aod