It's ten past three on a Sunday afternoon and I can think of nothing I'd rather do than go back to bed. Two weeks holidays coming my way have taken the urgency out of things, but I'm keen to do some more riding, clean the house, catch up with old friends.
Sometimes the latter is a little difficult, however. For some reason being a punk means that your friends - and probably you - are transient by nature, constantly moving to different cities or leaving the country for substantial parts of the year. I was guilty of this for years, but now that I'm something of a stay-at-home, I feel other people's departures more keenly. Such is the case with my former housemate Tara Jayne, who took off from Tullamarine on Tuesday morning and arrived in New York shortly thereafter. She'll be hanging out with her boyfriend for the next few months, and claims that she'll be back in the spring, but love's calling is louder than the responsibilities of home, and visa laws in the states are easy to flout. I'm not sure when I'll see her again.
She'll hate me writing this, embarrassed as she is by compliments. I can only hope that she'll be too busy forming bands or making music or hopping freights around the country to read it.
I reckon I'd known her about a month. I was the one leaving this time, heading back to Montreal and a very uncertain future. I told her if it sucked I'd be back before too long. "Well, I hope it sucks then," she told me, "because it's been rad hanging out."
Despite meeting some of the best people in the world, it did suck, and when I arrived back in the country she asked me if I wanted to move in with her. We lived in a fancy apartment on the wrong side of the river. We did what we could to bring property values down: hosting impromptu pool parties full of punks, throwing leftover pancakes at the building opposite, bringing up sweet finds from hard rubbish and blasting the stereo all freaking night. In this time I saw her go from the shy girl who worked at Missing Link to someone who sang in a band, ran a record label, organized tours for international punk rock superstars and generally feel more confident about the things she wanted to do. To say she blossomed sounds patronizing - perhaps it's better to say she came into her own.
When you're growing, doing awesome things and generally moving outwards into the world, Melbourne can start to seem a little small. It's no surprise that she's spending more time in the States. The sheer number of opportunities for her there, compared to here, probably feels like going from a soup kitchen to a buffet. I hope she eats more than her fill, goes back for seconds and thirds.
I should, I suppose, clarify a few things. She wasn't ever my girlfriend. She is quite attractive, but I never saw her that way. We never made out, were never intimate beyond hugging and an occasional arm thrown around the shoulders. In the last few months before we left I didn't even see her that often. But now that she's not around, that there's no chance of bumping into her at a show or even just in the street, I miss the hell out of her.