Melbourne Within Me: Excerpts From My Journal

23 March 2020

Seagulls of St Kilda beach have mastered their craft, each learnt to fly to the highest of heights. They do not flap their wings frantically like city sparrows who trust human beings, but they do love french-fries and I too have felt greed, the lust for the tangibles of Collins Street. I too, devoured the regrettable for a minute’s pleasure, I too lived sometimes, a little and too much. 

189 Elgin Street is a cafe which holds what I thought we had lost: good soup and a slow view. It is a museum of inefficient objects put to dance. Michael said he had built the whole cafe with his bare hands (and of course a few tools). He said no one else could have put it together exactly like he did. I said, in that case this is poetry. Nadeen asks the visitors their names, not to misspell them on identical plastic cups but to exchange tales, centuries apart, and I too have a reluctance to change. I too have made running time the butt of my jokes. 

In Fitzroy along the spray-painted walls there is a hidden bar where old ladies with green hair perfectly belong. Its for the forever teenagers, always under construction and has a narrow door on the side. Never settling and completely unsettled within. Some days I find mirrors with black lip prints, and freshly broken shackles on the floor. The shop next to it is for yoga and massage, the one next to it is a bar which holds tipsy poets on wednesdays; a boy stands up on stage, he says Fitzroy is ‘mess appreciated’. 

Walking through Carlton gardens, the rows of yellowing old elm trees shed their leaves on me, Since I am alone here, I like to imagine them to be a visible form of my grandmother’s blessings; and why would I not? The elm trees wear their wrinkles just as proudly. I walk slowly letting my body catch as many of the frail little leaves, while making sure nobody catches me doing so. There are a few things we just don’t explain.

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