The Abysmal Life of Crayon

Experience the joys in the life of jaded Sydney-siders Crayon and Jamin-kun.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

treading water

I am not feeling particularly bloggerish lately. I mean, whats the point. I think too many people know who I am now. I'm going to have to start again. This time I'll be more careful. It was better when I was anonymous, unfettered.

I was able to write about anything, because I knew there was nothing holding me back.

It's 8:30 in the morning here in Sydney. The cold winter sun is disintegrating over the harbour. A lone ferry pushes its way through the icy grey water, and rippling, sand-like clouds drift overhead.

Steam rises from the tops of buildings in the city. The pavements recovering from the onslaught of rain from last night.

I didn't know what to do with myself last night. I was anxious, my stomach a knot of butterflies and insects.

I have resigned from my job. And now the voice inside me is saying "What are you going to do?"

Jamin-kun and I are going overseas. We are going to Europe. For a long time. It wasn't a spur of the moment thing. But now, I sense that we wanted to experience the freedom of just being able to say, "I am leaving, and I am leaving now." And so, with miminal planning, we leave in a month.

We will buy a campervan together, and then roam, nomadically, until we feel we’ve done enough.

Never have I ever travelled like this before. Never with nothing in front of me or behind me. We are simply going to go from one place to the next in the van, live out of the back, cook food on the stove, maybe work in farms along the way, perhaps get some fruit picking jobs in the summer. When we move out of the house in three weeks, we will get rid of everything, sell it, give it away, throw it our…and only have the back packs on our backs, and our passports.

We’ve worked out we can survive together for up to 10 months on the money we both have saved. That is, if we live like we’ve never lived before.

But I have always wanted to do that. Always wanted to get rid of the stereo, the TV, the phone, the mobile, the computer, the meaningless accessories we seem unable to live without.

But last night, I wandered around the house, not wanting to feel the knot of anxiety that was steadily growing.

Obviously this is going to take courage.

Well then. All I can do is go; try; live the way I’ve always wanted. At least so I can prove to myself that I am not made up of what I own. Or what I do. This post could get a touch philosophical. Or perhaps this blog has been philosophical all along, and I don’t even realise that this is what it’s been all about. Me trying to understand myself.

Why do something quite so extreme as leaving everything you know, and going somewhere where you have no security, no house, no money, no job, no life. What is it that deadens people if they stay in one place for too long. I’m sick of asking, and perhaps leaving now is my way of saying to myself, stop spouting ideas and philosophies, put yourself out there and experience.

I think this may be one of my last posts as Crayon.

Tomorrow I will be noone again.


Thursday, August 05, 2004

Gerbils are the best sort of person to be

I have been feeling sad lately. Again. I am sad sack. I am, once more, Abysmal Crayon.

Don't particularly feel like talking much, but there you have it, I can't help myself.

I also can't help but feel sometimes I wish I was the only person on the planet. Like, that there was no one, not a single person to annoy me, to tell me what to do, to ask me something.

I know it's irrational, because I all I want to do when I get home at night is talk to Jamin-kun. I don't know what it is about me a silence. I love silence. Perhaps it is because it is slightly harder for me to cope with so many external noises because of my hearing aids? I don't know.

All I know is I sometimes, just wish I could get far far away from everything - noise, light, people, animals, cars, trains.

There is so little space in the city, no where that you can truly be alone.

I used to be able to get that "alone" feeling more often when I was at university. At those times, I would go into a cafe, library, bar, walk the streets, and I just would feel completely disconnected to everyone, like, they were all so different, and I couldn't understand them, and they couldn't understand me.

However, these days, I dont get the "observer/flaneur" feeling, I just feel like I am part of the whole waterslide you know? I going up the stairs with everyone else, and I can't turn around and go back because the crowds too big.

I can't turn around and say "Get me the fuck off! I only want to watch!"

The only way is up, and when the time comes, the only way is down the slide, with everyone else. I feel like I am doing things i dont want to do because this is what everyone says is right and correct.

I was cursing myself as I walked up the street at lunchtime today. Cursing myself that I had not become an artist.

I was way to scared to go against the grain.

I still cannot believe it sometimes. I had always been so sure of myself. So, so sure! I used to write journals when I was in year 8 and 9, only pretty, scented pink paper, in one of those Diaries that locked up and had a key, and I wrote things like "Never let anyone tell you what to do, dont feel bad about being different...Be true to yourself. Do what you want to do. Oh, and I like Mark, that guy in the Maths class up the hall. And I hate Wendy, shes a back stabber."

It might seem idiotic now, but I tried so hard. But heartfelt desires can be so easily and cleverly masked by societal pressures.

I guess no one would really do anything if there was no one to compete against, or compare against. it'd be too easy just to drift into a comfortable flatness of doing the bare minimum, excelling in nothing.

But this is exactly what I have been agonising over. If this comfortable flatness feels good, is it so bad?

Sometimes i wish I was a tree.

Or a gerbil.

Maybe a peice of sand in the desert.

No, a gerbil is good.


Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Art and Crazy People

Went to the Art Gallery today, and saw something that really made me think, something that I am afraid Art today does not do often.

The Sydney Biennal Festival is on, and the Sydney Museum of Modern Art had an exhibition. Usually I find their stuff too stifling, too cool, too meaningless and abstract.

Today, I went in on my lunch break, desperate for a bit of beauty and sadness to ease the fickleness of the day.

Went to the museum, head down, not wanting to see the world. There was a Video installation, one of those cordonned off areas where they play weird Art Movies and Short Films.

I didn't even read the Introduction that was stuck on the wall before you walk in.
"Surprise me, fuckers." I thought..."Come on. Do your Art. Make me think."

I sat down, between people sitting, standing, people kneeling in the darkness.

There was a woman on the screen writing something on a blackboard. It was her name. Then she went and sat down, and started to speak. She looked crazy, haggard, hair all over the place and weird inflictions in her voice.

It turned out to be a short film called "12 Women and a Marionette" as part of larger work called "La Passion de Joan D'Arc", by an Australian guy, and was set in the Rozelle Mental Hospital near Balmain in Sydney.

When I say it was 'set in the hospital', I mean it actually just went through each of the 12 women from the hospital while they talked about anything.

It was so so heart breaking, they were so alienated, all of them had some kind of mental illness, all of them had some kind of terrible life, all of them were just beautiful once you listened to what they had to say.

These are the type of people that you see living on the street, and while you might feel sorry for them, you don't really understand them, or think them 'beautiful', or even see them as human beings.

I could feel myself wishing, as I watched, that I could use magic or something to suddenly make this film come onto every single cinema screen that was playing a Blockbuster across the country; cause every single television tuned to "Who Wants Be a Millionaire" to flick to this film and they stay there all night; and hope that normal people would see these women and perhaps, somehow, understand.


Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Are you willing to experience fear and uncertainty in your life in order to experience the extraordinary.

i know i said i wouldn't write again for a while. But I felt it would be bad luck to leave my blog on such a depressing note for too long.

So, something happened just then while I was working on the computer at work. I was flicking through the electronic calender they use here. flicking through all the years, months, saying to myself "march 2005, I'll be 25, April 2005, I'll be 25, January 2006, I'll be 26" and so on.

Just struck me that I probably wont be in the same job when those dates finally tick over in this electronic calender that I am using now.

Who knows where I will be.

Maybe this is the thing that has been scaring me so much, causing me to wake at night. For the first time in my life, I realise that I am actually living...That THIS is life, and not a dress rehearsal, and not university, which is "preparing me" for "Life"....and this is not how I thought my life would be.

I had pictures and dreams of what I thought I would be doing when I was 20, 25, 28, 30, 35, 40. My ideas of what I would be doing as a 24 year old, when I was 15 or 16 are VASTLY different to what I am doing now.

This means then, that what I am thinking I might do in the next 5 - 10 years, is no where near what I really will be doing.

Where on earth will I be??? For some stupid stupid reason, I really want to know. But wouldn't that be boring if you knew where you were going to be in 10 years time? There would be no spontaneity. No surprises. No fear. No excitement.

As much as I don't want the fear, I want all the other stuff so much, that I am willing to feel afraid in order to feel them.

That is what you've gotta weigh up, I guess.

Are you willing to experience fear and uncertainty in your life in order to experience the extraordinary. Am I?

I think so.


Tuesday, July 06, 2004

This Abysmal Life

This really sucks, everything sucks, I'm tired, cranky, I feel sick, work is shit, I feel like shit, wish I was dead, didn't sleep last night, did the whole bed flip thing again, sleeping down the other end of the bed, Jamin-kun, poor guy, followed suit, I feel so cruel, and am so irritated with myself, I wish I would just shut up and go away, but I just cant get away from myself, that is the most awful terrifying thing.


Sunday, July 04, 2004

Dreamscapes and Nightmares

Last night I woke up crying again - I have done so for the past three or four nights. At 3am I seem to suddenly awaken from deep sleep, gasping and weeping. I have no idea why. It is very disturbing, but usually I am so tired I can't do anything except lie there in the dark, breathing hard, and wondering what it was that made me cry so hard...

I asked Jamin-kun this morning if he heard me last night, or at all the last couple of nights, and he said no. But I think he might have heard me subconciously, because when I awoke on the second night of this happening, he woke with me, and blindly, sleepily put his arm around me and pulled me close.

This morning, I tried so hard to remember what it was that made me weep so hard that I was actually pulled from my sleep.

I know it had something to do with someone not understanding me at all, and trying to hurt me in some way, or hurting the people I loved because of something that I had done. But the "thing" I had done was completely misunderstood, and...I can't even explain it, its too hard.

Anyway, its left me feeling a little dazed over this week.

Jamin-kun went to Gomez on Friday night - they were playing at the Metro, and since I am not a huge fan of theirs, and it costs seventy bucks to get in, I decided to hang out in the city with my girlfriends.

So, me and my four girlfriends went to a cheap little Italian restuarant off the main drag on the border of Chinatown, me, Fi, Shaz and Treen.

We got all rowdy, fuelled my red wine, giggles and hyperactive conversation. It was a really fun night, and we didn't want to leave the restaurant.

Soon, it was closed (it was almost midnight), and we were the only ones left there, they let us stay there finishing off our wine.

We somehow got onto the subject of school, and how we had done in our last year. We all related our stresses and fears of doing well, and the expectations our high schools had put upon us...

Shaz said:
"I didn't do as well as I could have, but it was the accident, you know."

I was like, "What? Hang on, an accident? What the fuck happened? I've never heard about this." I knew Shaz through Uni, not through school, so I had no idea what she was talking about.

And she said: "Well, you know my brother was nearly bashed to death when I was in Year 12 at school. He nearly died, and was in a coma for a while."

"No shit?" we all started at her goggle eyed - I couldnt believe it. I didn't know her brother, but Shaz was one of these people who you think have never had a bad thing happen to them. She is one of those people who have no bitterness, no hate, and certainly, a positive perspective that can only point to an easy life.

Luckily, because of the wine, we began to ask the sort of questions we would have been desperate to know, but never brave enough to ask, had we been sober.

She told us this:

"My brother had just turned 18, and was at Manly in a pub celebrating a night out with his friends. He was just hanging out, not doing anything wrong. A bunch of Tongan guys that were getting rowdy, had accused one of the guys from this group of trying to pick up his girlfriend."

Apparently, she said, the rowdy guys got pumped up and confronted the group of boys, including Shaz's brother, about flirting with their girl, and it eventually started a fight...Shaz'z brother was the centre of the fight, the gang's focus.

He was pinned up against a wall, while the Tongan's, who were all on the same football team, all over 100kgs, ran at him, and jumped, kicking his body, his chest, his legs. All while on the dance floor. Lots of people tried to stop them, but there was only one security guard on that night. It kept going and going, with people screaming. Witnesses said he was apparently unconcious after the very first kick to the head.

After that there was no hope. Police came, ambulances. He was taken to hospital.

"My mum and I were called", said Shaz, "and we went to the hospital, they just told us he'd been in a fight. We didn't think it was serious. Guys get into fights all the time."

When they arrived however, the father was already there, and had been told they should spend the next 24 hours at his bedside, as he wasnt going to make it.

Shaz said "When I went into that room, it was one of the worst moments of my life - you couldnt see his face at all, his eyes we're swollen shut, his head was so big it was like he had elephantitis, his mouth was just a slash in his face. There was blood everywhere. We didnt think he was going to make it."

It turned out he lived...He was in a coma for four months. He recovered, but apparently he is not quite the same. The whole family went to court to face these brutes that beat him up. They were part of the Australian football team apparently, a major one, I don't know which one. Two of them were jailed for 5 years, and the others all got off. One of the jailed ones was LET OUT to PLAY an "IMPORTANT GAME OF FOOTBALL" with the New Zealand Team, because he was not legally allowed to represent Australia....Shaz's brother was in a wheel chair for about 6 months after he woke up, and had to learn to walk again, and speak again.

We all cried in that restaurant that night, sweetly, quietly, while we listened to her story. It was just so awful. And yet, I asked her, do you hate them? Are you worried about them getting out of jail? And she said, Well, its over now, he has regained a normal life, he doesn't remember what happened for up to two years before the "accident". The people who did it have paid in various ways over the years. And everyone makes mistakes.

I just felt so heavy, as we all walked out of the restaurant, out onto the street, into the vibrant night, so alive, and so energetic, and so seemingly oblvious to pain.


Monday, June 28, 2004

Breath Testing and Police

ah, ok. so far so good.

That weekend came quickly, and went even quicker.

I have to say I hate when this happens. But I didn't think about work once, which is a great thing.

Jamin-kun and I drove to Wollongong in my dodgy little white car on Friday night, which rattled along at 80-100km/h all the way there.

I got really excited when I saw the cops jump out from behind some bushes onto the highway, and start waving all the cars over.

I thought it was going to be something like "Miss, please stay away from here for the moment, we have an escaped lunatic up the road, and he's not feeling kindly tonight." but no, it was just breath testing.

So, I was like "Oooh breath testing, I'm so excited!" And the cop looked at me like I was crazy, and said "You haven't been drinking tonight, I take it."

"No sir," I said, "Absolutely not.." and did the breath test, the test came up negative, and away we went. But not before I asked if I could keep the nozzle thingy you breath into as a souvenir. He must have thought I was nuts, but I do it every time I get breath tested.

I had a funny incident happen to me once on a drive from Musswellbrook to Newcastle one Sunday afternoon about a month ago.

I got hungry at about 2 o'clock in the afternoon, and tried to find something other than McDonalds to eat....There was nothing but fast food joints as far as the eye could see along that dusty, sun scorched highway.

So I pulled over into the Maccas, bought myself a salad, and continued on my way...

Now, the thing is.. Have you ever tried to eat a salad while you are driving? I haven't and doubt I ever will again after that experience.

I got a couple of kilometres down the road, and had to pull over to put the salad dressing over it.

then, as I pulled back out into the traffic, I realised I had done a bit of a burn-out to get back into the fast flow of traffic. And there was a cop car in the lane next to mine.

no problem there, I hadn't really done anything wrong, just churned up a bit of dust, but i could see they were eyeing me as they drove next to me.

I ignored them, and continued to drive, but I slowed down so I was definitely under the speed limit. The cop car dropped right back as well, and got into my lane, but about 5 cars back.

SO..... I relaxed, and started to eat my salad with one hand, driving with the other. All was ok. Lights went red, slowed down, hand on wheel, tomato fell on leg, car wobbled a bit as I picked stuff off the seat, wiped my fingers, dripped dressing onto my lap, missed mouth with lettuce, slowed right down to get fork off the ground.

Then suddenly


The fucking police! Right behind me, lights blazing, and me FREAKING OUT, like "WHAT HAVE I DONE. OH SHIIIIIIT"

I pulled over, stuffed the rest of the salad under the seat, turned down the music and sat trembling, waiting for them to come over.

I thought to myself "Think Think, is it illegal to eat while you drive? Are salads illegal? Dont tell them, dont mention anything about food!"

The cop comes over, and I wind down my window, and before he says anything I squeak "What did I do!"

And he's like, "Breath test, Miss. Have you been drinking today?"

And I realised that they thought I was pissed as a skunk because I had been driving all over the road and going about 20 ks an hour!

The realisation was sudden and the relief VERY welcome. But I couldnt stop shaking, because I had such a shock. I felt like SUCH an idiot.

Anyway, I said to him "oh, man, this is so funny, you thought I was drunk cause I was driving all over the road! Oh MAN! I was just adjusting stuff in here, like...uh...putting tapes on and stuff."

And he said "Why did you pull over back there?"

And I said: "Oh, man, I was just putting dressing on my salad..I'm sorry, I'll never do that again."

And he laughed hard and let me go, and as I drove away, my foot was shaking so much on the clutch that I did another skid!


I love the cops. But only when I'm good.


Thursday, June 24, 2004

Blue Day

I am feeling quite depressed today. I am not sure why. It was so hard to get out of bed, so hard to go to work, and I was snapping at Jamin-kun. And then just staring gloomily out the window of the bus. The sky is so grey today.

It is the kind of day that is making me just want to go home and put my head under the blankets and not see light, or talk to anyone, or open my eyes. I just want to drift in darkness, and wallow in my sadness, which seems to have settled on me like a blanket today for no reason at all.

The office is an irritating blare today. The fatties have been asking me to do stuff all morning. I just dont have the energy. Even Krispy Kreme donuts arent making me happy - just fat.

The weekend is only one and a half days away.

I'll try to live til then.


Monday, June 21, 2004

Rhymes of an Hour

Its dark again, i'm in the lounge room, It's 11:53pm. Eerily quiet down here, and cold, except for the sound of the music. Jamin-kun has retired to bed. Usually he is up until midnight or later playing video games, and yet lately I have been the one staying up lately.

There is a certain lonliness to the internet and computers that repels and yet compels me to stay here and search, read, and write.

I often worry about living in a dream world of the online, or "the Wired" as Lain fans would understand (Lain is an anime film about a girl living in a fantasy world of the Wired, which is a kind of internet, and soon the lines of reality and fanstasy are blurred).

Anyway, its a very eerie anime series, one of the ones that I have to admit affected me enough to SMS Jamin-kun from under the covers one night requesting him to come home from a party cause I was scared.

BUt thats another story (see my entry "Saturday Night" for THAT story!)

I remember times when I was living at home with my mum in Sydney, and I was really unhappy because of certain things that were going on in my life. I didn't like the people I was hanging out with much, didn't like anyone much, and didnt really feel like I fitted in anywhere.

At about age 19 and 20, I remember feeling so utterly alone, and sitting up in my bedroom, the scent of jasmine and midnight pressing itself against the windowsill - I'd be sitting there in the darkness typing just like I am now. And downstairs on the street, cars would be slowly driving up and down the street, people would walk arm in arm, cats slinking past.

Anyway, I remember this one night I had been out at someones house, drinking a lot. I was drunk and sad and lonely. I had gotten home, and felt so depressed, I just decided to go for a walk very late in the night. Everyone was asleep, it was a strange night, like a Wednesday or something, a night where there is just NOTHING open, nothing happening...Its like the world has died.

I went out of our apartment block into the darkness, and just walked.

I got to this street in North Sydney that I love, it's one of those streets that always has welcoming cooking smells at twighlight and kids playing, and huge trees over hanging it, and little terraced houses with friendly looking lights.

I walked in the direction of this street for some reason. I dont know why.

When I got there, it must have been about 3 or 4am. I was still really affected by the alcohol, and I just remember getting there and not knowing what to do, because it was completely dark, not a single light on at any of the houses, the street had this menacingly dark look to it. I thought I could see shadows walking down the dark pathway towards me. I was scrunching up my eyes against the darkness, and still see these figures moved towards me, that awful trick that the darkness plays on you. But I thought I could hear something too, but had no idea what it was.

I stood stock still in the middle of the pathway under the darkest part of the trees, trembling, trying not to make any noise, and then all of a sudden, I heard it. I heard the sound of wolves howling, very faintly, very very faintly, like coming from under the ground or something - I kid you not, and I have an explaination for it too - because of my bad hearing, I tend to get the sounds of the lost nerves in my ear, my brain actually plays a trick on me, plays the memories of the lost tones I cant hear - kind of like tinnitus, the disease where you get ringing and buzzing in your ears - I am hearing them all at once sometimes, especially when I am tired and its very quiet. Most of the time they sound like far off packs of wolves baying, at other times, it can sound like a kind of eerie wailing.

So there I was standing utterly alone in the darkness with these strange noises and darkness moving around me. What did i do? Was I scared? I had been terrified up til then, but then I realised that I really didnt care what got me, as I was so sad about certain things that had been happening (some of these had led to attempts at suicide), and I just wanted anything to get me, to end it.

And I just started to cry, in the darkness, sobbing, and felt so so heavy, I couldn't do anything, I just lay down beside the pathway on some of the garden that was built into the verge near the road. It filled with big soft plants and bushes, but it was wet from dew, and I got it in my hair, and on my clothes, but I just didnt care.

I lay down there and just cried for a while, I dont know for how long. It was one of the most disturbing experiences I have ever had.

And the whole time no one ever came up that little street - even if they had, they wouldnt have noticed me lying there in the garden under the tree.

Thinking about it now, is that kind of crazy? I mean psychologically crazy? Perhaps I could be institutionalised for that. I remember thinking much later that I would kill myself if I couldnt get the sounds of the wolves away from my head.

But when I realised I wasnt actually imagining them, and they were actually my memories of sounds, I tried to 'make peace' with the wolves, so to speak. And we formed an alliance of sorts.

They usually came, baying, out of the darkness, especially after I had been drinking, and when I was depressed. I welcomed them then, though. We howled together, like we did that night.


The Sadness of Things

well, here I am at work again. Its lunch time, but I have gotten so settled in my chair at my desk, I feel like I dont want to move. I know thats weird. I used to bound out of the office the minute the clock struck 1pm, and these days, I just don't care, I dont have the energy.

Anyway, I had a fairly boring weekend. Jamin-kun and I went to a party over the weekend, at a friends house in Bondi. It was ok - but you know what has happened? Our group of friends used to be huge and crazy, we would all meet for parties and drinks and dinners and things.

This year almost half of them have all gone overseas. There are only about 8 of us left, when there used to be almost 15-20! We were all friends through university, school, and friends of friends. It used to be so much fun to feel like part of huge group - we used to go to Music Festivals and 30 of us would rent a holiday house or bungalow somewhere on the Coast, Byron Bay or something, and hang out.

I thought it would never end.

But this weekend, I realised it had. It was over.

I don't mean that I will never see my friends again, and we will never have fun again, but I know deep inside that it wont ever be like the sense of crazy belonging and wild enthusiasm we had.

We were connected by our youth, by our freedom, by the constant search for 'something' that we thought was going to make life complete, and we could relate to each others' energy.

It has changed. We are growing up slowly. Here and there one of the gang ends up moving away, and working full time, and getting serious with their girlfriend or boyfriend.

It is sad, but makes the moments you have with your friends all the more poignant.

I remember standing in the midst of the crowd at the Sydney Field Day Festival. It was held in this huge park in the centre of the city, 'The Domain'.

There were over 17,000 people packed into the festival area. There were atleast 8 tents with different types of music playing.

The sun was slowly going down over the city, and the fruit bats were flying over the park heading south-east to Centennial Park. The heat was intense, because it was in the middle of summer. Girls with their singlets and skirts, guys with their t-shirts and cargo pants.

We were all together, our whole group, and so many other people we knew. The music was deep and rhythmic, and was just this heavy "boom boom boom, boom boom, boom".

I remember us screaming as the bands came on, one after the other, and of course we were hugging each other, and it was just crazy, so much happening around you, and so much energy in the place.

I remember standing there suddenly, really still, trying not to get caught up in the mad rush of feeling and audio and visual overload, and trying to really see.

It was surreal.

I stood on my tiptoes, lookin over everyones heads, and switched off my hearing aids.

Everything seemed to slow down into slow motion as the deep booming of the music became a low rumble through my body, and everyones voices were suddenly silent.

Only their faces were still animated, I couldnt hear much. Just the flashes of colour, and deep vibrating beat.

I suddenly pictured myself when I am 80 years old, sitting in a tiny house somewhere in the future. Perhaps I am surrounded by family, close to death, and am thinking about all the things in my life that I have ever done.

Will I remember this time when I was in my twenties? Will I ever remember this exact moment? This moment which I really felt was significant at the time, and has perhaps changed and influenced the sort of person I am and that I will become?

Will my grandchildren ever be able to understand what it was like for me then, and be able to recognise that I too was once young and full of life and energy like they were.

It is a hard thing for humans to accept, and especially for youth, that they could one day die. But we will come to understand it, because we will eventually have to face our own impermanence, there is absolutely no question about that.

Fragile, complex, everchanging.

I stood very still amidst the craziness of that music festival, and I was struck by the impermanence of everything, that heavy, slow sadness and beauty of things that do not last forever.


Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Churches smell like old books

It's one minute to midnight, and I am not sleepy.

The TV is stuck on the SBS Channel and is making no sound.

The dishwasher is slowly coming to a stop, and the living room is in complete darkness as I sit here typing.

Work tomorrow. I'm in trouble. My boss wants to see my at 3:30pm in the board room.

Apparently there have been some mistakes, and they point in my direction. I haven't done anything wrong. I am beginning to worry.

Today, after our work in progress meeting, I went and sat in a tiny cafe in the city that is part of an old church. I just had to get away from the city, and the business men and women, the rush, the lunches, the dash from the office to the sandwhich shop, I had to get away from the buses, honking horns, the cold, the scarves, the high heels, the lipstick, blow dries, the ties, and matching vests, cappucinos and lattes....It all made me really really cranky.

So I went up the hill to this church which has a tiny coffee shop way in the back beside the actual churchy part. And I sat down in the muted darkness.

It was quiet, and smelt beautiful, like old books.

How could people miss this place? How could people not crowd in here trying to get away from the world? But I was so glad they weren't.

One of the ladies who was working there came up to me, and gave me a smile;
"Hello love, what'll you have." she actually sat down opposite me to take my order, and listened intently to me as I told her I wanted a flat white and an anzac biscuit.

She wrote out my order so carefully and precisely. When she got up and smiled, and walked to the kitchen, I realised she was wearing a badge that said "Volunteer".

Later, I asked her, was she paid anything at all? Nope...Nothing. And they were ALL volunteers. Every single one on them. Volunteers.

I went back to work with a strange feeling that none of us working in our high rises and office blocks really understood that certain feeling calm that comes with doing something for nothing...

I'll go back tomorrow.


Sunday, June 13, 2004

Drugs, and why I like them

I'm just remembering today one of the first times I took drugs. I dont know why. You know how something just triggers it, you're sitting at your desk at work, maybe driving your car, perhaps lying in bed staring at the ceiling in the dark...and you are suddenly taken back to that time, that moment, several years ago, a decade ago, a lifetime ago.

When I was 22, I was in Sydney, studying at Uni, and hanging out with a certain "crowd". I remember thinking they were all very cool, I had been introduced to them by my friend from school, Sooshie.

We went out to a club called Sublime in the centre of the city - the club has gone now of course, but the memories still linger.

She had gotten drugs from this group of hers, some pills for us to take. We were meant to meet them there, but it turned out they were going to a party we "werent invited too, sorry man". And so it went, we decided to get completely fucked up on our own with some drugs we'd had little experience with.

We went into the toilets, swallowed these pills, our hearts hammering, and the bitter taste lingering for too long in the backs of our throats.

Back outside the music was pumping. So loud, it vibrated through every bone in your body; so loud, your teeth hurt.

I remember us sitting, lighting cigarettes, and "waiting".

The great thing about drugs is that you are guaranteed a good time, no matter how shit the venue or the people...You know that whatever happens, you are going to be so blown away by it you'll remember it forever.

After a while, I realised I was staring hard at one point of light at the bar, and I was stroking the white part of my cigarette like it was a pet or something.

Everything felt very smooth and wonderful and good and so so right. There was nothing to worry about. Heat surged through my body, up my arms and between my legs. I pressed my thighs together, and trembled, waiting for more.

I looked over at Sooshie, but the look on her face was totally freaked out.

"Crayon," she shouted over the music, "I want to get out of here. I have to get out of here now!"

She got up, and tottered over the exit of the club, and I was like "Oh SHIT, whats going on!"

I tried to stop her falling over, and asked "Are you ok?" but she just pushed past me and out of the club.

Outside, shivering, she started to retch onto the ground in a darkened alley way. There was nothing else I could do but stand near her and rub her back. People glanced in our direction as they walked past in the bright lights of the main street.

In the darkness, suddenly I could feel everything curling up around me, like the darkness was trying to touch me, to drag me into its arms. I said: "Oh cool, this alley way loves me, I think it loves us, Sooshie, its trying to hug us, to show us everything is ok."

Sooshie swung around, wild-eyed, and said to me: "I feel it too. Like its reaching out."

"You're ok now?" I asked

She looked terrible, and was looking about crazily, but said "More or less." in a normal voice.

We both stood in the darkness, out teeth chattering, and feeling the love that the alleyway was so wonderfully trying to show us.

We ended up in Kings Cross that night, a dodgy area of Sydney known for its drugs, brothels, bars, and crime. We were 22 years old, both of us, good girls, University students, and totally out of control.

We met a guy on the street who told us his name was Breton or something. He could tell we were completely out of it, and offered to walk with us, as we "discovered more of the beauty" of the Cross. We thought he was just drunk, but it turned out the litre coke bottle he was drinking out of had some kind of drug in it too. We sat, all three of us, hallucinating at the fountain in the main park.

We were there til dawn.

Of course, it never ends as well as it starts. I was scared of him after the drugs wore off, and realised we had been smoking someones marijuiana that we had bought in a cafe at 4am, and were rolling joints out of a newspaper we found in the park.

And of course, the sun rose, and the reality set it, the awful the truth, our seediness, and after giving an excuse to Breton, I went home with Sooshie, Breton continued on his way to Bondi, which is where he'd been walking when he'd noticed two girls, hand in hand at 1am, walking the streets of Kings Cross.

And so it goes.

At work, or at a lunch somewhere, or with old school friends, with people who know me as the good Crayon, who went to university, studied hard, has a job, and a good family – I suddenly remember these adventures.

I will tell more someday. These are parts of life that remind you every now and then that people cannot always judge you just by what they know... you are not always what people think you are.

And for some reason....that is reassuring.


Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Nocturnal Walks

Yay!!!! the day is nearly over, its 5:20pm, and i am getting ready to leave work.

Anyway, I am about to meet Jamin-kun in at The Rocks, and we will walk home!! This is a BIG thing, as walking home means walking over the massive Sydney Harbour Bridge, then all the way through Kirribilli, (maybe past the Prime Ministers house! Shout some anti-war slogans at him while he's having a bath!!) and then up through the suburbs to our little town house.

Ahhh, good excerise, and should compliment beautifully my lovely Yoga class from last night.

Anyway, so we shall be walking through the darkness, for about an hour.

I love these sorts of walks because you can smell all the different types of smells of people cooking, laundry being washed, the sharp scent of leaves and dirt and flowers in the darkness.

And of course, you can see into people's windows. I love that. People with their lights on in the living room, the kitchen, their bedrooms. You can see right in.

People sitting together, oblivious to my searching eyes...among things I have seen on my walks at night after work are.....
a young couple with their heads slightly touching as they look at something in the newspaper on the couch; a mother helping her son on the computer; a guy twirling his girlfriend (maybe) around his living room and her laughing a shouting; a little boy sitting in a window sill with his cat, just looking at his own reflection in the glass; hundreds of people washing up; a guy playing computer games; an old man watching the news on TV.

Its simple, but very moving to see these people who are so human, living their lives as best they can. It is humbling.

Its 5:30 now, Jamin-kun calls, and a nocturnal walk it is...

..until tomorrow....


Images used on this blog

For those of you who love the pictures I have used on this blog, I feel I should point out where I got them.

These are photographs of children by reknowned photographer Lorette Lux, originally from Germany, living in Dublin in Ireland.

Have a look for yourself, her pictures stun me with their weirdness and beauty.

ciao for now.

- C


Something Sad That Happened

I just remembered something sad that happened.

Last weekend, I went to my brothers house to see some Aunts of mine (they are the wives of my mums brothers - if you can follow that)....

And they have known me and my brothers and sister all our lives, all our families are very close, though we dont get to see each other very much.

Anyway, what happened was, these Aunts of mine visited, and my two brothers and I met them for 'afternoon tea' at my brothers house in the suburbs.

We were talking about our memories and cackling over them, and so on. We were talking about all the little kids in the family, and how they are growing up, and it transpired that little Laura, who had always been the baby, has now taken up piano lessons, and is playing almost as well as her dad (who is my uncle).

My aunt brenda turned to me and said, "You were always the most brilliant pianist in the family. How are you going with that."

I could barely answer.

The truth is, I stopped playing the piano when i realised I couldnt hear the notes anymore.

It was devastating..

I had played the piano all my life, from when I was 5 or six, and I was very very good.

I remember one teacher muttering under her breath when she heard me play "How?", I was only about 7, but I had already mastered a french pycho grade 8 peice (hardest grade - professional grade)at that age, and was belting out this peice like I was having a tantrum.

I won many many prizes, and just loved the feel of the music coming through my fingers.

But one day. I was playing. And someone said to me, I dont remember who, "thats out of key, what you're playing."

And I didnt believe them,. I thought it sounded alright.

But I remember then sitting, stunned next to the piano, running my fingers across each note, and realising that I could no longer really distinguish the tones of each note across the board.

I wept, I remember. Just such a huge sadness. So so sad. It felt like I had died, or someone close to me had died. There was nothing I could do, because a few months later the doctors confirmed that I had a sensory-neural hearing loss, which was not brought on my disease or genetics. I was just unlucky.

So, I stopped playing.

I remember a few years ago I found a cassette tape I had made of myself playing all my favourite peices at age 8.

I cried when I heard that tape! I was at my mums when I found it, on my own luckily.... I sat down at the piano there, and tried to follow the music that I was playing on the tape... And I could not remember now how to play any of them, and couldn't if I tried, because I relied so much on hearing the music to play it.

I just wept and wept and wept.


Yoga and parking cars

Last night I decided to go to a Yoga class in Mosman, a very posh suburb of Sydney, it's fairly close to where Jamin-kun and I reside.

I even asked Jamin-kun if he wanted to come, but of course he looked at me like I'd just asked him to pull out his eyeballs and give them to me.

So, needless to say, I went alone.

I drove over, feeling virtuous, and found a miniscule parking spot, which was the last one left in the street. It was dark, cause it was around 7pm at night, and there were some people walking down the street.

I get all weird when I have to park in a hard parking spot with people watching me. Like I always hit something cause Im freaking out about trying not to stuff up.

Anyway, so its dark, the parking spot is about 3 metres wide, and the car is about 2 metres 99 cm.

I'm pulling into a reverse park, slowly, slowly, my head out the window, praying I dont hit the shiny white car behind or the shiny black one in front (what is it about rich people and shiny cars????).

I hear voices, and a group of people are walking past. They see me inching into this spot, and start to slow down, watching me and talking in hushed voices.

The sweat starts to drip, and my foot starts to jig over the clutch, cause I'm holding it in such a position.

Then I think im as far as I can go, I stop, reclaim the wheel and inch forwards, hoping that this audience will just move the fuck on! And what do I do?

BAM! into the one behind! There is a crunch, but by this time, im so pissed off at the people that slowed down to watch me fuck up, that I got out. and left the car parked at this totally skewed angle, and with a dent in the shiny white cars number plate, and tried to walk calmly to Yoga. (when I came back later that night I hit the one in front too as I left, HAHAHA).

Anyway, so I get to this gym which has this Yoga class, and there are people lined up outside the "studio" as they call it, already!

This was like, 15 minutes before the class was meant to start, for gods sake!!

Anyway, I'm there in my ripped kahki cargo pants, and a dirty white singlet that I'd worn to bed (i love that singlet, cause its so comfortable - I've worn many of my pyjama tops to work as well, cause they are so comfy. I love the feeling of thinking while in a meeting in a board room "Im wearing my pyjamas, suckers!!! And you dont even know! muhahahahah")

And so, I notice that this girl is looking at me. Then I notice this other girl is looking at me too. And Im thinking "WHAT the FUCK are you all LOOKING AT!!!" and then I realised that every woman in there was discreetly looking up and down at every other woman, like, checking out what she was wearing, and obviously thinking to herself "omigod, those gym shorts SO dont match that sports bra she has on. and her HAIR! She needs a colour NOW."

urghhhhhh, its my worst nightmare.

In the Yoga class it got worse. We had this girl, "Jenka" or something, she sounded swedish, and she was filling in for someone who normally took the class. She had this nervous laugh that seemed SO out of place in the "studio", i really felt for the poor girl.

Anyway, Jenka says "Now. I look over here. Follow me." and puts her leg up over her head, and everyone struggles to do the same, and she starts LAUGHING at us, and Im thinking, if you want me to do this shit, this is NOT helping.

And this went on and on. Every weird, disorted position she threw at us, she then proceeded to grin like a maniac, and say things under her breath like "Yah, we do it like that. he he he, thats it, Yah. very goot. he he he.."

We could hear her, even I could hear her, because she had one of those microphone things on. I figured maybe she'd been smoking some j's out the back with Sven the masseur in order to make it through another night of "zis Yoga with imbeciles!"

So, weird as it was, I nicked off half way through. After all, I'd done 50 minutes of Yogo. I was fit and flexible. When I got home I ate sausages, herrings, chocolate, icecream and brocolli. In that order. Makes me hungry, all that exercise.


Tuesday, June 08, 2004

boring weekend and sleepless night

I had a horrid weekend. Felt like I needed to get away from Jamin-kun, and hated that feeling.

Saturday and Sunday, I just did bugger all, and wandered around the house like a bored cat or something. You know how it is. Jamin-kun had his computer games, and I didn’t want to blog in front of him (our computers are next to each other in the living room – don’t ask me what it is about computer people who need to have a computer each, but we do). Anyway, I knew he’d be looking over my shoulder and I just can’t do it like that.

Anyway, so, I wandered around the house, picking things up, putting them back, going to the fridge, turning on the TV. I don’t even remember thinking. Not thinking at all. I HATE it when I am like that.

I felt completely dead. I have been living with Jamin-kun for only three months. I always thought if I cant live with him, it would have shown itself in the first three months you know?

But we have been happy and everythings been cool. But there he was, happy doing whatever, and me just fidgeting, having no idea what to do with myself.
And I started to get annoyed with him, and as the day wore on, my irritation got worse. It was like "how can you be so entertained by such shit, and me be bored! Not fair!"

But I suddently realised that I can’t always rely on him to do something with me…. I used to be so independant ...but now....We usually do EVERYTHING together. It was a weird feeling thinking, well, what do you like to do, girl? If you want to do something, do it!

And I realised that I have no interests other than writing, and maybe going to the movies, reading. It was like realising you are a loser, but youve been denying it by filling in time doing other stuff...

I sat down on the couch and fiddled with the cushion and said to Jamin-kun in my best whiny voice: “I’m so BORED.”, because I felt like it...

And he kept playing games, and said, without looking up: “Ok. So, do you want to do something?”

Now, this is the thing about Jamin-kun, he is so nice, any other girl would take such advantage of him, I just couldn’t, just COULDn’t be such a bitch and take him away from the game he was enjoying so much, one of those online geek strategy games..

So I said, no no…I’m going….to..go (and I was thinking, What can I do with myself?)…to the…library.”

And he stopped playing and looked at me.

“But it’s Sunday.”
“yeh..yeh, I know. I... like the library.”

And so I did. Went to the library.

And I seriously realised how much I love going there. I used to keep it a secret at school how I used to go to the library…for FUN. Yah, I wouldn’t have been too cool if they found that out.

But seriously, the library in North Sydney is beautiful. Trees all around it, big windows, and hundreds of thousands of books on every subject imaginable.

It was bliss. Don’t know what Jamin-kun thought of it though. I do lots of strange things actually….

Like last night, I couldn’t sleep. So I moved around the bed so I was upside down, my feet up near the pillows, my head down the other way. I could feel Jamin-kun drowsily wake up and roll over to nuzzle me like he normally does.

He put his hand on my feet, stopped, then sat up in the dark. I could see his sillhouette in the dark, and I could just imagine him going “What the fuck?” and I started to snigger! This was at three in the morning, and here I am sniggering at the thought of my boyfriend thinking I’d mutated into a foot head or something. Heheheheh.

Anyway, you know what he did? He shifted around until he was upside down too, with his feet on the pillow and went to sleep with his head next to mine!

Ah god he’s so wonderful!


Monday, June 07, 2004

Jamin-kun plays detective

So this week has been quite quiet.... our flatmate was down on the weekend to stay and her friend from Bathurst uni, tried out for Australian Idol...or was it Pop Stars? I cant remember, either way, she didnt get in. oh well. i thought it was a pretty brave thing to do.

Last night when were in bed, Jamin-kun was telling me how he had been looking for this blog. I am TERRIFIED he will find it, because everything in here that I talk about it just so…unhindered by what I think other people think….I don’t think I have really written anything bad about anyone, but I just don’t think I want people I know seeing me from such a raw, vulnerable angle.

He actually told me about how in his search for this blog, he had done searches that unearthed hundreds of other posts that I have made in various forums around cyberspace.

That TOTALLY freaked me out! It was like an invasion of privacy, cause I use secret names on all of them, but he knows some of my nicknames.

The one that worried me most was the posts I have made on a deafness forum, which I hate to admit to anyone that I go to. It is based in america, and the people on it all have a various degrees of deafness. But I think most of them are profoundly deaf.

Anyway, I feel like I can just talk about all the frustrations and sadnesses I encounter because of my hearing loss on there, and they totally understand. Deafness can be one of the lonliest things, because it quite often means you cant pick up the phone and call someone, or even talk to someone. Not a lot of people understand what it means to not be able to hear.

Anyway, Jamin-kun mentioned that he’d found this deaf site I had posted on, and my heart just dropped.

I said: “Oh no. Did you read any?” with a worried look on my face, and he laughed, and said, “What are you worried about, there was nothing bad in there?”, but it wasn’t that, it was the fact that I had been so open and honest about how much it hurts, and I didn’t want him to see that. Which is so so silly I know.

One of the things that gets me through every day is having people believe that I am normal, and that I hear everything, and that I feel like I am a part of things, and that I am happy. So for me to know he has read my post which says “To tell the truth, in a big group, it's so hard to follow the conversation, I just cant hear well enough”, that means he will know that my smiles and nods at parties are just to cover up when I don’t hear.

Urghhhh, I get that familiar feeling in my chest when I think about that. The whole feeling that I have to hide something!

Anyway, I told Jamin-kun that, and you know what he said???

“I like to know this stuff about you, it lets me understand you a bit more. And I like your deafness, it was something that attracted me to you in the first place. It makes me want to protect you.”

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is one of the most wonderful things that anyone has ever said to me.


Happy now.

P.S. still wont tell him where my blog is though.


Friday, June 04, 2004

god work is boring today

It is now 11:39am on Friday morning, and I would just like to admit to the world, that I have honestly not done a single work related thing since I arrived at 9am.

jamin-kun was at a work course in North Sydney today, so we didnt catch the bus together into the city as usual. In fact, I slept in because I figured that since everyone else at work today (the whole of my upstairs office work collegues) are either away or going to be late too, I can't be bothered being a goody goody and working like I usually do. Which is hard! I mean I work hard! (HAR)

But work just seems so POINTLESS sometimes. Especially in the corporate world, full of offices and boardrooms, and receptionists, and hushed hallways, tastefully decorated, with views of the harbour, and unlimited wine, beer, coffee and tea to serve to clients. Feed them, get them drunk, then tell them the bad news.

Anyway, on my radar for today, things I have to do:

1. Do some work here -
2. Put my pasta lunch in the microwave, (one that Jamin-kun made me! what a guy) watch it go round
3. Throw around the plastic beach balls they have up here for stress relief
4. go for a walk at lunch time, stare at all the people staring at the stock exchange screen at the Australian Stock Exchange
5. SMS mum who is Italy, and make sure she is still alive.
6. Keep looking at random blogs, and generally waste the day until 5:30pm comes, and then
7. Im outta here!

we can probably expect me to post about one blog every hour, considering how goddam boring it is today. This would have to be the most unproductive day I have ever had...


- Crayon


The Honour of Being Deaf

just a note here about my deafness, in case you think I am completely deaf all my life etc - I have some residual hearing. So, I can hear very loud music without my hearing aids, and I can understand what people say if they come up and place their mouth over my ear, and speak loudly. Scary, isnt it?

I've had the honour of being hearing, then deaf. I pretty much started going deaf at age 11, slowly slowly, then lost almost all my hearing when I turned eighteen, and it was HORRIBLE. but now, Im 24, I've accepted it (it IS possible to love yourself even if you can't do something everyone esle can do) and its really quite fun.

Instructions for hearing people who suddenly lose their hearing:

Number one: Make sure everyone you meet knows that you are deaf. Otherwise people, in their judgemental ways, will think
(a) you are ignoring them
(b) you are a bit thick in the head, (otherwise known as "fucken stupid")
(c) not interested in what they are saying
(d) just a plain bitch

I have experienced ALL of these things, the most painful one was people thinking I was stupid. Awful, awful feeling to have everyone think you have the IQ of a shoe or something. Especially when someone asks you something in front of a whole lot of people, and you think they have said something else, and they just all go silent, and look at you like you are a freak! urghhh

When I go out with friends now, and if I am introduced to new people, i make sure they know i'm deaf somehow, and need them to speak clearly. It can be embarrasing. Like making an announcement at a party like "Hey! Everyone! I have really bad psoriasis on my ass. Just thought I'd let you know why I'm not sitting down. Its not like I dont want to stay or anything! Thanks! Have a great night."

Okay. Not as bad as that, feels like it though. Self preservation though I guess...And the added advantage that everyone remembers you...

As painful as it can be, i like having had the difficulties of this disability, because I am much more understanding of all people that have big obstacles in their lives...

With a disability like this, you have more of an interesting life view, like everyone else just calls their friends on the phone - deaf people have to be inventive - like use texting, faxing, paging, internet and other stuff much more than hearing people and we have developed our own fascinating little world in here....

i can switch off my hearing aids when noises get too trucks and stuff... i can sleep peacefully all night, even during the garbage delivery..... i can pretend i didnt hear when assignment's are due in... i get some free tuition in Australia for courses in University and TAFE...

Don't get me wrong though - I would love to be able to hear - my biggest fear is when I finally can't hear music, and if i ever have children, will I be able to hear what their voices sound like? Will I be able to look after a baby if I acnt hear it cry? I used to play the piano, but now all the notes sound the same. Thats devastating.

But having been through all that, I think that being deaf is not bad - it's just different, and it is definitely the way that you look at it that makes the difference.

I have slowly come to accept my deafness, and now i dont mind it too much... Annoying when you miss the pizza guy though, whos been knockin on your door for the past hour, then gone back to the shop!

fucken pizza guy. i told him to call my mobile when he was close!


Thursday, June 03, 2004

Parties, drunken hazes, compliments on drugs

All is well here.. D & L are having a party this Saturday night. I think I will try to talk Jamin-kun into going - he doesnt sound too keen, even though they are his friends!

I think it may be because he thinks their crowd is a bit too cool. And they are in a way…They are the type of people who are fun to be around for a short time, like at parties and so on, but you don’t really consider them your freinds. Having said that though, I remember a time when we both sitting under the harbour Bridge, on a high after we’d taken some pills, and L told me she thought I was really really nice, and had a very good vibe about me.

You know, two or three years ago, I remember someone said to be (in a drug induced haze ) “God you have cool hair!” (and I did then too)… and it seriously made me feel so good…very vain, I know, but you cant help it sometimes…..but this time L said to me in a drug induced haze, “God you have a good vibe about you”. And I really felt like I did at the time, of course that might have been the drugs talking, but I feel like if you are really a good person, people can feel that… (specially when they have taken artificial stimulants, hehehe).

Anyway, back to this weekend… Jamin-kun’s other reason for not wanting to go the party would probably be because he is looking after his 14 year old brothers’ Xbox for him (!?).

I actually went to sleep last night with him sitting up in bed playing games next to me! cant believe him sometimes. I was lulled to sleep by that weird jerking you can only experience when you are killing something in cyberspace.

We had a surprise party for T the other night, and it was such a classic, cause his mum and Dad were in on it too, hi girlfriend worked so hard organising it so that T would think that everyone was not goign to be there for the weekend. Everyone was given different "things" they had to be doing... So Action was "working late", Jamin-kun and I had to go to Wollongong for his "mothers birthday"... And of course... who stuffed it up??

After about three or four emails going back and fourth between all ten of us who were “in on it”, and T’s girlfriend frantically telling us we had to be careful what we said etc etc,. T finally emails around saying "Whos coming to my party"…everyone gave their special “responses” and Jamin-kun says… "Hey mate, I’ll be there"...

I was just like *smacks head* "OH GOD!"

heheheh, needless to say, T was just like, ‘what the fucks going on?’ But it eventually worked out really well..he didnt have a clue!

We all went to Phuongs in Crows Nest, and had vietnamese, and then went to the Crows Nest Pub, and got so drunk, it was just crazy.
Action actually fell asleep in the pub, and was woken up 40 minutes later by a security guard to find everyone else had left!!!! I'd gone home quite early with Jamin-kun, but apparently, Spok said to him at about midnight:
“We're leaving – are you coming with us?”
and he said drunkenly:
"Oh dont worry about me, " and they were like:
“You sure??? okaaay. Whatever…”
and he went to sleep!!!!!

Then when he started walking home, he got LOST!! HAHAH, but he was ok - I talked to him at work the next day, and he was fine.


Monday, May 31, 2004

My Silent World: Part 2

At work right now. Fatty has just asked me to go downstairs to get another fax for him. Surprisingly, I don't mind all that much, i like the quiet hum of the fax machine, and the fact that I can get away from my desk.

Just thinking about how good they are to me here at work...

I feel as if I have been so lucky not to experience much discrimination against the fact that I am hard of hearing, and where hearing aids in both ears.

Deaf people have a hard time communicating, and its especially hard if you are only hard of hearing, and can hear most of what people say, but not all....

My mechanism is like this. Someone says something and I don't hear what they've said - I usually say:

"I'm so sorry, I didn't hear what you said, can you say that again?" but I say it really really nicely, like no matter who they are , I really want to help them, or know what they said.

I usually get it on the second go, but if I dont hear it then, I say "I'm actually quite deaf - I have hearing aids, could you speak a little more clearly?"

More often than not, they are surprised that I am deaf, and say "Really? How interesting: and want to know how I deal with it - I ALWAYS love to tell them what it is like - I try to make it something that starts a conversation.

Usually they are so impressed by the way I can cope without sound, and say "Wow, you do really well,"

I worked in a clothes shop for ages - about three years actaully - and I used to get SO stressed out using the phone, or having to hear in a shop with loud music pumping out of the speakers...

I find it interesting though, that deaf people also get really impatient with people who don't speak the way we want them to speak, so that we can hear - I know that if my mum doesnt speak so I can hear her, I ignore her, which pisses her off.

Also, if a customer speaks in a grumbly low, mumbly voice, I would get SO irritated, and would not even try to help them.

Worst things that ever happened to me was going for a Job trial at a really trendy clothes shop in Sydney, where they had the music pumping and everything. The manager interviewed me, loved me, and said ok, have a trial.

I was ready to go thinking "I can do this - I will just have to ask everyone to repeat themselves.." The music was BLASTING, and she started to give me istructions, like "Stay down the front of the store, look out for shoplifters"

I did so, but when a customer asked me for something, I walked back up to ask the manager where it was.

She screamed at me "Didn't I tell you to stay at the front of the store?" and then she said something else, but I was so distressed, I wasn't hearing properly, so I didnt know what she was saying, and she yelled at me,

"Are you deaf?" (HAH! you've got no idea how many people say that to me)and I was freaking out, I just went back down the front of the store...

Then, she got angry at me again, for something (Im serious I had only been there like 20 minutes), I couldnt understand what she was saying, and she was geting really pissed off - and I felt like crying, and aso I took her out the back, and began to cry as I said to her, "Look I dont think I can do this - I've got hearing aids and the music is too loud and its too stressful".

She looked at me like she couldnt believe it - she was stunned. And she said, well, why didnt you tell me before?

And I said , "well, Im sorry - its not something that I find I have to tell people usually..... I just really need to get out of here."

And I ran out crying, sobbing, weeping, because I felt like I could never get a job. I walked down that main street crying so hard, people were staring at me with pity on their faces, they had no idea what I had just been through. I felt like killing myself.

But I am much better now - that was two years ago - I now have a job in a big Company in the city, much better job than that one was.

Its hard to be deaf in a hearing world, but the pain that comes from it makes me so much more of a good person - I never ever judge anyone. If someone doesnt see me, doesnt hear me, ignores me, acts strangely - I never think "Oh weirdo", I always think - "I wonder why they did that? perhaps deaf, blind, schizophrenic, problems at home, stress?"

There is always a reason for something.

Anyway, thats my story. I feel a bit sad now.


Monday, May 24, 2004

Saturday Night

I was scared on Saturday, I just remembered - Jamin-kun was away at some kind of party, and I had planned on visiting my sister and staying the night. But at the last minute I decided to go home, so I could just sleep easy, plus I was looking forward to seeing Jamin-kun, since I hadn't seen him since I left for my haircut at *gasp* 1pm!

This is how pathetic I am now since I've been going out with him - I've been with him for 16 months now, we've living together for 3 months. All is peachy, but I need him and miss him more than ever now!

Luckily, the same goes with him - I know he misses me when I am gone for even a few hours - and I've seen him mope without me at parties. I once arrived at a cocktail bar in Newtown about 30 minutes late, and saw my group of friends through the window. there he was, looking mournfully at the entrance. I stood there for a few seconds, just thinking oh..., and then i came in, and he looked so relieved, he had saved me a seat and everything.

"Where've you been?" he asked.
"just taking some photographs of the street" which I had been with a cheap disposable camera.
Then once we settled in, and everyone was talking and it was loud enough to scream obscenties about the people around you to someone without them hearing - my friend A says to me "you should have seen him before you came. He looked lost!"

"oh!" thats all i could say, with that beautiful feeling of being loved! "oh!"

But anyway, back to the scary Saturday night all on my own.


Jamin-kun was at his own party while I was at my sisters. I drove home, watched some TV, then settled down for bed.

Now, I will tell you something that is scary about being even slightly deaf.

Two words

Night noises.

Now, a deaf person who can hear some sounds, often doesnt know what they are hearing because it sounds wrong, different, higher pitched etc muffled etc. With my hearing aids in, I can usually work out what a sound is. Dog barking, a bang from across the street, a car driving up the drive way....

But if you are lying in bed without your hearing aids, trying to get to sleep (for people who have no idea - you dont sleep with hearing aids in) it can sound so freaky.

So I went to bed, knowing that Jamin-kun was going to come in after 3 or 4am, and in the dark - I started to imagine things. Now, don't get me wrong - I have not had many nightmares since I was a kid - and im not stupid - I am twenty-four year old girl now!

But man, was I scared! I lay there quivering - I swear i was hearing something, and I couldnt tell what it was! It could have been anything - i began to imagine how murderers or rapists would be climbing the stairs, laughing and having a loud coversation because they knew I was really really hard of hearing, and I was going to get killed - all because I couldnt hear them coming up the stairs arghhhhhhhhhhhh!

I had my head under the blanket, and I had text messaged Jamin-kun, saying "God, I am actually scared, I hate to admit it, but, when are you coming home?"

And he wrote back saying "Are you serious? You're SCARED? Oh, god, ok, if you really want me to."

And I wrote back saying "yes yes yes please do, It'll be great to see you yadda yadda yadda."

Then I went back to peeking out, trying to watch the door to the hallway in the darkness thinking, should I hide under the bed if it starts to open, or lunge at them screaming "Die bastards!" and try to scare them off.

ohhhhh, anyway, the end result is, i fell asleep in the end at about 2am, and Jamin-kun returned at about 4am, probably joking to everyone how he had to return to his girlfriend who has scared of the dark, and had texted him from under the bed.

Oh the humiliation. And the biggest fright I got of the night was when he got into the bed next to me! I woke up with one of those massive gasps like "Harrrrrrghhhhhhhh!!!!!!"

It scared the shit out of him.


My Silent World: Part 1

I just had a frustrating experience! Im at work, working on an advertising campaign. The phone rang (i jumped a metre high - I hate hearing the phone ring, I start to tense up, cause I know I may have trouble hearing however it is on the other end..)

Anyway, of course, this is somebody who is mumbling and slurring their words, and after a few seconds of me going "please slow down, I cant understand you, Im sorry!" I had to ask the person on the phone, had no idea who it was, to email me, because I just couldn't work out what they were saying on the phone!

Embarrassing, but I am getting used to it. And surprisingly, no one seems to mind that much.

Oh well. Just had to breathe and try and calm down afterwards! hehehe.

I am hard of hearing, but i feel like I am Deaf. I describe myself as Deaf to people, because I wear hearing aids in both ears, and cant hear very well without them at all - people have to shout, and even then i cant hear them that well.

My whole family is hearing, my boyfriend and all my friends, workmates and so on - they are all hearing - I only know a couple of deaf people, and even then, i dont know them too well.

i work in the Media Industry in Sydney, and it always fascinates me the way people react when they either hear I am deaf from someone else, or realise I havent heard them say something.

Amazing - most people think I am kidding them! If only! But in reality, I dont do too badly, and I am quite proud of myself the way I get by with things.

I get by mainly on a sense of humour, really. Its the best way. Its the ONLY way.

I am a journalist by training, though i cant really ever be a journalist because I cant hear enough.

I like to write, always think I should try to explain to hearing people what it is like to be deaf through writing.. but seriously - i just cant be fucked!


Friday, May 21, 2004

In the middle of the night last night!

in the middle of the night last night, i woke up, and felt that my side of the bed was empty, and went "Oh My God, Jamin-kun hasn't come home! What could have happened? I hope he's at someones house!"

I seriously didn't know where i was, or what had happened. It gave me a fright. But then I remembered.

It was a lovely night in the end. My big brother, his wife and their new little baby came over for dinner, as did my little brother and his girlfriend - I hadnt realised they were all coming to say good bye to mum, so it was kind of good that i didnt make it to the Writers Festival, which I had told Jamin-kun I was definitely going to. It was just too far away, and I had a feelign the 'abstract poetry' would have sucked - also it was too far to try and get to see Salam Pax, who was speaking out at Parramatta.

Anyway, i just felt so tired and cold, and just wanted to be looked after by mum before she left, heh he hehh.

We (little brother, me and Mum) got up at 6:15am today! drve out to the airport, where mum nearly had a freakout that she had lost her ticket! Seriously almost had me chucking a fit because she did that whole openmouthed "Oh GOD THE TICKETS!" and then of course found them, and then of course held up the entire line while going through her backpack to get out clothes she forgot she needed for her night stop over in Japan!

Oh mother.

Then we went to the food court to have our traditional Airport McDonalds, and who should be playing there, but the crappy Australian boy band, Human Nature - there was some sort of Radio promotion, really sad actaully, and it was like Easy Listening mix 106.5 or somthing. Anyway, all these tired people who have just arrived in Australia are met by the whining of this awful boy band....Mum kept saying "oh, this band, what are they called again? Native Garden? They are lovely!" and we're like "no, its Human Nature,and they suck.
heh heh

So we got her on the plane - my friend from work called too, she was coincidentally leaving for Spain at the same time!! but i missed her, and so here I am now at work =- little brother gave me a lift back to the city, to the office, which was great.

Not much on the agenda tonight - the Ozops party is on, and my big sister and her husband are not coming up from the country til after lunch tomorrow, which means that i'll have dinner with them tomorrow night.

I'm looking forward to it in the way you can only look forward to seeing family when you feel cold and a bit empty.


Tuesday, May 18, 2004

The Abysmal Life of Crayon

Yay!! my first ever post!

I started this blog cause I wanted to write...

I have been at work all day. Its cold outside. Raining i think.

Mum has just called, and I'll meet her at the top of the street in the city so she can pick me up.

I am having dinner with her tonight, leaving my boyfriend at home to have one last night with my mother before she flees the country in search of her life.

She will be in Italy this time on Friday.

It startles me to think that she will be thousands of kilometres away.

And i will still be here, working, eating, sleeping, fucking, drinking, showering, brushing my hair, catching the bus, making coffee, reading the paper, walking to the ferry, washing my clothes, calling my sister, emailing my friends, living living living my abysmal life.

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