I may be ugly but they sure love to stare
I don’t go home for the long weekend. Instead I run a bath in the afternoon so I can sit in hot water and sweet smelling bubbles as I read one of my journals circa 2010. I light candles and scan the pages looking for some sentences to send to the woman doing her phd and interviewing me on Saturday. The interview will be about journaling, something I did religiously from about 4 years old until a few years ago. The interview is for a research project called The Diary Project. I am reading this journal in the bath to try and find three sentences I can send through that pertain to gender and girlhood. I also need to pick a random part of the journal to read at the interview.
So, even though reading your own words written by hand as you sit in a bubble bath with early 2000s Emo music blaring, sounds self indulgent. It is in deed self indulgent but its also got a higher purpose. This the kind of thing I can do as a woman in her thirties with no children.
Here is one salacious journal entry that I read while in the bath. Not dated but I would say it was Winter.
A Winter’s Night 2010
‘Hey Jess. Have you seen the crack pig?” This is the first thing I am asked as I enter Ammon’s crowded back yard. The party is filled with hip inner city trendies. There is a girl who remembers me from a previous share house I lived in in North Fitzroy. I do not remember her at all. We chat together and I try desperately to remember her. Was she a friend of one of the guys I lived with? A friend with benefits? The conversation is not very interesting. I smile and nod and try to not groan with boredom.
Matt comes over. ”What? Are you pregnant. Drink, Bitch.” He says hugging me and handing me a beer. I turn back to the boring girl and find her talking to someone so attractive I almost exclaimed out loud with an OH MY. He has beautiful brown eyes and brown hair, wearing a black leather jacket and black skinny jeans, a bottle of beer in his beautiful hand. He is looking right at me not really listening to the girl who is talking to him, as I turn around.
Hello. He says to me with a sexy accent.
Hi. I say. Are you studying and in a band. Or, working and in a band. Thats the type of crowd this party dynamic is at.
He smiles. Close I’m from Columbia and studyina at VCA a masters in art.
Oh, an arts student. Great. I say with contempt.
He is amused and shows it by stepping a little closer to me. My bane is Izzy. He says.
‘So let me guess,’ I say as I have been drinking this beer quite quickly and its fuelling my already angry undertones. ‘You go around fucking over girls and think that because you are an artist and create things that might be considered beautiful or important. I don’t know. I have not seen your style of work. But I digress. Because you think you know about the deeper complexities of both modern and ancient artists. You can use this to get into the pants and hearts of girls only to do exactly what footy types do openly and without the pretty words.’ I had not stopped to breath until the end of the rant. I pause to breath and sip my beer. Izzy leans in close and whispers in my ear ‘You are the only girl here not full of shit.’ Smiling I turn away from him and weave my way through the crowd to take position in a crowd of familiar faces. ‘Have you seen the crack pig yet?’ Matt asks me as he gives me another beer. He is being very generous tonight. ‘No’ I say with my eyes getting big in fake belief in the existence of this obvious drug induced fable. ‘Where is it?’ Matt points to the brick wall strung with fairy lights but no sign of this Crack pig. A glass smashes on concrete and someone shouts ‘The Crack Pick strikes again!’
The day had been grey and rain had fell for most of it. The night sky swayed above our drunken heads cloudy and moonless. My party dress soughed around my knees and the skirt twirled as I skipped around the yard trying to procure a smoke. Winston had asked me to procure one for him as he knew I liked any oppurtunity to talk to strangers and crack open the ice of the unknown person’s exterior. Also He said Im a cute girl and people are more likely to give me free shit. Im not sure about the cute part but he is right. I get a smoke for him first try. Ammon: tall slim and always dressed like a dapper dream from a novel, is wandering around the party trying to find someone who knows how to help him tie his cravat.
I return to Winston with the smoke and hand it to him in triumph. Sally looking beautiful in dark red lipstick and dark hair perfect nudges me, ”that guy with his friends keeps looking at you and I think he is not accidentally standing as close as he is.’ I turn around and see him standing against the brick wall with some friends. ‘well well well” I say as I take a step close, peeling away from my own friend cluster who I can feel are looking with interest. ‘It seems you are stalking me at this social gathering.” ‘I just want to hear what you say next.” He says. He had me there. My brain ego stroked well and good. He had obviously tried picking up weird, angry and defiant smart girls before. A guy in a soccer uniform wearing beads around his neck is introduced to me. ‘This is Kevin.’ Izzy says. Kevin is looking me up and down hungrily. ‘Hey baby I think I love you. He slurs.
‘Kevin you are so drunk that I think you would fuck the illusive crack pig if it existed.’ Kevin and Izzy laugh. ‘I think I love you.’ Izzy says. He is not slurring his speech. I dont think he is actually even tipsy. ‘I hate you.’ I say, stamping my foot to emphasise my feelings. Izzy reaches out and starts fiddling with my glasses. One finger of his strokes my cheek. ‘What are you doing?’ I say softly, not angry or defiant for a moment. ‘Sorry you just look really cute in your glasses.’ he says. My face gets hot with a blush of joy and sudden shyness. ‘Stop flirting with me.’ He says softly in my ear. ‘Only if you stop flirting with me.’ I say quickly. ‘You want to kiss me.” ‘Like fin I do.’ I say hotly. ‘You’re blushing again.” He says. ‘Yes. I’m allergic to assholes who study art.’ I say. ‘You’re beautiful.’
‘Shut up.’ We stand next to each other leaning on the brick wall seperating Ammon’s yard from his neighbours. The friends have dispersed it is just us locked in a delicious lull of conversation filled only with silent but very strong attraction. It is moments like these you live for. The dainty swagger of body language and the crack of electricity.We continue to look at each other and saying nothing for a little longer until he leans in to whisper in my ear, his breath warm but not too warm ‘ I have to work in the morning so theres no time to screw around.’
‘Oh ok then.’ I say with the tone of someone no longer screwing around.’Your place?’ He says. ‘Not an option.’ I say. ‘So.’ ‘So…’ There is silence as he smiles languidly at me. ‘I want to hear you say it.’ He says. I roll my eyes at him and sigh dramatically. i step up as close to him as possible before pulling his face down to mine by the lapels of his black leather jacket that reminds me of Joey Ramon. My lips are about to touch his. ”How about we go to your place.’ I say in a low voice. ‘That was beautiful.’ He says. ‘Im going to use the toilet, don’t go anywhere.’ I go find my friends I came with and tell them I’m leaving with someone. ‘Jess has got dick!’ They exclaim full of drunken pride.
Izzy returns and we exit the party and start walking up Rathdowne Street in the cold night air till we come to an ally way. ”I have a thing for allyways.’ He says taking my hand and pulling me gently along. A street lights splashes its light onto the damp flagstones paving the ally way. They look sleek in slippery. I playfully grab him as he leans against a garage door and pull his face to mine so we can finally kiss. Its what I wanted from the start. Breaking away after quite a lot of kissing, he leads me further down the ally way. We finally come to where he positions me in a little nook between a garage door and the ally way wall. A small alcove out of sight. We start kissing again and it escalates his hands go around my waist and start slipping up the outside of the back of my dress trying to find the zip. I kiss harder loosing my head a bit. Im not a nice girl and I dont care anymore. If there is a God I hope he is being properly entertained. I think as Izzy finds my zip and pulls it down. The dress falls around my feet, its cold but im unconcerned.I can still hear the sounds of the party and my friend’s voices echoing above us. It feels like they could easily see me standing almost naked against a garage door in an ally way on this cold and damp Saturday night.
Izzy’s lips move down my neck and brush my collar bone. My skin gets goosebumps and not only from the cold air and lack of clothing. My underwear joins my dress around my feet. I close my eyes and start to get stupid. My heart starts hammering and oh dear this feels amazing. My knees start to get weak and then I feel like they will give way entirely. They cant though because Im in a freaking ally way. Surely there is a more comfortable place to do this.
I remove Izzy’s face from between my legs ( with regret) and pull up my underwear and then my dress. I must admit standing while a hot guy kneels on cold wet ground to give you head does make you feel quite powerful. Like a goddamn queen. ‘I am not doing you here in this ally way.’ I say as I make him zip my dress back up. ‘Lets get a taxi. where do you live?’ ‘Brunswick.’ He says holding my hand as we flag a taxi down.
We chat and giggle in the back of the taxi talking nonsense in between kisses. When we get out he pays and I jump on his back so he can piggy back me into his house.
His room is scattered with clothes and his double bed is unmade, there is a guitar in the corner and I am not surprised. Izzy picks up the guitar and starts playing a Bob Dylan song as I remove my socks, shoes and dress and get comfortable. Sometimes its easy to pretend you have been in a stranger’s room forever, or that the night is more than what it is: just one night. I know it is just one night though and thats why I feel so free. He fumbled his strumming a couple of times untill he got it right.
‘How long have you been playing for?’ I say. ‘My whole life.’ he says. He starts playing what he says is his favourite Bob Dylan Song and I sing along.
‘How many roads must a man walk down, before you can call him a man? The answer my friend is blowing in the wind. The answer is blowing in the wind. ‘
‘Has anyone ever played you this before?’
‘No.’ I say. The lie slips out easily it fell from my mouth with a smile.
I take off my bra. He puts his guitar down.
Back to the present day and sitting in my beautiful hot bath. Oh wow. I think, that was a good night. I never did see that hot young art student again. Which was for the best. The sex was not as great or as fun and sexy as the flirting at the party. That was my favourite part. I think I will send some sentences from this entry to the woman running the research project. I turn the page and start to read some more.