my returned period

Towards the end of Year 5, when I was not quite 11, I told my mum I thought I had a urinary tract infection. I’d had a UTI earlier that year and could come to no other reasonable conclusion for the cause of the curious dark-brown-red stain on my knickers. But shortly after I’d shared my discovery, my mum presented me with a pack of Libra Wings and a copy of What’s Happening to Me. Apparently puberty had arrived, apparently I was menstruating. I was not surprised, simply because I hadn’t been expecting it. I was more dismayed: What, a period? Not a urinary tract infection? Are you sure?

That night I got into bed with the book and flicked through its square pages. Its cartoon sketches of changing bodies annoyed me. My brother did frequent nudie runs through the house so I knew what a ‘doodle’ looked like. And the fat mum and dad having sex with a purring cat on the bedspread annoyed me even more. It felt very childish. Since I was at that weird child-adolescent phase – kind of like a merman – wasn’t I entitled to real-deal photographs? Alas, at the time, the personal computer’s main virtue was Piccadilly Pairs so cartoons and this one resource would have to do. I buried the book in my bottom drawer and referred to it from time to time over the following years. At school the next day, while standing next to the monkey bars, wood-chips underfoot, I told my friend I had my period. She told me that her older sister had her pyramid too.

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a short story of anxiety

It was Labor Day 2012. I was meant to be meeting a friend at the Standard in Fitzroy. The weather was glorious and I was experimenting with a new outfit for the benefit of a barman I’d been weirdly flirting with over the summer. I’d calculated that from where I was staying with my friend in Hawthorn it would take at least an hour to get there on the tram, and I was running late, for no other reason other than the fact I was taking so long to do everything and, also, I was finding it difficult to leave. It took several times of going back inside to check this or that other thing – ridiculous things that didn’t require checking like whether I’d got my period in the few minutes since I’d last been to the toilet – before I actually made it out the door and on my way.

By the time I walked around St James Reserve and made it to the tram stop on Burwood Road, my heart was racing and I could feel my pulse in my wrists, and by the time I made it onto the tram and we were trundling down Bridge Road, my mind could focus on nothing other than the possibility I’d left the iron on. I imagined the iron falling over, singing the carpet until it caught alight, causing a fire that would burn to cinders my friend’s apartment and the entire block. By the time the tram pulled up alongside the dirty Vine at the corner of Church Street and Bridge, I was so convinced that this was going to happen I got off the tram, crossed over the road to the corner diagonal and waited for the tram that would take me back to where I’d come from.

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thank you for reading g notes

This afternoon my accountant asked me what g notes is about. It’s a question I find difficult to answer since the blog’s subject matter has but one common denominator: me. And to tell someone you keep a blog about yourself feels very…awful. Still, it is about me, in many ways, so I admitted this to be the case.

‘So girls’ stuff?’ he said.

‘Ah, no, not specifically.’

‘Is it a mummy blog?’

‘No!’

‘Good, that shit’s boring.’

‘My blog’s not really boring. The other week I wrote a blog about a guy who farted while I was giving him a head job.’

‘Oh.’

I laughed. ‘It’s on the blog, it’s okay.’

‘Nothing’s private anymore, I guess.’

And I guess it’s true, to a certain extent: we don’t have to be suffocated by this thing we call ‘privacy’ anymore. Though I do still hold privacy sacred on many levels, I’m not about to mourn this particular loss of privacy – or, for that matter, be embarrassed that I told my accountant what I did. I’m proud of my blog and I’m proud of the stories I share, especially because g notes isn’t really about head jobs, not at all. What it is about, though, I’m still not really sure. If you could tell me, I would love to know.

I have, however, come very close to pulling the plug on the blog many times. Sometimes I take it down for a few hours because I feel like I’ve gone too far, exposed too much – weakness, shame, sex, failure etc. It’s not the words I’m fearful of, so much as what they might wrongly or rightly infer. But I always come crawling back. I love g notes, and I love the small but loyal group of people who read it.

So this is a thank you post. I want to thank you for reading g notes over the last FOUR! years, for sticking around despite its shifting horizon. Thank you for letting g notes be what I need it to be and reading regardless. Thank you.

India called, asked me to come; I said, see you soon

I never bought a washing machine as I said I would. As soon as I thought I would I knew I wouldn’t. I got as far as the online checkout and backed away, hands in the air: oh no, no, no.

I’m especially grateful for this decision now that it’s time to pack up again. A few months ago, after months and months of head chatter, I booked my ticket, emailed Barry Plant, said: I’m outta here. Everything in my life slowed down, then, and I knew my decision wasn’t part of a larger plan I’d consciously made for myself; it wasn’t me mapping out how I think my life should look. It was a decision that, in the end, I let me heart make. The heart trumps the head every time. Every goddamn time.

Sometimes you arrive at a realisation at the exact moment you’re meant to. Your perspective shifts as suddenly as if you’ve crossed a room and then turned around to see everything differently. Like Sunday’s post: when I got to its end I knew without a doubt that I felt nothing for that person, probably never had. I laughed out loud, literally, and a smile spread across my face: I had finally let go of the part of me that believed I deserve so little.

And so India called, asked me to come; I said, see you soon. Said, can’t wait.

this isn’t a love story

A text message with my address was sent and before not long he was at my Brunswick door, mid-afternoon on a Thursday in February. At my door. I went to answer it, excited, scared, with shaking hands. It had been three years since I’d slept with him, and in the three years that had passed, I’d seen him just twice: one time we’d spoken awkwardly at a cafe, the other he hadn’t recognised me. And the times we had slept together, back when I was a younger, smoother version, had only been a few – mostly at the end of drunken nights already had, not together but with other people. The last of these times I’d gone to his apartment, for the first time, after a warehouse party somewhere in the western suburbs and when the taxi dropped me off I was disorientated. I was only in a Clifton Hill apartment complex, but still, I felt lost. When I got inside I walked into the bathroom door and hit my head, injuring something in my forehead that took months to heal. But the bang on the head hasn’t stopped me remembering things: like me getting offended after he didn’t want to have sex a second time and then making a failed, drunken attempt to leave; like him stressing the fact that his parents were coming for breakfast so I would have to leave early; like me, in the morning, putting on my much-loved black lace-up boots I’d bought in Argentina and seeing him in his pyjamas and thinking: I should not have come, dammit, I should not have come here; like me running down the stairs and looking back up at him in the doorway, and him saying something like ‘I’ll see you tonight’.

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I’m awaiting a lover

‘I’m awaiting a lover. I have to be rent and pulled apart and live according to the demons and the imagination in me. I’m restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled by the stars again.’

Fire: From “A Journal of Love” The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin

~~~

Quotes annoy me. I think they’re a lazy person’s attempted shortcut to an epiphany. But there’s no epiphany at the end of a quote. I’m sorry, no. Proust didn’t write 3000-odd pages of In Search of Lost Time for us to read a 20-word Instagram post and go, ‘Oh my god I fucking get it now. I fucking get it.‘ And then #regram. Charles Bukowski too. People love Charles Bukowski quotes. A friend always used to send me quotes. She never told me a thing about herself, how she was, what she was doing, I’d just get a random quote every couple of months. #lovethis. That doubly annoyed me. I stopped reading them, the quotes. Joined Instagram instead: #lovelife #liveTODAY #everydaypositive #gojiberries #kale. We just want a shortcut to the sweet stuff, don’t we. I want that! I want to feel like that! I want to be that! Man, I want the SWEET STUFF. Want. #urgh. A little bit of hurt, a little bit of dragging the feet, a little bit of a heavy, aching heart – no one wants that anymore. No one wants to hear about it either. Because #livinlife #bethebestyoucan #always. I said to my friend the other day, ‘Don’t you wish that sometimes you could just say to people, “Oh fuck off, would you!”‘ and she agreed and threw her head back and screwed up her face and said ‘Orrrrrr fuck. off.’ just as I imagined it should be said. And my heart swelled with love because she got it. Got me. She heard me and she didn’t disagree because she always has to be #peace #love #happy but because sometimes we hurt, and sometimes we want to inflict hurt. Reading quotes won’t change that, won’t change you.

But I read this Anaïs Nin quote and liked it. I must have because I wrote it down a while ago and just now found it in my tower of scrap words. I must have one day crawled into these words and thought #yesyesyes

man comes for cuppa, dog rolls in something dead, I learn another lesson

g notes has been a lot about dating lately. Next blog will be something nothing to do with dating or men. Promise.

A couple of months ago this guy came to my place with his lovely, lovely dog. I’d met him and the dog at the pub a few weeks earlier and then we’d started chatting on, yes, Tinder, so he came around for a cup of tea. I would say I invited him around for a cup of tea but that isn’t exactly what happened. What happened was, his incessant phone-calling and attempts to ‘catch up’ became so tiresome I was all like yeah whatever come over. I was snotty and chest-coughy at the time (didn’t bother him, apparently) and could think of helluva lot of other things I’d rather do: like get into bed and solo snuggle my flannelettes.

But there he was at the door, on a rainy, overcast winter weekday afternoon, a towering rugged-looking man with a dog at his heel. I welcomed them inside, made a fair amount of fuss about the dog, made the guy a cup of tea, and then I sat myself down on the spearmint-green recliner (usually offered to guests) and he sat on the couch in front of me. I pulled the foot rest out; he sat back and started talking. And, man, I could’ve gone to sleep. It’s very rare that I get bored when chatting with someone, I can fish around the most inactive of ponds and eventually find something, but not on this day, not with this guy.

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unravelling narrative threads

A man once farted while I was giving him oral sex. I paused mid-movement, both startled and confused: what was I to do? Pretend it hadn’t happened? Withdraw his penis from my mouth and then express outwardly the guffawing that was of my mind? Make some kind of acknowledgement but then continue, stoically, unperturbed?* Thankfully these questions were answered for me: he grabbed my upper arm and within the moment I was laid on my back next to him, the noon sun streaming through his shuttered north-facing bedroom window and onto our faces, the sound of the fart reverberating around us.

A week earlier he’d given me his crumpled, single-print-run business card at a restaurant where he was working and I was eating with a friend. Two nights after that we went on a date to Neighbourhood Wine on Nicholson Street; we kissed later while sitting at the bar of the Empress and then again out front under the eaves, out of the rain. He’d pulled me in close, and it was one of those kisses, the kind where every part of your body, inside and out, hums. We went back to his house and I slept in my dress, in the crook of his arm. Early morning, after I’d left, he texted: ‘Thanks for a great night. God that sounds tacky. Amazing to meet you…’ I saved his number in my phone, something I never do, and when I saw his name flash on my phone, rather than a series of numbers, it felt nice. That Friday we drank coffee on Smith Street and then beers in the sun at the Union. The next night I met him at a party where I’d drunkenly mistaken his colleague’s advances for friendship and given him my number. Then on the Sunday, bathed in the shuttered noon sun, he did the fart. And, with the exception of the Monday that followed, I have not seen him on any day since.

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