Mooloolaba Surf Club

‘I am… I find thi… THIS IS WEIRD!’ He exerts slamming his palms on the table.

She laughs. The kind of muffled but loud enough laugh for people around to notice.

‘No, seriously. This is like an Australian culture that’s familiar but so unfamiliar to me.’ He looks around the restaurant and bar. This might be the first surf club he’s ever been too. From the Keno to the Surf memorabilia littered on the wall to the weird meat Auction that keeps being pitched over the loud speaker, he knew this place, but didn’t know it at the same time. ‘It’s like everything I knew in the 90’s kept going and made this.’

She laughs again. This one was less muffled.

As he approaches the bar he knew instantly that they’d be able to tell he’s not a local. ‘Can I get a pint of Fat Yak?’ He asks the bartender. She quickly glances him over, grabs a glass and levers the tap to start pouring. 

Wait a second, he thought. That’s the biggest fucking pint I’ve ever seen.

He brings it back to the table and stares at at.

‘What’s wrong?’ She asks.

‘Look… at the size of this pint. This isn’t a pint. It’s a fucking bucket!’

He wasn’t wrong. Pints in Melbourne were about half the size.

Mooloolaba Surf Club. What a weird place for a guy from the suburbs of Melbourne. Beach life hadn’t always been his interest. His grandparents had a beach house in Dromana but he hated going as a kid. He hated getting sand in his shoes, or the taste of salt water, or how your towel always gets blown by the wind and sand creeps onto it throughout the day. Only in the last 5 years had he begun thinking how life giving the ocean was and how appealing being close to it was.

The rain stopped them from sitting outside, but he could steal hear the waves crashing up against the beach. An endless cycle of sound, never to end.

‘Let’s go.’ She says. They walk outside, light a joint, talk some more shit and drive back to the apartment.

National Gallery of Victoria

‘Please do not touch the Art works.’ a small cardboard plaque reads. Placed next to masterpieces that wouldn’t be out of place at the Hermitage it’s a little cute, he thinks to himself. Here’s this little placard telling everyone that it’s not okay to touch something that’s over 300 years old and priceless. It just seems kind of pointless but he guesses people do need to be told what to do from time to time.

‘Do you think anyone ever touches the art?’ He says to her. A cheeky grin creeps across her face as she lifts her arm. ‘Don’t.’ he mouthes silently. She smiles properly now, turns her head and slinks off.

The two walk a few metres apart throughout the gallery, sometimes stopping, darting into different directions at others, never so far apart that they’d get lost from each other. He catches sights of her as she walks past a gap in the wall, he wonders if she does the same.

The Strand

It was, more often than not, the smiley ones I was nervous about. They more contemtpous ones would look down at you even before you turned the corner towards them. While we approached her I knew it was going to happen.

‘I’m sorry, but you can’t come in. We’re full.’ She says

I tilt my head around her and peer in. The place is empty. I look at my watch and it’s not even 11. ‘This is bullshit. Let’s go.’ I say to the others but loud enough for the security guard to hear

Lock out laws suck.

‘You know I do wonder sometimes if I’ll feel the zest for life I had a few years ago.’ I say to her.

‘I think you can. Life wears us all down deshou?’

‘Yeh, but sometimes it just feels so broken down that I can’t take it. Like there’s a python pressed against my chest, squeezing anxiety and doubt out of me. This black python has been around me since I fucked my sitch in Tokyo and had to leave you.’

She nods and thinks for a second. ‘I knew it, but it just takes time to get over things and feel whole again’. 

I guess it’s the only thing to say to something like that

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