Friday, December 12, 2003

Like an old pair of shoes

Hello friends, associates, comrades, fellow hedonists, mums, dads, brothers, sisters, and casual sex partners,

Allow me to introduce myself.

My name is Brendan, and like the rest of my good people here, I occasionally write unfunny little diatribes and post them on the web to make people feel miserable. There's a particularly brutal portion of the population who actually seem to enjoy my writings, and come back quite often to see what terrible words I've vomited onto the computer screen (not literally, you must understand - but I'm working on that). I can only assume that these individuals are sick narcissists with some very odd tastes. Which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, as if I'm amongst friends, and then I think of that Michael Jackson song "You are not alone", and I feel dirty again.

I currently reside in this squalid little city called Brisbane. When I was a child, I didn't live in Brisbane, but I visited it frequently and thought it was fricken cool. Brisbane had really tall buildings, and heaps of people, and sirens going off, and lots of litter and cigarette butts ground into the pavement. I actually spent my childhood in Rosewood, a quaint little Country-Practice style town about half-an-hour outside Brisbane, the sort of place where parents go to bring up their kids and the sound of a fire truck blaring away is a really exciting thing.

I've spent the last six years of my life in Brisbane now, living with an assorted bunch of ragamuffins, preachers, whores, junkies, vagabonds, bohemians, hippies, rastas, rappers, bikers, alcoholics, slobs and fire-twirlers. Strangely enough, I haven't lived with a communist, which is odd considering half that time was spent in West End.

That's the interesting thing about Brisbane ; it's worn many tags over the past years, growing quickly from a small country town to a state capital. And that's the general comment you hear about the place - "one big giant country town". Which is quite true, really. Whilst other cities have had the time to grow, become metropolitan, have sidewalk cafes where little lattes are sipped, Brisbane seemed to just gain a million people overnight. I mean, imagine the stretch marks you'd have if you went from being one month pregnant to nine months pregnant in one single day? The stretch marks of the country town continue to haunt Brisbane.

And whilst the allure of bigger cities calls, whilst the intrigue of international destinations awaits, and whilst we all pack our backpacks and head over for a tour of duty in London, we know that our affair with Brisbane isn't finished yet. Brisbane is that big old moth-eaten blanket shoved under your bed, the stained and cracked coffee mug you've had for years, that pair of jeans you found for $3 at a Lifeline store five months ago and haven't taken off since. Sure, it smells, and it's a bit grimy, and there's better-looking, better-run, better-featured places out there; but Brisbane, Brisbane is comfortable.


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