One year ago today, sometime in the afternoon, Quantas took me from Hobart and dropped me in Melbn. I didn’t want to go.
I had no money, I was leaving a beautiful place that I loved, with good people I also loved, I left my heart behind. I was going to a city I didn’t know anything about, and where I knew only two people, one of whom I’d never met before. I packed slowly in Hobart, I wanted to miss the plane and be stranded there with no money and no way to get to the mainland. But when the plane left, I was on it, and so was my stuff.
As the plane flew over country Victoria, I didn’t see the mountains and forests that I saw when flying over Tasmania. I saw flat. Flat flat. Boring flat. And a city far in the distance. We landed at Tullamarine and I was hit by the oppressive heat of a 40c day. After being used to the more temperate weather of Hobart, being in a hot place (at least for the short time that it was hot) was a shock.
My friend Janette met me at the gate, and after dropping off my stuff at her place, she gave me a confusing whirlwind tour of the city that evening. We ate gelato from that place on Lygon Street, and she gave me a place to sleep in her lounge room.
It was 2am. I was wide awake, naked and sweating. It was at least 25c outside, and I was laying on an air mattress, depressed and unable to sleep. My girlfriend would be arriving from England in a matter of days – she was in Hong Kong at that moment – expecting to find a guy who loved her. I thought then that if I had ever did, I didn’t anymore. My heart was in Hobart, and I was in Melbn. Unhappy, uncomfortable, and alone.
The next day was cooler. I got about 2 hours of sleep, from about 5:30am until 7:30. Janette drove me out to Knox, where I stayed with my friend Lisa and her husband Tony for a couple of weeks. My girlfriend joined me, and we moved to a boarding house in Parkville. I found a job and started repaying debts. After the inevitable happened and we broke up, I moved to Brunswick, then to Footscray before finally settling in Prahran. She went to Sydney, and eventually back home to Brighton. Melbn got cool, then warm again. My heart arrived in a package from Hobart one day, and I took it back and fixed it. I made some friends, bought some furniture, and applied for a longer term visa. I found someone who I like and who likes me back. Who knows what will happen there.
Thanks, Melbn. It’s been a year. Life goes on.