Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Dirty Bar-Maid Chronicles

My first night working in the nightclub one of the other bar-maids advised me to "Be a bitch. They'll tip you if they think you're playing hard to get."
The "they" were men who were roughly 50 years old, the patrons of the over 28s' night, out to desperately pick up whatever they could get; whether that be woman, trannie or stale whore that had staggered up the road from the brothel (seriously) that was after any loose change.

It didn't matter that most of us girls behind the large concrete bar weren't 20 years old yet; we were fair game too in their eyes. On my first night I was watching the glasses pile up on tables when I asked whether I should venture from the post to get them and I received the instruction, "Stay where you are. There's dirty old men out there."

When I received my first tip ($5 in the first 20 minutes) I started giggling and holding it up and was told to put it in a glass above the beer fridge otherwise my pockets would be overloaded within minutes. And sure enough, coins and notes began to fill that glass and I looked upon it like a proud mother of her child.
That week I smiled nicely, apologised as I spilled drinks, dropped glasses and had to ask people to repeat their orders again and again and again, straining my already sore ears over the roar of the pumping music.

Last Saturday night I tried a different method from the Be-A-Bitch-Get-A-Tip.
Two wog guys who looked like the only patrons to meet the 28 mark that had obviously rocked up to pick up girls below 30 were standing by the bar looking disgusted as they surveyed the crowd of 50 year old grandmothers in short sequined skirts and high heels and hookers who looked much the same except they could barely speak English.
I sidled up to them with my Dirty Bar-Maid grin.
They were turned away watching something on the dance floor. I followed their gaze and saw one of the regulars; the little, bald, Harry-Potter glasses Evan already grooving his plump little stature amidst the Vietnamese call-girls and Supre-clad mothers as they giggled like school girls and patted his shiny scalp as though he was a pet.
The two wogs snickered things that weren't quite audible, but I got the jist.
I lent over the bar, turning the Dirty Bar-Maid charm on full-bore, "Don't Laugh!" I shouted, "That'll be you in 20 years." They turned around and seemed surprised for a moment before finding their bearings.
"See that old girl over there sculling that wine?" The tall one said with slight indication of his head.
I grinned and rolled my eyes, "Yeh"
"That'll be you in 20 years!" And they started cackling.
"Yeah, good on ya. " I laughed, "Now you fellas gonna stand around admiring the scenery all night or are ya gonna start kicking ya nights' off?"
They asked for bourbon and coke.
Then Jager Bombs.
I was handed a $5 tip.
Then two more Jager Bombs.
I was told to keep the change- $12.
As I rushed up down the bar I continued the banter with them, grinning and pretending to slip like a kid's entertainer in the puddles of beer on the tiled floor, making them roar with laughter. Challenging them to out drink each other, taking the piss out of the loser before asking what they wanted next with a raised eye brow and my lips parted in that oh-so-Dirty-Bar-Maid-way.
"Two more jagers!.....And two more Johnnies and coke!" The tall one announced as he threw a 50 dollar note at me.
I made the drinks, handed them over then stood waiting for them to finish. "Come on!" I teased. "What are you? Girls?!"
Down went those drinks and four more drinks were ordered. I was told to keep the change again- $13.
Now a bit more worse for wear they stood over the bar, swaying slightly.
"What's your name beautiful?"
"Lana" I smiled.... (I've considered coming up with a Dirty-Bar-Maid alias but just haven't got around to it yet).
"You single?" the tall one leered. I was saved by another boozer who came to the bar and ordered 3 pots of Carlton.
After that they moved away.
Shortly after I looked over to see Tall Wog trying to chat up another bar-maid. She was trying her Be-A-Bitch method and I was tempted to go tell her that that didn't work with these guys, but he hung around her for over an hour.
Eventually I got a chance when Tally's bladder was probably almost bursting after all that boozing and standing in one spot and he disappeared. I skipped over to her, "How much did you get?"
She shrugged, "$6.50"
I gave her my secret (there's a Dirty-Bar-Maid sisterhood) and wished her luck then hopped back to my part of the bar just as short wog sauntered over for another drink and he handed me another big tip, telling me I was stunning and my face exquisite, gesturing his chubby hands over his own face to emphasis his meaning. I laughed. Man I love drunk people, especially when I'm the one that has gotten them drunk.

Tall Wog came back again though, bringing a job offer for me at 'his' bar in Richmond along with the same question of whether I was single. I've never been so grateful for ear-piercing music in my life as I sidled away to serve another patron.

At 1.30am I finished for the night/morning and finally stuck my hand in my pocket and gaped at all the paper my hand met. $45 in tips!! The easiest money I've ever made!

I laughed all the way home and on Monday morning I proudly announced to my shrink that part of the money I was handing over to her was 'tip money', which saw her raise an eyebrow and I knew I was going to get a lecture next session.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Face Bulk

It's funny how we can check our reflections in the mirror a few hours before we are about to head out and be really impressed and proud of what we see. Often think, 'Shit, who wouldn't wanna a piece of this?'
And as the time draws closer to the time of our departure from the safety of our houses, we are still able to catch glimpses of our reflection and puff up like bullfrogs still with a complete guiltless vanity. The time continues to tick away and the promise of what that night will bring all thanks to our fantastic looks excites and escalates us to a dizzy degree and as we add the final touches to our persons; a sprinkle of perfume there, a dab of lippy here we begin to notice tiny things.
Is that a pimple starting to sprout above my eyebrow? .....meh, no matter. I still look hot.

Dab dab, pull on shiny new shoes, pluck off dog fluff, run fingers through newly clean hair. Turn to mirror.... smile.
Ohh, my teeth look so yellow! Must have been from that coffee I had this morning.

Brush teeth.

Much better.

Check time. Nearly time. Check reflection.

Face looks different. Did some of the makeup get washed off when I brushed my teeth?

Apply more makeup. Add more hairspray to hair. Adjust bobby pins.

Check profile in full-length mirror. Notice creases in jacket. Doesn't matter.

Time. Shit! Better add more mascara.

.........And more eye liner..

........Need more blush....

.....oh!! My neck looks so white!! Needs makeup!!

Reflection is scrutinised mercifully until time is checked. Oh my gawd! I'm late.

Grab things and rush towards door. Stop. Check reflection in hallway mirror. Mascara is already starting to run! Imagine what it will look like by the time I even get there!! Shit shit shit!

Get tissues. Dab at eyes. There's too much blush! I look like a fucking clown!

Dab Dab. I'm so late!

Take one last look at reflection. I'm hideous.

Turn face away, drop head. I'll make up for it with my personality. Looks are nothing. It's all about personality. I just hope that HE knows that.

Start towards door. What if HE doesn't? What if HE doesn't see my personality? Only the pimple above my eyebrow, the heavy make-up..... Oh my god!!! The dog fluff on my dress! HE'll think I'm just some stupid, butch farm girl that is so desperate and lonely won't need sweet talking to win over; just a good slap on the butt as a sign of affection just so she won't have to die alone with her sheep.

Slam Door. I'm hideous.

Walk to car. Who'd want me?

Get in. Slam door. I don't need anyone. I'm just gonna get maggotted tonight and everyone else including HIM can just go fuck themselves.

I hate the way we can feel beautiful till we step outside.... or the photos from that night show up on facebook.

Fuck facebook.

Can't wait for adolescence to end.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

WANTED: Validation

Too lazy to add much more. But hope that subtle message hits home. Do it bitches!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Gym Antics

The other night after a bit of coaxing with offers of treats The Canza got me down to the gym.
I had never been to a gym before, always snorted it off as the weakling's excuse for REAL EXERCISE (which- in my book- includes shearing sheep, wrestling crocs and a good old fashioned bar fight).
I was half expecting to see people frolicking around in purple spandex, leg warmers and fluro headbands as I walked up towards the double doors of the huge two-story complex, but instead was met with something far scarier- rich people!!!!!
While I'm not macaroni-and-cheese-from-the-box-for-Christmas-lunch-poor, I still get freaked out a bit by rich people, knowing that at any sudden minute when I get the urge to yell 'Stacks On!!' and throw the closest victim in the vicinity to the floor the rich people will judge me mercilessly, so I have to place a temporary curb on my Ballsiness for a while. Which doesn't agree with my excessive energy levels.

The guy behind the desk was buff and a true gym junkie and he looked at me in the 'can you please leave without a fuss' way, before The Canza stepped forward with a free-pass for me and as i maneuvered myself through the weird-arse-silver-pole-thingys I wanted to stick out my tongue all primary school and say 'suck on that bitch!'. But alas, I didn't.

As I gingerly sauntered through my first glimpse of a gym I gaped wide mouthed at the fancy equipment and tv screens as perfectly tanned, buffed bodies lifted, jogged, pushed and puffed daintily around me. We walked up to to the treadmills that looked more like spaceships with the ability to launch us onto an inter-galactic mission than contraptions used for burning all those guilty *schoolgirl giggle* (sarcasm) calories.
I stepped aboard like an astronaut onto the moon, checking what was behind me to catch my fall if I happened to fly from the mechanical wonder's clutches while attempting to bounce my blubber around in the chicken-dance fashion; a shiny, hard guy doing sit-ups behind me met my gaze and I made the mental note that I didn't want to fall and end up in that pool of bodily fluid.

The Canza instructed me onto how to use the treadmill-ship and as it slowly whirled into life I clutched desperately at the handrail with "It's moving!", getting looks from various gymies.
The Canza laughed "It's meant to do that you dickhead".
I tentatively stepped on and began to slowly move...... watching my feet as the black rubber ran beneath them, continuing to let out little cries of "ahh! ehh!". But then my eyes went up to the tv screens, "Ohh MASH is on!" and distracted I fell into a steady tread and an agreement with the tread-ship.
I slowly increased the speed, still glancing beneath my feet often to make sure they were still there when I noticed a very fit girl running on the tread-ship beside me. I peeked over at her speed and gaped- 8 KPH! Bitch! Game on!!
I increased my speed. Nothing gets me moving like competition.

We finished up there and made our way upstairs to the weights room where a trainer lent over two women on the floor as they did push-ups.
I gasped and starting snickering.
The Canza looked at me suspiciously, "What?"
"That trainer has a huge erection!!"
She laughed, "Perv".
"I didn't look on purpose! It just jumped out at me!" I protested.
"Yeah, they'll do that." She grinned slyly.

Pushing and pulling at weights for a few minutes saw us with sore muscles in no time with sweat running down into various crevices as we were reminded of other practises that have the same affects on our bodies. Loud, boyish laughing saw the serious gymies giving us dirty looks as they tried to run off that 'naughty, naughty chocolate bar from last week', so we moved on to a different room.

The last room held all these bizarre, metal contraptions that I poked and prodded at trying to figure out what they were, half expecting them to come to life and snarl at me to fuck off.
One object I sat on and accidentally slammed it into the wall, leaving a hole that made The Canza splutter with laughter so violent she dropped from this weird-bird-like-perch where she was doing press-ups onto the floor in a fit.
"Quick, run before someone notices!!" and we scampered downstairs to the sauna, nearly smacking right into big hairy men wearing only budgie smugglers as they roamed between sauna and spa and back again in what seemed like just for our benefit.

In he car on the way home I found a packet of lollies and gorged on them without a lick of guilt, "I deserve these", I told no one in particular.

And that was my first expedition to the gym. Fuck exercise is easy that way, and here I've been running my guts out on a soccer field in the freezing rain for years like a sucker!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Such is Life

When I was about 14 years old I became totally, utterly obsessed and consumed by The Kelly Gang and the whole saga that went on in Victoria in the late 19th century.
I thought it was the most romantic, adventurous, exciting tale i had ever heard and i fell madly in love with all the boys as well as their story. People thought i was mad as I told of my idol being Ned Kelly; friends felt sick as i showed them pictures of Steve Hart and Aaron ,asking them to pick who was hotter (Aaron always won- he makes Brad Pitt look like the cleaning guy at the MCG) ; my teachers didn't know whether to laugh or cry when every English oral was about Ned and his cruel injustices, every creative story was about the boys out in the bush and on the 125th anniversary of Ned Kelly's hanging I went to the principal and requested him to ask the school for another minute of silence for another fallen (or rather hung) Australian on Remembrance Day (11th of November 1880 for those playing on Mars, in caves with rocks in their ears).
One year I didn't speak for a whole day on each of the anniversaries of Joe, Steve, Dan and Ned's deaths. They were my ultimate heroes, my idea of what men were meant to be like. All the other men around me didn't come close to comparing.
I once told mum that Ned Kelly was Australia's answer to Jesus which saw her face turn three different shades of 'You are not my child!' (I'm supposed to be Catholic, but have kind of rejected the whole institutional notion of religion as most people seem to use it as just a protective blanket keeping them from questioning their true values and selves, with their motivations for doing good seeming to stem only from fear of a vengeful God- but that's another story). I explained to her that like Jesus, Ned Kelly sacrificed himself for the sake of all the poor settlers in Australia who were being persecuted under the squattocracy and police. He alone made the whole world sit up and listen and brought to even the Queen of flamin' England's nose the corruption existing in the police ranks in Australia- causing Australia to launch their first ever inquest into the Kelly Saga (a practise that of course exists and has hauled people of power and authority across the hot coals to this day).
The whole thing is still incredibly complex, but ultimately, it was the Kelly Saga, and the boys uprising to try and establish the Republic of North-East Victoria free from the unfair British Government that didn't answer to laws, as it catered only to the wealthy squatters who wanted the poor farmers out and their land back. I advise everybody to read up on this topic, it is incredibly insightful into the country we once were and I truly believe that being savvy about your own country's history is as crucial as jam on toast, it's our soul, not to mention those unaware of history are condemned to repeat it.
I soon started a Kellyana collection which now consists of around 16 books (mostly non-fiction), two movies (wanna shit bricks? Go see the Ned Kelly movie with Mick Jagger), a couple of (taped) docos, a large plush Neddie (a sense of his pride not included), a small statue of Ned, a sketch based on his photo on the day before he was hung (from a mate who told me to hang it over my bed like a portrait of the Virgin Mary or the Queen), a plush Ned Kelly magnet that I put on my bed head that says "Ned Kelly" on the back (just in case you couldn't work that out from the helmet) a copper engrave of the siege at Glenrowan, Ned Kelly soap and lip balm (birthday presents- my mates know me so well) AND 'Lorna Doone' (the original edition- even bought in the heart of Kelly Country- Beechworth) that was meant to be Ned Kelly's favourite book.
Ned, arise from the dead so I can stalk you, pwettyy please!

I still think Ned Kelly as a 16 year old (pictured above) was one of the most handsome men/boys i have ever seen and if a fella that looked like that (tall, broad shoulders, square jaw, round face, penetrating eyes, serious mouth....... swoons.. ........) strolled into my life I would need a team of wild horses to tie me down to keep me from leaping up to rip his clothes from his hard muscular shoulders and biceps and straddle........... ahh ..... edging towards inappropriateness again.
For a long time I even became convinced that somehow, in someway I was linked to the Kelly story, at first I considered somehow being a distant relative of Ned's, before deciding i was a direct descendant, before I went 'fuck it all' and concluded that I was Ned Kelly's one true love in a past life. Don;t worry, I'm on medication now.
Obsessed really is an understatement.
Now I've found other hobbies, normal hobbies, like..... drinking and picking my nose.
Whilst still rather obsessed and still adding to my collection frequently, I don;t get in blood hurdling fights anymore with people who dare to insult MY man. I simply say "You're just ignorant. I pity you." and walk away the bigger (wo)man while later wishing I had flipped through my bible (Ian Jones' A Short Life) and bahahaed all their transparent accusations with EVIDENCE!!!! AND LOGIC (something most anti-Kelly protesters always neglect when farting out their prejudiced, ill-informed word diarrhoea).

Geeze, guess I still do get my hackles up over this topic.
I still think that North-East Victoria (Kelly Country) is one of the most beautiful places and easy to fall in love with. I've lived there briefly before and plan to live there again, just need to find some sort of means.... other then becoming a bushranger..... god, it's so damn appealing though.
There truly is something incredibly inspiring about Ned and his story; the terrible hardship he endured, the persecution, the loss, the sadness... yet, he came through it all still with this incredible understanding and righteousness, of just knowing he had been wronged his whole life and many people even today reject the notion of him being a remarkable, admirable person, but he was. He was hung with his ''Conscience as clear as the snow in Peru''.
I advise anyone who doesn't know the story to go out and read it. Most historians that deal with the matter remain unbiased through their books as they cover the facts and evidence from the time, leaving readers to make up their own minds- but very few walk away untouched by Ned and his incredible ordeal. I wish I had half the integrity, courage and strength that that amazing man possessed.
I could go on all night but it's 2 am and I have a shit load of school work to do. And I'm getting threatening phone calls from my teaches that have no soft spot for my Dirty Bar-Maid charm (I hate it when your teachers are all chicks). bahaha
Such is life.

Friday, July 11, 2008


hmm... I think I'm beginning to make a habit of this. And as my other habits include drinking too much, falling over, saying very inappropriate things, picking my nose and always always being the one to take the joke too far and send every one's faces a sickly green colour that would put Shrek to shame, I'm thinking that this could be a good habit. This could be a constructive habit..
I kind of glanced over the word vomit I've spurted out in my entries on Rusted Gumption (I'm still in lurrvvvee with that name) and realised that this blog hasn't really served much more of a purpose for me then a punching bag.
So now, I'll try and seem happy and nice and not angry or bitchy while I make an entry that delves a bit deeper... into me. I'm not really sure where to start though so I'm taking other blogger's brief summing ups of themselves as inspiration.

Ahh ok, I guess I could start with the physical aspect of myself.
I'm a brunette, but my hair seems to be increasingly growing lighter, becoming redder with streaks from the sun. My hair is long and I haven't been to a hairdressers' in over 2 years because I've told myself I can do just as good a job as any of them (plus I'm a major tight arse), going for the wild bunyip look that has just swaggered out of the billabong, which is achieved by never brushing it, by applying a shit load of hairspray and hair pins to the nest when I hit the town. So successful is my styling towards the wild animal look I've woken up in many a backyard in the early morning with birds making themselves at home in it.
I get told that it looks 'sexy' though, which always makes me laugh, partly because I have the maturity of a 10 year old and partly because the people telling me that always seem to have to give into the urge of nuzzling their snouts into my wild hair when telling me this.

I'm of average height for a girl my age, around 5"9 with a 'healthy' figure. I'm not fat, nor am I thin, I get called 'lean' too, but everybody seems to have a different opinion on my body type as i guess it's kind of a rarity amongst these city folks who don't come from a long line of Western District hay carters and farmers as they ask me whether I'm a good swimmer. I'm an excellent swimmer, but that's not just because of my broad shoulders, long arms or strong upper arms (for a girl anyway- don't get mental images of a female Rock).

I'm pretty strong for a chick after growing up on a farm and doing hard psychical labour most of my life, but I still always get my arse kicked in a fight with my brother, unless I have a pillow handy to fling at his eye and break a blood vessel or two (true story- wasn't on purpose).

I've gotta say though I'm pretty happy with my tits and legs. My stomach seems to have a mind of its own majority of the time, but my tits- well they ain't too big or too small, Goldie Locks says they are jjjjjuuuusstttt right (don't take that as a lesbian insinuation).

On occasion I get told that I'm beautiful; I don't really believe people when they say that though because I have an appearance complex thanks to every fucker I ever met and ever knew calling me everything that was a synonym of bush pig between the ages of 10 and 17. Now, at 19 I'm told that I'm attractive (often by the same people who called me ugly once) and I just want to tell them to go suck my dick- if i had one.

As for me.... beneath the vanity that has taken over my self perception due to my fucking appearance; well I've been described as alot of things- black horse, different, unique, unusual, adventurous, freak, witty, eccentric, crazy, loose cannon, flirt, independent, dreamer, flighty, trustworthy, helpful, deep, complex, withdrawn, confident, ratbag, lazy, determined, loud, quiet, reckless, rash, quick, imaginative, intelligent, stupid, odd, queer, charismatic, energetic, spontaneous, unpredictable, ugly, sad, funny, etc.
Funny how alot of those words contradict each other isn't it?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Cracking, crashing and chatter

The other day my cousin told me to just write the rest of the year off, like it was car I'd hit a roo with and ordering a new part for was no longer an option for me. And the part that pisses me off is that she only knows half the friggin' stuff that has gone on and couldn't even comprehend the emotional investment it would take to truly endure the sheer brutality of the crap I'm going through; which I wouldn't expect of her, because while I love her like the sister I never had (actually as the not-indifferent-to-me sibling I never had that has replaced my wanker brother) she is pretty insensitive. But I wouldn't want anyone, even someone as close to me as she is to know the full innards and details of what has been going on.

But it's now, as I've been shipped off to a shrink who tells me I have more psychological issues then Pammie Anderson has had tests for STI and I'm forced to dredge up all the childhood crap that I've long since buried that the emotional strain of this life has just about suffocated me.
SO added to the recent stuff that has occurred I've gotta slowly sift through a LIFETIME of shit, I blocked out all those fucking years ago for a god damn fucking reason! Some stuff is just meant to stay buried for a god damn reason. I don't want to have to question every fucking element of my life, every fucking relationship I have that I have ever had. I know that they are all fucked up, I know my life and I am permanently fucked as a result, but that is something I accepted a very long time ago. That is just the way things were, the way things are.

Throw a tantrum, break a hole in the wall with your foot then dust yourself off and get the fuck on with it. It has worked for me my whole life and I hate how someone with a diploma of some fucking description things they can plough through my acceptance and quiet resignation to the fucked up way things are and throw all the shit that are my perceptions of my world at the fan.

So write off the rest of the year, yeh? Right it off, because in the remainder few months I'll be miraculously cured thanks to this shrink who is Merlin reincarnated with tits and designer boots?

I live in a fantasy world majority of the time but that doesn't mean I'm fucking stupid, I can strangely fart out a half-baked realistic perception occasionally when it's needed.

But for now, i can't cope with this crap! I just can't cope. I've had insomnia for the past few months, but now the demons in my head have joined the party and you try getting fucking perspective when those fuckers wanna get you wwaahhhhsstteedd mannn..

This is my crash and burn year. I'm just not sure where the crashing part started and where the burning began. And whether I can rejuvenate from that burning..... I know my wuvly Grampians did those years ago...but last time i checked I wasn't a bush.....(even though the activity on my legs and ....ahem would beg to differ).

I told the shrink I was seeing her for a different perspective on life.....my foundations sucked, they were cracking quicker than the crack in my windscreen... but the real reason? I didn't want to wake up in the morning any more.

Every moment just seemed like more long hangdog tread towards...... the finish line? Towards another cracked inch in my windscreen till the eventual shatter? It no longer seemed like a matter of not what if, but when? And I was exhausted. completely done. 19 years old and ready to throw in the towel? That thought alone just gave me another reason to crack open another bottle of self hatred.

Now I'm on the painy-go-bye-bye-pills everything is just numb. I don;t feel that searing pain anymore, but nor do I feel that incredibly escalating passion and high that wouldn't last long, but long enough to tell a joke that would make my mates collectively piss their pants as all that pent up crap luckily exploded in a healthy way for a while- in the beginning of a Friday night on the rocket fuel in the pretty hair and make up looking like a different person from the ugly jillaroo called 'stupid cunt' and 'fucking bitch' by the misogynist stationhands those 2 and a half years ago. Well the high would fizzle out and flop me into a low that felt like a rock sinking to the bottom of a pond, every few sunken inches would mean another loathing thought.
You're fat. One inch.
You're ugly. Two inches.
Even you're own family hates you. They didn't even try and protect you that night. Three inches.
You are a waste of space. Four inches.
Even you're brother told you to kill yourself. Five inches.
They all hate you. Six inches.
Even your dog. Seven inches.
Just die already. Eight inches.

And the longer that crack continued the shallower that pond seemed to get. Till eventually there was no high. There was no drop. There was just the bottom of that murky bond with my surroundings growing gradually darker and darker.

But now I feel suspended. Not high, not low. Just flat. Like the rock has been caught, and is poised mid-drop, held strongly, but if its reigns are given back that bitch of a rock is only going to go in one direction and that's down down down......
A state which is essentially leaving me empty and hollow, some days wishing the rock would just drop so I could feel something again.
And the demons' voices have reduced to this continuous, never ending stream of monkey chatter that goes on and on and on. I can't block it out! It's like having that stupid ginger chick with the brain-grating voice from the health insurance ads taking up permanent residence in my smouldering brain. But instead of bleating out idiotic word vomit, the voices are going through my biography, my life story as though relaying every crumby, sentimental detail to a room full of shrinks who listen, nod and write down words i can't see into exercise before occasionally interrupting me to ask how that makes me feel.


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The Theme
Look for signs of depression, Listen to your friends experiencesTalk about what’s going on and Seek help together
Using these messages about improving mental health as a theme, compose a piece of creative writing in the format of a short film script, short story or poem of no more than 1,500 words.

A gluey wetness seems to drench every inch of my hot skin. In the second after my eyes have flared open in alarm I think I’ve wet myself in my sleep. With a horrified gasp from the suffocating discomfort from the heat strangling my limbs I fling the sleeping bag off my body in disgust. It limply hurls through the air and drops from my thankful sight behind the foot of my bed. Panting, with my foul smelling hair sticking to my sickly wet face I manage to yank myself upwards into a sitting position from the bed as the fitted sheet upon which I had been lying seems for a moment to want to follow my bare sweat soaked back.
It’s so hot and I think I’m going to hurl for a moment as I suddenly realise that light has flooded my bedroom. The nightmare of the night has finally ended. The strands of my long brown hair obscure my vision but I still gaze around me numbly, my breath still running in and out in spurts that seem to shake my whole body. My mouth is so dry and the gagging taste of my breath suddenly hits me as I fling out my arm almost choking for my water bottle. Snatching it viciously from my bedside table I spit and curse over it’s emptiness before my eyes finally hit the small black digits telling the time on my mobile phone.
9 am. I swear bitterly again. It’s my birthday.

I stagger up the long hall of the farmhouse, my dead tongue running over the roof of my mouth as I look in every room individually as I pass it. It’s all the same as when I went to bed the night before, then the thought hits me bitterly, did I expect it to be different?
In the kitchen I wrench open the door of the old fridge that whines as though in protest. My hand grabs at the first object and I twist the lid off the bottle of milk. Gulping deeply, the cold liquid freezes my tongue as I drink and drink heavily till I have to stop to breath. Heaving, with the dead taste in my mouth now sickly mingled with the thick remnant liquid of the milk I put it back in the fridge as I remember that it’s my birthday. The thought sinks in gradually, I’m 18.
A grimace slices through my face and my brow knots up painfully with anguish.
“Fucking wonderful” I sneer to myself.
The sun is already gushing strongly through the large kitchen window that is so thick with built up dirt visibility through it is no longer possible. It feels like just another day, but it’s not, it’s ten times worse than an ordinary day, the dreaded, cursed day that had been lurking at the back of the mind and loitering in a future that seemed too far away to be even comprehended only a few weeks ago has finally arrived in grandly-shit glory. I give a shriek of anger and pad out of the kitchen with a heavy tread before I start venting my fury on the walls and crockery of the filthy old kitchen.

As I open the back door a fury brown lump instantly flings itself at me. I’m surprised at the sound of my own laughter, “Brandy you stupid mutt”. She stands on her hind legs with the sharp nails of her front paws digging into my leg, her floppy puppy tail that she still has little control over spirals in every direction, her big shiny eyes staring at me mischievously. Her nails begin to hurt so I push her off me.
Maggie is there too, older and more observant to my moods she hangs back till I give her a ‘Good morning your heiness’.
Then, pink tongue lolling she mooches over for a cuddle.
“I’m nearly as old as you are today Magsy” she grins, “It’s not bloody funny!”. She keeps grinning. “Good on ya”.

My pack and I saunter outside into the day. I round the old milking shed and narrow my eyes into the distance. Something white lies near the Woolshed. My head droops as I go get the shovel and some twine from the machinery shed.

We tread through the dewy grass not speaking. Brandy romps ahead while Maggie and I are more sober, remaining side by side at a steady pace. Occasionally her nose drops to snuff something in the grass, but she doesn’t let her small white paws fall out of line with the scuffed brown toes of my Blundstones.
As we near the object lying in the grass, illumination shows its texture to be far from white as any optimistic doubt I had on my final conclusion drops away. Standing over the sheep’s carcase Maggie and I look down at its glazed eyes, swirling with a colourful oily spill.
Still in my bright red pyjama pants I bend down, the pain in my knees forgotten. “Sorry buddy” I whisper softly as I begin to wrap the blue twine around the wether’s hind legs.
I stand straight and wrap the twine around the shovel before I start to drag the heavy carcase of the animal through the dirt, the dogs trotting along behind like a funeral procession.
Pain from my knees seems to seer up my spine with every cursed step. I spin around and begin the trudge backwards, a crude grin making its way across my face, “Happy birthday to me! Happy birthday to me! At least my day hasn’t run, with as much fun, as the poor bugger I’m draggin’ along. Happy birthday to me!”
The dogs both give a few swishes of their tails, but I think it’s only to humour me, so I ignore them and keep trudging in silence, insulted.

At the fire pit I untie the twine from the shovel and start sifting through the bones and burnt carcasses of other long dead sheep before I find a spot that seems to have no big lumps of crap hidden beneath it to block this sheep’s passage into its grave. I start to dig, thinking about every other sheep lying scattered in numerous spots on the pile individually. I dig up skull.
Was that the fella that chased Brandy when she was only a few weeks old?
I hit a leg bone.
Was that the ewe that spat the drench all over my face that day when I tried to dose her?
Eventually I had cleared a sufficient hole for the latest edition to the bone pile.
Superstitiously I look carefully for a long moment one last time for a pulse. Once satisfied on the wether being dead I drag him into the hole and don’t look at his face as I push the fire pits’ collection of ash, carcass and bone over the body as though it were just pure dirt.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A dirty bar-maid was born

I've turned over a new leaf and am finally delving into the alter-ego I've been fantasising about since I hit puberty and like most young girls developed an infatuation for the leather-clad, big-booted, muscle-upped bad boy. And the best way to get to these bad boys?

Be a dirty barmaid.

You heard it here first folks. I'm officially a dirty bar-maid.

And we're not talking any of that pussy RSL bistro waitress crap, but the fully-fledged, sports-bar, stale-beer-soaked-couches and cleaning up after drunken gamblers dirty bar-maid. And I love every minute of it.

My first day on Saturday arvo saw the drunken old timers swaggering up to the bar as I timidly began to learn my way around the taps with twinkles in their eyes;
'G'day love. You the new apprentice, eh? ' they'd give a tooth-gaped grin.
I'd glance in their direction, cringing as another slop of beer escaped the glass and ran down my already drenched arm with the rolled up sleeve.
"That's right" I'd smile mischievously, gearing up for their next remark.
David, Biff, Charlie or Kev would then extend a grubby hand to shake my wet one as they ask for my name.
"Lana or larn, was it?"
I nod, "Whatever you're still able to pronounce at the end of the day mate."
They'd cackle, ask for another schooner of beer and swagger back to their mates and the plasma screen showing the horse race at Eagle Park or the dish lickers in Shepparton.

Within an hour of donning my dirty bar-maid smile I was on first-name basis with half the bar, had learnt that Charlie's beers were always free because his week's pay was always blown before it had even reached the bottom of his pocket on the doggies, Fred liked a shot of lemonade in his beer and that Dave was a 'stalker'; "It's alright, I need one of them" I tell him not glancing up from the beer I'm trying to get the perfect head on. No puns thanks.

A group of hot guys strut in and take seats around the front window; replenishing their rounds every few minutes as I dash up and down the bar trying to get in clean glasses and not drop a rack holding 50 schooners that are the thin line in between my living to a ripe old age and dying at the age of 19. I'm sent around the sports bar to grab dirty glasses and wipe tables, gliding past the table of hot guys I nervously squeeze in amidst them and don't make eye contact, my bar-maid charm taking a cigarette break as I begin to stack their mountain of glasses into my trembling hands. They have gone from laughing and bantering boyishly to going awkwardly quiet and I skim around their table hoping I don't fuck things up when one (and ugly one--- fuck!!) coyly smirks and tells me about the spillage 'down there' nodding his head in the direction of his open legs.
I give a faint smile, "Yeh, sorry, I can't help you with that' and I wonder if they got the joke as I move back to the bar with the stack of glasses, leaving silence in my wake amongst them. The dirty bar-maid heard no more from then on-in.

Later, zipping past the older blokes through their roars of 'Kick the cunt! Kick 'im!' I accidentally knocked over an empty schooner glass that bangs down loudly onto the wooden table top amidst piss-taking cries of "Ahhhh!!! Geeze Lana!" from the blokes as they cackle. I hold up my hands, holding scrunched up tote tickets and a wetex, "You're all drunk!" I announce, "You're just imaging things!". They cackle for a minute before turning back to their precious doggies and ponies, "Carrn you mousy prick!!".

But from that first day- those mere six hours I decided that pouring beers is just one of the things I was born to do.

Write, drink, pull, ride, drive, rouse, drench, dance, laugh- my life. Fuck yeah!!

Raise your glasses to all of your resident (dirty) bar-maids.