So we decide on dinner at Queen Street.
I wear this red dress that I bought second-hand and had been saving for an occasion (I’m a thematic dresser at the best of times). It ties up like a noose around my ribcage, snug beneath my bust. I like this right now, the fact that it accentuates the parts of me that have grown up, that aren’t thirteen anymore. My make-up sweats as I cross the William Jolly and I imagine foundation clumping at my neckline like impasto on a canvas which is dumb, because that’s not what happens.
I don’t know – you ever get the feeling that your life is fucked up beyond repair? I’m only 24, but I already kind of think mine might be. And this isn’t just something that’s occurred to me in the last couple of weeks – I’ve known and I’ve known as early as high school, because me and my friends…we were weird kids.
You may not remember me. In fact I am quite sure you don’t, so I will fill you in on the details of our meeting. It was 2004. I was a fifteen year old boy from the country, and you were a fifteen year old girl from the roughest parts of Ipswich, and you could drink more than anyone I have met. My best friend invited me over for the weekend and dragged me to a stoner basement for an underage party with all of his Ipswich friends that only knew me as “Spanish” even though I do not have Spanish heritage or look in any way Mediterranean. You approached me when I arrived and you were the first girl who ever tried to have sex with me.
When I was 17, my friend Sophie and I took a week-long job in Yamba, babysitting five kids under five. I didn’t have any experience looking after children, but I had read a lot of Baby-sitters Club books. I was convinced our holiday would be like issue #8, Boy-Crazy Stacey, in which Stacey and Mary Anne go to Jersey Shore as mothers’ helpers. There’s a carnival, and ice-cream, and Stacey falls in love with a hot lifeguard named Scott, who ends up being about 900 years old and a total douchebag, but it’s okay because then she meets the guy she’s really supposed to be with and they get it on in the Tunnel of Luv.