People of the world: let it be known – I do not drink coffee. Or tea. Or beer, wine, or Coca Cola for that matter. Housemates and colleagues eventually stop asking. I never bothered to ‘learn’ how to enjoy drinking beer and I hate the taste of wine, so drinking alcohol is really a means to an ends.
The last time I drank (champagne) was at a party at the Round House last week*. The Round House is a place up the road in Beachville that we book out if we have visiting artists. It has a sweet pool and a massive TV with Foxtel so we always have multiple parties whenever we’ve got anyone staying at that house.
I dropped some extra chairs over in the arvo and was so taken aback by a winning smile from the gardener that I nearly invited him to our party that evening. I bloody should have! Later that night, as I was walking to the Round House I met a guy holding a pizza walking in the same direction. I almost invited him to the party too, but by the end of our 400 metre conversation I was glad I hadn’t.
What these two anecdotes clearly demonstrate (am I writing an essay now? Clearly demonstrate? Wtf?) is that in an isolated area with a limited pool of available talent to pick from that almost EVERYONE becomes a potential future husband and there’s no time to be shy and retiring. Upon entering a venue (say, the Mess Hall or the Tavern) 50% of the time I’ll do a scan of the premises, scoping the joint for eligible bachelors before relaxing when there is inevitably none in sight. This makes me seem like a desperate large savannah cat ready to pounce on the right prey, but I swear, the other 50%** of the time I dress in shorts and a T shirt and actually forget about anything other than work or how quickly my meal will arrive.
To further illustrate this point, (running with the essay style), I recently met a girl who lives in K-Hole and offered me a place to crash if I ever wanted to stay the night in K-Hole, rather than drive an hour home sober or pay $300 in taxi fares back to Beachville. I’ve been trying to meet a friend like her all year in order to use them for this purpose! “OMG!” she exclaimed, upon sympathizing with my ‘singledom in smalltown sucks’ tirade, “I HAVE TO organize a party and my new boyf can bring in some of his work friends with him so you can meet more guys!” Sweet, except for the fact that him and his work buddies will be driven in from mining camps over two hours away. Luckily this plan never came into fruition.
Anyway, three anecdotes later, let’s get back to the Round House party. Extra chairs are delivered, I have walked there sans pizza-bearing new boyf. This time the party was with a visiting film crew and a photographer. A totally babin’ photographer. Quiet nature, curious eyes, olive skin, stubble and wavy black hair of rock star length***. I know it’s cliché but he really was dreamy. He’d taken my portrait the day before the party. There was absolutely no chemistry, conversation or interest, but the fact that he was an attractive man within 100kms meant he was potentially my future boyfriend. It was nice having something lovely to look at around the office and to have someone new to engage in clichéd romantic fantasies about for a week. When he left we hugged awkwardly and he said ‘Hey if you’re ever in Melbourne let me know and I’ll show you where to find a good coffee.’ An invitation! From a rock star haired dreamy photographer! To spend time together in a hip city! My awesome, witty and flirtatious response? ‘Uhhhhm… I don’t drink coffee.’ ‘Tea, then?’ he asked. Now, I studied theatre. I know the basics of improvisation – accept and add. But did my BA Communication: Theatre/Media come in handy at this point? ‘Nah I don’t drink tea either.’ He paused, shrugged and said ‘Oh. See you later then.’ Thanks university, you gave me a bit of paper and a degree title with lots of punctuation in it, but you’ve failed me here. It’s like I’ve forgotten how to talk to men.
Last week I was writing about internet dates in Alice Springs and now I’m writing about my drinking problems and social awkwardness in Beachville. As I write this I’m now sitting in a quaint terrace house in a hip neighbourhood in Melbourne Town. As I should have anticipated, the city is a little bit, TOTALLY spinning me out with its tall buildings, millions of people out in public all the time, transport and entertainment options, loud noises and bright lights, not to mention the overwhelming amount of attractive men everywhere I look and the copious opportunities to engage them in conversation- on trams, in crowded laneway pubs, in the foyer at the theatre, in a queue to get into a trendy warehouse breakfast cafe etc etc. Hopefully these ridiculously well dressed godlike beings will soon become so commonplace that they’ll blend nicely into the background, my radar will relax a little and my standards will lift. Hopefully I’ll just re-acclimatise to east coast city living and I’ll stop feeling like I need to replace my entire wardrobe and get more interesting stories that don’t revolve around living in a remote/seemingly exotic but actually quite boring place. Hopefully soon I’ll stop feeling like a small town girl in a big city world, a mature and cool, calm and collected world full of adults, where I’ve turned into some wide eyed kid excited about shops being open on Sundays, cheap mangoes, public transport and tasteful public art.
In conclusion, I’ll return to writing about my riveting past shortly. I’ll finally write about dancing and speed dating in K-Hole, the rest of my Alice Springs internet dates, my brief affair with a lovely Laotian puppeteer and teach you all how to pick up a cowboy (Step 1: Go to a rodeo, Step 2: Instead of jeans and a checkered shirt, wear a dress).
*Actually, since writing this blog I’ve drank an entire bottle of Moscato in a noisy Asian restaurant upon landing in Melbourne to visit friends.
**These percentages are totally unbalanced to make me appear to be more balanced.
***Are you getting sick of my poor descriptions of babin’ guys? I always feel like I’m writing a lame romance novel if I have too many adjectives.