Season One, episode four is live! You can listen to this episode on all our usual platforms, including iTunes, SoundCloud and YouTube. If you haven’t subscribed yet, make sure you do so to make sure you don’t miss an episode!
Full transcript below…
Trusty old journal, bet you didn’t expect to hear from me again, I know I didn’t. I usually suck at keeping records and diaries,but turns out I enjoy talking about Megs too much, not sorry.
I have a serious problem. I am actually turning into a cheesy 90s character. I feel like I’m in an afterschool special these days with an everything will be okay out look and a side of love to cure-all. Someone needs to intervene before I start scaring children with manic smiles and random outbursts of song. These days I am erring on the side of scary and I’m surprised my Mum hasn’t made some snarky remark about my singing around the house and smiling into my sketch pad. She’s so wrapped up in her own world. I’m not surprised they don’t notice my happiness. It’s not like I’m smiling at her. I’m doing the opposite and tend to avoid her like the plague these days, if happiness is catching so is anger.
I’m smiling at Megs, about Megs, because of Megs. The way she still looks surprised when I run up and hug her from behind in the court-yard, the way her forehead crunches up in embarrassment over her parents fussing over me, how she constantly checks on me asking with words and her expression if I’m okay. I’m completely in awe that a girl like her would ever choose a girl like me.
Last week I went up to her apartment to met her parents. Walking into the hall I was struck by the art decorating the walls, the shiny hardwood floors, they even had a side table with a decorative vase and photos of Megs doing all sorts of achievements, compared to my place it was like an alien environment.
To say Megs house was out of my comfort zone is the understatement of the year. I couldn’t help but be nervous, none of my friends places have been in a gated apartment complex, she has a foyer for gods sake, with a couch. I’ve never felt pressure like that before how does one impress people you’ve never met? The two people in the world I wanted to make like me and lets face it I’m not the most likable.
I get followed around at bunnings and my bag checked every single time I leave a store. I don’t think my vandalism will be a trait they appreciate. I tried to dress up but felt stupid in everything so paint splattered vans, my least faded pair of jeans and nicest k-mart hoodie it was. I’m sure the frame around Megan winning the debate competition last year cost more than my entire outfit.
I don’t think it went badly, it could have been worst. I’ve never been in a relationship where I wanted to meet the persons cousin let alone their parents. Coby in year 7 lasted 2 weeks before we both got bored and decided tight lipped kissing in the park just wasn’t for us, year 7 crushes never work out the way your 12 year old dreams make them out to be. After Cobes I mainly had a lot of hook ups. Sweet 16 birthdays with a stolen bottle of wine and a game of truth and dare lead to my first pash with April. The sour taste of passion pop coating our mouths. I think I licked the poor girls teeth while she gently showed me how to french. There were a couple other hook ups after, year ten formal making out with Todd our star rugby player, built like a house he could pass for 21 even with his patchy stubble. I’ve never wanted more from my past likes, kissing Coby was cute in a twealvy way, making out with April had me realising I wanted to kiss girls more than I did guys and kissing Todd was like saying goodbye to my old school life, bitter sweet and not nearly as satisfying as I had hoped.
Megan’s different. With Megan I want to spend time with her parents, I want to meet the people who shaped this incredible human. I’m not sick of us, I’m addicted overtime I leave I crave a little bit more. I look forward to listening to her get worked up over the essay that’s due 2 weeks from now, her eyebrows crinkling together in frustration at my lack of urgency, how she laughs, eyes scrunched and white teeth on show at my impression of King George when we’re both belting out Hamilton lyrics walking to school. Megan showed me so much of herself in introducing me to her parents I knew it was time to step up and show her how much she meant to me too.
So Last Saturday I invited Megan over to mine, directing her to catch the Werribee or Subury train jumping off at Footscray. Stomping my feet and rubbing my hands together against the icy wind I grabbed us some olympic donuts to warm us up on the walk over to mine. The whole way I stressed, half paying attention to what Megan was saying, something about a new artwork at the gallery and how good the donuts were. That girl, never having Olympic donuts before! Yeah, who knows how she’s survived this long.
I’m falling behind in most of my subjects (suprise!) so Megan came armed with text books and notes galore. Classes are harder my brain just wont corporate. The problems refuse to stick in my head. I’m sure spending 5th period doodling in my notebook doesn’t help; it does however save me from giving my self an aneurism trying to work out quadric equations, stupid weird grids.
No ones home at mine on Saturdays, exactly how I like it. I spent too much time cleaning my room and forgot Megan would have to walk through the rest of the house so there was a sink full of the dishes and laundry stacked on the couch waiting to be folded, undies out for the world to see. I led Megan ahead of me quickly standing on the back of her heels trying to usher her into my room as fast as possible. Once we were in she just kinda stood there and looked. Taking in my tiny space.
A4 pages of various pieces I had finished were blutacked to the wall above my bed. Second hand desk I’d gotten from the op shop, painted a glossy black doubled as my bedside table. I decorated the right edge with a silver Posca, a swirling woven thing I’ve been adding to including maths problems I’d rather draw than solve, quotes of my English text book, science facts from my psychology book, and an outline of Audrey Hepburns face twirled in within the lines so you have to search the breaks to actually see the definition.
My room is tiny, so much smaller than hers but I like it, I can reach my desk from the head of my bed and turn the light off by standing on the end of the bed.
I’ve covered up wall cracks and nail marks with my drawings over the years, from pieces, to drawings of trees morphing into letters, some of my fave lyrics bombed onto a train carriage and the latest one that captured Megan’s attention so much I ended up letting her take it home. It’s us or, well, parts of us. Our hands, fingers entwined over a coffee cup, the Starbucks logo barely recognisable, but looking as closely you can make out her exact coffee order and the small flecks of paint distinguishing one hand from another. After spinning in a circle she turned to me, light in her eyes and a smirk on her pretty face “so, this is your room” I raised an eyebrow at her a trick that took me weeks to learn but serves me well, “I hope so otherwise were going to be in some trouble” I replied flopping down at the head of my bed “so, how do you want to do this”. At the sight of her red face I realised just what a innuendo that sounded like but she just chucked her bag at me and sat opposite, knees touching my knees.
Turns out having her over to help with homework wasn’t the best idea. All I could think about was her knees grazing mine and the empty house as I started to spread out our text books.
Perks of having a small room:
All Megan had to do to reach my pencil case was lean over me and reach for it on my desk. Her top rode up just a little and hovering over me I caught her hips just in time as she over balanced and started to slip. The feel of her bare skin was so warm compared to my frozen hands, she yelped complaining about the cold but not moving out of my grip. After a second though Megs was quick to recover giving me a kiss on the forehead and sitting up “Maths” she tried to say it sternly but her voice broke on the one syllable word I laughed as we surveyed the mess of textbooks on the bed.
The rest of the afternoon went by quickly Megs peering at my work and giving me simple corrections, me being completely distracted by her. I feigned dying at hour 2 until Megs agreed we should take a break.
And of course because this is me the inevitable happened. The universe likes to dole out a good deal of suck with happiness. Walking into the kitchen searching for snakes I saw Mums keys on the table and a bottle of wine already opened, only a glass poured out I still held onto hope she didn’t go to the pub after work. Sneaking back down the hall I found Megan standing and speaking to the one and only mother dearest, hearing her slight slur I could tell she’d already had a few drinks but maybe I was just listening to hard for it and Megs wouldn’t notice.
Mums not a bad person, she’s just frustrating when she drinks and she’s always drinking. It’s mostly harmless shit like, singing to my friends, even once scaring off one of my friends claiming they can sleep over if they slept in her bed. She has no boundaries after a few drinks and thinks it’s hilarious. It’s definitely not hilarious when I have to fetch her from the pub because she’s too pissed to walk straight.
Megan looked a bit overwhelmed but was keeping up with the conversation, smiling tightly and answering Mums questions quickly. The usual who are you, where’s Desaray, what are youse doing here? Homework? Oh do you go to the rich bitch school too?
None of this was said with malice Mum was down right conversational in her tone and took no notice of Meagan tugging at her jacket sleeves and looking around the room probably for the fastest escape route. Before she decided to take a running leap out my window I quickly got Mums attention, handing Megan a bottle of water and asking her how work was I steered Mum into the Hall. Always one to get the last dig in Mum finally left leaving me to “study” she laid a heavy emphasis on the word and looked at Megan one last time before finally going back to the kitchen.
Mum’s caught me kissing all types of people before but she’s never addressed it, she doesn’t address much. That’s my family, all ignore, ignore, ignore. Take my graff, I don’t hide my paint, my walls are covered with sketches do you think she’s ever said anything about it? Nope.
I panicked at Megs putting away all the text books. I couldn’t leave the day tarnished by my Mums slurred words. I wanted Megs to see into a part of my life and this was definitely not part of who I am. It was a tint part of my life I’d rather not share with anyone. My mums drinking isn’t my life not really. Studying? Definitely not a part of my life that I want. I was wracking my brains trying to save the day, what would Megan think looking back on this? Was all I could focus on. I have an awesome memory of her parents and making out in her room and what was she going to have? Maths and some kissing ruined by the fact my mum walked in and basically called her a rich bitch?
Not happening. It was now or never really, if I wanted her to see a part of me no one else has that’s not my family or even my bedroom.
Grabbing her hand I hoisted her backpack on and pulled her down the hall way, past mum watching some overrated reality show and into the street, just walking away in silence I couldn’t help feeling nervous. I’m 1000 percent certain Megan didn’t frequent abandoned buildings all that often and that’s where we were headed.
I hadn’t spoken a word on the way squeezing her hand as a response every time she went to talk. Jumping on the Werribee line we jumped off at Spotswood, looking back on it I should have just taken her here first, because truly I wanted to share my real self, the place where I felt at home like she did and my house wasn’t it.
It’s weird how things you wouldn’t really notice become magnified when someone else is looking at them. At Spotty abando I finally spoke, in a nervous rush I blurted out where we were while helping her step over the fallen chain link fence. Spotty abando is a pretty well known spot and really chill so I wasn’t worried about us getting caught trespassing, when I said this to Megan you’d think I had just shouted “Run Cops” her face dropped, she glanced all around her surveying the place. Maybe I should recruit her as my new spotter the way she took in every square inch. The glamorous adventures of Des and Meg painting walls with math equations. When did I turn into this lame romantic? Planning a future in criminal damage with my gorgeous girlfriend. I’m sure her parents would love me after a call from the cops, ergh we’re not even going to imagine what that would be like.
Staring at Megs, I just watched her take in the abandoned place, eyes roaming from the high walls, half ceiling. Looking with her I saw few new pieces from taggers I recognised, a kego block piece rollered halfway up the wall, a Raxoe piece with a pin point 3D straight ahead, A signature old style Lush Sux piece feature um… male anatomy. Empty ironlak cans and nibs littered on the floor. broken glass everywhere.
After a bit she turned to me and asked why we were here. In one deep breath I made the decision that I really really liked this girl and I wanted her to like me for me. Grabbing her hand I led Megs over to sit with me on some rusted out stairs. Side by side, hips touching, and fingers entwined I looked down at our hands and everything spewed out of me. Megan had told me so much these last few weeks, from her fears, her aspirations, her past loves, and I’d sat and listened not adding anything about me. I made the right decision I couldn’t expect her to truly see me when I had one hand over her eyes blocking the true me, lying by omission.
Waiting for the perfect moment is bullshit, perfect moments only exist in hindsight. Sucking it up I just blurted out everything. I told her I wanted to show you me, my home and asking you to come over was just the barest part of me. She looked really confused and Man I really should remember she can’t see inside my brain. I wanted to bring you into my life, to show you me, not school me, or art gallery me, the raw me, the one who lives in a house that needs painting and a street that you shouldn’t walk around alone unless you know everyone, the one with a drunk for a Mum. She tried interrupting me at that but I raised my hand and kept talking. I said that isn’t me, sure those are parts of my life but it’s not me. Spreading my arms wide gesturing to the dilapidated warehouse, this is me. I knew I wasn’t making much sense but this girl she’s just so good, I don’t want my life to drag her down but man I want her in my life. My dirty, graffitied, life.
We spoke for a good hour, well it as mainly I spoke. I told her about feeling like I don’t fit anywhere and it’s true. I don’t fit in with my parents, I don’t want to end up in a 2 bedroom rundown house, I don’t want to be a cleaner, or go to a uni and make my family “proud”, I don’t have ambitions like Megs. I don’t deserve to be at a fancy school while so many kids missed out. I don’t fit in, I’m the sore spot in a perfect landscape, the abandon building amongst shiny warehouses and offices. I’m the ungrateful kid at Hogwarts, a Hermione if she decided to burn her books and bum around, unappreciative of all the opportunity literally handed to her.
I explained I took her here because this is the real me: it’s dirty, grimy, and beautiful. It’s the cracked concrete walls and broken glass, ugly walls painted over with a rainbow pieces, it’s the shity tags too, the scrawl that people don’t find attractive. That as much as I try to blend in with this new world of fancy words and $200 haircuts I can’t and don’t want to. As much as I can try to paint over the cracks and ugly bits of my life I’ll never fit in. I can agree when people say my choppy hair cut is so cute and indie but I’m always going to be just a girl with a shit pair of blunt scissors chopping her bangs and trying to blend.
You know what that girl did, what this beautiful, amazing, smart girl did? She took my head in her hands and kissed me on the checks still laughing all the while, she told me she loves me for all my imperfections and couldn’t give a damn about my cracks, hell she loves me for my cracks, she outright threw out not being worthy of her world. she told me all she saw was beauty inside and out. I threw my arms around her then head buried into her shoulder, this goddamn girl who I am still not worthy of accepts me flaws and all, choppy haircut and messed up family. Smiling into her neck I tightened my grip on her, she said the L word, just chucked it about so casually like I’d miss it.
Echoy footsteps ruined the moment, coming from the other side of the factory we bolted out the back entrance, running around the corner gasping for breath and smiling at each other, one word and all my worries disappeared, because of one single careless syllable.
After I dropped her at home I texted her and we’ve been talking even more than before. I feel light for once, I feel happy. Not even Mum yelling on the phone about a late bill, or my growing pile of homework cane ruin my mood. I have Megan and she has me, together we can do everything.
I vow to myself to study more, to try harder, to be more. Because even if she does except me. crappy life and all I want to be more for her, I want to live up to her Love.