Not homesick –
but still pining for a Carlton and a pack of Champion Ruby, feigning like dogs from back home, northwards of the city, where the sun beats down on the final few generations of farmers to work the land. Them, like I, they’ve realised they can’t stay.
City after city seems to melt around me, monuments form minute hands and dollar signs are difficult to convert to euro. Languages I can’t speak are music on lonely, sunlit afternoons spent drawing breath on cobblestones, golden spires, bronze warriors I don’t know and will never meet – see, our warrior was clad in iron.
I can read it like a dog smells. Ciggies with red lippy on the end and roaches with a little weed left over, I can read it like it’s tea leaves, the meeting of the ancient and the instant, the incomprehensible duality of man.
The black oily fuel for tourists sipped in squares of light and late music, old men and flash cameras, pink dresses and those same-same ash stains, I see them next to gum leaves I carry with me and giggle at the contrast. Beauty? I don’t know it, but it’s something more than fashion, something more than grandeur, nothing less than home.