CUWAM- There are no answers in the bottle

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Another week passes me by, and I sit at my computer on a Sunday evening, struggling to recall the events of the last 7 dazes…What happend to me? What did the week that was reveal?

One thing I learnt, and learnt the hard way, was that there are no answers in the bottle…The demon drink is not my friend.

A long, long week at the office, culminating in two after work functions, one on Tuesday and one of Thursday. Tuesday, Melbourne Cup Day in Australia…a day nationally recognised as day when nobody is expected to work…Yes, you show up to the office, answer a few emails, but my midday, you are sipping champagne and casually chatting to colleagues you have never conversed with about the beauty of horses and the joys of betting.

Strangely enough, you don’t like horses and you never bet, but that does not matter….this is the Melbourne Cup, and you just get involved…and you have a wonderful time!!

Except if you work in international education…My boss thought it would be a good idea to host a student function from 4pm-7pm that evening…And all hands were on deck from 1pm onwards to set up for the event….How un Australian…what was she thinking?…But to her credit the event, though not as trilling as the mighty horse race, the event was a hit, and student praise came through via email the next day….a job well done…and my 3rd place in the office sweep softened the blow of having to work into the early evening….

Back to the demon drink, to celebrate the end of the student function, dinner and drinks at Essen, Broadway followed…Cider and schnitzel the size of a Austria were devoured…And so began my relationship, on a mere Tuesday, with alcohol….

It might be fair to say that the weeks focus could have very easily been gelato….for on Monday the 31st of October, Halloween…I had ventured to Gelato Messina after a gym session….and perused the trick or treat ice creams made in the days honour…Red Skin, Pumpkin, Licorice Allsorts…I sampled them all….settling on Rocky Road Gelato…Nice….but sadly not erasing the days memories of 9-5 office administration…I needed the hard stuff to get me through the week…

Wednesday came and went….and by Thursday, and evening at Alliance Francaise in the City, lead to all out drinking session with two work mates, Scott and Kenny at the Edinburgh Castle Hotel, Sydney City…One wine lead to another, my credit card starting paying for beverages (never a good sign)…..Thursday evening began Friday morning….and when the clock ticked over… was time to call it a night / day/ a truce….an end to carnage….

Friday….a dark haze settled in…In eveloped me and I waded through emails, student consultations, a morning tea, a short lunch break and much self loathing to emerged at 5pm certain of one thing only….I needed to go to bed….Somehow I made it home…Sydney’s evening traffic had come to a standstill….A breakdown on the Harbour Bridge bringing its transport system to its knees…But some how, buses to East were moving faster than the usual snail pace…and with the click of my shoes, Dorothy style, I was home….BED…xxx

Saturday and Sunday…No plans, no commitments, a self-imposed weekend of rest….I had been on the go since arriving home from my Europe / UK / USA adventure four weeks ago, I could take no more…Time spent with Flora the cat in my hammock, the Saturday and Sunday papers…much time on the internet, facebook and a Saturday night movie was hired ‘ The Social Network’…a movie which made me think about how facebook has enabled me to reconnect with friends on a global level, and connect with relative ease…friends I made when travelling 10 years ago around Europe….Facebook, for that I am thankful…

Sunday…a morning excursions to the wonderful Sydney beach side playground…Bondi …In all is glory, a 30 degree day, the land of the beautiful people, and they had all come out to play in the sun…Coffee in hand I strolled along the pavement, soaking up the heat, browsed at the market stalls and took photos of the sand, the surf and the people who were making this beach day their own….

I purchased a subway map of NYC and a city monument map of Paris….Both are now proudly displayed on the walls of my flat, a silk dress from a lady selling her clothes in a Bondi side street and a second-hand copy of the novel Cloudstreet….Happy Days…

An afternoon nap and the constant requirement to sweep the floorboards of my flat…Flora is loosing her winter coat, tufts of black fur are flying around like tumble weeds…..It is enough to drive me to drink….But having gone there this week, and found little comfort and or answers, coffee and tea is my new drink of choice… I pray that I do not require anything stronger to get through the week!!

When the music’s over…..

Write On Wednesdays Exercise 22 – Select a piece of music that reflects the mood of writing you’d like to aim for. Press play. Start free writing. Write the first words that come into your head. When the music’s over, so is the writing.

I struggle to write to music, to a tune….but as I strolled to work yesterday, I was hummed to myself the song ‘ I need a dollar’ a song that seems to be getting airplay on commercial radio…

Not a care in the world, the sun shining, the click of my maroon high heel shoes, purchased a month ago at a Brooklyn flea market, the very sight of them enough to entice a smile spread across my face….All is the world was good.

As I passed through Central station, and stepped out onto the foot path, heading on foot towards Broadway, he approached.

A young man, dressed in a hoodie and track suit pants…he looked sad, lost, unsteady on his feet.

‘ Can you spare some loose change Miss?’ he said

Startled from my own private universe of morning thoughts, I looked in his direction…His face, a young man…boy even, with sad eyes, eyes that were struggling to focus on me, vacant…

‘ No’ came my automatic response, and my maroon shoes continued along the well-worn path to work

But the image of the boy stayed with me throughout the day….It would not leave…..That boy was some one’s child, he belonged to someone, yet for whatever reasons, he had picked me that morning to provide the much-needed small change….the more I thought about it seemed that his request was a way of expressing his despair, hurt, disappointment and anger with the world…. Had he just wanted to heard?…acknowledged as a person in need?

I will never know…and some 48 hours later I can’t help but wish my reaction had been more compassionate, more caring…..that I had stopped in my tracks and handed over a couple of coins…but that cannot be for my maroon shoes and I, we kept on walking…

Below is the tune that inspired this piece….

I need a dollar- Aloe Blacc

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