I was completely alone… (1980)
I was completely alone on that afternoon in March on Chapel St. as I made my way to my cheap tawdry lodgings…I had dressed up for my arrival into Melbourne and decided upon a little vintage sailor girl look, with knee high white socks and a hopeful passionate air about my head!
I knew nobody and nobody knew me but I was thrilled with the prospect of my Boarding House life as it was much cheaper than taking a flat. I believed the one I had circled in the Age Newspaper from my mums lounge room floor in Tasmania even had a Night Attendant and that someone came and dusted your room once a week!
But…My Boarding House had lied to me. It was nothing like the ad in the paper and in fact, upon reflection, I do believe it was a giant toilet block.
Urine clung to the walls like mould to cheese and my room held a single bed and had a shared bathroom. The lighting was so melancholic that it startled me. The air in the hallway was flat and stale and seemed to hold the dangerous air of supreme nothingness. It was very hard to hold “nothingness” but this place had it coming out of its dreary corridors.
I was a fearless, yet frightened little thing. Scared of everything and nothing all at the same time.
The days were endless, some days going by where I didn’t speak to anybody and other days where I found myself catching trams to anywhere. I’d sit on those trams to nowhere staring out the window at the Melbourne suburbs, imagining, daydreaming, fantazing. I’d deliberately get lost in new towns like Ivanhoe, Camberwell and Hawthorn visiting Churches, cemeteries, garden shops, opp shops.
I’d hitchhike back to my Boarding House where I learnt to sleep sitting up as the menacing man with no soul (who boarded opposite) had somehow cut a key to my room. I would wake to him standing over me naked, with a drunken breath and my heart would sink a thousand depths. I bought a small hammer to bash in his skull but his soul was too tormented, his morals long gone, his deranged ramblings like listening to the devil. He filled my days and night with such terror and anxiety that sometimes I didn’t sleep for three nights in a row. He’d push condoms under my door, yelling out my name and forcing his way in…his face was ravaged with deceit and horror.
I had been discovered!!
(part 2 of 4)