Hot town, summer in the city

This is slightly lazy but I feel like it’s the best tribute to another steamy dreamy Brisvegas weekend, now I’m back down south and in need of some catch-up sleep. It’s a scrambled old diary entry from back in December…

Fell in love with a West End pool over a sluggish 2km this morning, panting over a kick board as Stefan’s space needle threatened to prick the storm-sagging clouds. I was less a shark-like figure slicing through the water than a milk white dugong wrinkling the surface, but it was good.

Magpies (or possibly crows) are tap dancing on the tin roof to a scottish tattoo. Everything, or at least every green, is verdantly over-saturated in the overcast early afternoon. I long for the Boundary. For beer and blues and many, many cigarettes, the endless cycle of quenching and burning, half stuck to a vinyl bar stool, beads of sweat rolling haltingly down the contours of sweltering calves… and then a storm rolling in with violent thunder and lightning-lit, violet bruisy clouds.

Yesterday was the kind of Brisbane heat mirage that makes me wonder why I thought it was such a good idea to move back. Prodding, unmerciful heat and humidity adding dull kilos to the clothes hanging limply from bodies that feel bigger and heavier and lethargically sluggish.

But then you’re riding along that dull gold river and the breeze finally offers some resuscitation. The colours are different here, bleached out like old photos under the flat, unforgiving sun. A climate seemingly bent on keeping you silent and prostate, sighing in brief stolen moments of air conditioning. Days with all the circular monotony of ceiling fans, lazily slicing air as thick and sinewy as overripe fruit. And it all seems so inescapable and hopeless until that moment of release, delivered in a mouthful of cool beer and a breeze of relief and then the streets pop and fizz like all the throngs of people propping up the bars have been waiting for, languishing for.

And we’re reborn and all we need is a packet of salt and vinegar chips stinging the lips, the acrid bittersweet taste of childhood Friday nights while our parents went through the same dance. Fighting for a plastic seat at the Pacman table, bleeps and beeps over the roiling, rowdy rumble of RSL, carpet sticky with spilled beer and cigarette ash. Then being outside under the stars, and games with running and hiding and always with the counting and the big kids sneaking off and my sister being annoying or wait, was that me?

All these memory melting moments suspended in amber.

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