Yeah, I wasn’t the first person to tell her that one.
18.07.2010 - 19.07.2010
So yesterday I was pretty tired from my excursion with Davi-da, so I took it easy, and went to the free art gallery in town right next to the harbor. They were having some sort of an art show where you can do a walk through the Royal Gardens and see artists, go to the gallery for free at the harbor, and I was supposed to be meeting coushsurfers to take the ferry to another gallery on the other side of the harbor... but we never ened up connecting. I waited forever, and even called the organizer a few times: "Oh, we are here now, meet us here, oh we moved, sorry, lets try again, oh, we already left!" bla bla bla. So I took the walk by myself, and had a look at the art gallery, but it was all really uninteresting modern art in my opinion, and I just felt stuffy, so I didn't bother continuing the Art Walk (no pictures of the art, so here are some photos of the harbor again, these ones I stole from Joe).
Now again, it may look late at night, but you have to remember its winter here! Picture 3 feet of snow everywhere, and realize that its only 5pm, but it looks so dark because the sun sets early in winter... so yeah, their winter feels like our spring, but they still have early sunsets. While the sun was setting, I got on the ferry for one last trip out, and I ended up going too far. I tried hopping off at a dock in the middle of no where to turn around, and I ended up having to wait for the same ferry to pick me up on the way back to Circular Que! I was so scared and cold being lost in the middle of nowhere in the cold on the river. When I made it back to dry land and back to Ed's place, he still wasn't there!
Today I’m back with Chiu! She worked today and tomorrow, but then she had her days off so we could actually hang out! Yay! Today was also one of the inner city market days, so I took Chiu's directions to where a bunch of tents were set up with all sorts of goodies inside. Honestly though, I was pretty disappointed by the prices. They were about the same if not more than some of the fancy shops in town. So much for getting a discount for cutting out the middleman and rent/ electricity/ toilet facility costs etc. Oh well. She also told me I had to see Bondi Beach, and that she couldn’t believe I hadn’t made it there yet (it was the beach in Sydney). I thought it was rather exciting myself, as there was not a single bad-looking surfer to be had. Hawaii was a bit of a bust in that department, as Laura discovered. The only semi good looking surfer who she was settling to stalk with her camera, Joe got in the way of the photo in protest of her lack of hope and or patience. So these ones are for you Laura:
That evening I went back up to Ed's place to pick up my stuff and transfer it to Chiu's, and I actually met Ed again! "Rain, I thought you were leaving today!" You could see the look of worry in his eye, did he over book couchsurfers? I met his 2 German surfers while he was in the shower, and we talked forever about our travels, it was great! (I love Germans) But I assured him that I just had to wait for my other couchsurfing host to get home from work to let me in, so I left my backpack here until she got off from work.
Saturday the Winter Festival began! So I headed back to Bondi Beach and spent the whole day with German music at an October Festival feeling event. And here they had, as advertised, the largest ice rink on a beach in the world!
That evening Chiu was going to hang out at her boyfriend’s, and asked if I’d like to come along. “No, that’s okay, I’ll be fine on my own.” I didn’t want to intrude. “No, I want you to come Rain.” The look she gave me told me that I would not be a third wheel, and maybe he would be.
We went out for pizza, and then watched some really bad Australian helicopter rescue drama series. The night was pleasant I thought. Then Chiu and I went back to her place. Joe was arriving tomorrow. I think the dynamic of the day will be similar as it was this evening. Mates before Dates! (I think I may have made that one up, you like? It came to me a few weeks ago, concerning Laura and Patrick. But as always, that’s another story entirely.)
The next day Chiu began with her regular morning activities that require me to hold back with the anticipation of a puppy waiting for food/ going out for a walk. I kept looking at here with my pouty brown eyes. When she is finally ready for social interaction after her morning coffee and smoke, I hop up and down and start to salivate all over... yeah, I really don’t, but you get the allusion. Today we went shopping again. You’d think that she didn’t have time during the week to shop... yeah, she really doesn’t. Getting home at 8 or later in Australia is like a death sentence. Almost all the shops close at 5pm, and the ones that stay open are really only supermarkets and chemists.
We searched forever for some red appliances for her kitchen, but there is a surprising lack of shopping options in Sydney. Every place sells the same damn thing, and any kind of variety is in trinkets. Even their Target blows. You know how you can enter that store thinking I want to buy a purple elephant balancing on a yellow bouncing ball, and you can find it? I assured Chiu that at least Target should have red stuff, since that’s their signature color... but no. You could get white, or silver. WTF mate? At this point I wished I was only a traveller going back to my home soon so I could post her a bunch of stuff from our proper Targets, but I was going to New Zealand, and apparently they come to Australia for the better shopping... doomed, I’m doomed.
Also, today I just put it out there and told Chiu that Joe and I were over. Yeah, I know, maybe there is hope, but no, not really. Joe needed to become independent of me, get a job, go back to school, and get his life in order without me. Hopefully after settling down in New Zealand he would do all of these things, and then there was always his issues with me that would have to be dealt with. But I assumed that most of his issues with me would be solved once I was off his back about my issues with him. Surprisingly, Chiu said “Good for you!” You would think she may have some allegiances left to Joe, since she met him first, or some need to hope for the happy ending to our relationship so that their might be hope for one of her own. But no, she understood, and I think she knew what was coming for her, regardless of what became of Joe and I. I think she was even rooting me on, to do what she could not bring herself to do in her own relationship. But then, and I think this may have had some effect on her decision to encourage my separation from Joe, she dropped a bomb on me. “Rain, you know, Joe doesn’t plan on staying in New Zealand for very long right?” What was she talking about? What did she know that I didn’t? What had changed in the last few weeks since we had been apart? “He told me that college was too expensive overseas, so he is going to fly to Canada and live with his parents, and maybe enroll in university as a dual Canadian/ American citizen.” This news hit me like a fucking piano in a loony tune. Why had he confided in Chiu this huge life changing decision, and not even given me so much as a hint? Is this why he was so enthused to see me? Because he knows time is running out before we might never see each other again? If he goes to live with his parents in Canada, that’s it for us. I am not going to Canada, and when is he ever coming back to this side of the planet? Not with his finances anyways.
I don’t know what to think.
How could he keep this from me?
Lie to me; tell me how much he wants to see me...
How much he has missed me...
What game is this?
How could he?
... there should be words...
... I can’t move.
My breathing was becoming too shallow, so much so that I gasped for air.
“Hhhhhhaaaaaaa” – heavy exhalation.
Chiu: “Are you okay?”
The fog in my brain was clearing, I was breathing again, oxygen was once again being transported from my lungs, into my blood, and to my brain. Clarity. I was free. Once again, Joe had made a decision for us that broke me from any kind of hesitation. He was nothing to me anymore. A person who I maybe liked to hang out with, but at the end of the day, I pay him no mind. I go home as friend acquaintances. His thoughts, opinions, sentences, all roll off of me like watching a television program you didn’t intent to see, but it was the only thing on. I had no more feelings of betrayal, no more feelings of sadness, no more feelings of isolation. I was on the other side of the world from everyone I loved, and I was leaving the only friend I knew in Australia for another foreign country, and I was going to do it on my own. And why not? This was the permanent separation we needed; least we fall back into the comfort of what was.
Thank you Joe.
Now I don’t have to wonder “What if?”
And speak of the devil, Joe arrived late that evening, and told us of his adventures up north. He apparently couchsurfed with a family in the rainforest, and hitchhiked with some Australian hillbillies who took him back to their place and gave him Milo dry on top of milk. Milo is Australia’s drinking chocolate powder. It tastes like Olvelteen’s malt mix, but they must not lace it with as much crack, because I don’t find it remotely addictive. And you can’t eat a spoon of it like you can with Olvelteen, as you can crunch, and allow to melt in your mouth. Milo is too much of a powder, so you just choke on it, therefore this idea of purposefully not dissolving the Milo in the milk was unappetizing. This is why it was surprising when Joe went on and on about how good this was, and then when Chiu and I tried his milk with an inch of Milo floating on the surface, neither of us refrained from the scrunched nose followed by raised eyebrow look. I think he must have liked it because of all the drugs they were on, or maybe it was just the one drug, you know, it all blends together at one point. And to be honest, I really wasn’t soaking in his words like I used to. Then Chiu realized something that neither Joe nor myself had yet to figure out. “Joe, didn’t you say that you’re flying out on Tuesday?” I looked at him, “what time?” We were leaving at the same time on the same day. “Are you flying to Auckland?” He asked me. “Of course I am!” Auckland was the biggest city in New Zealand; it was like asking someone who was moving to California from overseas if they were flying into LAX. We were on the same flight, sitting only rows away from each other. The odds wouldn’t even come into play; our lives were just like that.
When we were getting ready for bed Chiu took me aside and asked me if I would be okay sleeping on the futon in the couchsurfing room with Joe, or if I wanted her to put Joe on the sofa in the tv room. I told her I would be fine, and honestly, it was probably comforting more than anything to have him there again when I sleep, as it has been hard to fall asleep in a bed by myself after so many years with him there. She looked at me and understood immediately, even though the psychologist in her wanted to say differently. I seriously loved this woman.
The next day Chiu needed the day to herself as she had a lunch party planned weeks ago, and she needed time to cook. So Joe and I planned for our last day excursion in Australia. I told him that I had been traveling all over Sydney, but I hadn’t really been in the city, mostly out as far away from the city as I could get. So he told me he would take me on a tour as he spent most of his time inside the city since he didn’t buy the multi pass like I did.
First off, the University of Sydney, one of his favorite spots as he went here a lot to talk to Professors and see about enrollment. No word yet about his decision to enroll in Canada. I would let it slide for now, but if this went on for too long, I would say my peace, regardless as to the unrest my peace would thereby ensue.
Joe can probably revise the exact location of a lot of these photos, that is, if he reads the blog anymore. I kinda thought the blog was going to be a joint effort, but looking back, you can see that he hasn’t actually written a blog since we left California, and even then there weren’t many. I guess this is more of a diary for myself in the end. I never was too pleased with his summery of what we did. He, I think, was using this as a diary as well. But more about what he was thinking at the time, and not so much about what we were doing. I hope I’ve done a bit of both. I cross my fingers that he will eventually blog in the Forgotten Passage about our 2 remaining months in China, because he has asked about where to put those blogs, and he probably has better/ fonder memories. If not, I will eventually get there, and try to do it justice, but this is all a bit much for me to go over on my own.
Today the Glebe Market would also be open, so Joe and I headed over there next.
Here, Joe was insistent on playing with the hats, you could tell I wasn’t amused, and moments later we got reprimanded for fucking around when people are actually browsing to buy things. Yeah, looking up to be a great day!
I liked the place for what it had, and Joe liked the acupuncture stuff (I'm pretty sure they would give you treatment right there and then), but again, it was all very far out of my price range. I was actually looking for things to buy for when I settled down in New Zealand, but you could tell that Joe wasn’t, after all, he had no plans of settling down. I brought this up (so much for me and the silent treatment). “Oh, did Chiu tell you that?” No shit Sherlock! He went on to explain that if he lived in Canada for the next 2 years he could become a citizen. He had 5 years to spend 2 in Canada, and basically that started 3 years ago. So he has to be living in Canada no later than December this year. He told me that he has already bought his ticket for November 18th, so we still have some time to say goodbye. Quite frankly, I wished it was sooner. If he was going to leave, I just wanted him gone so I could move on with my life. I had no idea at that point, the purgatory that awaited me.
Joe wanted to get back to Chiu’s and use my laptop for a bit, so I told him I would see them later that night. I wanted to say goodbye to the Opera House my last night, and I needed some time alone, even though it had only been a day since we were back “together.”
Sitting there, looking at the Opera House all light up looking like a white dove in the night... a man approached me and asked me if I knew where such and such was. “I’m sorry, I have no idea.” “Ahhh, your are American.” No shit Sherlock! He took my cultural heritage as a sign that he should sit down next to me. All right, alone time not so much anymore. “Are you here in Sydney all by yourself?” No, I told him, I was here with my friend Joe. “And where is he now?” “He is with our Australian friend back at her place.” Questions, questions, questions. “And how about you, why are you here by yourself? Are you feeling lost, metaphorically speaking of course since I was the one who asked you for directions?” Really, does a girl looking out at the ocean by herself mean that I must be thinking on some dark emotion or lost in some manner? Okay, truth be told, I was, but that wasn’t the point. I decided to just play along. If he was going to be all friendly and intrusive, I wasn’t going to get all uptight and bothered about it. I decided to instead put the heat on him and see how he liked it. He was Indian by nationality, but he was a permanent resident of New Zealand. Right now he was traveling on a spiritual retreat with his fellow Buddhists. Sure, why not, I really didn’t care if he was on his way to Disneyland with his 7 children, as long as he didn’t ask me fore money, I took the conversation for what it was.
Now the psychic energies were flowing, he had spoken to me, our hearts had connected, and he could read me. I was born in 1983. I was surprised by this, “Very good!” I exclaimed. No one this entire trip ever guessed my age before! And in general, they always guess about 4 years younger than I was. Well, props for him, he could work at a carnival guessing peoples ages and weights. Anyways, then he went on to guess my sign, guess my family relationships, guess how many boyfriends I have had, guess my personality type. It was like taking one of those quizzes on the internet that tell you which Lord of the Rings character your are most like. Then we got into my problems with Joe. Why not, he was a good listener, and he wanted to move the conversation to the local Starbucks. If he was a conman, he was either very good, or very bad, moving our conversation from the very dark and private to the bright and crowded.
Here, he began to piss me off. “You will never have another happy and healthy relationship with a man unless” “You can stop right here.” He wanted to be rude and blunt, so could I. “I don’t need to do anything to fix my aura, my aura is hurt, as they tend to get, and time and friends will fix that.” He told me that I may be right in most cases, but in my circumstance, I was wrong, and I needed help way fast. He told me that he could heal my aura with a simple ritual with candles, incents and oils. I told him sure, why not, there was no sense arguing the point, obviously he was not hear to listen to what I thought. He was just here to listen to my problems, and then give me his solution. What a fucking man. “Well, there is a dairy” (what Aussies call a convenient store) “just around the corner. Lets get the candles there, incents at the hippy store just across the street, and the oils at one or the other, depending on the type of oils you needed.” There, sorted. “Okay, yes, we can do that, but where can we go to do the ritual? We needed to be alone.” “Right over there!” I pointed to the small park that was easily viewable from all sides, one by the harbor, the two sides by 2 rows of shops, and then the last side was on the main bus road to pick up and drop off people to the harbor. “Oh no, people will be walking by, they will disturb the ritual.” “Its Monday night! The few people who are walking by aren’t cutting through the park, it will be nice!” But no, it just wouldn’t do. “What about your place?” “Like I told you, I am staying with a friend, and my ex is with her as well, that is a very bad environment to do a cleansing ritual.” Then he said that he couldn’t sit anymore and he needed to walk. It had been over an hour now, and I wanted to leave now that he was getting all demanding rather than listing and giving generally nice advice. But then he insisted I follow him just a bit longer, and we would just take the 5-minute train to Darling Harbor, and if I didn’t like what he had to say, I could go back to my friends. Short of telling him to fuck off, which I wasn’t sure if I wanted to yet since he started off being a really nice conversationalist, I agreed. He was taking me to another brightly lit crowded place, so, why not. When we walked through the train station, there was a man who worked there wearing a turban (many in this city do), and he nodded at my “friend” and gave a little wave. My “friend” returned this gesture, and I wondered, how are you friends with this man if you only just arrived from New Zealand?
At Darling Harbor he sat me down on a bench facing him, as he said you have to in order to hold a proper conversation, things went from uncomfortable to creepy uncomfortable. “Is this bothering you?” He asked as he put his arms on my shoulders, and began caressing my hair. “Yes, yes it is, I’d appreciate it if you stopped doing that, otherwise...” “You see, I can tell you are closed off, sexually.” Here it comes, my life story about growing up sheltered, thereby producing this prude woman who will never feel free to sexually express myself. “I sexually express myself all the time! And I don’t sexually express myself all the time at the same time! I am free as in I choose where when and how I express myself, sexually, without the need to please others in the process, and if you don’t like it, then we can continue not dating each other!” No, no, no, that wasn’t his point, he didn’t want to date me, no, never, he wanted to release me from my bonds and allow me to find true happiness! But to do that I would have to be comfortable with him touching me, and rubbing oils on me, and oh yeah, getting naked! “Well, your right about me, you saw me, called me out on my every social stigma, and I’m not doing your ritual with you, no way no how, I’d rather grow up alone and unloved.”
He saw the definitiveness of that statement, and suddenly, the song changed. Oh, he didn’t have to be there for the ritual. He could just mail me the supplies, and I could do it in the privacy of my own home! Good god how wonderful! “That’s so great!” I told him. “Here, write down the shopping list for me of things I need to buy, and what to do with them, and I’ll do it when I get home!” Oh no, no, no, I needed to give him my address, and he would ship the items to me, because there was also this crystal I needed. “Crystal? We didn’t need one before when we were going to do this right now tonight if only I had a private room we could go to.” Yes, but that was when he was performing the ritual, now that I would be doing it by myself, I would need a blessed crystal that he would have to get from his monk’s temple back in New Zealand. Oh, okay then, but I didn’t have an address since I was leaving for New Zealand tomorrow! “But wait, that’s perfect!” I told him! “I can come meet you at your temple, and just buy the crystal then! What is the city you are from?” He couldn’t answer that question. “No, by then it will be too late, because he was not going to be in New Zealand again for a few months! He was on his way to visit relatives in India next! “Fiddlesticks!” I said, oh my god I was getting punchy at this point. You could tell I pissed him off with that exclamation, and I saw a bit of crazy peek out behind his smoked yellow eyes. “The only thing I can think of is this,” I appeased. I got out a sheet of paper from my purse; at the same time making sure my wallet was still there (crafty of me). On it I wrote down my email. “Please, email me with whatever you can, and then when I have a place, I can email you back with the address, and we can go from there.” I was betting that this long sting wasn’t going to go for that long, but this would be the test to how far down the rabbit hole he was willing to take me.
I got up to leave, and he told me “Wait wait wiat!” At least I could do this ritual with rocks to hold me over, and then maybe I’ll pull through. “No really, I don’t feel comfortable with you anymore, and I want to go home.” “Please, allow me to make it up to you, I didn’t mean to offend! I like you, I can tell you are a good person, I need to do something to help you, you deserve to find happiness again!” He was so damn genuine; I grabbed a handful of rocks and said go for it. “No, not these rocks, they are dirty!” He ended up walking me into the local shopping mall, and he stole some rocks from a potted tree! WTF Mate? My hand was clasped around my glass bottle for the past hour, and I was starting to feel a cramp. But he kept taking me to all these well-lit places with people everywhere, so I never just manned up and told him off. He sat me down by the water and had me swing my arm holding these now blessed rocks in a circle counter clockwise 5 times, and then I was to turn around, back to the water, and toss them over my head, then walk away without ever looking back to him. Son of a bitch I was going to get shot! No, I wasn’t, too many witnesses, and no reason to do so. I waved my arms around, cucked the rocks, and I fucking jogged out of there. And if his chubby ass wanted to follow me, I picked up the speed when I was around a corner and was going to make him work for it.
At the train station I noticed at white kid with a hoodie following me. Was he following me? Couldn’t I be just a bit on edge after the past 3 hours of being fucked with? I slowed down and looked at the platform map. He needed to look at it as well. Fair enough. I walked to the next map, and I looked at that one too. He didn’t need to see this one, but the water fountain only quenched his thirst once I was done reading. Fuck! I looked at the electric timetable and said “I’m going to be late!” And I ran to the soonest leaving train. All trains from Circular Que pretty much go through the Central station, and from there I would just hop on the correct train. When I sat down, I could see inside the car to all the other passengers since it was dark outside and the windows acted as mirrors. The kid in the white hoodie was a few rows back. This was beyond paranoia. He was following me. Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck! What would be his reason to have someone follow me? And what is the connection between the Indian/ New Zealander, the Middle Eastern man, and this white boy? I made no move to get off at Central station until just as the beeping sound went off as the doors began to shut. “Fuck!” I exclaimed as I blocked the doors from closing, and I forced them open. Once through, people shook their heads at me disapprovingly, disgusted even, at my lack of train etiquette.
The train took off, there was no way to gracefully decided to jump off the train at the last minute. If he did he was busted, there was a security guard just 10 meters away, I would no doubt report the fucker, and if I was wrong, no harm no fowl, the kid would just have to go on his way, and I would board my train without him on it. I may even apologize for the misunderstanding.
Needless to say, when I got home I was engulfed with hugs and tears from both Chiu and Joe. They were very worried about me, and I had no phone they could call me on. I was shaking though, so they could tell that I didn’t need reprimanding. I needed hugs, and I needed comfort food. Joe went across the street to the Coles to get me some, and I let him. Chiu made me tea. The next day Joe and I didn’t fly out until the evening, so I was a little upset at how I wasted almost 3 hours of the few I had left in Sydney, but Joe and I still had most of the day tomorrow to get our things in order and get to the airport. Heavy sigh. Chiu waited to go to bed until Joe got back, she could tell I didn’t want to be left along (again, I cannot express how much I love this woman). Then after he made me oodles of food, I was finally ready to put my food coma to bed. He laid down with me on the photon, staying on his side like last night, and then asked me if I wanted another hug before I went to sleep. I couldn’t move from my curled fetal position, but I started to cry a little, and he moved in, put his arms around me, and I melted into his protective arms that wrap around my whole body in a perfect puzzle. I cried myself to sleep, and he let me, holding me tight the whole time. I don’t remember falling asleep, all I remember is burrowing my face into his sleeve repetitively thinking: I do not want to play this game anymore! “Daddy, tell the ride operator to stop, I want to get off!”