After the highs of Brisbane and seeing an old friend again, Sydney was like bumping into and ex that you have been trying to avoid. Before I moved to LA, I had tried to get a film career going in Sydney and was met with more shut doors than I can count.
Not the American loo kind where there may be a crack that you might spot a ray of light through. No, just a resounding slamming sound and then darkness.
Feeling a little uncharitable about the place I cooked up a bunch of names for Sydney in my brief pre-LA days there; my favorite Country Town. Tattooine. Average Land. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, which we just closed because it was sooooo last week.
But it has a nice bridge and some great beaches, I’ll give it that much.
All these thoughts go through my head as my folks drive me from the airport, and I realize that thinking this way about the city isn’t really helpful or probably that fair either, so I make up my mind that I will at least be open to liking it by the time I leave. A bit anyway.
But so far it’s not going according to plan. I had decided that my first step to bonding with old Sydney Town would be to bed as many of the natives as I can, with the appetite of an Ancient Roman.
This plan has gone somewhat awry. My apartment in Sydney has fallen through at the last moment, which can mean only one thing. The blow up mattress at Mum and Dad’s. Well, it’s a lot cheaper than renting.
I should say though that staying with my parents is far from a chore. They are two of the coolest people I have met in this life and I figure I must have done something pretty exceptional in my last one to get these two for this.
Raised in the church of latter-day corporate hippiedom, my idea of rebellion was to join a bible study group in year 9.
While my style may have been cramped, the fridge was a veritable orgy of food. And none of it is off. You know that thing where you open the door every ten minutes when you’re vaguely hungry, just to see if anything magically appeared since you last looked ten minutes ago? Well at the folk’s house, it does. Is that baba ganoush I see hiding behind the pastrami and tomatoes? It is!
So I sit at my parents house writing a screenplay called Snow that I’ve been commissioned for by a Singaporean director. I’m pretty excited about it, set in Singapore in the fashion world, I’m thrilled that I’m going to get a paycheck at last when the thing gets shot.
But you can only write so many hours of the day so in the meantime, I while away the hours looking out over the harbour from the balcony, walking the streets and realising that I don’t really belong in Sydney.
I lived away for so long that while I have a few friends and family there, I feel like an alien. I’m of them, but I don’t feel like them. I’m angry at Sydney for not making me feel welcome, yet I’ve not really done much to endear myself to it either.
So I sulk, eat, and write, feeling like I’m stuck between two chapters of my life and wishing with all my might that the LA thing would just start to happen. I’m bad when I have too much time to think.
I should go for a swim. Or see a movie. Or go for a walk. Or call one of my few friends.
Fuck it, I think I’ll hit the fridge again.