Thursday, November 25, 2010

fired-up story telling

it's august in condo. sydney is a distant eastern imprint on now dust sullied tyres.

the locals here hate the slight suggestion of cold. people panic attack if the needle slides down below 30. indoors air con is pumped to almost 40 degrees celcius, outside fires burn. sometimes on street corners which attract a huddled few. it's practically spring but i'm sweating like a pig in a bikini with the abattoir in sight. condobolin does not do winter.

bank, my student/town guide has taken me to the local pub [the impy] after our first day of filmmaking class. she insists that this is the rough one and looks a little dubious i'm not up for the task. her protective instinct is adorable but her concern is misplaced. despite being the outsider, i'm worried for them. i take off the bikini & straighten my swine mask.

most people don't know, but i was spawned from the asshole of the universe in a tiny town [invercargill] at the bottom of new zealand. at least that's where i grew up. way back then in the era of right wing conservative rednecks & skinheads it wasn't particularly smooth. especially for misfits. the flavours might be slightly different but our infant feet have been dipped in the same unfiltered bath water.

i told her previously of my obsession for stories & the ongoing search of perfect characters. she gets it and this is her hood. we're documentary whores. the magical textured fabric of the truth always stranger & much more compelling than fiction. we find who we're looking for outside. introductions are made & within a few rounds boundaries are blurred and i'm practically one of them. i channel harmony kormine meets douglas coupland. this is the shit.

no OH&S here... a fire fueled on petrochemicals blazes in the back courtyard of the pub as a handful of peeps who appear to have been drinking what goes on the fire engage in typical bush swaggering drunken tall tale telling. occasionally in the breaks more rocket fuel is thrown into the re-purposed tractor shovel which serves as the incendiary base. noone bats an eyelid, even those with third degree burn scars. the flames burn hard and high as the stories rise in a simultaneous and unbelievable crescendo as everyone around me sips back on midis.  

i realise my mistake as i gaze down at my oversized schooner, when questioned what my next drink will be in a disapproving manner. they drinks midis out here? the logic is simple really. urban legend has it that the beer is dosed with extra preservatives to get to the bush which increases the alcohol percentage. so they drink smaller glasses.... my witty observations are received like a lead balloon and i gracefully err to the status quo, and start drinking midis. wow that exercise to the bar twice as frequently really burns the alcohol off...

the moral temporarily escapes me. but flawed logic does not. face glowing, i settle in next to the searing flames, footloose & fancy free to uncover the essence, the soul of this town. 

the best stories are always shared around a fire.

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