On Boxing Day, Astrid, Sasha, Sam and I searched the quiet city for a breakfast spot. We wound up on Hutt St at one café in a sea of Adelaide's billion or so. Despite being quite surprised by Astrid's selection of that Canadian staple pancakes and maple syrup, I was literally shocked to see someone I hadn't see for a long time.
I think his name is Len. I remember him from 10 years or so ago, when I first met him via Susan, who used to work behind the bar at the Exeter. Len went there a LOT.
He liked a bit of a drink, and was a heavy smoker. Like most of the people who drank at the Exeter back then, everyone kinda knew everyone, perhaps having indulged in at least one free-flowing conversation across the top of a pint or two... at least enough to nod hello. Len was one of those.
I saw him walking alone up Hutt St, past the breakfast joint. He was smoking a rollie, wearing a dirty grey t-shirt and shorts. His hair was dishevelled and his ruddy face looked a little swollen. Glancing about him, puffing away on his cigarette, he struck me as someone much older than he is.
It was his posture that fascinated me so briefly. His head looked really large, and his spine craned under its weight, like a big S bend from his brain to his arse. His guts had distended from all the the booze. Squinting against the sun, he looked uncomfortable as he continued on his way.
I'm fairly sure he wouldn't have remembered me (but wait! I recognised him...), and I know that description is harsh (even worse is the Descent of Man t-shirt I want where Evolved Man slides into Weird, Bloated Man because that's what seeing Len again made me think of...) but Len also made me think of where i've ended up and how distant our loosely coupled paths have become.
For the longest time i've been thinking Christ I'm Lucky! After talking at home with a few key friends who asked me about sturf, their confidence in and for me hit me in the face. I'm beginning to think yes, the luck was nice and certainly handy, but it doesn't really let me grasp my recent past as something I took control of and own
. There was also perseverance as well as a good bet on who would be interesting to work with
that bore juicy fruit after a Fair Bit of Fucking Around. Given that i'm still around, i'm thinking it's because I should
be, not just because i'm lucky. Funny how that lack of ownership makes you second guess yourself.
So! That's what i'll be doing this year. Under New Management. The new manager's struggle will be to try not to become a hubristic asshole whilst redecorating (that was just practice about Len, to see if I could).