Friendifer Medway

When I worked in the loading dock of Target, I had two options: going to a mud wrestling night with my co-workers and get inducted into the semi-official crime ring they operated, or not doing that. I didn’t do that, so I was relegated to crushing cardboard boxes in the cardboard-box crushing machine. I liked this job, because I didn’t have to talk to the homophobes that I worked with, and because it was simple and repetitive.

One of the more difficult aspects of the job was the music piped down from the main store blared directly into my face. There were only twelve songs that looped all day. To this day, I will hear a song and somehow know every word in it, and only later realise that it was a Target song. This happened recently when I watched High School Musical, and somehow joined in on the singing, despite never having seen it before. It was like I was in a musical, or that someone had been playing it under my pillow each night.

One day the CD or playlist glitched, and ‘Moondance’ by Van Morrison played on repeat. I was working for eight hours that day, which meant that I listened to the song about a thousand times. I can’t do the maths, but I’m probably right. The day after this happened, I went overseas for a fortnight. It was a marvellous night for a moondance on the plane, floating down the fake canals of Dubai, a fantabulous night for a romance as I skied inside a shopping mall.

When I came back from overseas, I went into Target wearing my reflective vest and stompy boots and the manager who had hired me had left, and everyone down at the dock pretended not to know who I was, and even though I realised I could probably press the issue and get someone to look my name up on a computer and confirm that I did actually work there, and wasn’t some kind of maniac like the confused lady at the payroll desk thought, I realised that I’d be essentially fighting to work at Target and nothing is worth that, and I left and never came back, meaning that night was truly a marvellous night for a moon dance, but I didn’t moon dance, because I don’t even think a moon dance is a thing, I just drank gin and played Zelda.


The Barber shop

The biggest problem with the world is that the days are just too dang long. Imagine a six hour day. After waking up and drinking coffee, you then head to work for about two hours and before you know it, it’s time to go home and drink wine. After a short refreshing sleep, it’s time for coffee again.  Who could stay glum knowing that?

Tips for new writers: Get up an hour earlier than everyone in your household so you have the peace to scream in silent despair at your bank account.

Last year I got scared about how long I’ve lived for and that maybe some opportunities have passed me by. My solution? Growing my hair really long and buying a ticket to a music festival. The hair was meant to represent the carefree thatch of freedom curls I sported in my early twenties. Also, the fact that I still have my hair. I figured I could lose my hair at any moment, so I should have one last hurrah and look like a teenager working at Target. Here’s a big tip – these things are not effective time travelling devices. Nope.

Tips for new writers: Nobody really knows what superannuation is, it’s an urban myth.

I went to a barber to get my hair cut nice and short so I can be more aerodynamic and glide through the air with the greatest of ease. For lots of people, such as men in the past, the barber is not a big deal. For me, with my trademarked fear of sink holes of masculinity, this was something of a deal. I’m not saying that groups of men doing manly things are always a bad thing – just for me it reminds me of sports teams and working in a dock and being invited to go see jelly wrestling in Menai and when declining that invitation, which was actually a rite of initiation, being excluded from all the crime they did down in the dock and being forced to fold boxes all day. Which, come to think of it, was probably a good thing.

Tips for new writers: Don’t get involved in crime syndicates in a Target dock.

Sometimes experiences are gratifying. When I walked in the barbers were talking about bar fights they were recently in, and it wasn’t so much that I thought they would slit my face open with a straight razor, it was more that I feared humiliation when I showed them the pictures of Simon Tan from Firefly from which I hoped they would gain hairstyle inspiration. But you know what – they were really nice and more importantly, gave me the best haircut I’ve ever had. I don’t know what the moral of this story is, but it’s probably be yourself. And myself, currently, has a slick haircut and a new found appreciation of barbers.

Tips for new writers: You’re not successful unless you’re friends with Hilary Swank. Like, pashmina sharing kind of friends.