After driving her through an hour of dark, twisting bushland, where possums shrieked from the trees and green-eyed deers bound in front of the car like long-legged flashlights, we took this girl we’d never met before to the local bottleshop and bought her a case of warm VB. There are two reasons for this: Bundeena bottle-o wasn’t exactly festooned with craft beers and rare liqueurs, and more importantly, Bob and I were only recently eighteen-years-old, and eighteen-year-old’s don’t know crap about crap.
At Ironfest I couldn’t drink beer because of my stupid prissy unicorn of a stomach, and it made me sad beyond the obvious, because beer had always been a staple of what Bob and I do. I suppose that’s probably true for about 97% of all Australians, but that doesn’t stop it from being untrue for us. There was a time during uni where a good Friday night was trying to polish off a case of BOAGS and playing Singstar until we couldn’t speak anymore.
I asked Bob if he still kept in touch with Lana, the girl we’d picked up from the airport that fateful night, and he admitted that she was no longer on his Facebook. She wasn’t on mine either. I had to wonder what we’d done, but I also didn’t want to wonder too much. But we discovered that she’s still on Danielle’s Facebook, which makes sense, because Danielle is nicer than both of us.
I lived in a caravan out the back of my parents house at this point, because my bedroom was so small and I was so long that my feet would end up in the potatoes, because my bedroom was also a pantry. My caravan had a floral blue lounge and green astroturf carpet, and we sat Lana down and cracked open a fizzy bottle of bitter, warm beer and awkwardly chatted about something. I don’t remember what, it was too long ago, but I remember afterwards Bob saying ‘I didn’t even want to drink the beer because it was so awful, but she was smashing them, so I guess I had to as well.’ Lana played Alleria too, although I don’t remember ever actually roleplaying with her – I don’t remember her character or anything. When we met her, she’d recently been working on a horse farm or something. I remember that Lana was awesome, and called us ‘fucking idiots’ almost immediately, which was true. We watched the Karate Kid movies that night, but not the third one. That’s the last time I watched them, I think they still hold up.
That night at dinner at Ironfest I asked Danielle what Lana’s name was on Facebook, and we wondered if she’d gotten married or if we’d just never known her actual name, and I sent a friend request through, which hasn’t been answered. There are several more times that we hung out IRL, but they are all blurry and I don’t think anything awful happened. I think that maybe it’s not just eighteen-year-olds who know crap about crap, it’s me, I know crap about crap, especially when it comes to maintaining friendships and should probably wear a t-shirt that says ‘Not Very Good At This’. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯