fucken tired and shit.
this time last week… well, see now, i started off saying “last week”, and then it hit me that it was actually two weeks ago. crap. so this time two weeks ago, i was calling ’round likely candidates, trying to give away a spare ticket i had to the v festival.
which is harder than you’d think, even if it was two days out from the darned thing. in the end though, maybe i was just not meant to get rid of it. saturday, as i walked up to the gates, dressed in my best muji shirt, with an on-the-way bourke street bakery lamb-and-harissa sausage roll under my belt, and the scalper with the slimy, solicitous air muttered, “tickets? anyone got tickets to sell?”, i hesitated just a beat too long, and the moment was gone. me and my spare ticket and VIP wristband were sailing through the bagchecks, going it alone.
which, as it turns out, is not a bad way to go. i squeezed down the front of hot hot heat, i trudged to this, that and the other stage on a whim, and when whimsy got too much, i found a shady spot in the grass for myself, my “new yorker” and a quite delicious veggie sandwich which i’d thought to get at bourke street bakery some hours before to save me from having to eat the hodge-podge of stodge that is festival food.
(funny the way you have to go to a big rock show sometimes, to get a quiet moment to yourself.)
i was killing time until the main event, really. to me, that was queens of the stone age. as evening fell, along with a light drizzle, and the beast of a drummer kicked in… OH it was great! you know… when the crowd seizes up, and you feel it in the back of your neck. it was that kind of great, monstrous rock.
and maybe it’s a sign that i’m too old for outdoor rock festivals, but there were not too many moments of greatness that day, inbetween the trudging from stage to stage. duran duran were not great, but then again i was never a duranite back in the day. rosin murphy was pretty great, with her costume changes at each song and her funny, dramatic dance moves, and her funny, wonderful backing singers. smashing pumpkins started off great, with a lilting guitar anda wistful “today is the greatest day i’ve ever known…”, but then three songs in i remembered why i don’t listen at length to the pumpkins. the whining, the whining does not end.
and so (she whines), i left. i beat the mass exodus, and i caught a cab to my palatial bedroom at the vibe hotel in rushcutters bay, where i ordered copious amounts of room service and fell asleep in crisp white linens.
you are thinking, this is strange. why is she off to rock shows, and spending nights in hotels,and where is her kid? but i assure you, there is a perfectly reasonable explanation. the kid had been deposited that morning with her doting aunties and smitten boy cousin for a day (and a night) of belated easter eggs, and vegemite sandwiches, and portuguese cakes, and as little as she could eat of a home-cooked corned beef and white sauce. and i, i had won a prize — the subscription prize, and who ever wins those? — from time out sydney magazine, of festival tickets, and VIP passes (read: clean toilets), and a night in a hotel, and a spankin’ new mobile phone, and spankin’ new phone credit.
(now there’s a moment of greatness right there. although the collective two hours that i spent on the phone with three or four of virgin mobile’s finest offshore call centre personnel, trying to convince them that i really had won a phone off virgin-sponsored competition, and that i hadn’t stolen someone else’s phone whose details were on file as the registered owner of the SIM card, and that they should please, please let me have goddamn access to my account, please… that was really not very great at all.)
but so, i was famished from seven hours of v fest on nothing more than a sausage roll and a veggie sandwich. and so, i ordered up big — so big, i thought, that i was surprised and a little bit embarrassed when the food showed up and they’d only included one set of cutlery.
i had chips, of course, because you must have room service chips, and these were pretty good chips, all crunchy and golden and fat. i ate many of these before i even tasted the duck salad, which i’d ordered out of curiosity, because the description on the menu read: seared duck with lychee, capsicum and watercress salad, with raspberry vinaigrette. the duck was not seasoned, except for the crisp skin, which was, aggressively. the salad was two bitey and mismatched flavours of watercress and capsicum — diced, and in three colours. the lychees strewn over the top seemed mismatched to that, and the raspberry vinaigrette was…um… sour?
fortunately, i got dessert too, because i was hungry at the time. but the vanilla bean ice cream was mostly melted by the time i got to it — it had been delivered sitting atop the warm duck — so i drank that with a spoon, and then i was much too full to have more than a taste of the belgian chocolate mousse.
so i had it for breakfast. rock!