a long time between drinks

‘It’s been a long time between drinks my friend how have you been?’ I ask.

‘Well, well, well look who’s back?’ You took your time’.

‘Yeah, I know, I know. Don’t be mad at me?’

‘Mad, pffff’, he says looking away, ‘Why would I be mad. I’m independent, I can take care of myself’, the screen mumbles.

‘But I see you come running back when you’re lonely and bored!’

“I’m not lonely and bored’, I explain. ‘I just saw you there on my toolbar and while I have more time on my hands, I thought I would drop in to see how you’re going’.

‘You mean you’re unemployed – again!’ the screen accuses.

I turn away from WordPress embarrassed. There are three tabs of seek.com.au open in Firefox.

‘I haven’t seen you here since August 2012! ‘How dare you leave me here alone with whinging Facebookers, unexpected porn and more and more Gen Y stories of success’!

The screen stares down at the ground like a mother waiting for an explanation from a child who got in trouble at school.

‘I just met this guy and got carried away’.

The screen doesn’t move. I hear my stomach rumble in the silence of the cold, dark study.

‘I’ve missed you’, I admit shyly.

The colours of the page flicker a brighter colour like a surge of electricity has passed through my iMac.

‘Yeah, I missed you too’, the page smiles at me.

My fingers hover over the keyboard while my eyes look at the W symbol.

I remember who I was when I last stared at this screen and how so much has changed since then.

haych 17/3/14


Sitting in a park at 5am

So here I am looking like I just got home from a niteclub, sitting in a park at 5.27am on a Thursday morning in North Fitzroy. I haven’t been up this early for many months. The last time is hard to remember. For a flight at the end of last year. That makes me feel lazy. It reminded me of starting work at 6am in 2008, when I worked at Perisher. Now that was cold. So was Canberra. It is 7 degrees. Mild really. I remember walking around Canberra at night in colder temps.
There is something really peaceful about the early hours of the morning when its dark. It’s like having the world to yourself. You get to see the world and city come alive.

I am super early. Better than being late I guess, except people might think I’m here to get late night trade. Only a woman would worry about this, I doubt its something that ever enters a man’s mind. I should ask them one day. I hate worrying about what they think.

Right about now, there are two things I wish I had: a car to sit in to keep me warm and less exposed and a coffee. It’s kind of the thing to do this early in the morning…drink warm awesome Melbourne coffee. After 4 weeks of giving it up, I still crave it.

So what am I doing here, sitting in a park with green and peppermint tea looking like an 80’s chick 22 days before my 40th birthday. It seems like I’m counting, I’m not actually. I have had a casting call back for a new ABC TV series. They are looking for an 80’s girls and guys. Maybe my wild hair will bring me fortune and money. Except for today’s work I am already at a loss-the can fare to get here has cost me more than one hour of work.

I can see the unit vans near the side of the park but I don’t see many people. hope more extras turn up. Surely I am not the only extra. I feel a bit awkward.

The city is coming alive. More cars are on the road, the trams have started, its getting noisier. A morning walker crosses the street getting exercise before hitting the office. The moon is half crescent and the wind is light. I am colder now than when I first got here. One hand is gloved and my legs ate toasty from my new cycling gloves.

Call time was 6am. I thought there would be a swarm of extras like at the photo session – no-one else is here. It should be fun after I work out when to walk over there. I felt relief seeing another film unit truck turn up..it wasn’t, it turned around.

Ok, 2 minutes to 6. I have to go over there, soon. Here goes. Chookas!

Film scene ideas

Sometimes I get visions of what I think would be great scenes for films. I had one today – its fun – it keeps me entertained and present. I like to imagine being the director on a film set.  Sometimes, I also imagine that I am the actor and the scenes are what is happening to me. I guess it’s wishful thinking. I like thinking about actions of romantic love and what would make an audience feel love and drawn to watch a film. They are also dreams of what I would love happen to me and what I would do for someone I love, if I was chasing someone. Which I don’t do…anymore. Anyways…

The scene I thought of today was a woman riding her bicycle along the right hand side foot path of Flinders Street in Melbourne. She is on her way to an appointment. She is not late but not early so she is riding at a reasonable pace. She is fit and agile on her bike and singing along to music on her ipod. Her mind is focused on the music and watching traffic and pedestrians. Her mood is light and joyous. She is having a great time and the drivers and passengers in cars around her notice her joyous spirit and can’t help but smirk and smile at her risky moves maneouvring her bike through pedestrians. She is in her own space and not paying attention to anyone around her.
Unbeknown to her, someone is following her. The audience can see another woman on a bicycle riding in the same direction as her but on the left hand side on the road. The woman’s mood looks frantic. She is riding very fast and weaves in and out of the traffic impatiently. She looks eager to get somewhere. Like the other woman she is agile on  her bike but not as fit. She is trying to catch up to the woman on the road bike.


to be continued…:)

live another day

weird trumps conservative, brave beats fear, misunderstood is better than unknown, change before routine, but what of vulnerability? do you know it. can you surrender.

it creeps up behind me and I want to run away, I cringe and I shiver like a cold child lost in the street at night. I walk away from it, I will not let that in, I will not be naked,I will not let it take over me, I will not, I must not let it in. But a wispy thread stops me mid flight, pulling me back to stand before it and see who I am. When I get there and feeI its bloody tears run from my eyes to my feet, and my head lying on the ground, I am free and worthy to live another day

Twenty or so things I’m glad I’ve done in life

  • 23. Worked a ski season
  • 22. Started meditating
  • 21. Meeting and dancing with Tricky
  • 20. Attended all the festivals, niteclubs, bands, DJs; club nights that I have and I should have done more, especially the ones I regret seeing..Lucy (DJ), Lamb, years ago Splendour in the Grass but I’m over that one.
  • 19. Learnt to snowboard
  • 18. Bought a road bike
  • 17. Owned a  European car with a sunroof that I got up to 170kmh on a highway near NSW/Vic border and scared the crap out of my brother
  • 16. Wrote a short story & was brave enough to get it published
  • 15. Travelled, particularly Spain & Vietnam
  • 14. Completed a Masters degree when I wanted to throw it in and was unhappy where I was living
  • 13. Marched in mardi gras parade
  • 12. Attended Amsterdam gay pride canal parade. There are a few stand out parties, but this one gets special mention because I never imagined going & I was lucky to be on a boat with crazy dutch house & an awesome group of Dutch chicks. It was an amazing weekend.
  • 11. Seeing Bat for Lashes at Sydney Opera House in 2011. It stands out because their music is amazing, the venue was magic and Natasha Khan’s voice is sublime.
  • 10. Another special mention, finally after so many years singing her songs, seeing Sinead O’Connor live at Sydney State Theatre. I had goosebumps before she came on stage, I cried, I sang every word I knew and I clapped so hard it hurt my hands. If I died that night, I would have been very happy. She looked awful and had a croaky voice and she was still amazing.
  • 9. Performing in a women’s circus show. One reason I moved back to Melbourne was to join. Doing the show was a nervous experience but I grew a lot from it.
  • 8. Doing a professional photo shoot – for fun and memories. Can’t wait to do one with my soulmate.
  • 7. Lived in all east coast cities in Australia, including Canberra. It was hard sometimes, lonely and unsettlingly but I know where I want to live, met interesting people and had excellent experiences. And I learnt how to entertain myself away from niteclub life.
  • 6. Playing softball at the Gay Games in Cologne in 2010
  • 5. Having sex with women
  • 4. Gaining control of drinking
  • 3. Doing a headstand without a spotter and support
  • 2. Give up smoking. I never thought I would say that and it’s why I can’t relax. It will be 8 years on September 13th 2012, that I last puffed on a smoke. I don’t smoke anything. I hate pot and generally if someone tells me they do, my opinion of them drops very very low.
  • 1. ???


Once upon a time…

Once upon a time she was lying in the park across the road from her house looking at the city skyline being thankful for what she has in life which is not as much as she would like but she is certainly aware that it is more than others and she lied back on the cool grass which would start to form moisture from the night within an hour or so and she thought she would be more comfortable if she had  jacket with her and a sweet girl lying beside her who had lovely hair that she would run her fingers through and then they would sit up and look at the sky and notice how clear it was and how many stars they can see protruding from the black void of the earth’s ceiling and they are thankful for having a moment of stillness to appreciate the beauty of the night sky – the southern cross, there’s the big dipper they pointed out, bright stars close to earth, dull stars barely visible which they said  must be planets millions and trillions of light years away from them and then they saw the flashing lights of aeroplanes and they talked about seeing a shooting star and she said to the other if you watch the night sky for 15 minutes you are bound to see a shooting star and so they sat in silence for a while and could hear each other breathe and waited to see a falling star and one of them did and she made a wish and the other wanted to know what her wish was and was it about me she said and the other laughed and they fell quiet and she felt still, really still and quiet and peaceful and she remembers looking at the night sky when she was a young girl living in the country and she had to stop thinking about the country or she might start crying and what would she think if she saw me with a teardrop and why would i be crying about that anyway so she said isn’t its just amazing the universe that is, and they said they were lucky yet oh so insignificant and small compared to the vastness of earth, the planet stars and who does really know what is out there and one of them sat up and took in a deep breath looking at the shimmery reflection of city lights on the water of the lake and the other lying down looked at her and noticed she was really really  happy being right by her side, looking at the side of her face and one minute you’re on your own and the next you’re with a new friend and she was  feeling excited and wanted to push her over to kiss her and she also couldn’t move she was in a trance of just feeling the feeling of being by her side and she knew she was different she knew they would had challenges but she was curious to know more about her and she thought she was beautiful she wanted to tell her, she wanted to tell her a lot of things but didn’t that night there was no need she will save it for another time when they are together then it will be a surprise so instead she sat up and looking at her face she thought she could look at her face forever, she slide closer to her and slid her arm around her waist and gently dropped her head to touch hers and she looked straight ahead not really looking at anything both of them saying nothing words were very unnecessary she loved her arm around her waist and they sat together in silence looking at the water and feeling each other quiet in their skin just being together doing nothing for who knows how long and none of us do know so they soaked it up because you never know when you open your eyes they won’t be there and you will miss them and want to be back there beside the lake with them and you would do anything to re-live the moment but you know you can’t so you look at the stars and wonder who you might meet next and you hope you meet them soon

7th May 2012 Helen Stevens

X and Y..a dialogue exercise

“How are you?’ X asks.

‘Oh, hello, um I was just writing a few ideas for my next story.  Nice to see you’, Y says gathering her books and pen and putting them in her backpack.

‘Oh ok. You too. I like your floral top’.

“Thank you. It’s a dress actually’.

‘Oh, a dress’.

‘But now you are here, I’ll put it away and I can get a drink’ Y says.

X asks, ‘What would you like?’

‘Are you sure, I can get it,’ Y assures. ‘I guess we can’t both go up, we’ll lose our seat.

‘I’ll get it, what would you like’, says X.

‘A sav blanc from Marlborough please. Thank you’, Y smiles at X trying to identify if she is happy to see her.

Feeling nervous, Y fumbles with her sunglasses and looks around the bar. It’s busy for a Sunday night. This is not a conversation she is looking forward to but seeing her again for the first time in a week, Y is overwhelmed with X’s beauty.

Y sends X a text, ‘You look beautiful’ and feeling a pulse of adrenaline run through her to hide her phone before X get back, her phone lands loudly in her black handbag just as when Y walks around the corner. Y suddenly crosses her arms against her chest as a sign of complete stillness.

‘Hello, a wine’.

‘Thank you,’  Y says staring at X’s glass which looks like water.

‘Aren’t you drinking,’ Y asks X wanting her to say yes so she feels they are having a shared occasion.

‘Yes, it’s vodka and lemonade. I had a few at lunch time, so I’ll probably be drunk soon,’ X laughs, half-heartedly.

Y considers X’s innocent and conservative lifestyle.

‘Oh ok, of course it is. I see bubbles. How are you?’ Y asks.

‘I’m good, I feel a bit lost all the parents celebration is are over. Yeah. It’s like I was with them Friday night and now its all finished. It’s a bit sad’, shares X.

Y never attends family events and struggles to understand her feelings. She also wanted to hear X say she was excited to see her.

‘Ok, I guess that is fair enough. But didn’t you feel excited today that you would be seeing me?’

‘Well um yes. but I have been with my family since Friday. Of course, I am excited to see you.’

Y’s eyes lift from staring at the wood grain of the table and brighten. She wonders if she has read the the text she sent.

X looks at Y’s face and holds her stare. Y looks back at her and taking a sip of her drink to break the silence, but not breaking her stare, Y smiles shyly at X over her wine glass.

Y smiles,’ I am glad you are here’.

© Helen L Stevens

7th May 2012