Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I used to have a plan.

Unfortunately I got distracted and a little off track. In an effort to get to where I originally wanted to be, I am documenting the next 18 months of my life, loves and likes. And since this is the beginning, I want to start at the beginning—or at least the vague point in time that my terrible memory calls the beginning...

I can’t remember when Freya and I became friends. I think this always frustrates her. She says she remembers me in Year 9; apparently we were in the same roll call. I don’t remember her, but she is adamant that she remembers me and my roxy backpack.

Year 10 is where she comes into it for me. I can’t pinpoint a moment, but I know she was there. We had roll call together, but never really talked. We had all our classes together, but never sat next to each other. I guess the only solid memories I have of her back then, are in band. We both learnt instruments from the same teacher, he introduced us (although I don’t remember the moment, I’m just assuming that’s how it happened). Outside of band, we didn’t hang out at all, I think I could go so far to say, we barely talked at all. I don’t know, maybe we did. Honestly, I don’t remember.

I guess by the time I realised we were friends, I was in too deep. This was when Ms Barnett—in an effort to control the class—had put us in alphabetical order. I’m an A. Freya is a Z. Freya and I were both pretty good students, so she took us off either end and stuck us in the very back corner. One day I went home, the next day I came back and she was gone. She’d gotten sick overnight- her kidney exploded- and had been taken to hospital. The time after that is my first memory of missing Freya. I sat in the back corner for weeks all alone. There was even one moment when I thought I’d heard her voice behind me in the corridor, and I turned around, all excited, and it was Katie Attwell. I felt the kind of disappointment you only feel when you drop your ice-cream on the ground.

I mark that moment as the point at which I realised I was done for. This was it. After 16 years, I’d acquired a second best friend. For the next year, we continued to play in band together, sat next to each other, under the fan in Modern, swapped music, hung out at our lockers before I went off to Maths. We weren’t inseparable, we never ate lunch together, we never hung out on weekends and like I said, I took Maths. But it was at this time she became one of the most important people I know.

It’s during this time we started calling each other Lenin and Trotsky. I was pragmatic, wrote a good essay, and my preferred political system was a Dictatorship. She had a radically creative mind, capable of producing the HSC creative writing equivalent of the Theory of Permanent Revolution. And I’m sure she’s make a mess of negotiating the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.

There is no better Bolshevik. And she is my successor.

Now, I am sure you a wondering, how this relates to this blog. Well, I think it’s time to place the blame where it is due.

I mentioned how we used to meet each other at our lockers and talk before classes. It wasn’t organised, we’d just be getting books and stuff. But always, before going our separate ways we’d have a rushed conversation. More than often, the conversation would be about music. I distinctly remember one about the third album from The Vines. I think it’s around here that I changed my mind about what I was going to do. Since I was very young, I wanted to be a Human Rights Lawyer, maybe work for the UN (so much promise, I know). Somehow, very close to the end of Year 12, I think it might have been during the HSC, I realised I wanted to write, and I wanted to write about music. I used to credit (or blame, depending on who in my family you talk to) that shift to Joel Byrne—he came along around that time. But really it was those conversations with Freya. It is around then—maybe just a little bit after, she became Beatrice...

If you’ve ever read Dante or Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, a Beatrice is a great love/muse.

B is why I write and who I write for.

So I think, as I get back on track (much in part, thanks to her, “just write, you have to write” she said, after I expressed a desire to do a degree in Maths), as I head towards NYU and Spank Rock’s baby, it seems only appropriate that this collection is named for her.

So to my long divergent road,

This is not 13 books, but it may well be a journey out of Hell.

We begin.

(photo credit: Frances)

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