This morning, I woke up after an uneasy sleep.
I think I was nervous, but it could be for a multitude of reasons, and only a few made sense. "Sultry and unsettled" the weather forecast warned. Taking no chances, I tried to dress appropriately to suit the theme of the day.
But I don't know how to look sultry.
Then I broke the news to my cat.
"Pickles, I'm venturing out of the house today with Brother Dick and SIL, and probably Miss Lukewarm. Think you I will survive this outing?"
"You? After being holed up in your house for so long? You're gonna pass out in public! You'll end up looking like this on the ground..."
I stared at her.
"Thanks for the support."
I muttered dryly, grabbing my camera as I walked out of the door.
Despite her less than supportive response, I was determined.
Determined to spend the day without gritting my teeth.
Without getting nauseous.
Without feeling trapped.
And getting my fashion magazine fix.
My priorities are in their rightful places.
On the train, SIL whipped out the third instalment of the Twilight vampire book series to read. Brother Dick pawed through a newspaper randomly, my fingernails left crescent marks in my arms where I had dug them in nervously.
He looked at the ceiling, I looked at the floor.
After my neck ached from looking down, I turned to look at the scenery outside instead.
Graffiti and dirt. Hmm. More interesting than avoiding eye contact with Brother Dick.
After 30 minutes, we reached Flinders Street Station and proceeded to walk towards one of my favourite Japanese restaurants for a late lunch. On the way, I realized that while I was hibernating, autumn had arrived to the trees...even if the weather had yet to play along.
The streets were full of dry, papery leaves. They whipped along the sidewalks, slapped people in the faces, rustled together their life stories while people swept through them.
My stomach rumbled.
Luckily we had arrived at our destination.
I don't know what it is about sushi choochoo trains that make me giddy with excitement. But giddy I was, enough to ignore the fact that my chair's suspension was spoilt, and I was sinking lower and lower till I was chin level with the table.
I glanced down at my lower half. And I wondered if my outfit was terrible.
Maybe it was. Oh well.
After lunch, we went into Borders to pick up magazines. I hopped a little in my heels towards the magazine section. Two squeaking japanese girls rushed before me and grabbed a whole bunch of magazines and just as squeakily rushed off to pay for them. I envied their freedom of spending. I had to weigh the Pros and Cons of each magazine I wanted to get, before eliminating the ones that fell on the Con side of the list.
In the end three made it. Plus, a little book snuck on board as well.
Something frvolous and shallow (STYD), something luxurious (Harper's Bazaar) and the Essential (Vogue). The Consolation of Philosophy is just something fun.
"Odd. Why didn't I equate fashion with fun?" I pondered momentarily.
We stopped at a cafe to read, and wait for Miss Lukewarm.
I gave Tilly a call, knowing that she'd be happy to know that I managed to get fashion magazines. She hurrah-ed. I cackled.
We stayed at the cafe for a long time. I flipped through the magazine while joining in the conversation about estate agents, malay babies, cheating friends and zippo lighters periodically. They were amused at the sight of me multitasking.
I thought of Tilly.
Dinner time came around soon enough.
And we met Old Man for a farewell dinner in Chinatown.
Why is it that cheap greasy food can make you feel nourished and sick at the same time?
I feared that my body was going to induce its upchuck ritual.
Two meals in a day.
Unwilling to part just yet, they decided to sit at another cafe for a long chat. I held in my sigh till it dissipated in my throat. As a form of mild relief, I adjourned to the toilet in the Westin Hotel with the girls.
There, I discovered that with my heels, I was tall enough to look over the toilet cubicle doors.
They chatted for a long time. Miss Lukewarm kept telling me tales of how her friends have let her down, disappointed her, victimised her.
I listened, politely, cordially.
Trapped in her revolving conversation.
I wondered when she would connect the dots and wonder why the common factor of all those stories, was her?
I kept my thoughts to myself.
Afterwards, Miss Lukewarm informed us she had a small bladder, and had to make use of the Westin's toilet facilities again. Brother Dick and I waited outside.
There was a statue of a dog.
He asked me to take a photo of him and the dog.
He wanted a picture of the dog sniffing his butt/doggystyling him.
Its a silly thing.
But I took it anyway.
It makes me smile, but not for reasons he would find amusing.
It then occurred to me, that I needed some kind of proof that I was in Melbourne.
That is where I was standing. At the big red dot.
Reaching the train station, about to embark on the journey home again, I found out that I didn't have enough photos.
I quickly snapped one.
One of the many train tracks. And my reflection.
I don't have my horse head mask.
Or gorilla head mask.
Or bunny head mask.
So a blurred reflection will have to do.
Just imagine those three red lights are the three eyes in the middle of my forehead.