Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Morning is hell.

I peep out from inside the sleeping bag, but the light hurts. I tuck my head back under the fleece. Free beer. Always dangerous. Don't remember much of the beach party. A fire. I remember a fire on the beach. Guitars, a djembe drum, girls … as i drop back into the brief panacea of sleep, i remember …

Somebody tears down a tamarisk tree, covers it in diesel, and sets it alight. Well, they're a weed. Sitting around the fire, the drum thuds away as the other guitarist and i meander around each other. All is going splendidly until the Professional Partygoers turn up. One is carrying a big pine pallet. You idiots, he says. Trying to burn a green tamarisk tree.

He drops the pallet on the fire in front of us, with an expression of smug self-satisfaction. Which slowly fades as our fire goes out.

As i am leaving, a fresh Professional Partygoer demands the guitar. Give me the guitar, he says.
Oh, i am just leaving, i say, my guitar already slung over my shoulder.
No, come on, give me the guitar.
Well, i'm—
Give me the guitar.
I give him the guitar.
He sits down with it, and launches into a series of self-important power chords. It sounds like shit.
What the—?
He looks down at the guitar.
It's in open tuning, i say.
Oh, shit, he says, rolling his eyes. He plucks the lowest string, and turns the tuning peg. Nothing happens. He tries again.
What the—? he says again.
Oh, the bottom string has been removed. It's in a five-string tuning.
Oh, shit, he says. Give me an A, he demands of the other guitarist.
A? says the other guitarist, gently mocking.
Give me an A!
A? A? we all start saying in unison. A? We laugh. I get the guitar back and head up the road. I run into Louie.
Pies, says Louie. Pies. Let's go.
We walk to the bakery. Chrisso is there. Mickey T is nowhere to be seen; he's probably in a sleeping bag somewhere with one of the girls from the party. It's about three. The bakers flail away amongst the flour, making dough on speed.
They're on speed, says Chrisso.
A baker pops out with four pies. Ten dollars, he says. His eyes like saucers. Flying saucers.
It is the best pie i have ever eaten in my entire life. Either that or i'm drunk.

Morning is hell.

For breakfast, i eat half a microwaved pie i find on top of the cupboard. As we check out of the Coral Bay backpackers, we check out the backpackers. There's Lydia, the Swedish babe from the beach yesterday, in the yellow bikini. Lydia is swanning around the place. She smiles. Mmm.

Ah, back in the Bay, says Mickey T. Now i remember now why i spent a whole year here.

We take our key and our borrowed rugs back to reception. Chrisso, Mickey T and i try catching moths in the lobby. For our wallets. The girls at the desk stare at us as we climb the walls. Call security, says the pretty one to the ugly one.
What are you guys doing? says the ugly one.
Oh, just catching these moths, to put in our wallets. So when we open our wallets, the moths will fly out. You see? It's like a joke.
She stares at us.
Maybe you should put them in your underpants, she says.

At the bakery, i order double-shot espressos from the french waitress. With a poker face, i open my wallet, waiting for the moths to fly out so i can play the old 'obviously i haven't opened my wallet in a long time' gag. A big moth lumbers out, slowly. Obviously dazed. It stands on the end of my finger. We both stare at it.

Eez that your leetle friend, says the waitress.

We wander the Bay in search of our sobriety. It takes us four hours to launch the boat. Finally, after several more coffees and red bulls, we head out into the bay, totally flungover. Which, as readers of The Nerve will know, is just like hungover, only further over.

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