Nightmare on Bourke Street
It's a wintry afternoon and I'm thirsting for beer and yearning for a handful of greasy, hot dim sims.
The longing is powerful enough to send me out of the house, onto the dodgy Number 57 tram alongside a man sniffing paint from a plastic bag until I step out again into the flotsam and jetsam of Bourke Street Mall.
I don't recall seeing too many pubs around here: a few cafes that are probably licensed, but tucked away into discreet alleys and not on the mainstream shopping strip itself. As for dim sims, they'd be more than likely sitting in some bain maries in noisy food courts, skins hardening and drying the longer they're in the salmonella-graded, not-quite-hot-enough heat of a stainless steel tray atop an ancient element.
I keep walking and idly wonder if I should just buy a bottle from a wine store and roll it in my hands so that it becomes warm. Yeah, I want it to be room temperature, Old English Inn style, with the yeasty smell mingling with the post-binge vomity bile that soaks into the carpets by the pub's fireplace, forming a lasting reminder of what makes beer the unforgettable drink it truly is.
I want the dim sim to be inhospitably chewy on the outside but moist and pink on the inside, tasting uncomfortably raw with a lingering after taste of fatty pork, sweaty chicken meat and a few slivers of unidentifiable bone fragments. A flaccid little snack with dubious nutritional value and an unnaturally yellow skin. Yeah, that's what I need....
I see this Dream Boat sleeping and nudge him awake. "Hey fella," I ask, "Where can a girl like me find a good warm beer and some dodgy dimmies?"
The rude git flicks me the bird and settles back into his phlegmatic snoring, leaving me to keep searching the mall on my own. My stomach is grumbling in complaint - it needs its fix and needs
Maybe I should just get back on the Number 57 tram and ask some of the fairly malodorous occupants where they'd go to find----- wait a minute ----- what's Love Chunks doing here?
He's seated on a toilet right in the middle of the mall, situated rather precariously between the two tram tracks; trousers and jocks bunched around his ankles and flanks exposed to the elements. He doesn't see me as he's too busy grimacing and concentrating on what he's - ahem - producing and is also oblivious to the shoppers crossing the tracks around him.
Then I spot my daughter. "Sapphire! Sapphire! Sweetie, can you help me with Dad, because he's-----"
She looks up vaguely because her attention is on the banana she's avidly unpeeling and eating. Our adored dog Milly is beside her, cleaning her own teeth with colgate mild mint, her tail wagging happily. What the hell-----
It is then I sit up in bed and note the evilly acidic bile angrily flippity-flopping in my stomach. This is what warm beer and dim sims must feel like.
Groping for the side table as a lever, I slip out of bed and brokenly feel my way towards the dark bathroom, cursing as the bubble packing refuses to budge and then pops wildly, pinging all the pellets of Panadeine to the edge of the bath tub. I scrabble around the floor and eventually find a couple that, whilst covered in a bit of stray towel fluff and pubic hair, get shoved rapidly and gratefully into my dry mouth.
It all makes sense now: Mr Migraine has arrived again, and is focused on using his new hand-powered screw driver to burrow a clearway between my left eye socket and right temple.