Cat Lady?

“some moments are nice, some are
nicer, some are even worth

– Charles Bukowski, War All the Time

I got a text from an ex the other week. I was out running at the time. The moment I saw it I freaked out and ducked down behind a car. I was surprised by my reaction. I pretended to do some push-ups and stretches.

The text was harmless, it just said “Hey, how are you? I was just at the old pub we used to go to and I thought of you”. My thoughts… Firstly, don’t tell a girl you thought of her because of your dank, piss soaked surrounds, Secondly,  don’t admit you’re drinking at 3:30pm on a Monday. Lastly, just go away, it’s done. This is an unnecessary text.

 I decided not to reply. A smart decision. The whole thing reeked of loneliness and I just didn’t have any kind of feelings left for the man. I continued on my run.

I didn’t think about him again. I did think about myself though. I dated that guy for a year. I would be able to identify his balls in a line up. At some point I probably entertained the thought of considering  maybe spending the rest of my life with him. Now I’m diving in front of moving cars to avoid him. I think I tend to run away from properly dealing with things. Unlike the 3 hot Corrs girls and the 1 ugly brother, I wasn’t forgiving. I was just trying to forget everything. When I got home I ate about 2kgs of salad, deleted his text and went to bed.

I got another text a few days later. This one was much more pathetic. “Why are you ignoring me?  So typical, always a victim. I’d been drinking this time and thought about all the bitchy responses I could write. Then I remembered I didn’t care. Any response I was going to write at that time would be adding fuel to a fire and it’s summer so no one wants a fire, plus everything I wear is highly flammable and my brows are my thing. I once again deleted the text.

I haven’t heard from him since. This is a good thing. I was annoyed at how angry I felt about nothing. I had completely gotten over this person, why did I care about two silly texts? I wanted to focus on the good memories and not feel like I wasted another year. I find this really hard.

Fast forward two weeks. I had been at a staff party all day. I was fairly white girl drunk. I got to one of those rare and beautiful moments in my life when I realised I had enough for the night. I was one hiccup away from a spew. I knew it was time to go home. I ghosted. As I was sneaking out my phone died. It was a lovely evening and I decided a tram and a walk would do me good.

As I got off the tram, I noticed a black fluffy lump on the footpath. I thought it was a dead possum, I stepped over it. Seconds later the dead lump moved. It was a cat. The cat was very much alive. I gave it a quick pat and continued my walk. The cat continued to follow me. I  stopped and patted it again. This continued the whole way home. I should mention at this point I was dressed as Jackie O and had at least 7 Aperol Spritzs and 14 beers in my system. I’m 100% sure I was talking to the cat. People thought I was insane. I don’t really care, the cat was a good listener.

As we approached my house. I thought about our future. Maybe I should just keep this cat. Sure it was someone else’s, but clearly he had chosen me. Even in my drunk state I knew this wasn’t an option, but I was having trouble letting go. I reached in to my bag to look for my keys. Seconds later I realised the cat was gone. He’d left me. I felt a pang of sadness then some anger. We had this magical little moment and now it was over. He didn’t even say goodbye. Cats were sluts, a pug would never do this.

I had my second moment of clarity for the evening as I struggled with the soda stream. Don’t focus on the end Annabel. Focus on the lovely times you had with that cat. He was never going to be yours forever and you didn’t want him to be. You don’t have to forget him entirely.

I woke up the next morning still wearing a pillbox hat and with nothing but nice memories about my evening with the cat. That fluffy little slut probably saved me a couple of dollars on therapy.


Slamming Doors…


“We do not pass through the same door twice
Or return to the door through which we did not pass”

                            ― T.S. Eliot

Three guilty pleasure. Number one, thinking about people I have had sex with and what would have happened if I’d stayed with them. Number two, judging those people and all other people on Instagram. Then of course, an obvious number three, 90’s Gwyney Paltrow movies.

Amazingly, for the sake of a post, they all tie in together. Sliding Doors, the ultimate Gwyney movie. A film about two Miss Paltrows, one with the good hair, it plays out two alternative lives based on one missed train. Some call it a masterpiece (most of them bought it at a JB Hifi DVD Sale) Most Call it an absolute crock of shit. I personally have a weird crush on John Hannah so I dig it.

After the 90’s Gwyney started a blog about health. It’s called GLOOP. She basically steams her cooter, then other people start to do the same. Next come the  ‘Insta Influencers’ aka Dumb bitches with outer burbs eye makeup. Gwyney is their queen. They make money from endorsing health products. By health products I mean teeth whitener and Skinny Tea. Girls proudly kissing a cardboard box and claiming they lost 7kgs because of it. In truth they probably did, however, it had nothing to do with science and sacred berries. The tea is a fucking laxative. They literally shit themselves skinny. I know this because I had a cuppa once.

Once upon a time, I was living in a share house in Brunswick, seven years later I still am, thats not the point though. One evening, my then housemate, offered me a cup of tea. I don’t usually drink tea, he also didn’t usually offer. For some reason I said yes. He seemed happy with this response and got to work. Moments later, he presented me with a cup of herbal tea. It looked a bit strange, but, he was staring at me intensely so I took a big sip. It tasted like shit and was weirdly thick, you could almost say it was gloopy. Being the polite young lady I was, I thanked him and took another sip. He started to laugh and told me it was some weird ‘Skinny Tea’ he had found in the pantry. He then apologised and said he didn’t think it would’ve gotten this far. I put on a brave smile and laughed with him. Moments later my guts started to gurgle.

That night we were heading to our local pub, its still my local pub, but thats not the point. We were going to meet some of his mates who were visiting. I was much younger then and used to tart myself up for such an occasion. As I was standing in the bathroom, applying beauty slap, I could really feel some movements in the old bowels. I once again chose to ignore, I couldn’t let the practical joker win.

After drinking voddy cruisers in the Barkly Square carpark, we headed in to the pub. We met his mates. One of them was a real stunner. Good brows and strong hands, two qualities I look for. We sat next to each other. We had the mature deep conversations a 23yr old girl is capable of having. The sexual chemistry made me forget all about the stomach pains.

As the waitress put a menu down between us. Just seeing the word food made my guts churn. I could no longer ignore the situation. I politely excused myself, then calmly but quickly minced my way over to the toilets. Always calm in a crisis, I chose the disabled toilets, it was a decision I would thank myself for later. I ripped my tights off and then unleashed all fucking hell in to that porcelain throne.

About 25minutes later, I emerged from the bathroom. I had the haunted eyes of a Vietnam vet, but my waist looked tiny. Being the quick thinker I am, I pretended to be on the phone when I returned to the table. I did a real good “Sorry my friend called me”. Everyone seemed to buy it. Added bonus no one questioned why I was no longer wearing tights. When it came to ordering, I decided to go for the stodgiest option. From memory it was gnocchi, I never order pasta at a pub, but desperate times called for desperate measures.

After a disappointing dinner and about 7 more trips to make a phone call (turns out Gnocchi doesn’t act as a barricade). We decided on more drinks. I went with old mate. Oomph we were feeling it. Even my needy friends and family, that kept calling, didn’t seem to deter him. We went to a house party. I sussed out the bathroom sitch and decided it was too risky. No locks, fuck that, I’d have to leave.

As I said goodbye, I saw his little heartbreak. He suggested he would help me get home. Though tempted by a finger blast in the cab, I knew it was too risky. I left and never saw him again. ‘Maybe he was the one’ I thought as I sat on the toilet at home.

Thankfully, weeks later I found out he was basically unemployed in his late 30s and had a drinking problem. He was no John Hannah. I also learnt weeks later that the pub went broke shortly after that night, I really hope the disabled facilities wasn’t responsible for that. At least my stomach was flat. The pubs much better now too.








Honky Cat…

“We are homesick most for the places we have never known.”
― Carson McCullers

I nearly changed the entire course of my future the other week. I was going to uproot my entire life and take it out of zone 1. I made the decision in about 20minutes, over a beer, always a good idea.

The destination was Castlemaine. I was going there with my good friend to visit Jenny (that’s his mummy). It was an absolute baller to get there. We met on Platform 16a at 5:15pm. Our train was at 5:30pm. We were both starving. We settled on a packet of chippies from the vending machine. The machine ate our money. Eventually, after some kicking and screaming we got our chippies. The taste of victory is a sharp salt and vinegar flavour.

We returned to the platform, it was 5:25pm. Our train never came. We had to catch the 6:20pm train. It took 1hr and 45mins. I needed to pee the whole time. This was, apparently, a fairly standard situation.

When we arrived it was dark. I finally got to tinkle. We were greeted by Jenny. Her house was beautiful. Mud bricks and exposed beams. I’d live here I thought. We had a hearty dinner and many wines. This was followed by many whiskeys. We talked about Castlemaine and how great it was. I passed out in a recliner chair.

By the morning, I was on realestate.com. I’d seen one house and the train toilets. That was enough. I was ready to move to the country. The next few hours, were some of the best. We went to a salvage yard. There I ate a bacon and egg roll. It tasted like heaven. It came with a coffee that was not shit. There was a doggy wearing a flanno. Everything took ages to make, I decided it was ‘country time’. We actually chatted to people. I was wearing sexy denim overalls. ‘This must be the place’ I thought.

Next, we went to a vintage bazaar. It was magical, I was in there for hours. I wasnt coming home. I would open a stall here and start wearing full length prairie style dresses. I’d be a fucking vintage goddess. My R.Ms wouldn’t even be ironic and I could finally wear that Akubra I got for absolutely no reason. After another 4 hours we went to the furniture section. I have strong hands, I could do this shit. I just needed a studio and some country air.

Next stop was the realestate agent. We expressed interest in a house that was currently under application. If anything changed she would call us. This all made so much sense to us.

We headed to the next town over. We had a beer at the local. It was a Carly D, I didn’t even care. Some local Hi Vis types were in for their morning bevy, They checked me out. ‘Bless them’ I thought. ‘You can look, but don’t you dare fucking touch boys. I love country folk’ I thought. We started talking to the bartender. He was the owner, older, but a real looker in his day. Turns out the pub was for sale. We talked money. Yes, I was going to buy the pub with my zero savings. When I wasnt in my studio, or in my stall or writing my memoirs with a typewriter on my balcony, I’d be pouring bundy for all the lovely locals. The publican mentioned sons. I’d probably end up with one of them.

After an exhausting day of drinking. We went to the park. I ate a dim sim and potato cake. I’d never tried either before. Absolutely delicious, this will be my staple diet. Fuck kale salads every night. Here, I’m living a culinary life.

With a stomach full of potato and dog food, I hit the pubs. They were all great. We chatted to a man wearing a Driza bone and drinking a White Russian. A bartender winked at me. He seemed dumb as shit but very hot. When I wasn’t cutting wood, fabric or people off at my pub, I’d probably bone him. I got real drunk. The whole night we discussed our move to Castlemaine. I said the word ‘quaint’ at least 40 times.

In the morning, we had to head home, I had work. We drove. Driving in to the city felt like driving in to hell. I could hear Elton John singing Honky Cat to me. Telling me to turn back.

Work was horrific. I hated everyone, miserable pricks. If I was working hungover in Castlemaine, I wouldn’t feel like this. I told everyone I was moving. Told them they were all rats in a cage. ‘This isn’t living’ I told them. I need to get back to the basics. Just vintage clothes and craft beers in a town relying solely on tourism, only an 1hr45min on train, now that’s fucking living.

The next day, after a yoga class, I decided it was time for dinner. It was nearly 10pm. I knew my local Vietnamese restaurant was open till 11pm. I went in and ordered the usual. It arrived moments later. I scoffed it and left. I stopped in at the Coles and grabbed some tamps. Then Kmart for a unnecessary $3 tshirt. I realised if I lived in Castlemaine I couldn’t do any of this. ‘Fuck those bogans’ I thought. ‘5 year plan’ I decided. For now, I’m staying put.



“The lost glove is happy.”

– Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire 

I’ve been watching a heap of Attenborough lately. I cry from beginning to end. Life is my favourite series. Every scene destroys me. Somehow, David and the team manage to make everything seem so clear and simple. A 30second clip of a frog humping and I know the answers to the universe.

The one that really tugs at the strings, involves an Octopus and her babies. Basically, the mum spends her life in a cave looking after her unhatched eggs. She can’t leave them to get food,  she eventually starves. By the time the little tackers are hatching, Mum is curled up in the corner dead. Most of the babies will die. The ones that don’t, end up in the same shitty situation as Mum. Cue the fucking water works.

When I watch these clips I think about many things. Firstly, kids are so ungrateful. Secondly, how does the Mother just know what she is meant to do? She’s alone from day 1, how does she know her purpose? Why didn’t she pack a lunch? Then I usually think about what David’s voice over would be saying if I was  having sex. Finally, I think what if the Octopus decided not to have babies? What if she decided to go and get a blow wave and a little mani pedi somewhere instead of getting fertilised?

Rebelling against the norm is why we are where we are. Its probably made things a bit more complicated, but its nice to have options.

I remember wagging classes in school sometimes. We would spend recess and lunch making extravagant plans of how we would all get out class. When we finally did it, we quickly realised there was nowhere to be.

My friends would normally go and hang out with the deadbeat 18yr old with no job in a park. I’d usually end up at home making a pesto and cheese panini. I’d then sheepishly waddle back in to class dusting the crummies off the corners of my mouth. I’d spend the rest of the class imagining what could have been the greatest adventure of my life in an HJ’s car park.

Being free is one of the scariest places to be. It can be so overwhelming not knowing your purpose. Some days I wish I could pull an Octomum.  It would be so simple if I just got to sit on a couch and watch my eggs hatch. I’d never get hurt, I’d never feel lost. The only regret would be not popping in to ALDI for a nice bag of chippies (sea salt obviously).

I quickly realise thats no life. I like standing up thats why I wagged. I decided a sandwich was more important than authority and physics. Unlike the Octopus, everyone is telling me what to do. It doesn’t help. Most days, I have absolutely no fucking clue what I want. All I know is that in my life,  if I do decide to sit down for a passing moment, it will be on a chair that I recovered and I will look spectacular.



 “If something is going to happen to me, I want to be there.”

― Albert Camus, The Stranger

I got a new bike the other week. My other one had been stolen nine months earlier. The moment I felt the tiny seat wedge between my cheeks I knew I was back. I wondered how I had survived so long without it.

Three weeks later, I woke up fully clothed and clutching a salad bowl. I got hammered the night before and rode home. Not an ideal situation. Luckily, apart from a bit of salad dressing, I was completely unmarked.

I had no real plans for the day, but decided I’d be a piece of shit if I just moped around the house. I felt a bit lost, because I basically had no purpose. This made me think about my bike. I remembered the strange sense of freedom I felt when it was stolen. I also noticed how much I bulk up from that beast. The convenience of a bike had stopped me from taking the time to see things.

Moments later I had left the house. I was just going to go for a walk. I had no idea where I would end up. I hoped it wasn’t the pub. It was a sunny day so I headed towards the park. I ran in to a friend almost straight away. We walked and talked. It was pleasant. We said goodbye and I continued to walk.

As I was walking, I noticed an older guy in a wheelchair. He was outside his boxy little flat having issues getting up his ramp. I went and asked him if he needed help. He explained that the bottom slat on his ramp had come off and he couldn’t get in. The poor bastard had no arms or legs and just two little fingers growing off his shoulder.

He was situated next to a school so he probably wasn’t a sex offender. He seemed safe. I explained I had no where to be and would be really happy to fix it for him. He seemed shocked by this. I think he caught a glimpse of my hands and realised I was basically a tradie  trapped in midriff top, so he accepted my offer.

I pushed him up and in to his house. I was immediately greeted by a mid century wet dream. What Lynden lacked in legs, he made up for in Scandinavian design. His furniture was fucking incredible. Everything in that place made me moist. Even the fucking place mats were perfect. I couldn’t hold back my orgasmic moans. He explained that he was a collector of beautiful things. That sounded creepy, but I respected it. He even had an eBay store, which I now follow.

He told me there was a hammer in the laundry. Even that came in a beautiful little bag. He chatted to me as I nailed the ramp back on. He asked me what my plans for the day were. I explained I had none so just decided to go for a walk. Then I felt like a bitch for saying that. I said that I was currently playing with an idea of a series of short stories about people trying to write a novel. Then I told him the idea I had just had before about one typewriter linking them all together. One of the characters was even going to buy it off eBay. He said it was a great idea. I really liked Lynden.

I went back inside to put the hammer away. As I did, he asked me if I had a typewriter. I said no, because they are for pretentious wankers. He laughed and said he had one. This made no sense to me, the guy had no hands, tits on a bull. I think he sensed my confusion and told me it was listed on his eBay shop. That made more sense. He said it had been listed for months but nobody wanted it. I told him there were plenty of pretentious wankers out there and I was certain he would eventually sell it. He laughed and then used his little pointing stick to draw my attention to a little grey box. It was the typewriter. It had the original reciept from 1969. It was very pretty. He told me to take it. I politely declined. He insisted, explaining that it wasn’t worth anything but he wanted it to go to a nice home. I really didn’t want it, but I felt like I had to accept his gift. The poor bastard doesn’t have feet, what kind of bitch was I to say no to him. I took it. I said goodbye to Lynden and left. I doubt I will ever see him again, unless I get pissed and buy his vintage tea cosy collection.

The walk home was not great, the thing weighed a fucking tonne. It was such a pain in the arse to carry. I had a hangover now and basically wanted to lie down and die. I didn’t though, I was too fucking thankful for my bulky legs. I waddled home with a smile on my face. I haven’t even touched the typewriter. Sometimes its just really nice to have no purpose in life.


Pho Baby…



“It takes a great deal of courage to stand alone even if you believe in something very strongly.”
― Reginald Rose, Twelve Angry Men

I did the absolute worst thing a gal can do to herself the other week. I convinced myself I was up the duff. It seems completely ridiculous now. I wasn’t late and I religiously take my pill. My tits even seemed smaller than usual.

It all started on my way to work. I was on the train.  I felt some really intense cramping. Considering a few years earlier my entire ovary blew up, this caused concern. The painters weren’t due till next week. Alarm bells started. Eventually the pain stopped and I started thinking about chocolate. I never think about chocolate, what the fuck is happening to me?

Luckily, by that point I had arrived at work, a welcome distraction. We had a media launch on. I was instructed to set up a couple of cheese boards. I fucking love cheese boards. Normally, this would be an honour. However, as I skilfully arranged the hard and soft varieties of cheese with the cured meats, I wanted to spew. I decided my body was telling me I didnt want any prosciutto.  Cramps, cravings and cured meats. I’d connected the dots. Of course, I was pregnant. There was absolutely no other explanation in the entire world.

I spent the next few hours trying to pretend like nothing was wrong, even though everything was. I could hear the conversations no one was actually having “Annabel hasn’t had a drink or any salami all night. She must be knocked up” they’d say. I thought about asking anyone if they had a tampon. That would throw them off the scent, I thought. “Nah, she’s not preggers she just asked me for a plug” they’d say. Too risky, I decided. I was an emotional wreck from all the baby hormones I must have floating around in the womb. One glimpse of my former carefree tampon lifestyle and I would be sure to start blubbering.

The last hour of my shift was excruciating. The cramps were back, I had a sore back and I kept imagining me 8 months pregnant wearing a hoodie and roller skates. There was a wet patch on my top, I was probably lactating, all too real. I considered an UBER home but decided I should probably save the money for my future spawn.

While on the train, I did what all expectant mothers probably do when they decide they are pregnant. I googled ‘What are early signs of pregnancy?’ as well as ‘What if I don’t want the child?’ and of course ‘Retro Pregnancy dress patterns’.  All bases were covered.

I got off a stop early because I thought I was going to vomit. I stood at the lights waiting to cross. I had a beautiful moment of clarity.  My brain said exactly what my heart needed to hear. ‘Annabel whatever happens you will be ok. You are in control of this situation. You dont have to do anything you don’t want to do and you shouldn’t feel ashamed’. Brain was right.

I waddled up to Chemist Warehouse. The ankle, I have repeatedly broken, was swelling up. I’d been for a 2km swim that day, but, it was obviously the little tacker causing the swelling. As I walked in I remembered they didn’t have self serve checkouts. I put on my best ‘this is completely planned and I’m hopeful’ face and got the cheapest pregnancy test I could find. I marched to the counter and put it down. This was my Oscar nod moment. I reaked of mother vibes/beer. The bitch didn’t even acknowledge me. I decided to scrap my ‘fingers crossed’ gesture and left.

On the walk home I passed my local Vietnamese restaurant. It’s called Bang Bang. Despite those words being the reason I was in this mess. I decided I should definitely get some Pho. I was, after all, eating for two now. I sat at a table for one, ordered and waited. I already regretted the entire situation. I should’ve added wontons and I probably should have done the test first.

I decided I couldn’t wait a second longer. I went to the bathroom. My entire life was about to change in the unisex toilet of a cheap Vietnamese restaurant. It’s a good story, I thought. One to laugh at in a few years.

I miscalculated and peed a bit on my hand, eventually on the stick. I watched as the lines danced around in the results box. 30 seconds felt like a lifetime. One line, I was not pregnant, perfect result. I put the test in the bin. It’ll  give the cleaners something to talk about, I thought.

As I returned to my table, I was greeted by Pho. I was fucking famished. It clicked, Annabel you absolute dead shit, 4 coffees and not an ounce of food all day. Hunger pains are a powerful thing. Should’ve got the rare beef after all.

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Golden Showers…

“The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.”

– Jean-Paul Sartre

I bloody love a shower. It’s my time to reflect while I lather, rinse and repeat (always repeat). Over the last few weeks the reflections have been focused around my impending move. It’s a big deal for me.  I’m a sentimental gal.

One morning I was thinking about how many showers I’d had in that place. Some sexy, some sit down and spew, some cleansing, many with Tom Jones playing. One particular shower really stood out in my mind. It was a shower I’ll never forget. It occurred after the most traumatic moment of my life. It involved lots of piss.

It was a sunny day. I was in good spirits. I’d just spoken to Angela, one of  my insane landlords, on the phone. Her and Jim are both Greek and both very old. He’s basically deaf, she’s basically blind. Neither speaks English. Together, they own one landline telephone and most of Northcote. They both smell like moth balls. Neither have teeth.

We were discussing the back fence. It had recently blown over and we needed it fixed. Her son owned a fencing and painting business. I knew this because he had his ugly sign on our front fence. He would be around soon to fix it. She then talked about going to ‘The Kmart’ and something about a box of kittens. She’s proper mental . I think I just hung up.

I was planning on recovering a chair, so would be home all day. At about 11am her son arrived. He was, to put it politely, a fucking pig. He walked through the house with a durrie. Chucked his tools on the floor then bent over and revealed the most unkempt arse crack I’ve ever seen. It’s what I imagine satans would look like if he was overweight and of Greek descent. 

Once I recovered from that sight. I realised Jim was there. I’d only ever seen him in a robe with a semi erection from counting our rent money. Trackies were a welcome change.

The pig son yelled at him a bit then left. I assumed he’d gone to buy a choccy milk and would come back, he never did. The next few hours were very unnerving. Jim is about 5ft and at least 85years old. He’d been out in the sun for hours. I kept telling him to stop then gave him loads of water. I’d live to regret that.

After another hour, I lost my cool. I told him he needed to stop. He cooperated and sat down inside. He was not looking good. I ran outside and grabbed the sons number off the ugly sign then left a very abusive voice message. I was stressed.

When I returned, Jim was off the couch, shuffling back outside. I saw him  collapse. I ran, picked him up and then old mate pissed all over me. He gurgled and his eyes rolled back then fully opened. He was momentarily dead. I did what I do with any man on my lounge room floor and put my mouth on his. Gave him a little chest pump and repeated. I really pulled that one out the bag. I joke now, but this was the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. Clearly the man does not believe in dental hygiene. I tried to think of nice things. He came back. I sat in his piss puddle and held him like a  hairy  little Benjamin Button baby. 

The son quickly returned my call, mainly  because he didn’t want any ambulance fees. Moments later he arrived with a choccy milk and durrie. Jim got up to finish the fence. The son called him a silly old prick, they left. I cracked a bottle of ALDI’s finest, threw out my pissed soaked shorts and cried in the shower for at least 45minutes.

The next day Angela came around to say thanks. She gave me a box of Roses chocolates. They were on sale at ‘The Kmart’ back in 1985, she stocked up. Nothing says thanks for saving hubby’s life like a box of choccies.

That was a bad shower memory. Great water pressure though.