Wednesday, 21 September 2016

I Keep Snooping On The People In The Hotel Carpark.

This one night I heard a woman screaming in the hotel directly next to my place. I saw straight into her room, pacing around. "MY ARM! YOU HURT MY ARM! YOU BROKE MY ARM!" I kind of knew her arm wasn't broken, dunno why.

Watching transfixed, that familiar feeling of adrenaline and relief that it wasn't me that was in trouble. She stopped. I went back inside from my balcony. Five minutes later she started up again and I thought FUCK. Now I have a civic duty to help. You knew how some poor soul gets violently murdered and the neighbours get interviewed saying "Well, we did hear screaming and a ruckus." 
So, you didn't think to call the cops or do something? Ugh. Had to put on my ugg boots walk out into the rain, I got three umbrellas you think I can find one?

Annoyed at the interruption to my otherwise usual night of penance solitude, I slipped over on the steps outside reception because a German guy pushed past me?

I said "OH EXCUSE ME SORRY." Oblivious German guy checks in and it takes ages. I stood behind him judging his clothes, his accent, his luggage. What a Dickward Street.

Told the lovely receptionist I'd heard screaming from the room three windows across from the top floor. She looked concerned, thanked me, said she'd look into it. Civic duty DONE so when I got interviewed by the media the next day I'd look good because I'd reported it.

I'm so jealous of the people coming in and out of that hotel! It's fun to stay in hotels. Obviously they've come up to the mountains for a great getaway. Groups of middle-aged couples, honeymooners, bunches of 20-something people who appear to have their shit together. I hear them talking. "Ok we'll go up and buy some fruit, let's all meet up at the restaurant after the bushwalk." Wow. People doing normal good things with friends. Here the redhead alien sits, watching people lives go by.

The worst is seeing the children. Piling out of cars, yelling, shouting crying laughing, being turds, safe with their parents. Bet their mum never abandoned them out of desperation to spare them from a mum who is capable of abandoning them even if she thought it was for their own good. It was just for a few months a year ago but now it's prolonged not by my choice maybe that's how it's supposed to be right now. Acceptance is hard. But it's not about me, anymore.

Anyways so these happy families, ugh. Fuck off happy families no offence. It HOITS.

Sometimes people are out in the parking lot lighting cigars, shooting the shit, and they look up at me looking down at them and I either duck or quickly look the other way pretending I'm not looking at them. Wondering what their story is.

Jeff my neighbour sat down next to me one morning and I told him my Envious Parking Lot Predicament. It was a while back, just after I asked him to drive me to the psych ward and I only lasted there three days until the docs deemed I didn't have to be there, lol. There's a difference between mental illness and just having a heart so broken it sends you into abyss.

He turned it all around in just one sentence. "Eden, you have no idea why these people are here or what they're going through."

Wow.

How many of the hotel carpark people are here to attend a funeral? Have a dysfunctional family reunion they're dreading? The happy honeymooners could actually be on the last legs of their long marriage I mean major props for desperately trying to save what cannot be saved. The elderly group of people together for their very last hurrah? The two random strangers on a weird tinder date at midnight and the guy's into piss sex and the chick runs out of the room and SHE'S the one who paid for the room even when she's broke. The family of beautiful people in a mini-van who just got harassed on the freeway up here by an irate driver just because of the colour of their skin. Sad desperate hookers. I don't feel better at these scenarios or people's misery it just makes me more connected to humanity and not so Robinson Crusoe.

There actual families with young children screaming and crying and the mother yells at the father and the grandmother chimes in saying "JUST GET THE BABY OUT AND I'LL HOLD HER WHILE YOU CHECK IN TO OUR ROOM" and they don't know they're being watched but I'm watching. Not judging, not smug. Just watching.

Obviously there's happy people still driving in for a happy adventure and people derive joy from life, which is so cool. Feels good to mean that instead of being bitter. I don't want life to turn me bitter.

Doesn't matter if you step out of a pristine white four-wheel drive Porsche or a dusty Commodore .. we all got baggage in the boot.


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Sunday, 18 September 2016

I Believe We've Waited Long Enough.



Towards the end of the video I got icing on my face. Just letting you. Below is a pic of my bro Cameron, happy out on the tiles somewhere overseas with his beautiful girlfriend at the time.

Happy birthday in the afterlife, Bamm-Bamm. Love Pebbles xxxx



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Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Just Random Shit, You Guys.

I plucked a grey nipple hair but we'll get to that later.

Fuck there's dark shit in me. I've read that terrible people awaken the terrible parts of ourselves but I'm probably the terrible person who's awakened the terrible parts of other people. You know how you read all the inspirational quotes like "People have been so mean and awful but you're amazing?" Umm newsflash - that's so not the case in many ways ... sometimes we are the mean arseholes who need to look at ourselves and do better.

I've got a massive headache today but I've got to stay away from the codeine because codeine. Can't believe how it's so readily available over the counter here in Australia - it's not like that in America at all. A lot of people die from complications of legal pharmaceuticals. Someone should do something.

Oh my god so many nights this past year (years? MY WHOLE LIFE?) ... I've wailed and crumbled and shouted at god and can't feel any guardian angels and wonder what was so bad about me that people treated me like shit when I was trying to grow up. Reminding myself yet again not to use that as an excuse to have all the self-pity but seriously. Lately my Uncle Steve has phoned me at night when it's the worst and just laughing and talking and crying has helped in so many ways. He doesn't judge me that I'm a total fucked loser with no job and I'm honest with him instead of pretending. It's vital as fuck to feel not alone. His three daughters are my cousins but actually sisters really.

I'm glad I live in a block of flats because it feels like a hotel and I can hear other people talking and fucking and shouting and I feel part of it. I'm SO sorry to the couple who live underneath my apartment because I always forget to take my boots off, I'm so LOUD. Sometimes I drop both remote controls onto the floor at 2am when I can't sleep and don't want to take Seroquel but have to anyway otherwise I can't sleep. The remotes CLUNK onto my wooden floorboards and I say out loud but quietly - "I am so sorry downstairs people." 

I'm driving this cute little shitbox car which I got ripped off when I had to trade it in for rent money. The first month I was all, but, where's my sunroof? HOW DO I REVERSE PARK WITH NO REVERSE PARK CAMERA? How do I know where to drive with no GPS? For years I've been living life with "stuff" that I took for granted .. but I was never a spendy wife (ok except for cowboy boots) and after everything I saw on World Vision trips overseas in African refugee camps? I came back more changed each time, feeling like a complete arsehole for everything I have and take for granted. Always will. Good.

I got one CD in my car - Beyonce. When I get sick of it I tune into the radio, how SHIT is commercial radio? Listening to Kyle Sandilands who was having this rant about how revolting chin hairs are on women. Jackie O was doing her usual bullshit half-hearted placating and said it was normal but he said chin hairs on women were disgusting and he could never be with a woman who had chin hairs so I'd like Kyle to know that I have chin hairs AND I'm a strong woman who wouldn't fuck him if I got paid 20k which is enough to buy a newish car with a reverse camera. Which I don't want. And Kyle ... not only did I pluck a nipple hair the other week, but that nipple hair was grey as fuck. I inspected it in the bright sunshine of my bathroom. And didn't care - isn't growing older supposed to be a gift?

I'm turning comments off this site indefinitely - dunno why. Most things don't have a reason. I never blogged for comments anyway ... Siri what is blog anymore? Swear to god if I had a dollar every time someone used me or my platform or my contacts to build themselves up and be successful online and earn money, I'd have a couple of hundred bucks. No shade - just observing.

I'm on Facebook a lot - I know, Facebook blows but it's there and it's good when you cut through all the crap and connect and laugh with people.



That's it, it's all I got. Keep trucking, regardless. My brothers birthday is coming up and I REFUSE TO GET OVERWHELMED BY IT. There's two guys out there whose birthdays are so much more important - I know this for a fact, I was there. The actual birthing portal time machine, that's what I was. Still am - irregardless. And irregardless isn't even a real word.


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Friday, 2 September 2016

The Wall Of Dead White Males.

(TRIGGER WARNING: CONTAINS IMAGES OF NOOSES)

One morning when I was in Darwin with Annie she made me get up and go to the markets with her. Which was good, but I took some convincing to get out of the door because society. She promised me we'd be back in half an hour so we went .. best markets ever. I took a photo of a truck because it was cool. And green. (It's not easy.)


The market stalls were being packed up. I followed Annie around the corner .. had to keep up, that girl moves FAST.

                                              Banksyesque

As soon as we walked in we were literally confronted with this.


An exhibition called "The Most Stolen Race On Earth." It was like a suckerpunch.







Out of all of it, this is the one thing that has stayed with me ... "The Wall of Dead White Males." 


There's all the celebrated guys over history that we all fawn over and quote - Socrates, Plato, Nietzsche, etc. The big thinkers .. a bunch of white guys lauded for their exceptional insight and wisdom and knowledge. Which they did have - but imagine the collective knowledge and wisdom that died with all of the murdered and disenfranchised Aboriginal people, gone forever and taking with them the legacy of everything they knew and experienced.


All the things we didn't even know that we needed to know.

NORTHERN CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART



Saturday, 27 August 2016

The Taylor Sisters.

Look at these girls! From left: me, Marina, Ariel, and Morgan. They're my cousins .. I used to babysit them when they were little.

This pic was taken at a photo booth on the day Morgan was born:

Ariel, me and Marina. (STOP LAUGHING AT MY 90'S GLASSES RINI)

They are vibrant, smart, sassy, strong young women. The fighting gene is strong in my family, and even moreso with these girls. Ariel has been in hospital for over two weeks now. She was diagnosed with colitis in 2014 and has suffered serious health issues and complications ever since. Morgan was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer in her jaw when she was eight years old and spent 12 weeks in hospital. She has Crohn's disease .. I didn't know that much about Crohn's or colitis my god - the blood transfusions, chronic pain, medications, hospital stays. All while they're both trying to work and live normal happy lives. At one point recently they were sharing the same hospital room down in Westmead Hospital. Morgie was released but El stayed, deteriorated incredibly quickly, haemorrhaged .. and had emergency four-hour surgery just a few days ago. When my uncle Steve called to tell me, I held my breath. It's been terrifying.

                                             Morgan and Ariel

Morgan stayed with me recently while she went to work every day at Scenic Skyway. I took her for a driving lesson, she drives my manual car better than me. I had no answers to her questions about the clutch ... just told her to go for it and I'd be disappointed if she didn't bunnyhop or stall. (She didn't!)

So things are pretty much touch-and-go. Ellie is still in hospital going through utter hell. Yesterday I minded Marina's son Logan while her and her sister did everything they could to help, which wasn't much except just be there. I've never seen somebody in so much pain had no idea how prevalent these illnesses are, especially in Australia. Both Morgan and Ariel aren't eligible for government support even though they can't work. Ariel is doing a degree in teaching at university, but will probably have to defer until next year. She's going to be an incredible teacher.

One of their friends Amy has set up a page on the Giving Network to help:

HELP TAYLOR SISTERS FIGHT AGAINST CROHNS DISEASE

The whole family has been overwhelmed with the love and help they've received so far, their parents Steve and Karen have fought so hard to get their girls life-saving treatment and hospital procedures for so many years now - can't even imagine how powerless and exhausting it feels.

We're all visiting Ariel every day, flurries of texts updating her progress. The poor sweetheart has suffered intense complications and had the hospitals top neurologists, cardiologists, surgeons literally running around the place as she underwent a spinal tap, MRIs, blood tests, transfusions. She's like a frail little bird, perched up in her bed. It's been really scary, and really not fair. God I hope she doesn't mind but here's her facebook profile picture. UTTER STUNNER.





                                    Morgan, Ariel, me, Marina.

Marina and I stayed up for hours the other night laughing at Ace Ventura quotes, pubes, poo and boob stories. You know when heavy stuff is happening so you just go delirious? Yeah that. I'm headed back down soon. I think I might move in. They've all unanimously voted me in as the fourth Taylor sister, matching tattoos imminent.

Do you have any knowledge of Crohn's and ulcerative colitis? There doesn't seem to be any national foundations or support groups. Please send all three girls and their parents some love and prayers. x




Monday, 22 August 2016

No I Won't Be My Father's Son.


This is not a sob story.

Thirty-two years ago today my father died. I was twelve and dry-eyed .. how can you cry over somebody you never knew? He drank himself to death and is buried at Cooma Cemetery. I visited once when I was newly-sober and laid down on his grave like Madonna did in one of her video clips except it was her mother. So strange to not know a parent. He was from Glasgow in Scotland and came to Australia to work on the Snowy River Mountains Scheme. It says on my birth certificate that he was an engineer, in later years he worked at IBM because he was some kind of incredibly intelligent person. He was banking on a son, so when I was born he went on a huge bender for three days and didn't visit me. I think ... I was in some kind of humidicrib at the time for breathing issues so the details are a little hazy.

His favourite song was Mr Bojangles, he was likened to a young Roger Moore, and he was good at tennis. That's about all I know. Somewhere in my memory is stored the first four years of my life which were probably mostly lived in fear because he was a violent alcoholic. My grandmother told me he'd drink the vanilla essence from her pantry after his marriage imploded. His name was William Barrie. Apparently he served in the Red Berets .. I don't even know what that means. A paratrooper, landing in places like Cypress so I guess he was in the war? Don't know which one. I wonder if he had an actual red beret.

So I'm writing all this down right now incredibly detached and there's even a voice at the back of my head saying "fuck him" which isn't very nice but he wasn't very nice, apparently. He didn't like me, I'd go so far as to say he hated the sight of me because although I look exactly like him complete with red red hair, I wasn't his son. Just another daughter. After I was a born he had a vasectomy and as I'm growing up trying to put some pieces together because we all like to know where we come from, the more it dawned on me that he just really quite detested me and didn't want to know me. At all.

So maybe this is the source of pain, the fracture in my life that all other hurts splintered off from. I don't know. There's still wars in the world, there's so much happening every day and we all share shit on facebook but it's just overload now. Yes, the world is fucked but how do we fix it? Probably not by writing a piece about my dead father who I hate because he hated me first but jeez he was a giver - I got all his genes, his looks, his alcoholism, his dark and stormy moods which is now known as "Bipolar." I always swore I'd never drink and I didn't .. until I hit nineteen and then drinking drank me. Ask a woman who drank herself stupid throughout her twenties and she'll have a few stories to tell. Back in the day I'd be so drunk, stumbling home in the dark by myself and shout up to the sky "PROUD? I MAY NOT BE THE BOY YOU WANTED BUT I BET I COULD DRINNK YOU UNDER THE TABLE."

Four years after he died my stepdad killed himself and then all this other stuff and then recovery and rehabs and pregnancy and babies and joy and love and PEACE and marriage but then cancer, postpartum depression, remission, relapse, remission, recovery, second stepfather dies, my brother dies, psychiatric situations, separation, psychosis, breakdown, etcetera and so forth which brings us to right now this very night when I was sitting in a meeting and somebody was sharing and then asked what the date was and I said "22nd August" and thought fuck, this is the date my dad died. I don't know his birthday but I know his deathday, it got seared into my memory that time in year seven I read the coroners report on his death which was so long and boring but I was struck how it said "Died around 22nd August." He died alone in his bed in a flat in Batemans Bay and wasn't discovered for a while so the coroner could only estimate.

This is not a sob story but after the meeting I stopped off at the shops to buy some milk and UGH Fathers Day is coming up and I just wince at it, always have. Except I don't just wince I go up to the Fathers Day card display and rub salt into long-forgotten wounds by opening the cards to read the shitty inscriptions. I say shitty because they're not applicable to me. Obviously I'm not the only one who has father issues but as I drove away tonight, Beyonce's Daddy Lessons came on the radio and I CRIED because the lyrics aren't applicable to me but then I realised shit - they are.

"Came into this world
Daddy's little girl
and daddy made a soldier out of me."

Because he did make me a soldier. Perhaps his absence from my heart and life has shaped me more than anything. His lack of love and pure distaste for me has fuelled my rage and anger over the years until I eventually turned from a shy quiet girl with no voice into a woman who roars. Especially now, after spending the last three years in survival mode which is a really awful way to live. The rest of Bey's song is about how her dad liked his whiskey with his tea, and how he gave her a gun and warned her that if men like him come around then to just shoot. Hell of a lot of strippers and hookers out there who weren't warned about that shit is all I'm saying.

Bill died alone at the age of 47 from a brain bruise from falling over drunk too many times. I'm 44 - struggling on and off and on. Headed through the recovery train, the tracks he never took, and I'm telling you some days I want to drink. I want to drink so bad. Not to feel good or have a great time and a few wines because if I was a social drinker I'd get drunk every night. I want to drink to numb myself from pain and to not feel my feelings holy SHIT my therapist in 1998 told me flippantly "Oh for gods sake Eden you can't die from a feeling." Which is true - it just feels like it. I was saving up that year to buy a plane ticket to fly to Scotland to be with my people, discover Glasgow, meet relatives and cousins over there. I never made it and now, strangely, the sight of tartan kilts and the sound of bagpipes makes me cry. Years ago at the Sydney Writers Festival I got RAGING drunk with Irvine Welsh who fell in love with me and wanted me to fly back to Scotland with him the very next day. In front of the entire table of literary people I pull my passport out of my Doc Martin and told Irvine that my father was from Glasgow ... he then proceeds to stand up and do this drunken jig and shout at all of us:

"MYYYYY FATHER WAS FROM GLASGOW, 
HE WAS A FUCKING CUNT."

People were shocked but laughed anyway and turned to look at me and I just laughed and asked, "How did you know?" Irvine said everybody from Glasgow was .. he begged me to get on the plane and I don't really know why I didn't. Imagine that.

Anyway so tonight I'm crying about this Bill guy who I never knew but I'm pretty sure the chasm in my heart created by his absence is so wide and big that I can't even see it so I never even knew it was there. Maybe this, his life and his death and his rejection of me started off all my shit .. the worthlessness, the crazy, the hounding in me to be heard. Especially now.

Whatever, really. It's just that tonight is the very first time in my life I wished he was alive, I wish I could go and see him and tell him my multitude of problems and he'd be kind. Really see the woman I have become, all the good parts and the bad. And he'd see his grandsons and teach them things and tell them about the Red Berets. I'm trying to work this out for my sons, too. Both of them never knew their genetic grandfathers and I really wish they did because it's nice to know the information and knowledge passed down of where you come from.

We're headed into September and more death days and more birthdays and remembrance days and what-if days and shitty days and glorious days. As one of my many counsellors used to say "Eden, it's all grits for the mill." And he didn't know why I laughed so hard until I explained to him that it was grist. I don't even know what grist is and I'm not even going to google it because I prefer grits, have heard they're quite tasty. Back in my day there was no google there was a full set of Encyclopaedia Britannica's up on the library shelf and you actually had to get out of your chair and search for the information you needed with your actual hands. These days we're utterly overwhelmed with information but seem to understand life less than ever.

I been to countries where none of this shit matters and people are trying to eke out enough from the land to just survive that day. There's awful things happening all over the world and it's scary and we're meant to look at this and raise awareness of that and not knowing my father is probably technically a really low-scale issue in the grand scheme of things. It's just that I've never allowed my mind to wander there until tonight. I think he passed his rage down onto me except it triplicated and I don't want it anymore, I'm stronger than him. But knowing that doesn't make it any easier. He just drank himself stupid and died, I'm fucking up all over the shop and getting help and in recovery trying to whack each problem down as it comes. It's hard as fuck. I'm spent. Which means there's a clearing coming up soon where I can rest again before the next pounding because sometimes? That's all life seems to be. A series of utter fucking poundings and different crosses that we have to bear. Until we die or reach enlightenment. Probably both.

Anyway thank god for Bono. It's good to know there's men out there who feel and love and care for their children, have a social conscience, and fight for worthy things. I'm a firm believer that if you miss out on something inherently needed in your life, you get something else down the road to make up for it. It's science karma. And it's just so generous of Bono for providing me with the soundtrack of my life to help me get though it. He's one of my true heroes. There's not many left.





Tuesday, 16 August 2016

ACTUAL Camping Time.


Camping time looks like this:


No phone reception, no electricity, no traffic, no hordes of people. Just simple things like boiling the billy, collecting wood for the campfire, throwing the ball to the dog 1000x times, eating a lot of food, and having a good rest in the tent in the middle of the day because time is just a biscuit and there are no rules.

                                               #campinghairblogger

Annie showed me how to brew tea bush style - two big handfuls of leaf tea in a billy, boil it, let it steep, but not for too long.



                                         An actual proper Aussie dunny

We stopped at the best places on the way to the campsite. Annie's lived up here for most of her life and knows so many people - we'd be driving along on the highway and she'd go "Oh here's Vermins house we'll just pop in and say hi." So we did and I wasn't even my usual I CAN'T MEET NEW PEOPLE self. It was all really laid back. And calm.

Shout-out to all the boys at school who'd tease me with the Redhead Matches slogan, "Strike a Light." Also fuck you I'm not a dork anymore. 



    Roadtrippin'. 

Annie and I talked SO much, laughed so hard, cried. We're both in recovery ... there was a lottttt to talk about. And meetings to go to.



On my first swim in a waterhole I realised that I was legit scared about being snapped up by a crocodile. There's designated places to swim, and then there's place with signs saying NO SWIMMING. So we walk six kilometres from our camp and there's this most beautiful waterhole complete with waterfall and it was so inviting but before I went in I had to just make peace with the fact that I was about to be eaten by a crocodile, even though the area was deemed "safe."



It cleansed my whole spirit. I swam across to these logs and stood up and did my old gymnastics beam routine (true story) .. and Sid the dog swam around us and we laughed and there were other people swimming too so at least the crocs had a variety to choose from.


We walked back, Annie had already cooked her steak the night before but I fell asleep early so I put my steak on to cook with knobs of butter and mushrooms and told everybody I make the BEST steak. You know how long that fucker took to cook? Twenty minutes - and that was before I turned it over. I handed out dry scones I'd grilled, most people politely said no because they were so shit and Annie was PISSING herself laughing at my mad camping skillz. My god we laughed. We were talking on the phone just before and she told me that there were certain times when I was up in Darwin and camping and sightseeing and stuff ... and I just dropped it all, all the hard stuff fell away. The worry about my kids, my circumstance, the panic, the pain. That I was just in the moment. So comforting, and hopeful. I want to be more like that.

I also would like to see more street signs like this:


DICK WARD. I made us pull the car over so I could take this photo and it took me ages because I couldn't stop laughing. Imagine the roll call at school.

"Dick Ward?" 
"Present Sir."

I'm so lucky to have gone up to the territory and done and felt all this new stuff. It's important to go to places we've never been before.

                                  I watched the sun set on the ocean.


                                   I took a photo of all my feelings.


                                Annie took a photo of me feeling my feelings.



                      WE RUB YOU FIGHTING COCK AFTER DEATH!!


We saw this on the beach - neither of us wrote it. I wonder who did and I hope they're ok. 

Now I'm back home to Freezingland but not for much longer because spring is coming. I can hear the birds, Fernando! My flat is warm but still quite empty but I ate cheesy crust pizza last night and finally, finally have been deemed suitable for government support after trying to prove my circumstances for a whole year. I've taken the PayPal button off this site and I'm only halfway through writing thank-you's to people I don't even know. So embarrassing, but thank you. I got this.

Good Stuff is now happening. I'm walking around with huge garbage bags getting rid of objects and clothes I don't need. My counsellor checks in with me constantly. She even gave me a few garbage bags of her own to help with the clearout. We laughed and then I told her I REALLY need to throw out the anger and resentment and piled-up shit in my heart. She agreed. It'll take a while but I'll get there.

My medications are all now a fraction of the cost because I've got a healthcare card. Things are looking up. I'm thinking of a new surname ... Eden Wolfe? Eden Stone? Eden Blue? Whatever the fuck I want. Stop taking everything so seriously and personally. I could even change my entire name to Dick Ward, make people laugh in the cemetery when they glance at my headstone while on their way to visit Aunty Mavis.

HERE LIES DICK WARD
DID THE BEST SHE COULD
TAKEN BY A CROC UP IN DARWIN
BUT ENJOYED THE HELL OUT OF HER LAST SWIM.
R.I.P. DICK

(Kidding. I don't want to be buried I want my ashes mixed with glitter and cast into the ocean.)
(I don't know why I'm always talking about death sorry.)
(We actually die every night and wake up brand new people true story.)
(Thank you again. I'll still be writing here like before but different. Better.)

Last pic ....


I travelled all the way to the top of Australia to learn that the prison was unlocked this entire time so I just walked on through to the other side. The grass isn't greener - it never is that shit's just an illusion. But the view is spectacular.

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