Thursday, 29 December 2016

At This Point I Should Write A Country And Western Song Titled "Waiting For The Meds To Kick In."

Hey I keep writing facebook status updates about where I'm at but for those of you who don't do facebook (good on you, by the way .. I call it "the necessary evil) then you don't read what I say there so here's my Facebook status update of this morning. But before I copy and paste it I need to tell you something:

This year I had to put a PayPal button on this site, whereupon I promised to write a memoir of sorts. I started, and it was going ok, and THANK YOU for paying my rent when I couldn't pay my rent. I'm not dissing anybody, but I couldn't pay my rent and was terrified. But then my PayPal account got subpoenaed to prove my "earnings" and I shat myself because the money was paying my rent so I took the PayPal button off, thanked as many people as I could via email addresses, and then unpublished all posts about my memoir of sorts because seriously. Then I started selling random shit around my house to pay my rent, then I depended on friends to help pay my rent, and I can't get a flatmate to help pay my rent because Rocco needs his own bedroom here to know that he has his own bedroom here. I thought about setting up an Air'BnB here but I can't because I'm renting and I'd get into trouble. It's terrifying not knowing how to pay your rent fyi but somehow I've managed to and things are looking up. So to all the people I promised the memoir of sorts to ... patience is a virtue and if I die with a half-written memoir inside me then somebody else would have to finish it and just make shit up but nobody can make the shit up because the shit is so outrageous and awful and funny and dark that you just can't make that shit up.

I've not written many entries here this year sometimes because I have nothing to say but mostly because I have everything to say and had to pull out, we've hit an artery. Fascinating to go back and read some of my old entries from years ago CLEARLY WRITTEN WHILE BEING INCREDIBLY MENTALLY UNWELL but not knowing it at the time. Frankly it was some of my best work. Also cringeworthy and embarrassing. To write here like I did before would be proof of .. craziness. And I'm so very tired of being the crazy one but I always have been, even while fully-functioning.

I have more readers here than ever before, I've never gone out of my way to attract readers, I've never asked to be internet-known, and I definitely have never blogged for comments. All I've done is cut pieces of my bloodied heart out and given them away freely. Doctors will tell you hearts don't grow back but they do. I've changed, I've evolved, gotten better, gotten worse, gotten worn down lied about rumours galore blah. To many people's surprise, I am still here on planet earth breathing oxygen so maybe don't kick a person when they're down because they might get back up again and make you feel - surprised? Bad? Scared?

I got my last post to publish here tomorrow, the last entry here for the year. Next week will be 2017. Rocco told me that humans won't exist for much longer "because of what we're doing to the planet." Rocco tells me a lot of things. Listen to kids, they're extraordinary. Told him the other day that I don't want him to grow up and please let me be in his life when he's a man. His reply: "I promise I won't grow up if you play a game of Cluedo with me right now."


Here's what I wrote on facebook today. Maybe the most fucked among us are the most intelligent because a lot of the time we see how hard life and the world truly is? Maybe I'm wrong. There's no instagram filter for reality. But Rocco if you ever read this in the future - then humans still existed for a while, sweet guy! And I need to give you more hope for the future which I can do now because I have more hope for the future.

I just opened facebook to see who was dead today. This morning I literally leapt out of bed to take my meds. My brain tells me I'm a piece of shit constantly but these days I reprogram my synapses. Brains are apparently computers that need a constant cowboy reboot. An article this morning says: "Some of Carrie Fishers friends doubted she was ever truly clean and sober because she got doctors prescriptions to treat her bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety." OH REALLY TELL ME MORE ABOUT THINGS YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT. My brain health bonanzas have affected every single person in my life. Negatively. So here's my face right now waiting for the Lamotrigine to kick in but you can't see the demons because they hide and trick. Undiagnosed and unknown stuff led my brother to suicide but it was the stigma that pushed him over the edge. I call for the hashtag #breakingbadstigma .. if you're inclined, post a pic below of your face or big toe using this hashtag. Carrie Fisher has left very big shoes to fill. The last bastion of all the awareness about mental health and suicidality is the nitty gritty of the grit of saying how we feel. I feel shit and messed up and misunderstood but my mum gets it now, so does my uncle, my aunt, some cousins, my good friends. Mental bonanzas are not a moral failing - but piling shit upon those who deal with them daily? That's a moral failing.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Which Bit?

Most people appear to be naming 2016 as the worst year ever but I don't actually think so. Well I guess I do because for the past five years at least I've been calling that year the worst year ever but I don't want to do that anymore. A year's just a year .. the new year is approaching but every morning of all days is a new year really. A lot of people died this year, not just famous incredible musicians who reached the heights of their talent .. a whole bunch of other people died too. Millions? Maybe, who knows the exact number. People die - it's a thing. Death is coming to us all, eventually inevitably.

People die with lives half-lived, half-finished, not ready, it's not fair. People die with a mountain of dirty clothes that'll never be washed, cups of tea undrank, photos not put in albums, cheesy crust pizzas uneaten, chess games half-played. People die with amends to make that'll never be made, relationships soured, browser histories undeleted. People die with things they still wanted to do, places they still wanted to see, children they'll never get to watch grow into adults. Life can be unfair, death can be more unfair, then there's all the unfair stuff in-between. A LOT of people die from boats sinking while fleeing wartorn countries they never wanted to flee but had no choice.

I heard a story this year about a woman and her adult daughter walking into a cafe loudly arguing. Sat down and ordered their lunch, their lunch was served but never eaten because the mother collapsed and had a heart attack and died on the fucking floor of the cafe with the daughter laying down on the floor next to her mum screaming, "No, mum I'm so sorry! I'm so sorry! Don't die!" But the mother died in spite of the paramedics efforts. That's shit. I don't want to die while I still have unresolved conflict and bitterness with people because the end is the end, no time for forgiveness or grace or stuff we needed to say while we can still say it. People are going to die all around the world today, casually picking up car keys, quick pecks on cheeks, cars ending in mangled messes.

As for the global unrest .. hasn't the globe always been unrested or are we just more aware of it now? The globe needs rest, the warmongers need to stop, people in power need to come back from the Dark Side of the Force. It's said true charismatic leaders only come round once in a hundred years (JFK, Martin Luther, Gandhi, et al.) The hell will happen to earth next, with ignorant people in control? Dunno ... but like I said to the Australian CEO of Greenpeace, we have to start taking our beliefs to the streets and risk getting arrested for the things we passionately believe in and KNOW are wrong. Wise women crones started the whole Standing Rock DAPL protest movement and a whole bunch of people are still there in freezing snow conditions, refusing to budge like the Zax. The pipeline stopped being built 48 hours after US Army veterans arrived and joined the protest because governments shit themselves when the military get involved in protests against the government why? BECAUSE THEY KNOW THE POWER OF PEOPLE POWER. In democratic countries, WE'RE the bosses of the government .. they are our employees meant to do the right thing. Not everybody does the right thing. Nobody does the right thing all the time it's impossible but at any time we can choose to do things differently. (Choose Life, oh George!)

So, I'm determined to think my way out of negative shit, keep going forward, and not die with things unsaid, unfelt, unwritten inside of me. Because THAT'S a big shame. This christmas two days ago was the actual worst christmas of my entire life, even worse than the christmas of 1988 in a shit holiday house with a literal shit septic tank, all of us in shock after the suicide of my stepdad two weeks beforehand. Things were heated and just yuck, and there was a broken little 8-year old boy pining for the loss of his dad. Pretty sure us four siblings went out into the water of the beach together for ages, laughing like maniacs over stupid stuff. Pretty sure that happened, can't remember. I've a habit of re-writing history according to my version of how things went down. Maybe we all do.

I yelled at my grandmother once in the middle of one night this year, she passed away years ago and I've never been angry at her in my life but I was SO ANGRY. It's been The Year of Living Angrily. It took me a few months to apologise to her and at this point I don't know if I was apologising to thin air because these days I don't know my beliefs about the afterlife anymore. Is dead dead or is dead still life? Sometimes when I'm out I count how many guys remind me of my brother, just count in my head, not crying or even sad just count. "One, two, three." One day I got up to five and I was just, REALLY, DAY? But I don't dwell or wail about him anymore. My sons deserve my energy and love and a balanced healthy mother and how will they know if I don't do that and they don't see that? Worst thing about not drinking myself to oblivion this holiday season is not drinking myself to oblivion this holiday season. Because oblivion doesn't last and I'd wake up with all my problems again but magnified tenfold and I'm really over feeling ashamed of myself. I'm over my sorries now. You can say sorry till the cows come home and the birds come back but unless we change our behaviour, then it's not a proper sorry.

I love this pic but not in a hateful angry way to the world or people. I'm giving the finger to myself and my mire pile of bullshit and self-loathing. (And oh. I. Have. Been. An. Arsehole.) What's the point of waiting for other peoples karma to hit them? What's the point of pointing fingers anymore? Not my business, circus, monkeys, or bullshit. There will never be closure about stuff unless I close my own door and white sage my own soul and make my bedroom pretty by getting some cheap bedside tables and hanging up nice paintings. Move on, let things go (LIKE, REALLY HARD THINGS TO LET GO OF) - clears out space for the good stuff. Good stuff is coming, through my grit and through the universe aligning and seeing me trying.

After their uncle died I told my boys over and over, probably a bit hysterically "NEVER GIVE UP." Rocco thinks it's "Never forgive up" and I can't correct him ever. (How beautiful is it when your kids say the wrong wording but you know what they mean anyway?) I never corrected his brother when he called his heart his "love heart." Beeping, instead of beating - seriously how much do our beating hearts withstand a beating? You can't beat something's that already beating. You can't fight fire with fire when you are the fire.

So many people have asked me how I'm going this year and my answer has always been the same. "Which bit?"

So yeah, bring on 2017 but more people will die, more governments will be shit, more atrocities will be committed but more babies will be born, more animals will be saved, and more truckers keep on truckin'. So bring it and this time I'm not going to wing it I'm going to live deliberately and keep making a difference in my small pocket of the world because there is such thing as a ripple effect, no matter how small or invisible it may seem. We think we have time but we don't, we don't know hardly anything really. Like John Darnielle says .. "When people want you to quit, stand there in bright colours and just wait there to be hit. Maybe spit some blood at the camera - just stay alive."

You know why Sia doesn't show her face? Google it - her reasons are fascinating. And she hides her face but how much does she show of herself anyway. A lot.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

"Mum, now I get it."

Jumping with his shoelaces untied - this guy has been living dangerously since he was born.


We've recently discovered the lamest of lame free online two-player games. Our favourite is "Bad Ice Cream 3" and when either of us dies our ice cream just deflates and up on screen, the words flashing "You have just had a meltdown." 

I may have recently ignited in him his life-long love for Eminen, sealed when I found the t-shirt I bought at Em's concert five years ago when we took his big brother for his birthday.

The other day he turns to me in the car and said "Mum at least you weren't as bad as Eminem's mum" which I didn't really know how to take. Do I agree, or do I tell him Eminem has forgiven his mum, that she did the best she could, that mothering is all relative? I just laughed and said thank you.

Rocco is in LOVE with his second-cousin, Logan. Logie calls him Dodo, sometimes they have sleepovers together at my cousin Rini's house where when anybody farts, we all laugh.

Straight after his soccer presentation one day he asked me to teach him how to cook but only he can choose the ingredients which has made for some interesting meals. This was a sausage, egg, vegetable curry stir-fry which didn't taste half bad .. he wore his medal to bed that night, this guy could kick a soccer ball like a champ since he was 18 months old. I wrote out the recipe instructions on a piece of A4 to take to his dads house and cook it again there.

He often writes me letters and hides them before he leaves, tells me that when I find them I don't have to miss him so much. (We miss each other so much but we're getting used to it.)

When I put him to bed at night he asks me to lay down next to him and just talk. So we talk and talk and talk - about everything he wants to. He asks me so many questions and I answer them all. He tells me that he loves talking to me. He tells me his dreams, new thinks he thinks, who his girlfriend is (but DON'T tell anyone mum) ... he says he tells me things he doesn't tell anybody else. I tell him he has the most incredible imagination and heart ever and I'm so, SO proud of him.

Just then we were jumping over the pavement cracks on the way back from the post office and when I drew him in close for a hug, he hugged me back more, said "Mum, now I get it." 

I said "What do you get, mate?"

"Now I get why you always want to hug me so much. Because right then I wanted to hug you at the exact same time. Love you so much. I'm going to have a really fun christmas but I promise to call you and see you when I get back."

Told him "Sweetheart, I'll be right here. I'm not going anywhere."

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Is Someone Getting The Best Of You?

UGHHHHHH. Fuck. I hold back, don't write this, don't write that. Used as evidence, stay balanced and cool.

Sometimes I can't. Have had a recent slew of messages from people thanking me for writing about my brain/heart/spirit. Which is nothing new but UGH. All going through our lives. I was whining on the phone to someone tonight about being hardly done by and they started into shit about being grateful/thankful/appreciative. Which I am, truly. But I just said "Dude, live in my skin. Feel my feelings. Have my experiences. I've been to the furthest reaches of the actual literal world which I think about a lot but sometimes .. shit's just hard." Then this person says "Hang on a minute I gotta buy a white magnum." And left me hanging on the phone while a white magnum was bought at a service station and I thought - hilarious. Seriously. Mental breakdowns happen legit weekly for me but sometimes you need to wait for somebody to buy a white magnum before they come back and start talking to you again. Like waiting on hold for a mental health team that is useless except a white magnum buyer is better.

ANYWAY here's a song that I'm listening to. What are you listening to? Please tell me, I'll be embarrassed if you don't. My comments are back on on on. A year and a half ago I went through a horrendous psychotic breakdown when I thought Dave Grohl was God and his book This Is a Call was the bible. Don't judge. I'm better. I am not that anymore. (But seriously how good is Dave Grohl.)

Anyway here's to somebody getting the best of us. Here's to music as therapy. Here's to music keeping us afloat. Here's to #stillhere.


Sunday, 11 December 2016

Poetry, For Sale.

Really. I've written real poems for you. On parchment, all original, each one signed by me. Messy handwriting, limited edition, with pretty ribbons. Shining true words .. no swearing but fuelled with heartfire, love. Truths. A gift for you. Maybe one of your friends. Somebody you don't know very well - anybody. Everybody.

Last week I stood in Katoomba Post Office carefully mailing some out. Very carefully .. these are my wordbabies. Actually sealed with a kiss. Some have inkstains (sorry) .. one had tearstains. Heartstains, lovestains, truthstains, bloodstains. (Have had a few requests for swearing, who am I to argue with the odd well-placed f-bomb?)

$30 each. All posted from the Blue Mountains straight to you. My words are all I have and I'd love to share them, now more than ever. You can email me at đź’›

"One of the most marvellous things about poetry is that it's useless. It's useless .. 'what use is poetry?' People occasionally ask in the butcher shop. They come up to me and they say 'What use is poetry?' And the answer is no use, but it doesn't mean to say it's without value. It's without use, but it has value. It has - it is valuable. It's the first thing, the first people that dictators try to get rid of are the poets, and the artists, and the novelists, and the playwrights. They burn their books. They're terrified of what poetry can do." - Michael Longley

Monday, 5 December 2016

Walk. And Walk. And Walk. (And Walk.)

Yesterday in my brain: Fucking loser from loserville. You're a loser doing nothing.
Yesterday in my heart: Will I always be this broked.
Yesterday in my Soul: Oh sweetheart what to do but keep getting through? What to do?

Decided to ignore everything but my Soul. Put my sneakers on, get the hell out of my house. Go for a long long walk. Tourists travel from all over the world to see the beautiful sights that are just down the road from me.

As soon as I got outside my front door (didn't lock it, couldn't find my key, got nothing to steal anyway) .. I came across this bunch of stuff in boxes in the landing that one of my neighbours Gary put there. LAUGHED when I saw this random pamphlet on top.

EVERYBODY LOVES A WINNER YOU GUYS! Therefore everybody hates a loser? Conundrum.

Started walking. And walking .. and walking. No running, cannot commit to that right now but jeez I walked. Listened to Sia over and over again in my headphones which for some reason made me CRY. Sick of goddamn crying so I started flicking through my playlist. EVERY time a song came on it remained me of a person or a memory or a sad hard thing. Walking down near the multitude of tourists by then and did not care how I appeared as I said out loud to each rejected song .. "NUH." "NO." "FUCK THIS ONE." Every song that came on was annoying! You know how sometimes you need a whole new bunch of songs?

Hitting the Three Sisters (not literally, couldn't reach) .. I was judging the people and their selfie sticks, full backpacks equipped with practical things like mosquito repellant, bottles of water. I just had a hat, headphones and sneakers and hadn't even locked my front door. There was only one option at that point - Eminem. And I felt it all rising up, the energy of the anger and the force of the words hitting headphones like punches and I felt BETTER you know why?

It feels much, much, better to feel angry than hurt.

My angry anger all these years has masked all the things I do not want to feel. Anger is easy. Feeling your pain sad loneliness lies regret - THAT shit is hard. Over six months on the straight and narrow and boyo boy am I feeling and I do not like it. So thanks Slim, for helping me stomp my sneakers to the goddamn lookout and admire the wonderful breathtaking view right near my house. Obviously I took a photo (angrily) because these days how do we know where we've been or what we've done without taking a photo? Prefer it back in the olden days when we just experienced our experiences and committed them to memory.

Yeah so that's pretty I mean I've even got some tree in the pic to frame it nicely and how cool are cloud shadows. As I snapped this Whatever I Am was blasting my ears so loud the two French guys next to me visibly startled and my head was so mean - go spray your mozzie spray and leave me be you guys. Walked back on the trail past two young Asian girls - one of them was wearing silver sandals with high heels I mean come on. Really? Who does that.

And then .. then, back at Echo Point to start my incline home I happened to swat a fly just as the cutest little boy walked past and he mistook my swat for wave. And he waved back, his face broke in a huge beautiful smile. So I waved back to his wave back because my first wave wasn't a real wave it was a swat but this time, after seeing his shining face, I meant my wave.

Wave at kids, Eden. Stop being an arsehole. My whole mindset changed. We judge other people to make ourselves feel better, probably because we're judging ourselves the most.

Walked less stompy up the big hill thinking about things. Not being able to make other people change, act differently, or even love us - no matter how hard we try! No matter even that. Acceptance why you so painful. (It's painful because it's so hard to do.)

Ok so THEN I saw a Wanked Campervan looming in garish hues before me up the hill and I just thought oh no no no please do not be an awful one. People know how I feel about these vans, how I've vandalised them, how revolting the slogans usually are: "Blowjobs - the only way to shut a woman up." "I can already imagine the gaffer tape around your mouth." "Inside every little princess is a slut wanting to try it just once." "Make the world a better place, shoot a gay."

Yeah. Oh dear lord if this van was a truly horribly offensive van I knew I'd most likely grab a stick and hammer it until dents appeared because I just wasn't in the mood. And I can't do that I'll get in trouble, big trouble. It was just this slogan. Stupid, lame slogan. But one day .. one day these vans will begone. I've chosen this particular battle to keep fighting, even though others say "What's the point? Stop putting energy into it, they're harmless." No they're not.

We don't choose our wars we choose to keep fighting, whatever the fight might be. And we can't win them all hey maybe losing is winning anyway. Or maybe sometimes there's no winners.

Anyway so here's a sweaty unfiltered face .. people these days take sweaty selfies to prove they've done exercise?

By the time I got home after a two-hour stomp feelings walk I FELT BETTER. Hey I don't want to alarm anybody but there's a LOT to be said for walking, yoga, pilates, all that shit. Moving our bodies and getting out there in the world to change our mindsets and achy hips and belittling brains, broken hearts, and sad Souls.

I'm going to keep this shit up because I told myself I'm going to keep this shit up. Apparently the human body should be made to sweat at least twice a day so I need discipline, chutzpah, determination and just not think, not listen to head, get out there do whatever work needs to be done.

Nobody can do that for us. It's not their job.

It's hard, to stop dwelling and living in the past. Our past is just a story. So the end of this particular story is that I had a shower and stretched out on my living room floor where I live, nobody had broken into my house there's nothing to steal when I'm not there. When I am there? There's a host, a plethora of things to steal from inside us, thing is, nobody gets to do that without our consent. Therefore I rescind the invitation to all vampires from my house.

Zipped up my backbone, put myself back together again, chucked a few pretty flowers and even prettier weeds in there for good measure. DECIDED to just live hope and love and gentleness. I've done it before. I can do it again and so can goddamn you. Yesterday? Yesterday is gone.

It's gone. Feet forward. Move forward. Write forward - craft forward cook forward forgive forward work forward hell even fuck forward - ANYTHING. Because it's time to forget yesterday. Yesterday has already forgotten us.

Friday, 2 December 2016


This was never written to be a song but it turned into one - a timeless one, the kind of song you want your sons to hear. Written by Mary Schmich, a columnist for the Chicago Tribune in the 90's.

"Accept certain, inalienable truths. Enjoy the power, and beauty .. of your youth. Sometimes you're ahead .. sometimes you're behind. The race is long. But in the end .. it's only but yourself. Don't worry about the future."


(Comments off. But how beautiful are Sagittarians.)

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

All The People Who Travel On Trains.

This is ostensibly a piece of writing about trains. But it has nothing to do with trains.

I been catching a lot of trains recently. Not with my bare hands anymore, knees weak arms are heavy and yet .. how illuminating is it to be on trains? With strangers? I keep taking photos. The pic above is one of my all-time favourites. Wasn't even cranky at the guy at all, it was afternoon peak hour and he was SO exhausted and snoring. His head kept falling onto my shoulder then he'd snap back to reality, go to sleep, fall on my shoulder again, etc. I didn't begrudge him his sleep in fact I admired him for being so tired after going out there in the world.

Every single time I'm on a train I look around and wonder where all the people are going. What are they doing, who are they, what's their name rank file and serial number. We all go about our respective days every day. The hell do people do?

I've learnt a lot from recent train escapades. Especially about personal space, common courtesy, acceptance of loud people on the quiet carriages. In India they have pink train carriages reserved only for women which was a relief. When I was over there on a train I was standing in a crowded vestibule facing the window but in the reflection I could see - a sea, every single man crowded behind me was looking at me in such ways as unnerving. Vile, ugh. Afterwards I always went on a pink carriage with female security guards who would YELL at every man who attempted to get on. I'm no man-hater I swear but standing in that vestibule with those hungry males eyes and thoughts was one of the most disturbing experiences. I may as well have had no clothes on at all.

So recently on a train this guy completely invaded my five-seater. He sat down, cloistered and squeezed all of his luggage encircling the five-seater. The only baggage I had was emotional so physically I wasn't taking up much space - but when he plonked himself down there was no chance for me to escape unless I actually climbed up on top of the train seat. I had my headphones on, listening to Tupac who I really wish wasn't dead but that's not the point. Point is, I was having an "I'm out in public in public spaces with members of the public uggghhhh yuck anxiety-ridden day." And there were other seats for him to choose - entire four-seaters he could have claimed as his own but no. My dark sunnies meant I could watch him look me up and down, back and forth, with that old familiar feeling that women know when they're getting leered at. I wasn't in the goddamn mood. And I knew I wanted to write about this eventually so I snapped some happy snaps of the occasion:

I speak fluent body language and even though this guy sat diagonal, I had to keep moving my legs and scrunched myself up so he wouldn't touch me because he kept "accidentally" touching me. His hand almost fell off his knee onto my knee I JUST WANT TO LISTEN TO DEAD TUPAC. I was actually already aiming my phone at my face for a selfie to illustrate my peeved offness and happened to snap it RIGHT at the moment he asked me a question while I was wearing headphones listening to Tupac, my body as close to the window as I could, trapped in this five-seater unescapable fort.

Getting. Very. Angry.

See how I had my arm across my chest? He kept looking at my breasts. My brain actually thought "Oh I shouldn't have worn this top or he wouldn't be staring." See my eyebrow raise, the tight lips? It's because I ignored his question. I heard his question perfectly, just didn't want to answer it but when I didn't answer .. he threw his hands up in the air like I was the rudest bitch in town. Oh dude .. you have no idea how very much more than the rudest bitch in town I can be. I started filming thought ok, let's go. The video is over on my facebook page if you want to take a look but it goes a little something like this:

Me: (Takes headphones off.) "Sorry were you trying to ask me a question when I had my headphones on?"
Leery: "Yeah yeah I was just sayin' ... are those cowhide boots?
Me: "Yes. Yes - my boots are made from cowhide. Umm, I'm gonna go. I feel really uncomfortable and looked at. (At this point I was CLAMBERING over both seats and his Mt Everest luggage like a blanket fort gone wrong.) "So, you know, have a nice trip."

Then I ranted into my camera phone something along the lines of "This shit happens all the time. Men stare at women and claim space that is not theirs ... I'm 44. Not asking to be looked at, I'm just too old for this shit." He started ranting loudly. "I only bloody asked you about your boots!" So I changed carriages and THEN my phone died which obviously was the real tragedy of the situation.

However just a few days on a train (lots of trains I'm telling you #trains) .. something entirely hopefully unexpectedly happened! Two young women talking, I pull my headphones to one side because curious busybody - to find them animatedly talking about one of the best philosophy conversations ever. I got lost in their words, even turned my music off. It was magical. They talked of Homers Odyssey, Jung. How Frankenstein was representative of something I had no idea about. The entire story of Archilles Heel .. so, so much more. And they were talking LOUDLY. Are chicks even allowed to talk loudly on trains?

Look!!! Both sets of hands, waving wildly to illustrate all of their glorious points on Greek Gods and existentialism and all this stuff I'd never heard of. I really wish I'd thanked them for their conversation before I alighted but I didn't. I'm actually quite shy and was headed to a big day in Parramatta, defeated already.

THEN THAT SAME DAY ON THE TRAIN BACK UP THE MOUNTAINS THIS GUY WAS CRANING HIS NECK BACKWARDS TO KEEP LOOKING AT ME. I was wearing a red puffer jacket? Last time I checked red puffer jackets are not on the list of top ten sexy things to wear. WHY keep looking? I didn't have my headphones, just this face. So he soon stopped looking.

Anyway, this entire piece of words coming out of my brain to my fingers to your eyes isn't about just the surface stuff of people on trains. It's about their Souls and their Spirits and what they've been through in their lives, why do they look so defeated. Why are they so jovial. What are their names? Do they stay up until 2am questioning the Universe too? Have they just welcomed a new baby into their lives? Have they had their hearts smashed to smithereens against rocks like all those shipwrecks under the sea my boys and I saw from that lighthouse at the beginning of 2013? Are the people on the trains on medication? Which ones? Ever gone crazy? Ever came good? How do they cope how do they live?

Do the people on the trains wonder about the Federal Reserve? The UTTERLY CORRUPT Dakota Pipeline and how the authorities are itching to infiltrate peaceful gatherings of people and turn it all into a civilian war protest and get them the hell out of there? I wonder if the people on trains know about the damage the Rothschild family have done to the world for generations, funding all sides of wars since Napoleon days? Do the people on the trains and the platforms and the stations spilling out into the cities beyond the trains .. are they nurses or students, office workers, nothing people, undercover detectives, bored shop assistants, busy builders, writers dreamers hopers thinkers artists midnight creatures? WHO ARE ALL OF THE PEOPLE AND WHAT DO THEY DREAM ABOUT? You can feel so lonely on the busiest platforms. Especially when you look around and people have such purpose in their steps. But we don't know what the other has been through, the deaths, the hard, financial woes, heartbreaks and joys, grief and betrayal.

Anyway this entire post has gone off the rails and I've lost my train of thought. I've been on the wrong side of the tracks for some time, it's painful to be a trainwreck, lose your schedule and get scheduled. But right now I'm in the library, or as I used to call it when I was a kid "the liberry."  Thinking about all the meanings, definitions, and symbolism of trains. Paulo Coelho says life is the train, not the destination. Marianne Williamson says if a train doesn't stop at your destination, then it's not your train.

The best bit about travelling somewhere on any form of transportation is the freedom one feels about being suspended between two places but you're still travelling somewhere. With purpose, even. That's a good feeling, don't you think?

Now when I'm on a train - and ONLY if there are a veritable plethora of vacant seats - I purposely don't let anybody sit next to me. I'm being quite a wanker about it really. Just making a small personal statement that I'm allowed to take up space. Spread out a bit.

My 8-year old son and I recently watched the entire movie series of Star Wars and we were both fascinated. He for the first time, but me because I finally GOT it. The storyline, the Force, why Jedi is considered its own religion. I love being on trains with my son. I love being anywhere with him, he has this whole different slant on things I wouldn't ordinarily realise. We were talking about Darth Vader and the reasons he turned "bad" after being one of the best boss Jedi Knights of all time. (That I completely understood why Anakin turned to the Dark Side of the Force scared the utter shit out of me.) We both love Yoda the most. Rocco stood in front of me looking into my eyes and waving his hands all Jedi-mind trick at 10pm.

"You WILL let me have an ice block before bed, mum."
"An ice block shall you have, son."

Coincidentally for ages now I've been seeing this exact quote pop up everywhere, long before we watched Star Wars, way longer than I started catching trains so often.

That's the end of this blog post except to say I lost everything I feared to lose but I hadn't trained myself to lose everything. Therefore I've got some training to do.

I'm catching a train early in the morning AGAIN because I don't like driving to Sydney. I prefer my trains. Especially all the people on them.

 Oh this song. (Did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there?)

(Comments to this website are still not enabled .. I'm still in training.)

Friday, 18 November 2016

The Myriad Of Ways In Which I Am Not Fucked Up.

Myriad - THERE'S a word.

A lot of us are our own worst enemies so I thought I'd share a few examples where I'm not fucked up. You're probably not as fucked up as you think either so maybe you can count up your myriadness too if you like. Probably do us the world of good.


Slowly learning at the end of a hard day that I'm still here, I still rose like the sun, and I did my best. Even if my best was shit - I still did SOMETHING.

                                            Parramasala Slam 2014, owned it, won it.

I slam poetry down quicker than those guys in the 80's VB ads slammed down their cans. The word "poetry" has negative connotations but slam poems are political firestorms of machine-gun words in quick succession. It's hip-hop music without the music, just lyrics. I've been asked to headline a poetry slam next month and I've already built a bigger boat for the words in my head.


The art of not giving a fuck and actually giving a fuck is an art I'm practicing. We must give a fuck about the RIGHT things, and not give a fuck about the WRONG things. A give-a-fuck tightrope walk, if you will.


I'm an extraordinary, loving mother to my kids. Put my hand up when I haven't coped. I've parented so well and so hard for 16 years, starting from the year 2000 when my (step)son came to live with us at age 8. I did courses on how to be a better mother. I slogged my heart and guts and soul out to make sure they are ok and felt loved and secure and stand up for themselves and not be bullies or arseholes or meek. I have failed as a mother, I have shone as a mother, and everything in between. Currently watching the last season of Nurse Jackie. In the first episode she puts makeup on and walks into the bar her husband owns which they used to own together but everything is his now she's cool with that. He was serving drinks to customers and she politely spoke to him about seeing her two daughters and he said she couldn't see her two daughters because he didn't think she could be trusted because of previous transgressions of which she is fixing, fixing. He says flat-out no and goes to give another beer to a customer sitting at the bar.

Nurse Jackie didn't give a fuck who was in the bar, who heard, who thought what about her causing any kind of scene. She shouted at her ex in front of everybody that she WILL see her girls, do NOT start this shit Kevin, or he won't know what hit him. She was fury. Said her piece, walked out. And eventually saw her girls in the next episode and hugged them so tight, cooked the wrong thing for dinner, the youngest asked what Jackie's two days in jail were like did she have to poop in front of other people? Her eldest was wary, resigned, but very clearly had missed her flawed mother. Called her mother unreliable, called her on her bullshit, told her to face exactly what she thought. Nurse Jackie, after everything, was still afforded the time and respect from her girls.


I'm feeling you Daryl but your brother isn't coming back. Time moves on and we live with the empty gaping unfillable hole. Ironic that it's called "loss" when loss never goes away, it's here to stay. (It's personally taken me three years and one month to reach a level of acceptance I never ever thought was possible but it IS which means all things from here on in are possible. All. Things.)


Did I hit Melbourne airport last Monday afternoon in terror thinking oh my god I have made a huge error of judgement whose dumb idea was this how will I stay at Nathalie's house for three days I DON'T STAY AT PEOPLES HOUSES. But she zooms in and picks me up from the airport and it was only weird for a few hours until I settled in to join a quite extraordinary family Indian meal where everybody talked and laughed over the dinner table and everybody listened to what everybody else had to say. Laughter and love and wow. I should have done that been that worked on that for fifteen years MISTAKES WERE MADE.

Finally met Berry, the editor of Dumbo Feather Magazine. She spoke, the CEO of Greenpeace Australia also spoke, then I spoke/laughed/cried/swore/apologised told everyone how I gave a copy of the issue to my sons to read, way too dark but this is who their mother is. Berry is *insert incredible adjective here* Afterwards Nathalie and I found a boutique eatery whose food exists ENTIRELY OF CHEESE. Omg. First time in my life I've eaten non-Kraft mac'n'cheese fancy like Iggy hell yes.


This is who I am. Who I am is ok. Who I am is ok. Who you are is ok. Keep saying it until we believe it. Who we are is ok. It's ok. And when it's not we work until it's ok again.



(COMMENTS STILL OFF I'M SO SORRY BUT THERE'S TOO MUCH BILE BEING WRITTEN IN THERE LATELY SO NO, YUCKY PEOPLE. You don't get a say. If you want a yucky say email me with subject line "HATE" and I'll file it in emails marked "never to be read." Thanks.)

Monday, 14 November 2016

Times Like These

Check out the clock I took a picture of today at Central Station ... NO HANDS. 

On the weekend my son went and chose a DVD from the booth while I was buying hot cinnamon donuts. After he chose, we sat down at a table and told me he helped a lady choose her DVD because it's confusing when you're not used to it and don't have an email address. Not everybody has an email address .. so refreshing. The lady ended up sitting next to us for a little rest and looked and said "You're the boy who just helped me!" And he said yes and she commented on what a confident guy he was. Asked his name. Asked my name. Her name was Jessica. I asked her what movie she chose.

"Well, I had to choose a sad one."

I literally lifted my head back and laughed SO HARD. She asked why I was laughing and I told her that I loved that she was choosing a sad one. She told me she had to because her therapist told her that after a lifetime of suppressing her feelings, she needed to cry and feel more. Told her oh my goodness I would swap in a second, that I feel too much, and cry TOO much. Rocco piped up,

"Yeah mum cries a lot."

Jessica was all about purple. She moved to our table unannounced and I had to pause my donut-eating to listen to her telling me about astrology and what's my star sign and what's Rocco's star sign. She's a Gemini - or Libra. I don't know much about those two signs. Rocco's a taurus.

"Oh that's why you're so sure of yourself and determined, young man."

She loves Pisces, same. I LOVE being a Pisces. We're the only water sign that doesn't have a protective hard shell. Told her I'd recently been in hell but was coming up for air. Told her there was a supermoon coming up, she said the moon was always super. She told me this time in my life would pass and it won't always be so busy. I talked over her at one point and she said wait, let me finish.

At that, Rocco choked a bit on his donut and laughed. She looked at him so I said "Bless you sweetheart!"  .. as if he sneezed but he knew I was trying to cover for him which made him laugh more.

More conversation ensued but then the donut shop lady started packing up the chairs so we had to go. I told Jessica some recent stuff about me.

"Really? So what makes you so interesting?"

Told her everybody was interesting but she was too sharp to be blown off so when she pressed further I confessed my online sins. She pulls out an little lined old-school writing pad and demanded I wrote down what this website was called. I wrote it down. She asked if it was uppercase or lowercase. I told her it didn't matter. Don't think she believed me. Next time she has her iPad she's going to look me up so I warned her about the swearing.

It was really time to go so we bid goodbye and as we walked off, Rocco told me that she'd really helped me. Doesn't miss a trick.

Got back to my flat, was spending the entire day going through all of my clothes. Rocco kept jumping in the middle of them and asking if he could sleep in there it was so comfortable.

THE DEAR LITTLE FAAAACE. (Remember that scene from E.T. when he was hiding in all of Gerties toys?)

We had strawberries and hot chips for dinner while watching THE MOST inappropriate film for an 8-year old.

"Dude .. do you think I would have said yes if you'd asked me if you could hire this movie?"

"No. So I didn't ask."

We both complained about too much chicken salt on the chips but kept eating them anyway - annoying. The guy didn't even ask if we wanted chicken salt he just threw it all on willy-nilly. If I'd wanted chicken salt I would have put the salt on myself.

Anyway today is a good calm strong day ... Mondyay! I dropped Rocco off to a friends house this morning at the crack after packing his schoolbag last night with a hand-scrawled note in his lunchbox as a surprise. Two Darth Vader vanilla yoghurts. An individual little pot of pasta salad because he hates sandwiches. Apple. Strawberries. Drink. His homework and a book for free-time reading. All of the things.

Caught a train and soon a plane where people just line up and walk onto a tin can which then FLIES UP INTO THE SKY. Craziness.

So it's Times Like These, the song de fucken jour. I'm rocking my head and tapping my boots and don't really care who sees I'll never see any of these airport people again .. unless they're all extras in my life who just take on different roles but don't think that, brain. Chill. Get on the tin can and fly away.

"I'm a one wild light blinding bright ..
Burning off alone."

(Comments off for safety reasons hey I've never in my life listened and watched the safety instructions before a plane takes off. Am screwed if the plane crashes.)

Thursday, 10 November 2016

I'm On The Cover Of Dumbo Feather Magazine But It's Not What You Think.

"The time has come," the Walrus said
To talk of many things:
Of shoes - and ships - and sealing-wax - 
Of cabbages - and kings - 
And why the sea is boiling hot - 
And whether pigs have wings."

Hello I'm on the cover of the latest issue of one of the best magazines in existence: Dumbo Feather.


Without wanting to spoil the interview with spoilers but spoiler alert: I love how they chose this photo as one of the main ones. Because it was an impromptu one that my photographer artist neighbour Jeff Davies snapped as I was looking at Rocco. I guess it was chosen because of the love in my eyes. Kids need to see their parents look at them with love in their eyes. They need that so much.

I didn't want to do the interview. I tried to cancel it with the editor Berry but she wouldn't let me and then my phone rang and UGHHH so nervous. Ten seconds in she told me she was just as nervous. Five minutes in I realised I love this woman. And two hours in? Well, the entire conversation had us all turned around and excited and talking and talking about rich, beautiful, scary, dark light spiritual messy stuff. That conversation with Berry buoyed me for weeks and weeks afterwards. She reminded me of who I am? She didn't judge? She made me LAUGH. I told her that when the magazine came out in three months time I just didn't know where I would be - emotionally, mentally, physically. I felt completely worn down and unworthy of the interview but the longer it went on my spark came back up and soon we talked about bonfires. I kept asking her questions about her because everybody is interesting.

I love this photo ... how confident and self-assured do I look! But a few hours after the shoot I felt something odd in my jeans so I reached down and pulled out underpants from the day before, all scrunched up. Rocco unfortunately saw this.

"Mum, what the hell is that?"
"Oh. Well, why are they there?"
"Um, I just ..."

Then he lost interest anyway so we went back to watching the movie in the living room where we do our living. Eating popcorn. He was unperturbed, so used to my strangeness by now. I'm the mother he was dealt.

He was STOKED to have made it into the magazine. I've no idea what we were looking at on the computer PROBABLY A BOTTLE FLIPPING YOUTUBE VIDEO DON'T GET ME STARTED.

In the interview I talked a lot about my sons and being a mother. Berry asked me the best questions, confessed that she was hesitant to talk about my dark because there's dark, and then there's dark dark.

A dark dark here and a dark dark there but guess what, not everybody is a dark dark.

Do you think we choose our lives before we come to planet earth? Maybe we choose some themes and a brief outline and just wing it as we go along, free will and all that. But don't we just get thrust into some boiling cauldrons along the way of which surely we didn't ask to be thrown into. Sometimes I look around at people going through horrendous things and wonder why other people don't go through such horrendous things? Conundrumosity city.

If I knew this was going to be the cover photo I would have done my hair properly. Also makeup, eyebrows, smiled differently, maybe not cried so much right before the photo was taken by Jeff in a Camellia bush in the Carrington Hotel garden. But then if I'd gone to all that trouble it wouldn't be this photo and this photo is who I am in life right now. Bit worn-out, battle-weary, sad, still here, hopeful. There's no bullshit in this photo. The team at Dumbo Feather say it's one of their favourite covers ever. And one of their favourite interviews ever. And I'm so proud of that. Really grateful. And humble can you be proud and humble at the same time? Whatever moving on ..

I thought Cheryl Strayed was going to be in this issue and on the cover so the night before Berry rang me for the interview I watched the movie Wild starring Reese Witherspoon which was based on Cheryl's book. (Yes Megan I can hear your eye-rolling from here, I will actually read Cheryl's book I promise.)

I've known about Cheryl since back when she was Dear Sugar, before she used her real name. I remember vividly when she revealed her true identity back in 2012. So obviously I had to be as un-Cheryl Strayed in my interview as I could to mix things up. Told Berry straight-up I don't know how this interview was going to pan out because I was in a state of tormented flux at the time and I can't wrap my life up in a big pink bow. Of course she didn't even expect me too - but jeez she ended the written interview in the magazine BRILLIANTLY. I won't spoil the ending, but sometimes a pink bow is a pair of cowboy boots. Sometimes when we reveal our true identity to the world - well, it just cuts through a lot of crap and you can almost hear other people sigh in relief and recognition.

The magazine is out now. The owner of a local news agency asked me what was my interview about and it's the same when people ask what this website is about. "Ummm, just life and stuff. Going through things. Recovery death dark light suicide mothering love hate all of the things." And he stopped me and told me that his own sister had taken her own life, years ago. Suicide is an epidemic of which we are inching closer to talking about properly. Had the best talk with that newsagency proprietor. He promised me he'd put up a big poster outside his shop and he DID. And last weekend I was walking past with Rocco who clocked it first and actually made ME stop and pose for a photo instead of the other way around.

"Mum are you famous?" 
"No sweetheart."

I was sad that day too for the love of heavens please make the sad stop. I'm back at the gym and eating really well, it's shifting things.

Here's a snippet where we talked about Spirit and unseen stuff and the annoyance of objects.

So, that's the end of my magazine story. It really is a MAGNIFICENT magazine, so good to hold in your actual hands. Thick and heavy, bursting with substance and stories with different and incredible people. If you've come here for the first time - hello, nice to meet you. I've been writing here for many years. A lot of life happened and hey guess what, there's still a lot of life yet to happen. Feel free to go back and look at some earlier entries I've written. The dark dark ones are full-on can you handle that y/n.

I'm sorry but for now, my comment section on this website is turned off. If you want to say hello or send some kind of smoke signal, please email me at

I realised I have a LOT in common with Cheryl Strayed after watching Wild oh my goodness the very last scene made me cry such a beautiful cry.

Ever noticed how there's a whole host of different cries? Not all cries are sad. We cry during births, deaths, marriages. Heaps of weeps to be had.

Some cries can even make you realise a whole heap of things you needed to know right in that very moment.

"The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
"If this were only cleared away." they said,
"It WOULD be grand."
"Do you suppose." the Walrus said,
"That they could get it clear?"
"I doubt it." said the Carpenter.
And shed a bitter tear.

 - The Walrus and the Carpenter
 by Lewis Carroll

Thursday, 3 November 2016

God Is Still A Blogger.

God has been tapping the keys of her Royal Standard No. 5 typewriter since before they even existed. She's cool like that.

She's a blogger. Each day she writes a new post, sitting perched on the Appalachians, admiring her handiwork as the sun breaks into her sky.

Sometimes she lights a Drum, hand-rolled just like she hand-rolled that one snake to put in Eden, back in the beginning.

There's no such thing as coincidence and she has too many secrets. So she hides them in places we'll never find .. our own hearts. She never wonders how it's all going to end because she's already there.

She writes of love, death, and herself. The three true themes. You can see her font in fields and trainlines, waterfalls, the notes of a symphony, the tightness of a newborns fist.

God is a blogger. Her only inspiration is from the people who've given up all hope but keep going anyway.

(Comment section closed.)

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

My Great Tinder Experiment.

You know what's hard? Being on tinder at 1am on a Saturday, scrolling scrolling CRYING because who are all of these strange weirdos and this is where I ended up in life: scrolling tinder sadly.

I've only been on tinder a few times. At the beginning I put up a lovely pic, nice innocent bio ... then it gradually dawned on me that people were not who they claimed themselves to be. Can you believe it? True story. Tinder is the most brutal match-making app of all time. ALL TIME. Don't like somebodies name? Swipe left. A bit too ugly? Swipe left. Wearing a dodgy hat? Swipe left. Crap haircut? No soup for you. All of these could-be soulmates scattered to the left to the left. Littered. Abandoned .. I'll never know if that guy with the half-odd smile was actually a beautiful man with a great decent heart he just got swiped left because he had a half-odd smile in one photo.

Guy with lots of tattoos and looks a complete player? Swipe right. Guy who is a musician/writer/artist who looks ok and sounds pretty cool? Right.

Allow me to stop right here - guys, STOP IT WITH THE PHOTOS OF MOTORBIKES AND THE PHOTOS WITH TIGERS IN BALI. Just stop. No. There's even a few old wedding photos with the bride cropped out. And the biggest, biggest tinder sin ANYBODY can commit is to have photos of your children on your tinder profile. That's so wrong in so many ways - I get it, you love your kids. I love my kids! But just no no no. Everybody who had pics of their children with them instantly gets swiped left. And another huge biggie for me is the grammar issues. Some made me wince, some were forgivable and I overlooked. But if you say you're a "Derector" of a large international company, I'm not entirely sure you are actually a derector of anything.

So after a while, after going on and then off and then back on tinder out of sheer loneliness (or sometimes just boredom) I got really annoyed. I kept getting accused of having fake photos. Men kept asking me what my real name was. Um, Eden? Then get told I was a liar. Then get abused. Then get pressured to hook up IMMEDIATELY. There was a running theme of men being frustrated of women having fake profiles, which is probably true but not me.

So I thought, ok then. You want real real from realtown? Let's do this.

Firstly I started with a very real profile pic, indicative of where I'm at in life.

With a real bio to suit.

Well. Talk about setting a cat amongst the pigeons. I had one rule - swipe right to EVERYBODY to see what happens. Like bees to honey (or rather, flies on shit) to my utter astonishment, they came in droves. DROVES. It was fascinating, enlightening. I got into tinder fights. I found myself in incredible conversations with men talking about their own depression and mates who've died. Some called me a "breath of fresh air." Some called me "angry so angry why are you so angry?" 

There was utterly no bullshit from me in any interaction with anyone during this time. I was quite a smartness though, just couldn't help myself. Here's one of the pics from the very first guy I matched with:

Is that a turn on, or what?

In less than an hour I'd run out of "likes" which I'm not even sure what that means but it was utterly hilarious.

So, I proudly present to you - some highlights of my Great Tinder Experiment.

No wonder Danny lost at gambling because it's a numbers game and he wrote "addition" instead of "addiction." 

This guy sent me a polar bear GIF straight off the bat. I was sent lots of GIFs, but this still remains my favourite. Cute.

I noticed very quickly that a lot of men did not care about my profile or conversation they were keen to meet up anyway.

But some were annoyed and gave me tips. Alex told me to stay VERY positive, not just positive. 

"Just got out of jail, need somewhere to stay." At least Bash was honest.

This guy was holding his kill like he was driving a car. Revolting.

Gentlemen, there is such a thing as too many emojis. Just no.

Most guys really did not give two shits about what I was saying to them. It was so much fun.

Heard nothing back from Michael.

This guy said he could totally handle the crazy! But I never heard back :(

I asked James what kind of breed was Lol? He said "what the fuck are you talking about?" I said "Your dog, Lol." Never heard back.

Never heard back from Dennis.

I pointed out to this guy that I could see the words "car dealership" up the top of his photo. Never heard back.

I never replied to Edward. Wasn't just the your/you're. He just irritated me. 

At least things were getting a bit more honest.

This electrician just nailed it. NAILED IT.

Then I opened up my account to include women as well, but that's a whole different story. After all the flurry in a few days, I got bored. I had no intention of meeting any of these men .. to be honest, looking at the date stamp on the time I did this, it was right at my brothers death anniversary so maybe I did it for distraction. You know what happened next? I wrote the truth. I also changed my profile photo to a hot boob pic, but that's not the point. I wrote my absolute truth of why I was on tinder.

I don't believe in soulmates, but I do believe in a really true and madly intense and passionate love. Anybody who really gets to feel and have that in their lifetime, however briefly, needs to surrender to a love like that. I strongly doubt that will ever happen for me. I'm too much for most people hell I'm too much for ME. Luckily we all get our love supplies from different places. Family, children, pets, creativity, passion, friends.

My tinder replies and matches after that were completely different. Writing what I was actually really looking for made me feel stupid and vulnerable. Or maybe for once I just couldn't handle my own truth. It felt so weird .. especially after somebody sent me this.


I didn't want to waste anybodies time anymore so I deleted my account for good - vale ye, tinder. You served me well.

Related: I really need to get myself a dog.

(Comments on my blog are still turned off but if you're on the dreaded Facebook you can comment over there if you like. How the HELL does anybody meet people anymore?)

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