Live Wire

Oh Maggie I couldn’t have tried anymoOore

That’s Rod’s Maggie…and that’s Rod as in Rod Stewart, currently belting out his heartache about Maggie over Gloria Jean’s speakers in Cronulla, NSW. Rod’s scratchy voice, talkin‘ ’bout being made a first-class fool, me feeling like one, followed by a tinny, gut-wrenching ballad from some Aussie group I don’t know. I swear, I seem to hit GJ’s during ballad hour. Why do I even wonder why five minutes before Rod was wailing about Maggie, I was finding it hard to not wail here in this coffee shop, the moisture filling up my eyes, and me trying so hard not to let it spill over into everyone’s coffee escape, including mine.

How is it one can feel so totally alone amidst so many people? A couple to my right, with their laptops nuzzling each other on a table, both dressed in breezy, chic summer linen that reflects the light and world as if to say we have no worries. That girl in the black, alone, across from me, furiously scraping the bottom of her takeout container, and now trying to pick her teeth inconspicuously. The girl with the Apple ibook and serious cleavage, a contradiction, immersed in whatever her high-dollar digital date is painting for her. How is it that one can feel totally alone?

I came here to not be alone. And yet I’m more alone now than ever. I do not like this feeling and I never have. I do not like this solitude that I should be grateful for, maybe the calm before the storm. I do not like this emptiness, every day like treading water. I do not like this feeling of being disconnected, my wires yanked out and hanging, live, dangerous for any who approach.

And now the linen-clad couple is gone, the girl in black, gone, and Apple Cleavage, she’s gone too. Cause they all have things to do. People to see. Work. Places to go. Connections. And in this place that still feels so foreign I have nothing to do. No people to see. No work. No place to go. All I have is me and the same clock I was watching on the other side of the world, wishing to be on this side, now wishing to be on that side.

I am, indeed, the manifestation of a monster of my own making.

4 comments

  1. Posted by Victoria
    Tue, 03/03/2009 – 2:24pm
    So how do you think you can make connections? Work? Culture? Social? Athletics? There are several ways to do it, especially for someone as charismatic as you. I hated Charlotte 100 the first year I lived here and was not connected to anyone. Now I’m connected and I can’t leave. So how can you plug into Elizabeth Bay where you are energized? Where can you find others like yourself mixed with some people you can learn from?

  2. posted by Anonymous
    Thu, 03/12/2009 – 8:30pm
    I can relate. Most expats can. I longed to come to Australia. Thought it would be the answer to all my prayer, the solution to all my problems, the greener side of the world. I was very lonely here for the first 18months-2 years. And all anyone back home would say is, “I’m so jealous you live in Australia”, “I’ve always wanted to move to Australia.”, “Isn’t life great in Australia?” Life wasn’t great in the beginning. It took a long time. But you will get there. You will find your footing. You will adjust. You will make friends. You will get connected. You will eventually feel at home.

    **Now I’m stepping off the Dr. Phil soap box**

    Good luck!

  3. posted by V
    Thu, 03/12/2009 – 8:35pm
    Dear Anon…

    Thank you for your post. I’ve had the same experience with the whole “isn’t life great in Australia” phenomenon. I’m glad to know you have adjusted, and I imagine I will too. Life is what you make it, it’s just hard to remember that when you’re in the throes of homesickness. Australia is beautiful and has a lot to offer. I’m trying…I know one day I will get there, and I really appreciate your vote of confidence!

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