Still a novelty being amongst the expats here, there are so many, and they are not just fresh, they are knee-deep with their Aussie accents - it's fascinating. It's like being a part of something greater, something they'll write about in cultural studies books years to come. The migration in full bloom.
My friend Dreamhole and me used to have this mantra as teens, 'What would [insert name of hero] do?', and for the most part it was Kerouac who we inserted there, and it is Kerouac who said: "Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don't be sorry."
But I felt sorry last night, while out on the Brisbane town and bar hopping, all the regular expats in full Friday night swing. The muscle tee rugby boys! The short and tight dresses! Ta moko tattoos and spiky hair! The bar fights and bad music! Lines in the bathroom! The humanity! The "Where are you from?" curiosity, half acknowledging we are from the same place. I felt a sense of camaraderie.
I felt sorry because of him - the boy who I will always know as "Whakatane" because that's where he called home, and I feel sorry because I left him on the dancefloor, he held my hand and I don't even know why, all I wanted was to talk about boring things like how long you've been here? where are you from? how does it feel? Instead I will be haunted by this image of him, Whakatane and sweetheart, shining under the strobe light like a beacon on the sea, alone, far away and in the dark, watching me leave.