Sunday, April 4, 2010

Surry Hills Ghost Story

It was a dark and stormy night, so everyone was at Lebanese restaurants or staying in watching the Lil Wayne documentary.

All but for one sharehouse in Surry Hills, which settled on this fateful night for their…. HOUSE WARMING PARTY.

The pastel bicycles stacked up on their stoop cast shadows like mangled bodies.

There was an ominous pile of wet coats near the front door. Like the uniforms of fallen soldiers: khaki parka upon khaki parka, all with cinched waists.

The house was a chamber of unsettling sounds. Tropical jamz wafted up and down the stairs and in to the empty street. The music played on and on, as different people convinced of the superiority of their music taste floated in and out behind the DJ decks.

The upstairs balcony of the spoilt-girl-pretending-to-slum-it creaked, the wood drenched in mulled wine that really just tasted like the sum of its parts. The soft hiss of bulbs being inhaled in the next room. And the hushed tones of an art collective talking about an upcoming installation- a projection of something, on to something else.

All the girls at the party looked through each other with gashing stares, like they might secretly check the same fashion blogs. That conventionally-pretty but not even remotely high-fash girl from school was there, except she’d become really cool. As though someone who worked at Incu person had skinned her and was wearing her face as a mask.

Most of Bridezilla was there.

And then she entered. A stranger with old, pale eyes. The confidence to pull off a dress with a long-hemline, and cropped orange hair that was immediately distinct from the sea of buns piled at the apex of all other heads. Silence fell, Nobody had ever seen this person before. Or anyone like her.

She glided in to conversations with a preordained ease. Her giggle equal parts childlike and shrill. Her insights peppered with things she’d read in UHH, Das Superpaper, Time Out Sydney, Ampersand, Two Thousand, Three Thousand, Four Thousand,, the Pedestrian Daily Mailout, the Pedestrian Weekly Mailout. It was all terrifyingly correct.

You got home to find that she had requested your friendship on Facebook. You already had 54 friends in common. You waited a day to accept the friendship, and in the lapse of time, 121 mutual friends materialised. She asked you to join Groups, to become a Fan of things. She gradually hooked up with about 6-8 of your dearest male friends.

These days, she is at every party you ever go to. And she will continue to be, for the rest of your life.

From time to time she even suggests you two should ‘catch up’.