Under the influence of a late Thursday night,
I ended up talking about you again.
My girlfriend went to sleep hours ago
I stayed up listening to Steely Dan
It’s Friday morning now;
I don’t care anymore
bout how you run around.
Lost kids with licenses, rolling down Tamaki Drive without a care for tomorrow;
Lonely street lights we thundered past as the moon shined brightest;
Somehow those were my fondest recollections of a depressing summer madness we shared.
You lived it to the most back then;
few of our friends really know what you’re doing these days in Palmerston North with your cousins.
I know it’s gang-related activity though.
You should’ve stopped before you started.
Those hours of the dusk we spent,
in a filthy living room of illegal snow and alcoholics,
or the dawns we sat emptily
on a dreary porch with our exhausted pipes,
watching our year go by into a blaze of vices.
The Mary Jane Girls,
cigarette burns on the sofa,
turning the TV down;
All night long we went.
You should’ve left before you overstayed your welcome.
Don’t lose your ties for colours that wouldn’t die for you.
Diamond Life by Sade played all night long.
I wonder how many people lost their mind in this milieu;
the zeitgeist of Auckland’s millennial hedonism;
self-righteous destruction and petty self-resolutions.
Deaths in hand-me-down designer;
black coffee therapy;
my social tenor and economic disposition;
an inclination to the life and times of a racial dynasty .
A jungle fever and street-light blasé
unresponsive to the past affairs you try to say
you think you’ve seen my life
but you haven’t even been through my days
You’re too forward
my friends and I heard it through the grapevine
we tangle beneath the orchids
splitting forbidden fruits into thirds
all along the waterfront
unmoved in your father’s maserati
you burn slowly through my body
you tell me that I’ve changed
there’s a cheerful remorse in my lies
both of us lock eyes
and wait a few more seconds for our relationship to die
I replied sorry because I had to be
I’d say it was you but I know your culture only wants to blame me
ain’t that all I wanna see?
I took out $130 from my Student Loan Living Costs one time just to buy a Ponderosa Twins Plus One vinyl online from a British seller overseas. It was probably, pound for pound, the stupidest impulse purchase I’ve made to date. My parents would probably slap me silly if they knew about it. I played Bound from that vinyl for several days and nights by myself; I forgot about my essays and assignments; I didn’t give really much of a care for anything else at that point, and even nowadays too. That’s what love and passing time does to you, I guess. I’ll deal with the debt later, but I’ve owed this one to myself for awhile now. I have new interests; you’re just an old one I lost touch with; all for the better.
I roamed the City’s streets and drove to gas stations on the latest of nights with my friends just to buy cheap cigarettes and spend the change on gas or keep it for food for the next day. I’m not allowed to be driving this late; I’d be dead if my parents or the Police found out, but there was something intriguing about the atmosphere and action that seemed to always bring my friends and I back; from the strangers we encountered who had stories to tell, the sense of independence and camaraderie between our circle’s young adulthood, and the streets trying to find a little bit of peace – sometimes the waves crashing on the distant waterfront and Princes Wharf feels like the city’s crying to get to some sleep.
It’s interesting how some of the liveliest people I met were on the quietest parts of the night; most of them would probably say the same thing about me too. I’d love to bike alone around the whole city overnight, facing the tranquility of being in solitude with the city’s empty light pollution, and lonesome cars and pedestrians. I walked from town to St. Heliers, from Quay Street to the end of Tamaki Drive, from 1:30 to 5:30 several times because I didn’t know about the Niterider buses and thought I missed the last train home. All of those walks were really vivid, I still remember all of them, and how there was a strong echo in my emotions from all the space I had to myself; almost as if I had lost my mind. I remember walking past the beaches on the waterfront and seeing couples encapsulated in their conversations under the moonlight and shadows, and with no music, I could even hear some of them making peace with each other. It’s those kinds of things you don’t get to see when you’re always racing through in a car.
An old classmate told me that our computing teacher from College had retired. She was my favourite teacher from that school; the type that really gave care and attention to everyone in her class and wanted us to do our best rather than just pass. I’m sad that I never came back to greet her or send her my regards after I finished College, but she’s probably spending her retirement days listening to America with her husband, travelling the world, writing stories, and drinking morning coffee in peace instead of drinking it to start her day with an energy burst for her first class. I wish I can see her again though, I wanna catch up with her about everything she’s missed out about me for these last couple of years; she was always enthusiastic about things like that but I used to dislike it because I thought it was just petty small talk – I hate petty small talk. Sometimes I used to think she gave me special attention because she knew my older brother from her previous classes and didn’t want me to be like him, and maybe that’s true, but she was a genuinely caring person anyways.
It’s too late for us now, again.
We roamed Chinatown with foreigners like we were their colonizers.
These track-pants don’t physically help me run away from anything
But double digits on these prices remind me I’m farther now from where I started.
Evenings and oddities
Meaningful zeroes and pseudo heroes
Old childish games with young adults.
Spark another light
Who’s the person in my cell?
Why don’t we ever tell?
This is how we fight
Trophies of unaccomplished alcoholics;
Just for double digits from the corner store
Southern district tours.
Lives we watch with deathly sunsets
What do I really mean?
Street puddle reflections
Who do you really see?
Money talks loud
But then there’s me
No texts from me (nor her) tonight. Who knows what I’ll wake up to in the morning or afternoon today? Certainly not another meaningless woman or regrets from town, but that’s okay, I don’t need people or things to validate my life for me like that. High-school pettiness like that should only stay there; in fact, let’s just get rid of it altogether – let’s teach the kids how to be themselves instead and plenty more. Growing up; seeing everything, and everyone for both what they are and what they can be; I want to mean something profound to someone in the same way this city is to me. Let’s talk again when we’re on suitable wavelengths, okay?
Here’s a relevant playlist to keep you in tune with me (get it?)
Where’s the honey-dips at?
From the neck of the woods to the city’s waterfront,
looking for next ex-girl I run.
Religious rendezvous with the Moon and Sun at 5:00am;
please just tell me who I am.
Money keeps talking in here,
I’m in a hurtful relationship with my liver,
my lungs keep asking for a breath of fresh air,
my stomach growls and shivers.
It takes a city to raise a child like you and I,
our youthful blues crew just won’t die
yet it’s you who keeps driving your loved ones mad;
where’s your truth?
I held you and her down for 6 summers,
it was all for the better,
still the liquor in both of your livers only makes you two dumber.
My children lay on her thighs, her back and stomach for most nights.
I catch trains, she catches flights.
I hate the late bus-rides on this side;
it’s time for us to steal an OnzO bike.
Those walks of shame down Ponsonby to Britomart,
Everybody’s morning sobriety was what really made me feel insecure.
I thought University would make me smarter than that;
Sure, sure, sure.
Late nights in Silo Park,
Sketchy rides back to GI,
Midnight skies and Sunrise cries
Bitch, I told you I’d make it.
Alone in a crowded festival,
Dying in the heat of the sun, the people and my stomach
but still tryin to keep my cool.
Bitch, didn’t I tell you I’d make it?
Skinny dips in her jacuzzi, on the far right side of St. Heliers’ Beach at night.
Shifts on the radio for people I thought I’d never reach.
I know you sent me.
I’m being honest, you do.
I can tell from all the bits of us I always seem to stumble across,
Yet you’re just a thorn on the side of my rose.
Tobacco slips and honey dips,
Liquor sips and chainsmoking,
Money bags and Uber lifts.
What truly matters is the expression,
but you’ll never know.
20 more minutes then 20 more,
20 more minutes and 20 more.