Please allow me to introduce you to my friend, trouble.
So about 9 months back a mate of mine from Germany visited Melbourne (and Jess, this story is about to make your day). Near the end of her time we spent a day hanging out in Fitzroy – not my usual hood – and had one of those ‘ah, just one beer sure’ that turns into several pitchers kind of nights. It was one of those nights where the conversation comes easy, and one of the recurring topics was regarding a beautiful man that worked there, and the hilarious face Jess would pull whenever he walked by.
I can’t remember now whether we just left, and I later cursed not getting up the courage to go ‘aw, fuck it’ and ask if he was straight(ish)/single or if I WAS actually going to and then couldn’t find him. . .but the beautiful man with the eye-catching forearms went un-asked-out. And I promised Jess that, should I come back and see him again, I WOULD go through with it.
As unlikely as it sounds, there was logic behind my decision to partake in an outback Australian tent fight. There’s usually logic behind the decisions I make, albeit often convincingly disguised as recklessness or folly.
It started back in Melbourne.
The cozy interior of the Rollerdoor cafe.
It was the day before I left for Queensland. I was saying bye to the folks at Rollerdoor Cafe, our back courtyard neighbors. While there a gent, hearing I was leaving and knowing I was a fighter, mentioned the tent. At this point it was just a comment, a legend. “I hear they have this traveling boxing tent up in Queensland where fighters will take on anyone who wants to challenge them for cash.” How delightfully old school. How fucking outback. But shit like that didn’t still actuallyexist.
On a horse, I mean. Ever since I was a kid. Back during my childhood, whenever summer would finally reach Newfoundland, my mother would take me out for our yearly trip to Prince Edward Park, where I’d get to ride a big black mare with a white diamond on its forehead named ‘Bucky’.
I loved those days. Led by one of the riders, we’d walk worn trails shadowed by dense forest for an hour or so before returning to the stable. A stop would usually be made at the playground afterward, and ice cream would follow for the drive back home.
Glorious though it was for a young girl to simply be astride a horse, where she could imagine herself to be a royal princess (though I was more often Zorro or Robin Hood), the thing I most remember from those days was the short, recurrent argument I would always have with the lead rider.