Not only was I unfortunate enough to be born with scoliosis and eyes which look in different directions when I am over-relaxed, but I also belong to a set of parents who insist on living in the Hills.
For those unfamiliar with Sydney, the Hills is an entirely stagnant and insular area north-west of the city where people are born, educated, employed and married all on the same block. People who live in the Hills go to school, church, soccer practice, work, the pub, and the movies all with the same group of friends they have had since pre-school, and they will continue to do so until they all rot beside their colostomy bags at the Anglican Retirement Village on Old Northern Road. If you suggest a visit to a city club or a day trip up the coast, Hills residents will smile and shake their head at you as if you are retarded. “Why would we trek all the way over there when we have everything we need right here?!” In this way, the Hills is exactly like America, but thinner.
The only way to get out of the Hills is to go to uni so you can secure a high-paying job and afford to move somewhere less conservative and tainted by Christians. But if you failed uni, like me, then you have to catch Hillsbus everywhere.
Hillsbus is the only way to get from the Hills to the city without paying $40 in tolls or trawling through three different forms of public transport. It is a privately owned company, which means they have a total monopoly on the norwest city-workers’ commute and can bump up their prices at will. The result is 60,000 passengers who fork over $50 each week for the privilege of spending 2 hours every day standing on a crowded, stuffy, perpetually late piece-of-shit vomit yellow bus. It is inevitable, like the tides – anyone who catches Hillsbus is a cunt.
“Umm Neek,” I can hear you say, “You catch Hillsbus. Does that make you a cunt too?”
Well yes, it does, to be honest. I live my life in a cranky state of constant exhaustion because my commute is so fucking long and tedious, I have considered simply sleeping on a yoga mat under my desk at work and giving myself sponge baths using the office water cooler. I also catch approximately six colds every winter because Hillsbus is so crowded that you will perform fellatio, on average, every three weeks simply by sitting in the aisle seat. I hate everyone on Hillsbus and all the filthy diseases they carry and sneeze on me. I never give up my seat for pregnant people or old women because the ride is so long and expensive that on the rare occasions you can get a seat, you hold onto that fucker like it’s going out of fashion. If someone wants to carry another human inside them for 9 months or commute long distances once they’re past the age of sixty then that’s their business, not mine. You should have thought about how you were going to work that into your life without counting on the generosity and kindness of strangers because really, the average person is fairly shit.
Last week, I was waiting at the Hillsbus bus stop after a few post-work beverages, when I became aware of some crazy bitch screaming up the road. Naturally, I turned to look, but my alcohol-riddled brain was too slow to look away before I had accidentally made eye contact with this raging meth head. I turned away anyway, hoping she would let it go, but ten seconds later I was grabbed around the head and dragged 3 metres by my hair. At this point, my brain cut out and I could not feel any pain or really register what was going on. I assume this is the same protective mental mechanism that shields me during sermons, conferences, and twenty minutes into any family dinner. Also, I was too smashed to know quite what was happening. However, I was aware of being slammed up against a wall and thrown to the ground, while being screamed at and called a cunt, a bitch, a whore, whatever else. I wasn’t sure what to do, so I assumed the fetal position and tried to cover my head. My friend Julia was on the scene fast, and yelled obscene threats until the ice junkie retreated, then she helped me to my feet.
“Are you okay?” Julia said.
“I don’t know.”
“Do you want to sit down?”
“Do you want some water?”
“Do you want a cigarette?”
“Give me three.”
As we stood back in the bus line, because there seemed little else to do, I became aware that every other person waiting in the queue – all thirty or so of them – had simply watched me get bashed by an ice addict and decided that being a witness was the best civic duty they could provide in this particular situation. One lady (who was not a cunt) phoned the police to let them know what had happened, but everybody else just stood there guarding their place in line and staring at me. I knew they wanted tears. They wanted hysterics. They wanted blood. Instead, I held my cigarette at a jaunty angle and immediately pulled out my iPhone to tweet about the experience. I tossed my hair and LOLed. “Can you believe that just happened?” I asked Julia, who had not blinked or exhaled since the junkie first approached us. As soon as I know somebody wants something from me, I do everything within my power to prevent them from getting it, simply because I can, and I am selfish at heart. So these Hillsbus cunts could have their bus seat, but they wouldn’t get a show out of me.
When I got home, I took three valium and had a bath. Then I stood in front of the television and told my mother I had been attacked by a meth addict at the bus stop.
“That’s awful!” she said, putting down her crossword puzzle book. “Was anyone there?”
“Yeah, but nobody did anything. They didn’t even ask if I was okay. Those arseholes just stood in line watching. Like it was fucking street theatre.”
“Well I probably would have done the same,” Mum said, picking up her book again. “You don’t want to mess with an ice junkie. Besides, you’d never risk losing your place in the Hillsbus line. Those bastards will sidle up like you were never even there.”
The above image was brought to you by the genius man that is @bobearth and my power to persuade people to photoshop genitals into ordinary pictures.