The Storm's Set
He could hear nothing while the storm lasted, everything blotted
out by the steady drumming of rain on the iron roof, and the
intermittent screech of floorboards. The trees thrashed about in a
choreography of pain and desire, whilst the..
Fuck. I tore the page from the spiral bound notebook and threw
the attempt into the bin, having it join the previous three, an
empty tube of block-out and quite unabashedly, a few tissues.
I'm not stupid. I get that this assessment accounts for 25% of my
mark, but my summer holidays are meant to be about music and
I wish I was a wizard. Fuck vampires. Who cares if you can bite
someone if you can fly a broom? When I turned 11, I seriously
waited all day for my letter from Hogwarts. I didn't tell anyone
because you know, I was 11 and meant to be grown up, but I
waited. I even thought because I lived in Australia, it would
come a few days late. Six years later and I'm still waiting for
that letter, plus the magic it will bring. I'm an all right
looking guy, I guess. Not that magic could fix that, but still.
It's just I'm average. I get good grades. I have friends. And I
don't wear my pants around my ankles, but like I said. I'm
average. Not the life of the party, the guy who has all the
latest indie music or the one that girls fall over. In fact I
have yet to even ask Norah out. I like Vampire Weekend, I buy my
clothes at op-shops, and I have an unhealthy collection of
“No way, Ron is way better then Harry!”
“No. You're wrong. That's all there is to it' I shot back. Nate
and I were waiting beyond the corner of the gig for his new
boyfriend. Probably some buff bohemian boy whose 'soul was in
line with my heart'. Over the past nine months, ever since Nate
came out to his parents, he's had over 5 'long-term'
One of the things that fascinate me about myself is how it is
possible for me to know something without really knowing it at
all. I mean I seem to have known about same sex relationships all
my life, without anyone ever sitting me down and saying 'Luke, in
life people can choose to love whoever they want', or some such
inadequately phrased part of the 'talk'. And it didn't
particularly surprise me when Nate officially came out either.
Since we were kids I knew he wasn't into girls the way I was.
Just like when he tried to kiss me in second grade he
knew I wasn't into guys like he was. But it wasn't until 1this
year when he actually spoke the words to me 'Luke, I think you
already know, but I'm gay' and I said. 'Yeah. I kinda figured.'
With each guy Nate's been with, he adapts to them. Becomes the
couple that looks good together. Yet every time he always stays
the same guy. Astounding. I wish I'd change. I constantly
attempt too, but all shit breaks loose. Peoples opinions will
always stay the same. Unless its bad. There's a reason rumours
and gossip and false shit gets around. Everyone wants to believe
in something horrifying rather than 'all we did was kiss'.
Because as soon as that happens, BAM, the girls a slut and the
guys a hero. And Nothing will change that. So I'm stuck as the
kid who cried when Piggy died, because people don't want to
believe that I might have changed. Even though I haven't.
So there we were, waiting for the buff boy toy before attempting
to enter the Ivory while the bouncers were still AWOL to see The
Storm. Being 17 sucked balls. The guy collecting entrance fee at
the door was a craggy old-timer who wouldn't care if a 5 year old
walked in. I delved into my pocket and scrabbled with some loose
change for a little, then handed him a 20 and extended my wrist
to get stamped and collect the tenor back. 'Dude, it says 10
bucks, not 15. Where's my change?' I asked crag-bags. He just
smiled and winked, the short changing bastard.
The bar was dark and smoky. Perfect really. See here's another
thing you should know, I'm big on atmospheres. Certain ones in
particular draw me in. Cafes with old beaten couches, or
bookshops with dinky steps, crammed to within an inch of its
life. The bar wasn't the superficial strobe-lit kind, rather the
walls had paint peeling back, revealing every colour and past it
had. Yellow; boutique, Red; tattooist, Green; an old crack house.
It was these places, with history that I felt at home. The
atmosphere you experience when you're a kid and its Christmas
eve; anticipation and excitement. This felt like that. The magic
of the lights, the crackle of the speakers. And the gaze of the
girl in the corner. Did I mention Norah? I've been in love with
her since year 4, when she read her mermaid poem out in class.
Since then I've been in deep. Breath. in and out. And in and out.
'Excuse me, Norah? Would, um, would you like to dance?'
A small smile in the corner of her mouth. ' I'd thought you'd
I could hear nothing while the Storm's set lasted, everything
blotted out by the steady thump of the bass. And in those
electrifying moments, when Norah looked at me, I understood that
it didn't matter if the masses don't believe that you can change,
because one person will.
So we danced. And Laughed, and drank, until the beauty of the
moment overwhelmed the fuck out of me and I needed some air. Then
we climbed the stairs, and the city watched us kiss.