Thursday, October 22, 2020

On Top of the World

It’s about five a.m. and we’ve finally stopped dancing. I’m standing at the bar arm in arm with the big chic and the little dude, and Guy walks in. Fuck! It’s a bit of a shock! I’ve been expecting him to rock up in town, but I definitely didn’t anticipate him coming here to The Bar so shit faced; not now. I’m so not ready for him.

He says that he’s been to the flat and they’re in a terrible state rambling on over me not coming back for a couple of days, but more he thinks over me hanging around with the big chic and the little dude, and of course they saw it all from the window overlooking the park (but I have no idea why that gets to them).

I take a break, knock back a tequila shot, buy a pint, and jot some of this drama down (so I don’t forget any of it). I’m again not thinking too clearly. I can’t make out what Guy is saying from here; I have no idea what he’s feeling; but I get an inkling when he pushes the little dude down to the floor. I rush over. “What the fuck are you doing man? Are you Ok dude?” He nods. Me and the big chic help him up, put our arms around him, and block Guy. “Jesus man, just don’t do anything else. See what your stupid temper did again!”

Millie the dancer comes back and helps us all outside. The little dude isn’t angry at Guy; he thinks it’s all about jealousy over something between them, and says that he understands that stuff very well. Guy says that he’s really sorry… and adds that it all got tricky at the flat before, as the crew there had no money and needed to pay the rent, and he thinks that’s why they caused all the fuss about me disappearing when I did. Millie and the big chic get in a cab with a drug- dealer pimp Millie use to go out with; and I’m not sure what’s happening there.

And I’m thinking… one of the things I like about my new mate, the little dude, and Millie, who I’ve known for years, and crazy Guy, who seems to show up every time we’re anywhere, and the big chic, who seriously must go out seven nights a week… is our wonderful, fucking outrageous ability to party to the absolute max; and all of us do party to the max, often.

I leave the dude and Guy sitting in the gutter laughing and rolling a joint, and nip down an alley to make my way to the twenty four hour gay bar with drink specials and drag shows. I have a great laugh to myself as I pace along feeling on top of the world. What a great night!


Stephen House is an award winning Australian playwright, poet and actor. He’s won two Awgie Awards (Australian Writer’s Guild) , Adelaide Fringe Award, Rhonda Jancovich Poetry Award for Social Justice, Goolwa Poetry Cup, Feast Short Story Prize and more. He’s been shortlisted for Lane Cove Literary Award, Overland’s Fair Australia Fiction Prize, Patrick White Playwright and Queensland Premier Drama Awards, Greenroom best actor Award and more. He’s received Australia Council literature residencies to Ireland and Canada, and an India Asialink. His chapbook “real and unreal” was published by ICOE Press Australia. He is published often and performs his work widely.