TFBC: The Bad Trip

One grungy summer night I met my first real fuckboy, *John.
He was a trip, I tell you. I’m just glad I’ve only got flashbacks, not life-long HPPD.

At the start of 2010 – despite our home-town love-down – Seth was a lost cause.
Our relationship was an iPod Classic full of shitty Limewire downloads… there was no themed Spotify Radio back then to see us through the bad times. Right at the end, this music metaphor manifested itself in a poorly executed romantic gesture. After a big fight, he bought me a 4 pack of Cruiser Blacks and a ticket to La Roux with him and his footy boys. At the time, I was very much in an Emu Export and Every Time I Die phase.  We clearly didn’t know each other any more.

So ever the shark swimming forward, I soon found myself at this incredibly hipster shin-dig in Subiaco. It was a demolition house party; everywhere you looked there were sledgehammers through doors, great spray-painted murals, and of course drawings of dicks all over the walls. I assumed my standard position – attempting to look aloof whilst downing as many shots as humanly possible to drown out my chronic anxiety. In between shots 4 and 5 I met John.

How do I describe John without sounding superficial and contrived? Impossible. You looked at him, and you knew he was down to spend days on end listening to psych-rock, wearing patterned op-shop ponchos and speaking in generalist absolutes about world politics. He was dark skinned and nose-ringed, with wild hair and even wilder eyes. I doubt he owned shoes. In other words, he was delicious. I wanted to lie with him on a dusty Turkish rug in an abandoned share-house waxing lyrical about the universe. The perfect antidote to my La Roux flu.

He got my number, and we set a date. This is where it started to go sour. We were supposed to be seeing a movie at a cinema close to my place, but upon picking me up he casually threw in “So I forgot I’m meant to be recording with my band today. Is it cool if we do that instead?” Yes, he was actually in a psych-rock band. Classic. Being the easy breezy ride-or-die bitch that I am I was like, “Totally babe, let’s get some beers on the way.” Inside I was absolutely fucking terrified. I still didn’t really know Perth and I was about to go to an undisclosed location with some random dude I’d met when I was Bacardi Barbie. This was before smartphones, Google Maps and Uber – it’s honestly so much safer to skank it up these days. But like, whatever, I wasn’t even concerned.

We got to the studio, and his band was there setting up. I immediately hit it off with the drummer and subsequently instantly regretted my ties to John. I sat down (on a dusty Turkish rug, no less) and started chatting with the only other girl there – this amazing woman from Fremantle Records. She put me at ease, told me old mate John was actually a really good sound engineer, and I attempted to make the best of a slightly unsavoury situation. Then everyone started doing acid.

Long story short, it didn’t work for me. At all. And while part of me was relieved – it being my first time doing hallucinogens in an already sketchy sitch – another part of me was really annoyed. All these idiots were talking about seeing black dogs and hearing purple waves in the guitar pedals, and I was just thinking about how I was going to get home. Calling a taxi would be awkward, I’d have to ask for the address and I couldn’t afford it in the first place. But could John drive? The night became a series of long draws on my Swan Draught long-neck while staring into the middle-distance.

Recording wrapped and I didn’t want to go home with John. I was getting seriously good vibes from the drummer; he was hotter, funnier and frankly less of an idiot. But John was territorial – it seemed I had to ride home with him and his new pet, the ethereal black dog. We got back to his and I suffered through the most average sex of my life. Look, I’m usually down to make the best of any situation. I’m a trooper that has weathered a number of short, soft storms. But this evening was highly memorable in its ‘lie back and think of England’ shortcomings. Cherry on top of a terrible date – lying there on his Ikea futon afterwards he said to me:

“I knew this would happen, you’ve just got that skank look about you. In a good way.”

You fucking what mate?

Because I was 18 and had little to no self-esteem, I still had a weird hang-up about one night stands. So in a totally contradictory move with my self-respect nowhere to be seen, I agreed on a second date – this time to actually go see a movie. I arrived at Hoyts Garden City to find him there with another couple – who were once again hotter, funnier and less idiotic than him. They were smoking these giant joints, because of course that’s what you do before a 9pm screening of Avatar. I joined in, and promptly slept through the entire movie.

The last time I saw John Cale was at Blues & Roots Fest – he was off his face, wearing a dashiki and heart-shaped sunglasses. His Facebook page is forever one of my favourite “Good God, Lemon” lurks. Oh John, never change. Actually, please do.

I understand this story has some potential points of Weinstein concern to it.
But rather than freak out about it, be assured that I found my experience with John to be the wake-up-call that I needed.
Some fuckboys are there so you learn to value yourself (slightly) more.

I’m not annoyed I let John into my Velvet Underground.
I am still pretty annoyed about the acid not working.

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