I think I’ve only been to Melbourne in summer once before. Today she is gray and wet and from my window on the twelfth floor I can see buildings and cranes with little twinkling lights on top. Today she is what I’m used to seeing her like. People scurry like ants on the street below. They seem huddled in on themselves.
But she turned on a fine show for me these past 48 hours. She was warm but she’s just so fucking cool. She dazzled with light and sparkling blue skies. She caressed with cold when the heat became unbearable.
Melbourne invited me in to her shows and restaurants in little graffiti laneways and fed me exquisite morsels of food that seduced my tongue and my tastebuds. She molested my mouth with microherbs and creamy avocado and nuts and seeds roasted in heaven. She exposed me to oysters and slivers of kingfish served in little cast iron cauldrons. They were like magic. You lift the lid and tendrils of trapped smoke jump out at you and tickle the inside of your brain. The dish begged to be licked.. but this is Melbourne and I don’t think they do that here in public.
I ate and I drank. Mimosas at breakfast, gin and tonic at tea. I walked the streets and took photos. Nearly too many to count. I celebrated friendships old and new. I talked and talked and talked. And laughed. And cried. I met women I want to grow up to be like. I met others I never want to grow up to be like… I even managed to shop a little. Mostly black.
I learned about the myriad forms of love. Safe love and precious love. Reckless love and unrequited love. Everlasting love and complete love. I learnt that I can’t be away from my little family for more than three nights without wanting to run back to them. Desperately. Longingly.
I reignited my love for art and creativity and three years on, I cannot imagine a more perfect way to celebrate my Comaversarry than by being in Melbourne by myself. I may even be getting a bit of my mojo back… and every time I worry about not going forward, I look back and realise how far I’ve come. The recovery was harder than the illness but the journey back up to the top has made it all worth it.