Via Facebook, Ang nominated three things that took me straight back to college…so natually, there is going to be some explicit language in this one…
Guitar + Lake Tuggeranong + a Cranky Magpie
20 December 2016
Mrs Davis said it would be a good idea to keep a journal, at least over the summer, and maybe continue when I start in year 11. Just so I could look back in the future on what it was like to be growing up, formative years, help my writing develop…bullshit, bullshit….
So here is the journal.
Not sure what to write about. I’ll try again tomorrow.
25 December 2016
Mum came through! Got me the Yamaha acoustic!
She said I deserved it after all that practice on the crappy one she got from Gumtree last Christmas.
She said if I keep practicing, and I get a job, she might go halves with me in a Fender Telecaster!
I’m gonna play it all summer! I’ll keep track of my progress in this journal. I might even write down a few songs here.
2 February 2016
First day at college went okay…I think.
I tried to dress neutral. Jeans and my new Tool t-shirt.
And I checked at least fifteen times that my fly was up.
Lake Tuggeranong College may look pretty perched on the shores of Lake Tuggeranong, but its similarities to a US teen sitcom may be more than brick deep. I fear my classes may yet be full of the stereotypical band of bitches, jocks, nerds and fuckwits.
I wonder which one I am?
3 February 2016
Day two, and just when I thought things were going better than High School, something shit happened to me.
This time, it wasn’t a wardrobe malfunction with a zipper (which resulted in Mick and his band of mindless acolytes yelling ‘Low Flyer!’ or ‘Maccas showing off his junior happy meal!” or ‘We can all see your little puny Cock Jeremy’ every time I walked passed for four straight years).
I had hoped leaving High School would bring an end to such things.
But I may have earned a new nickname.
🙁 🙁 🙁
I was innocently walking across one of the courtyards at lunch time, looking out for Zak cos we’d agreed to meet at the library (not cos we’re nerds but because we have no idea what any of the other bits of the school are called yet).
There were a group of year 12s hanging around near the library entrance, smoking and acting cool, when I hear this loud fucking squawk above my head.
I look up, just in time to see this cranky magpie, let go the biggest, blackest, steamiest bird shit ever!
All over me! I mean, this shit was dripping down through my hair, on to my t-shirt and jeans.
One of the year 12 dickheads noticed and yelled out:
‘Whoa dude, look at that shit on your head!’
And so one of his mates chimes in:
‘You are one serious shithead!’
And they all started laughing.
I raced to the toilets and cleaned myself up. Zak was all in my face about being late, so I had to tell him.
He thought it was hilarious.
He doesn’t have to spend the formative years of his life with his peers calling him Shithead!
5 February 2016
Great Fucking Day!
Turns out, if you’re going to get shat on and survive with your reputation intact, you need to ensure:
- Said shatting occurs at a school of more than 1000 students
- During the first week of term 1, where more than half of the students have just arrived
- There are only a handful of people who witness the shat.
So far, no one has said a thing to me about it, and best of all, no one has called me Shithead.
But things got even better in my first English class. Didn’t know anyone else. Plonked myself down in a seat amongst plenty of empty ones and cracked open my Kerrang magazine. Slipknot are on the cover.
Sick I thought. I should have at least five minutes to read in peace. I was just settling in to a story about Zak Grohl’s rig (Gibson guitar + Vox A30 amp) when someone brushed passed me, knocking the magazine out of my hand and onto the desk.
I opened my mouth to complain about how this stranger had caused me to lose my place, when I looked upon the eyes of an angel.
The BLUEST FUCKING EYES I HAVE EVER SEEN!
In the words of Jimi Hendrix, this was one cute little heartbreaker.
Tall. Brunette. Tight….well let’s just say she was tidy all over.
‘Sorry’ she breathed, dumping her bag down next to me and sitting down.
She held out her hand
I opened my mouth to speak, but nothing came out. I tried to force out the words.
WTF are you doing Jeremy. Your name is not ‘Shithead’. You’re name is:
‘…Jeremy. I’m Jeremy,’ I stumbled out.
She’s smiled and sat down. Next to me. She was fucking sitting right next to me.
I became aware of the dampness developing under my armpits; the beads of sweat appearing on my forehead, right around that big zit I discovered this morning just under my hair line. I jerked my head slightly forward, to try and make sure my hair fell over it. I realised a second too late just how weird a movement that had been.
‘You okay?’ she asked.
Shit, I thought. She thinks I’m having some sort of seizure.
Why the fuck did I do that? How did coughing help? Is a fictitious cold a cure for fictitious epilepsy?
‘Fine,’ I mumbled. ‘So umm…which high school did you go to?’
She smiled, flashing shiny white teeth, ever so-crooked in a cute sort of way. Her right eye tooth in particular slightly protruded forwards.
Look at her teeth, I thought. Look at her eyes. Look anywhere but down. Do not look down! Yes, she has cleavage. Yes, they are just there. But don’t look at them. DO NOT LOOK AT THEM!
‘I’ve just moved here from Sydney,’ she said. ‘This school is a lot prettier than my old one in Penrith. We didn’t have a lake.’
She motioned to the window, where the gently moving brown sludge of Lake Tuggeranong was wondering past. A shiny glint in the middle of the water caught my eye.
‘Yeah, it’s nice. But you should watch out for the trolley monsters,’ I replied, doing my best to focus on her eyes and teeth.
‘The what?’ she asked, looking at me sceptically.
Trolley monsters! What was I thinking!
‘You know….the trolleys in the lake…they call them trolley monsters,’ I mumbled, trying to salvage the situation.
She smiled weakly.
‘Who calls them that?’
‘Umm….just people, you know. They stick their head out of the Lake, sorta like…’
Sort of like what, dickhead. Think!
Suddenly her face broke into a big smile.
‘Like the Loch Ness Monster! Oh yeah! Now I get it.’
Man, seeing her smile. That was enough to get me…
Oh shit, mum’s screaming at me about something. Gotta go.
6 February 2016
BITCHIN! Stacey found my diary, and has started asking about Julie.
Having a little sister sucks dicks!
7 February 2016
So, turns out there is a radio station at school. Just a shitty AM one, that only broadcasts as far as like, the Hyperdome. But Still.
Zak and I volunteered today. We get to do our first hour shift next Sunday!
Spose we better figure out what we’re going to say. We’re way funnier than Matt and Alex. I reckon we’ll be on Triple J one day.
8 February 2016
Zak reckons I’ve already made a gross error of judgement.
Rekcons I might have gained a dangerous enemy. I don’t care.
Julie is worth it.
We’ve been talking so much more, and I even managed to see her timetable (I claimed to be lost and wanted to check the classroom number, but said I didn’t have my timetable on me…. genius!)
Turns out we only had English together. But I’ve fixed that. I went straight to the office this morning and swapped my classes. Just in time, as today is the last day.
Mum is actually pretty pleased. I’ve moved up to Advanced Maths, swapped psychology for media and added photography.
The only classes we don’t have together are music (no way I’m dropping guitar!) and computing (Zak’s brother did it last year and you get to play Minecraft!)
Zak keeps reminding me how much time Julie is spending around this big jock, called Derek. She does laugh heaps around him. Zak reckons he even spotted Jock trying to hold her hand at lunchtime.
And Derek the Jock seems to have noticed me too. After I spoke to Julie yesterday, and she had gone to class, I notice him sitting on a wall nearby. He just stood there, staring at me.
He’s a big dude, with a shaved head. Like twice my size. I think he might play rugby.
Well, fuck him.
9 February 2016
Went to Advanced Maths class, and Julie wasn’t there! Found out afterwards she swapped out of Advanced Maths. She must have gone to the office just after me!
It’s going to be fucking hard too. I barely understood what Michael the teacher was saying.
Went straight to the front office after call, but I was too late! I can’t swap out of it.
10 February 2016
Maths is hard. Really hard. I have an assignment due already. Worth 10% of my mark. It’s on advanced trigonometry. Sin and Cosin and Tan and shit….I don’t even know what these words mean!
11 February 2016
Got my first photography assignment today. The teacher asked us before handing it out what the most photographed pier is in the world. We all had a few guesses. Julie guessed somewhere in Europe. I suggested that massive one in Busselton that we visited last year. Mavis the teacher was impressed (and I think Julie was too), but that wasn’t it.
Mavis pointed out the window.
‘It’s that little boardwalk going into Lake Tuggeranong out there, because every year 11 student in this class since this school opened has taken a photo of it. Guys, do me a favour and at least walk more than 500 metres from the school.’
The assignment is on something we love. I’m thinking about doing some sort of sepia photo of my new guitar.
I convinced mum to drive me to Cash Converters after school, and I used the last of my Christmas money to buy some weights. I’m going to be ready for this Derek guy.
Did my first weight session tonight. I hurt. A lot. I can’t raise my arms, like, at all.
12 February 2016
Zak has been telling me for days that Julie and Derek are together.
I think he’s right.
Until now, I couldn’t even write about it.
What am I going to do?!?!?!
I really like this girl!
Oh, and I have to stay up all night to finish my maths assignment!
(I can still barely move my arms. I was going to do some leg exercises I found on YouTube, but decided that might not be such a good idea)
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.
Girls like big shows of affection…. yeah?
Like Romeo throwing rocks at Juliet’s window. And that scene at the start of American Pie 3, when Jim is going to propose to Michelle at that really fancy restaurant, but she gets confused and thinks he is asking for something else, and goes under the table to give him….
Okay, maybe the Romeo one is a better example.
But I’m gonna try something like that.
I’ve got to do something to win Julie over.
I’m going to write her a song and play it for her on the radio.
All I need to do is:
- Write some lyrics
- Write some music
- Convince Zak to let me play it on our first show
- Make sure Julie hears it
It’s the morning, and I’m about to meet to meet Zak at school for our first radio show. He has agreed to let me perform this song, but I reckon Derek will kick the shit out of me if he hears it.
But it’s a Sunday – I mean what are the chances?! I’ve been telling Julie all week about our show and she said she would listen, but just in case, I’m gonna record it and put it on Soundcloud.
If it doesn’t suck completely. The chord progression is pretty lame, but I like the lyrics.
You’re called Julie
And I’m Jeremy
Together we make
The perfect Double J.
We met in English
You came from afar
You’re a Sydney girl
I grew up in Kambah.
We’re the Perfect Double J
No need for M, N or K
We’re the perfect Double J.
You’ve been hanging around
That Derek Guy
He may say he likes you
But you know your relationship will never fly.
We’re the Perfect Double J
No need for M, N or K
We’re the perfect Double J.
15 February 2016
Phew! What a rollercoaster yesterday was! Where to begin?
Well, school was deserted, it being Sunday and all. The guys before us didn’t show for their shift, so we started early, but I made Zak fill in some time and play extra tracks, cos I told Julie to listen at 1:30.
I was watching the clock the whole time. I stopped this new Peking Duk track half way through because it was going to push us over time. Zak was pissy about that.
I was nervous as all fuck. Sweat was dripping off me. Lucky it was radio and not television. Anyway, I did it. Zak said the lyrics were lame, but he liked the music and I pretty much played it without fucking up.
I felt really embarrassed afterwards. Zak is right, the lyrics are lame. I sorta hoped no one was listening, including Julie. I decided not to put it on Soundcloud.
I wanted to leave the studio straight away, and just go somewhere and be alone, but Zak made me stay till the end.
At last the show was over. I barely said anything for the last thirty minutes. Our theme was supposed to be new music, including new Canberra music. We played some Hands Like Houses and Zak wanted me to talk to him on air about this guy called Skarma whose music we like on Soundcloud. But I just couldn’t concentrate.
As soon as Zak signed off and put on our last track, I just got up and went. Zak was like ‘what the fuck’, but I just mumbled an apology and left.
I ended up walking to the most photographed pier in Australia and sat on it. Just staring at the brown water. And all the partly submerged trolleys. I remembered my first conversation with Julie.
I had my guitar lying next to me in its case, and next thing I know I feel footsteps on the wooden planks and someone is standing right next to me.
It was fucking Derek.
He picked up the guitar and sort of pointed it at me.
‘What the fuck was that, dickhead?’
I shrugged my shoulders and tried to stand up. I wasn’t going to let this guy intimidate me.
‘It’s a guitar,’ I said.
He faked to punch me, and I flinched. That made him laugh, but then he got all angry again. He was moving his hands as he talked, and so was waving my guitar around the whole time without realising it. I was getting dizzy trying to keep my eyes on it.
‘I mean that lame-ass song I just heard on the radio about my girlfriend, fuckwit!’
Act cool, I thought. But I have to admit, I was pissing myself a little bit. He was like twice my size, and all het up about the song. I could see veins bursting and pulsating under the stubble on his shaved head. He was wearing a muscle top, and his biceps keep pulsating as he flung my guitar around his head.
‘Can you put my guitar down,’ I asked. I didn’t like the way my voice sounded. It was all quiet and timid.
‘What?’ he said, leaning towards me and holding my guitar above his head.
‘I said,’ trying to speak more loudly. ‘Give me my fucking guitar back, you crazy motherfucker.’
Where did that come from, I wondered.
That really pissed him off and he got this evil grin on his face.
‘Then go fetch, Bieber!’ he said.
And he threw my guitar over my head.
Everything seemed to go into slow motion. I looked on helplessly as my guitar flew through the air and landed in the middle of the lake.
I didn’t what I was more pissed about – my guitar, or this jerk calling me Bieber!
I looked back at him and then back at my guitar.
‘You fucker!’ I whispered, and then without really thinking, just dived in.
The water was freezing, and once I was in it, I realised how much it stunk. This dank, metallic smell that reminded me of old spew and off vegies. I nearly spewed.
At first all I could think of was how cold I was, and how much I was shivering. Then I realised I had on my favourite jeans, and I wondered what this disgustingly murky water would do to them.
Then I became of aware of heavy my jeans were getting. I was now struggling to keep my head above the water. I thought about taking them off, and realised how stupid I would look coming out of the water with nothing but my undies on. Well, more stupid than I was going to look, trying to haul myself out fully clothed.
I struggled into a horizontal position and started swimming towards where I thought my guitar landed. I tried to keep my mouth shut, but I could feel some of the brown water slipping into my mouth as I tried to breathe.
An old McDonald’s wrapper floated passed me, and I was sure I was going to spew.
Luckily the guitar was in its case, and I quickly spotted it floating nearby. I started swimming towards it. I was getting used to the water temperature; but my jeans weren’t getting any lighter.
I became aware of Derek shouting something nearby, but I decided to ignore him. I was having trouble breathing and my arms and legs were hurting already. I just had to get this guitar and get out of here.
After what felt like hours, but was probably more like minutes, I finally reached the guitar. Now what? I thought. I have to get it back to the pier or shore somehow. I looked around, trying to get a sense of where I was over the top of the brown sludge. The pier was still the closest ‘land’. I hooked the guitar case around my leg and started breaststroking towards it.
I just hoped the water hadn’t damaged my guitar, and that something had broken as it fell.
It was so hard to swim like that, trying to just keep a float using my hands, with my clothes weighing me down the whole time. I was wheezing and panting, struggling for breath the whole time. Just as I was nearing the pier, and thought I was going to make it, the guitar caught on something in the water and I was suddenly pulled down. I tried to keep my head above the water, but was quickly dragged down into the disgusting brown muck. My mouth was quickly full of water, and realised I was well below the surface.
I looked down to see what had snared my guitar.
Through the brown water I could see something silver, shining in the sunlight breaking through the water line. My eyes stinging from the water, I could just make out how my guitar had been ensnared in the jaws of the object.
It took me a moment to realise what it was…
…A trolley. A fucking trolley. I was going to be killed by a trolley monster.
I could feel my heart racing faster and faster as I tried to get the guitar loose. My lungs were staring to ache. I was keeping my mouth prized shut, but the urge to open it was growing.
I knew I should just let go of the guitar but there was no way I was going to let that Derek guy ruin my guitar. And not because of a trolley!
Just when I was thinking I should just give it up, somehow it came loose. But I was exhausted. I stared up at the top of the water, trying to summon the energy to swim upwards.
And then suddenly an arm plunged into the water, and a hand reached for me.
Was this Derek? Some cruel joke?
I had no choice. I grabbed hold of it and tried to swim to the surface as best I could with the guitar case still looped around my foot.
I burst through the water and stared up at my saviour.
I looked into the eyes of an angel. Pulling me up and smiling.
‘I heard your song,’ she said.
Don’t have time to write much, but thought I better put down this news.
Got my maths assignment back. Got 9/10!
Turns out, I might be okay at this maths thing….
This new girl has moved in next door, and I want to introduce myself.