Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Bob's Your Carbuncle

Let me tell you a little bit about myself. And I mean, let me describe myself physically. I'm sure you've got a grasp of my self-deprecating, perpertually cynical, self-pitying personality. I'm about to paint painfully accurate pen-picture of Yours Truly.
Brace yourselves.
The Boyfriend tentatively describes me as being "of medium build" which I have naturally translated as morbidly obese. I have an abnormally large forehead. I, like many others I am sure, spent a large part of my existence over-plucking my eyebrows. I also have a tongue that requires more room than my prominent eye-teeth are willing to supply, which results in a lispy, sibilant quality to my speech. In short, I spit a lot when I talk, a tendency I literally cannot control. 
To add to all this horror, I have to contend with a propensity for acne breakouts that actual doctors have likened to the carbuncles on the bottom of boats.
It's something to do with my ridiculously inefficient immune system. My body, along with all its other shortcomings, is seriously lacking in iron. Couple that with growing up with Da Mudder's charred Sunday roast beef dinners, and the inevitable distaste for red meat that followed, I grew up a pale, sunken-eyed, boil-ridden girl. 
When I was fourteen and on the precipice of puberty with all the wonderful side-effects that accompany that exciting transition, I got my first carbuncle.
 It hung off the side of my face like an aching weight, a veritable mass of green and yellow pus, immovable and unsusceptible to every single acne-fighting cream, gel and soap bar that is known to man. The thing had its own orbit and I don't think one person looked me in the eye for the entire year I had to haul it around the school corridors.
I was subjected to abundant laser treatments and poultices before my very expensive and very useless dermatologist finally stumbled across an antibiotic that banished the boil for good. 
The dermatologist in question was left with a healthy college-fund for her son and a clap on the back for cracking a difficult case. I was left with slight scarring on the left hand side of my nose and an esteem-level firmly rooted in the soles of my feet. 
Anyway, years passed and the carbuncle never surfaced again, and I - eventually - was again able to look at my reflection in the mirror while washing those prominent teeth I was telling you about. 
And then I moved to Melbourne and after leaving my shitty job with Boss and Sappy, I got another shitty job with Mr. Delhi. To be fair, it was one of the only jobs I've had over here where everything was above board, pay-wise. 
I also genuinely liked Mr. Delhi, and adored my colleague - let's call her the Punjabi Princess - who was also from India and one of the nicest, most diligent and humble human beings I have ever had the pleasure to meet.  
And while The Boyfriend and I waited to hear whether we were going to get sponsored for the second time, and while things rapidly deteriorated at home with the new housemates Todd and Copper, and while in the throes of nicotine withdrawals,  a carbuncle pushed its way back into my life. Specifically, on to my chin. 
It was my third week at the greasy spoon and I was sporting a spot on my chin that had South African poachers sniffing the air in incomprehensible, innate desire. I was staring at the ground. I had asked the Punjabi Princess to serve as many customers as possible so as to avoid the questionable looks and open-mouthed gasps. I had been expertly manoeuvring my face to the right to obscure the worst of the rhino-esque horn protruding from my face. I was secretly pleased with my coping mechanism.
But Mr. Delhi was a very blunt and... vocal individual. When he rocked up to check on proceedings at the cafe, he could not help but wildly point at the offensive sore.
 I nodded, smiled empathetically. 
"Hoho...yes.... A spot, yes... Yes,yes, I do know it's there... Hideous, yes... Hoho.... Yes, I should stay off the beer... Hoho."
Inside, I was repeatedly stabbing him in the eye with the serrated knife I held in my hand. But I kept it together and hid my despair admirably. I didn't even have a smoke that evening.
I felt very adult. 
However, after the third consecutive morning that he greeted me with the same exclamation of disgust, I had a compete mental breakdown. 
I cried. 
I cannot believe I cried. 
I usually save my tears for when I know I'm losing an argument with The Boyfriend. It was a mortifying display of emotion. 
Mr. Delhi blustered profuse apologies. I accepted, snottily and gracefully. 
I decide I had to go to the doctors that afternoon. I got off work early, and waited almost two hours before the receptionist let me in to see the man with the prescription pad. I babbled my complaints and demanded some antibiotics. To my complete surprise, he gave me a years worth of pretty pills and sent me on my way. I'd finally found something I liked about Australia - its lackadaisical practitioners of medicine.
I had my hand on the door handle when he asked me if I'd been doing anything differently in my life lately. I thought about it for a few minutes. I then puffed out my chest a little and proudly announced the nine days I'd gone without a fag. To which he replied - and I kid you not here - "Ah, yes. That can cause skin breakouts. Your body is reacting to the sudden lack of nicotine. You probably shouldn't have gone cold turkey. Maybe cut down slowly."
Strike that previous statement. I'd found something I loved about Australia. 

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Escape from Maxx's Gaff (If You Say It Fast, It Sounds Like It RhymesWith Alcatraz. Honest. Go on. Try It.)

Day Five, 0545hrs
I was late for work this morning. My sleep was broken and uneven, punctuated by moans and groans from Maxx's room. I can only assume he had decided to view one of his many pornographic DVDs late in the night and his vigorous and vocal appreciation of the film had been long and loud. Realising the hour, I leapt from the bed and pulled on some pants. 
I opened the door a crack, and put my hand over my mouth to force back the bile that had climbed my throat. Maxx was wearing some sort of transparent kimono and dancing with an invisible partner in the sitting room. Temporarily frozen in horror, I stood staring as he made his final pirouette. There was no music, which made the whole display even stranger. 
He pupils, though minuscule, widened slightly as he rounded to face me, which I took as a recognition of my presence. His hands dropped to his sides to hide his modesty and he took off out the back door. I grabbed my Myki and dashed out the door, fervently hoping my brain would do me a favour and suppress the entire scenario. I'll probably need to consume a lot of alcohol to aid this process, but I'll do it - for my health.

Day Seven, 1830hrs
The cafe is closed today due to a bank holiday. The Boyfriend is working, however. He leaves at the crack of dawn and I bring my book and accompany him. He spends the entire day doing his jobs, while I simultaneously read and sleep in his ute. It was better than the alternative.

Day Eight, 2143hrs
We sat down to watch a movie tonight. Maxx was out the back in his shed/house, distributing pills to his neighbours' children. As you do.
The police stopped by half way through Adam Sandler's epiphany. They asked us where Maxx had been that day and what had he been doing. Tod, our housemate, was somehow shunted to the front door to answer the police queries. 
The officers were about seven feet tall and wide, with huge guns toted at their belts and looks of extreme disdain plastered across their chiseled faces. I was, for some unknowable reason, convinced we were going to be arrested and went in to the bedroom to retrieve our passports, as if they would be of any discernible use in a drugs bust against our dodgy landlord. I'm not all that great at thinking on my feet so when it was my turn to answer whether I knew of Maxx's previous whereabouts, I simply gurgled and felt my eyes fill with tears.
I loathe myself at times. Actually, most of the time.
Tod was thankfully able to brush aside my muteness and convince the men that we were innocent and frankly clueless as to what was going on in the house. 
We need to move out. Tod and Copper don't have the money for a deposit somewhere else but surely they see the necessity in getting away from this semi-naked nazi and all his associated madness?

Day Ten, 1057hrs:
I got really, really poleaxed last night. I'm talking five litre boxes of wine poleaxed. All I remember from the evening is confronting Maxx in his silken - and free-hanging - bathrobe. I slurred and pointed my finger aggressively and shouted that he was, in my opinion, "reeeeeallly, reeeeeeeally fuckin' weeeeird. Like, reeeeeeaaallllshsshshhhhlurrrp." I then sort of slumped into my own lap, finger still doing a fine jaunt in Maxx's direction. Oh, alcohol. How you transform me.
Max stared at me for a while and sucked in a wet breath.
He replied, bug-eyed and unblinkingly; "I like you."
I kid you not.
I think I might die here.

Day Fourteen 1236hrs:
We have convinced Tod and Copper of the urgency of finding somewhere else to live. Maxx declared the front garden as a cigarette-free area, which was pretty much a notice of inhabitability in our eyes.
Tod and Copper had decided they weren't going to pay the owed last weeks rent and so our departure is to be silent and stealthy. 
I've decided to wear the fluffiest pair of socks I own, so as to dull my walk out the door.
 Stealth defined, me. 

Day Fifteen 1647hrs:
Tod occupied Maxx with pointless conversation, while The Boyfriend carried our belongings from the house of horrors to the ute. 
At one stage, I saw The Boyfriend literally duck and roll with a laundry bag in his arms. 

Day Sixteen 1023hrs
We are out! We are free! We are fobbing off Maxx's phone calls with impromptu hang-ups and lots of "going though tunnels"! 
Ah, the liberty. Everything is going to be a-okay, from here on in. We're living with good friends, in a good area. It's good vibes all 'round. 
I might try and give up the cigarettes again! 

Day Twenty One 1545hrs
Everything is not a-okay.
And I just bought forty Marlborough Gold.