Sleepless in C-Town

As the close-up of a thrusting Bruce Springsteen pelvis (he’s getting busy “dancing in the dark”) is replaced by a close-up of Freddie Mercury’s  moustache (he’s lauding the efforts of Flash Gordon), I realise that I’m sleepless in C-Town – again.

On the plus side, at least late night Rage is generally free of idiots making poor attempts to “respectfully describe”  girls of their acquaintance. And alternatively, there are always late night SBS movies to watch though I often feel like I’m watching a car accident happening in slow motion – you know something bad/weird/highly inappriopriate/creepily sexual is about to happen but you can’t look away and you don’t know exactly when it’s going to happen.

Though being sleepless in C-Town is a regular occurrence, this is the first night of midnight ponderings to happen in my new, shared abode. Yes, I am happy to report that the hell-on-earth experience of househunting had a happy ending and both my new digs and new housemate are lovely. I have replaced thundering roadtrains, a bare dirt back courtyard and fighting drug addict neighbours with private courtyards, a new kitchen, flocks of kookaburras and bushland surroundings. Ahhh the serenity (though I’m not smelling any two stroke).

How curiously addictive and entirely weird is Paul Simon’s “Call me Al”?! ( I’ll call you Betty and Betty when you call me you can call me Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal. )Errm. Ok.

Anyhow, I’m filled with existential angst.Yesterday, as I drearily and somewhat resentfully joined the stream of suited, lanyard wearing employees passing through the endlessly revolving doors of Public Servant House, I pondered the pointlessness of my job. If it ceased to exist, its absence would inconvenience nobody but myself – the organisation would continue to function as per usual but I’d be forced to find an alternative way to pay my bills. (I’m oozing job satisfaction aren’t I?) And as I rode the elevator and listened to a colleague describe taking his daughter to soccer practice, I realised that my life is entirely lacking in responsibilities or relationships of reliance.

 My relationships with my family and friends are ones of mutual love (at least I hope it’s mutual!) and social interaction but nobody relies on me to provide them with anything material.  No, I’m not being an angst-riddled emo wailing that my life is pointless, I’m simply pondering the frameworks and labels that we use to define our lives. Neither parent nor partner, neither caregiver nor receiver, long distance daughter and even longer distance sister, lapsed volunteer, politically aware but politically inactive, living wage but assetless. It all reads like a formula for meaningless. Surely I can do better than just exist. Step one: Find new job. Tick. (But one which is just as pointless but slightly more interesting). Step Two: hmmmm…this is all too hard. After all, midnight ponderings are just that – solutions have to be fomulated in the cold, hard light of day or else they tend to be entirely impractical. Task for tomorrow: Make life meaningful (should be able to do before breakfast right?). I wish I had a talent. Any sort. Athletic, musical, intellectual, artistic, whatever. It would make seeking meaning so much easier – I’d simply say, ahh yes, mustn’t squander talent, must pursue talent. Maybe I should pursue mediocrity. Become mediocre in a whole range of things. Jack of all trades, master of none. Hmm.

Wow, vintage Prince. Creepy.

Frankly my dear,  though I’m not sleepy, it’s now 3am I suppose I should at least make an effort to try and get a few hours of sleep – obligations to one’s health should be easier to fulfill than obligations to other people but they require such self discipline! On a final note, my neighbours appear to be just as sleepless as I am but I really wish they’d choose to take up blogging rather than hosing and sweeping their front courtyard and loudly arguing. Maybe I should go out there and tell them so, I’m sure my wild hair and deranged insomniac red eyese would provide significant persuasive force.

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One Response to Sleepless in C-Town

  1. Shakira says:

    Ok, I had the 3am existentials as well (is the change of blog layout to the more gritty, urban look a sign of existentialism). Canberra does seem to bring them on. I remember when I first moved here, I was horrified at the sight of public servants with lanyards – it wasn’t something you saw in small-town Queensland. I thought it was like putting dog-collars on people, slave markers, and I could imagine how they could bear to wear them. And then, of course, later on in life I was desperate to have one! or at least, the salary that went with them.
    This is going to sound such a cliche, but – well, life can change very fast. You can find yourself in a relationship, with others depending on you, feeling as though you had no time to prepare for it. And that’s all good, you wouldn’t wish yourself out of it – but you also look back on the time when you were single and see it in a different light. In some regards, you’re in a better position to be unselfish when you don’t have family dependents, who always have to be your first responsibility. Being a parent makes you very selfish – it has to be “my kid first – everyone else, no matter how desperate, only once my kid has been provided for”. So that pre-reliance relationship phase of life – well, you should make the most of it for things like travel and etcetera. But it isn’t meaningless, in terms of “giving”, either – because once you have family, you become less giving, in lots of ways. More “giving” in your closest relationships, but less giving to friends, let alone to total strangers. So you may not have any obvious relationships of reliance – but you’re giving back to friends and etc in a way that I’m not – I’m in selfish-parent stage.
    Work and etc – are you signed up to lots of e-mail alerts about jobs, study, etc? I’ve been subscribed to the Devex e-mail alerts for – well, years. Lots of jobs in Tajikistan and Colombia and Azerbaijan – if nothing else, it reminded me that there was a world outside Canberra! Lots of law jobs in exotic places, for a smart young up-and-coming lawyer like yourself…
    Great blog…good use of your middle of the night angst!

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