Of watermelons and running away


Dirty Dancing is currently frolicking on my TV screen. It’s 11pm on a Saturday night, and I’m eating yoghurt, crocheting and writing this post. What can I say, I live a wild and crazy life.

This movie has residence in many people’s top ten movies of all time. And really, what’s not to love. The way Johnny fills out his dancing pants beautifully, the dramatic tension between carrying watermelons and being uninvited, patriarchal acceptance versus being liberated from corners. What I remember most about Dirty Dancing is this:


There has always been something about this scene. The different agendas, the desire, the focus. The confidence, the trust, the vulnerability.

It seems kinda frivolous to be sitting here, safe and sound, trying to find the lyrics to that terrible hula song that Baby’s sister sings, while the Hunter burns around me.

More than that – places I grew up visiting, and still visit near the Hawkesbury – they’re burning, too.

This week, I’ve offered my home to a dear friend who was staring evacuation in the eye. I smelt smoke and been thankful that the fires aren’t near me – all the time worrying for people I care about who were closer to the fires than they should be. I’ve wondered about the sanity of people who want to go looking at the fires, just to see how big they are. I’ve questioned humanity, that we even need to consider that someone could have possibly done this on purpose.

It feels ridiculous to be telling you that I faced my own fears this week, and went to the dentist. It was when my flatmate drove me back to the dentist, clutching an icepack to my face with one hand and cupping the blood that was pouring out of my mouth with the other that I began to realise there might be a problem. It was when I heard the receptionist mentioning hospital that I lost my shit and panicked. I ran. Ran for the lift, punched every button on the screen, leaped inside as the doors opened and then waited, sobbing, wondering what on earth I was going to do when the lift reached the ground floor.

Now look. I never claimed to be a big brave bear. I have no problem with running and hiding when required. Because chances are, we all have something that makes us want to run and hide. For me, it’s the dentist. The dentist, and frogs.

One more story for you, before I say goodnight.

There’s this section of road kind of near me, and for some reason there is ALWAYS surveyors there. Now, I’ve been driving through this bit of road for the past 7 years, and over time I’d developed this whole story about why there were always surveyors there. Subsidence issues, or aftershocks that have continued from the Newcastle earthquake or the massive flooding of 2007. That because this particular patch of road was just near the TAFE, students had been assigned the task of tracking how the geographical landscape has continued to alter. Newcastle is, after all, steeped in history.


None of that.

It’s just a bunch of TAFE students learning how to do surveying.

You can wackle all you wanna, you can wackle while I walk away!

You can wackle all you wanna, you can wackle while I walk away, away, away!


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