Written by Patrick John Julian
A familiar knock on the window gains my attention followed by a ‘open up you dirty boy'. I open the front door and Callen barges into my room with his annoyingly boyish stride.
he says as he collapses on my desk chair.
"Ash got a late period... thought I was in trouble for a second."
I shake my head as he yells -
"You are not the father!"
to himself in a Dr. Phil voice.
I continue shaking my head.
"You’re as dumb as they come."
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I pull over out the front of his house. Callen leans over from the passenger seat and uncontrollably shakes and cries on my shoulder after finding out the news that someone in his year had died in a car crash just after graduation.
✦ ✦ ✦
We stand at the front left at the Howler in Brunswick when Laroi comes out and starts to sing my favourite of his.
The crowd is dead compared to the pair of us. We nod our heads to the beat, swing our arms enthusiastically and see if the other can handle it. We sing along to -
"My whole life is changing; all these people I don't know saying they made me."
When the song is done, the Kid gestures to us and gives us a shout out. He shakes our hands and then leads into the next song. We continue to give it our all, especially Callen. He’s fucking loving it. Knows every single word.
Laroi brings him up –
"Where you from?"
"Yeah, where in Melbourne?"
There’s a ‘ooohh’ from the crowd for that one.
They dance and sing together for the last one. For someone who’s sober, Callen is killing it up there.
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Everything is spinning – My thoughts aren’t falling onto anything concrete to understand – Time is stretching.
His face appears from behind the decks and says – "Surely we’re watching a Seth Rogen movie tonight?"
✦ ✦ ✦
‘You never see kids on streets anymore',
We were smoking on his balcony at his new place in North Melbourne above an uneventful laneway.
‘Like. When we were kids right, we were always out on the streets. You know, like on our bikes, skateboards whatever it was'.
He took a puff and exhaled with the smoke dancing out of his mouth, swirling around in the air then fading. He dropped the cigarette down by his hip like it was a lightsaber or something.
‘There would be hundreds of kids hanging out on the streets like after school or on the weekends, out the front of someone’s house or at the milk bar, I don’t know. Point is. Kids are never on the streets anymore'.
I was only half listening because it was too busy noticing that he smoked so much cooler than me.
‘Too busy on Tik Tok and all that. It’s a shame'.
He throws the butt in a Slurpee cup on the floor.
‘Should we get going then?’
‘Yeah, let’s do it’.