A few years ago I moved to Wellington. I knew no one, and, I was a scrub. I’d worked in retail for a year on $11 an hour after finishing uni. I hated it, hated my life and most of the people I came in contact with. I needed to be happy with myself again. So when I was offered the opportunity to begin a career as a journalist, even if it did mean leaving Auckland and friends, family and the boyfriend for a year, I was up for it. In fact, I needed it.
But like I said, I was a scrub. I didn’t own anything, not even my own bed. Worse than that, I didn’t own a computer. It wasn’t until I no longer had one at my fingertips that I realised just how much of my communication with friends revolved around computers. Still, I’ll take loneliness and boredom over a lack of self worth any day. I preferred a city of strangers over familiarity as long as I could feel like I was doing something with my life.
I actually really enjoyed Wellington, but it was still tough. I mourned the death of one of my closest friends, and some other things went on that year which would catch up with me later. But there were a few things that brightened my days. Most importantly my flatmates, the Aro Street crew. At first friends of a friend, they became my friends, and really good ones at that. There was Fidels. The flat tradition of a late-afternoon hung-over brunch, hash browns, eggs, tomatoes and lots of coffee. And Jeff Buckley. Manaaki lent me his Grace album to play on one of the few things I did own – a shitty hand me down stereo, which required heavy books placed on top of the CD lid to keep it closed. I soon bought my own copy. Long story short, some of the best breakup songs ever written found their way into my life exactly when I needed them.
This is our last goodbye
I hate to feel the love between us die.
But it’s over
Just hear this and then I’ll go:
You gave me more to live for,
More than you’ll ever know.
Too young to hold on
And too old to just break free and run
Sometimes a man gets carried away,
When he feels like he should be having his fun
Much too blind to see the damage he’s done
Sometimes a man must awake to find that, really,
He has no-one…