By Minnie Dunn
Melbourne began to show me some of its colour. Down at The Tote girls sat legs spread, fondling the shoots of their newly harvested underarm hair, unmoved by the virginal tradition of wax or husbands. Cycling was no longer a trend, rather a style of life that preserved a teenage waistline and thigh gap, Chet Faker was a thing and then quickly wasn’t, and I was dating a law student, Amanda. At least I think she was a law student… I think her name was Amanda. Either way, she kissed on the defense and with lips in possession of considerable elasticity; like an old, old rubber band but this isn’t about her. (And it never was). In 2015 Melbourne began to show me some of its colour and then I met Nina.
She had moved from God-knows-where in pursuit of her own watermark of Wiccan academia. I was a baby queer at the time - meaning although I had only just started eating pussy I enjoyed it immensely – and when Nina caught wind of my sexual advancement, she found my bedroom door and came in without knocking.
Here’s what I remember about my time with Nina: long days in a hot car crooning, her wide smile and lop-sided eyebrows (the kind of brow that Natalie Portman makes when she cries), quick and nautical sexual escapades in the back of an Uber, too much Baz Luhrman (she might have been a dyke but no one is immune to Dicaprio), trimming fringes in the dark, finger rimming in the dark, taking out my wallet, stomping grapes in the bathtub, holding hands, Lentil As Anything, sweaty trams, sore tongues, and taking out my wallet.
After a few months, I wrote on a pizza box, ‘I am big now and stronger than when you found me.’ I might have been too stoned to open both eyes at once, but even then, I knew I was lying. And living a lie is comparable to living above your life, looking down on it like a screen, observing the protagonist capering from one affectatious attempt of feeling to the next.
When she placed the graffitied pizza box on the wall I saw that she loved me. And every time I walked past the parchment on the way to the bathroom, my breasts sagged a little lower, like two shoulder angels of legend, depicting the inner conflict of my character, yet both mutually resentful in my resistance to love, so I dragged them with me.
Next, I did what any normal loser would do and ignored Nina for three days. She grew upset and I could feel it through the tramlines that connected our two houses. Her emotions bored me in the time it took me to decide to break it off.
Just a week later I received news that she and her two housemates (both once very close friends of mine) had all been sleeping together, behind each other’s backs, and mine.
I remember the afternoon; drinking white wine with my anti-monogamy father who geared me up with the ‘liberation of autonomy’ speech that only a few Samanthas of your friendship group are prepared to give. Then I stumbled over to Nina’s cottage to burn the witch. I felt like I was going to murder her.
I stalked her down the hallway and into her dull-lit bedroom with the focused eyes of a wolf and shot her. But she dodged the bullet and it ricocheted off the bed-board, landing at the entrance of my vacuous pinhole of a chest muscle.
What soap dish: how I maybe never loved her but how it feels now as if I had, because the pain of my jealousy outweighs the skip I once had in my step; leaving that house drunk on white wine, breasts flailing with joy in the air as I ran.
This was not the colour I had first encountered with the law student, whatever the fuck her name was. This was not the feminist blogs, soft-top trash cars or Thursgay. This was venom that expelled itself every time my disloyal thoughts would go back to imagining Nina trumped on the chest of my ex-friend. (He lay there victoriously with his little ant nipples that glisten in the morning light while they sip vodka screwdrivers and discuss Bach.)
Men. No wait - humans. Fucking humans.
While they lay there friendless and nude in the burnished reveries of my mind I ride the conviction that I am better off without her. How many times before me that conviction’s been ridden. I decide that Nina will always have a lover. She will always have a homebody, a carcass to clean, a dick to suck. But I’m not romantic like that. I do not need affection to validate the power of my spells.
When I look back on this platitudinous life, I must know that I could have done it on my own. To be able to do it on my own means more to me than the need for love.
Three people have felt lust’s pinnacle thump and it’s neanderthalic release.
Bang two rocks together to make a terrific sound and erratic spark.
Bang two women and you will create a deathly fire that parades itself, if only after dark.
(PS if you’re reading this Nina please take me back)