Travelling with The Gillian
Like any writer waiting on the tarmac I was trying to think of ways to monetise my self-loathing. I had climbed into the steel tube of the airbus and buckled in for our return Japan trip; the one I paid for with the redundancy. I had disappeared. I was like a failed boy band or an ex-prime minister (didn’t Malcolm recently call them ghosts?) and I was feeling pretty good about myself due to the Benzodiazepines I was taking for the nervous breakdown so it was probably all for the best.
I just sat there getting drunk on life and drugs and thinking how Sting wrote a song about this once called They Dance Alone which is about the disappeared in Chile and not about tantric sex if you take ‘dance’ as a metaphor which I don’t.
As it was, the Benzos had me feeling more Abba than Sting, especially the Pierce Brosnan rendition of Dancing Queen in Mamma Mia!
I was getting stoned and on my fifth viewing of Deadpool 2 (5 stars!) so I turn to the well-dressed White Male who was anxiously adjusting himself while flicking through the expensive watch selection in a Duty Free catalogue.
I ask if he could be Colin Firth to my Pierce Brosnan but he tells me to f–k off.
I’m thinking you get all sorts on a plane and didn’t somebody once say that a passenger jet is like a democracy and they were right, what with the alcohol, the drug-taking, the sex and the virtue-signalling it is just like the Weimar Republic 1928 – the Liza Minnelli years. But then I thought maybe it’s more like 1918 Russia and if there was a crash the rich bastards seated at the front would all be killed first –Romanov style.
But what was really bugging me was The Gillian Triggs in business class. It wasn’t the medication though it may have been the paranoia but she was sitting in the front when I climbed onboard. I was in the back (72G) so I didn’t think about it much at first. Though I did wonder why she was slumming it with this cheap budget airline given she would never go to Koo-Wee-Rup.
I was getting agitated and then the beautiful air stewardess asked me to switch to flight mode and I said:
‘I’m already with you, brother.’
As it happened I was thinking of Crown Casino when I opened the complimentary paper she handed me along with the hot towel, the scotch and her charm and I read the exclusive about how James Packer has been hanging out in Los Angeles with Warren Beatty and suffering depression and this made me feel slightly better because sometimes my rich friends depress me too.
I’m thinking how even someone as powerful as James Packer could be having delusions about knowing Warren Beatty though personally I would rather go with the circa-1970s Shampoo version rather than this old guy with the Choose Life baseball cap.
Maybe it was the paranoid side effects of the Benzos – a strange drug that like accountancy talks you into thinking you are better than you are – but The Gillian thing wouldn’t go away. What if she overheard me down the back of the plane with the poor people when I was abusing the flight staff for putting too much ice in the beer?
So I put the meal tray up, pushed back and plugged the headphones on. I wanted to stick it to The Gillian without her even knowing what I was doing. I started with Freedom of Choice by flowerpot heads Devo:
‘Freedom of choice is what you got. Freedom from choice is what you want’
‘Take that Gilligan’, I slurred in the special drunk section of my brain that I keep for special occasions.
Then I put on California Girls – but not the original Beach Boys where everyone sounds like their personalities aren’t really into it. No this was the David Lee Roth take with the ripped jeans and chaps and the unfortunate promotional video with the Confederate flag and the stereotyped confused foreign tourists where he sounds like Brett Kavanaugh after everyone has finished verballing him.
Then I wanted to put on some U2 and that Bono song about his erection or even the latest George Clooney movie about George Clooney’s human dignity but apparently writers’ fiddling with themselves in economy is now frowned upon which is why we all take up smoking.
At Tullamarine I was pretty wasted. My emotions were under control but my auto-immune system had collapsed so it was a win-win. Mainly I’m thinking I really need to tweet about this because that’s what we modern journalists do at 3am.
At the baggage carousel The Gillian was standing beside me as we both waited impatiently for the luggage to be spat out by some unionised sucker who has no idea about The Gillian and her good works.
So I get home and pay the 150 bucks to the cab driver. I tell him I’m a writer and he gives me 50 back.
One of the best things about coming back from a trip is to catch up with what has happened but I was hungover as the happy Benzos part of my brain was wrestling with the unhappy alcohol part of the brain over which one would control the remote.
That night I finally got to enjoy the AFL Grand Final and the excitement of those five unchallenged goals that took Collingwood to a 30 point lead and victory in the final quarter until I realised the recording was on rewind.
Next morning I realise there’s a reason everyone calls Melbourne the land of the free – its because its an election soon and everyone is giving away free stuff. I’ve returned to the campaign and both Dan Andrews and Matthew Guy are offering to spend billions on infrastructure. It’s like Dr Evil in Austin Powers – ‘did I say millions, I mean billions’.
Maybe next time they will pay to move me to the front of the jet away from the alcoholics, the masturbators and the rest of the means of production.
If The Gillian will move her laptop and handbag off the seat beside her.
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