First encountered ‘Heartly Breathing’ on the #86, out the corner of my eye and noted his tasty leather satchel that so finely complemented his old school gent dandy weave which was understated by his unkempt hair. This indicated to me a civil manner with undertones of rebellion and debauchery. He was my ‘Dorian Grey’ and I imagined him as an ageless and impenetrable fortress as my object of tram desire. ‘Heartly Breathing’ was like a bower bird presenting me with flashy blue jewels and it was like he had completed a masters in my subjective aesthetic preferences. I was unsure whether I was being a little fanciful, imagining the little cheeky conversation we were sharing with our eyes until I caught a glimpse of my chair-buddy rich soil friend Spencer rolling his eyes in disgust at my flirty birdy courtship dance with ‘Heartly Breathing’.
In that only too protective, endearing and slightly patronising manner Spencer’s body-language indicated to me that he did not share my enthusiasm for my man of footwear finery, who, at this point I must stress, possessed the most curious wolverine eyebrows provoking such an unchaste and wily primal magnetism in my loins. Spencer gave me that concerned nudge and I could read ‘This, my dear, is but a wolf in sheeps clothing’ in his deliberately warning face. He sighed…defeated… knowing all too well that when in such a delirious state of lust, one disregards all attempts of our loved ones to burst our bubbles with painful rationale. He could sense I was beginning to despise his righteousness and that I could already anticipate his lack of sympathy when my little flight of fancy falls arse over tit in realism.
‘Heartly Breathing’ didn’t do himself any favours, losing more points when he interrupted our conversation babbling something about uncouth buskers he had
encountered in his oh so hip residency in Berlin. I found his desperate attempt to earn brownie points by appearing cultured and attentive absolutely adorable even though deep down I was only too aware that ‘Heartly Breathing’ was just another Fitzroyalty twat… and there was something soooooo, soooooo attractive and unsettling about Fitz-twat that distracted me for what may have morbidly been a period of months.
I bumped into and coincidentally bumped uglies with ‘Heartly Breathing’ on a chance meeting at the infamous last-chance-dance that is ACDC Lane’s ‘Cherry’. I can recall our romantic odes to each other regaling our mutual tram fixation, having a footloose dance and then heading back to 116 in a cab for a bit of the ole’ randy. All delusions of grandiour shatter on the removal of our cloth finery as ‘Heartly Breathing’ bears his narcissism in the form of a tattoo, quite considerate of him really. No shit, his tattoo is of a giant winged heart stretching across his torso that showcases none other than his ‘own’ name. I am embarrassed and horrified but strangely horny so I try and fetishise such a strange phenomenon, reminding myself that I too like reflective surfaces and… after all, he is my ‘Dorian’.
It gets only more awkward and baffling from here – to summarise, there is grunting, hair-pulling, lip-biting, topped off with an attempt at strangulation – at which point – I interrupt to express my confusion and lack of consent. Thankfully, ‘Heartly Breathing’ is surprisingly obliging, he shrugs his shoulders and rolls over to sulk and eventually sleep. We awake in the morning as if nothing absurd has occurred and go out into the civil world of champagne socialism for a trendy coffee and a lad-dee-dah conversation about antiquities and modern architecture. We exchange numbers in that polite way where you both know you won’t ever go out of your way to make contact but will probably obligingly say hi in the street…and of course…’that’s Melbourne’…we have!