retro valentines


Did you know that every thirteen minutes a relationship in Australia ends? Statistics tell us that only 5% of these relationships will end cleanly. The majority will haemorrhage into heaving silence with one staring into space and the other in tears. Sentences will get said: “I don’t know what I feel any more. I just don’t think I can give to this relationship.” The carcass of trust shall hang from necks. There will be gazes from the doorway. Beautiful creatures in knee high socks and soft cotton dresses sprawled on the bed, faces buried in pillows. Nervous men out of scripts and drawing on movie memories. Walk out the door. Just walk out that door. There’s no turning back. We’re past the point of no return.

Having done a snap-survey of my friends I’ve concluded that for those of us that are single, it’s not easy. We’re all nursing a photo album of bruises in our hearts. We’re all staring longingly into the suburban sunset, waiting for the smooth arms of a perfect match to cradle us through this spiritual recession. We have so much to give and we feel like we are going to waste. We sit on public transport retina scanning from afar, while love songs poke us like senseless siblings. We glance at stockinged legs wondering if now’s the time to stand up, ride the bumps like a fate surfer and wander over with business cards in hand and a ‘hey…you seem really…nice…let me know if you want a coffee sometime…’ before thrusting our little rectangle mangle of a lifeforce into the clenched hand of the long-haired lovely, nursing shopping and a good book – innocent royalty in this fraction of a possibility.

How can we meet new people? Us loners. Us washed up lovers. How can we tune into the frequencies of those who would hold our arm as we picked out videos. Who would add a ‘kiss me’ to our things to do lists and watch the ground for us as we text-walked? What combination of words and actions could unlock the vault of chance that would lead us to a universe of warmth beneath covers and the body lock of sweetheart sweat – the autumn-fall of thoughts leading to the timeless utterance ‘I’m so glad I found you.’

How can we find those we’d be so glad we found?

We go to gigs, parties, we flick about on Facebook. Everyone looks occupied and unattainable. The beautiful people have their friends, their drinks in hand, they don’t need us and our overthought desperation. We over thought it already. Our sentences are like highschool clay, all fingerprints and lumpy joins. What could we possibly offer? We are on the outside of the painting looking in. Colours are creamy and expressions are effortless. It’s a dream in there. How could we approach? We are covered in shadows.

Within a typical day the average single person will create over 186 conflicting thoughts about love. They may tell themselves things like ‘this is a good time to be single’ within the same stanza as ‘I’m horny, everything’s fucked.’ This is normal, and is reflective of the human experience. We are wise-cracking muddles all wrapped up tight in string, like Kris Kringles waiting to be given to the right person. We are store-bought bundles of poetic observations, clever humour and kisses. Oh dear God we are good kissers. Did we mention this? Upon the well-timed mouth we’ll make you forget every insult you’ve ever been given. We’ll take you up in a hot air balloon and land you in a forest of flowers, make you biscuits of the ripest honey and read you the funniest and saddest story, in voices soft as rain.

You just have to find us.
We just have to find you.

love coaster

First published Frankie 2011. 

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Hey Glassholes!

Glasses prescriptionWhen I was four I must have bumped into the fridge one too many times as Mum rushed me to the local optometrist. One of my earliest memories is liking the touch of his hands on my face as he fitted my first pair of frames. I was severely short sighted, and as the years went on the lenses only got thicker. As a lifelong member of Four Eyes United (we’re taking the term back), I can tell you it’s a proud society, whose members know the sacrifices they’ve made to earn the ‘square flair’ they enjoy today. Recently there’s been a battle for membership, and I’m championing to keep it exclusively to those who have been diagnosed with Visual Aids.

Long before geek chic there was just geek. In high school I had a bowl cut and Napolean Dynamite wire frames with heavy glass lenses earning me the name Coke Bottles. Instead of being picked on, I was studied with awe and my ticket through school was letting the tough kids try on my specs. “Fuck they’re thick!” they’d exclaim, staggering about. “Oh man, it’s like I’m stoned!” In Grade Nine I upgraded to plastic lenses and while much lighter, I was dismayed that they’d grown even thicker. Throw in some poor posture and I was pretty much a young Professor Farnsworth from Futurama. I enjoyed three years without a skerrick of interest from the opposite sex.

Justin_HighSchool_MG_2075-whitborderBeing a surf club nipper I had prescription goggles. These stuck out because of the magnification and my rivals called me Blowfly. Before that I just used to wear my glasses in the sea tied up with underpants elastic. I can remember games of football being paused while I pawed around in the mud looking for my grizzled frames. In Grade Ten I upgraded to contacts and enjoyed improved vision and handsomeness, but they brought with them a new set of teary problems. Drunken sleepovers would end with me sloshing kettle water over two bottle tops and footy games had to be called off altogether while my team crawled around on all fours. One of the pleasures of the Four Eyes United is bumping into a fellow myope and sharing such war stories.

These days trying to pick genuine bifocal folk is like Harrison Ford trying to pick the replicants in Blade Runner. Fauxhemians have gatecrashed the party, bringing an eyesore of obnoxiously oversized frames that are so fad based they don’t even bother with lenses. If only they were doing it out of empathy, like classmates who shave their heads for a cancer victim, but no, this is surely one of fashion’s most hollow attempts to cash in on a subculture who have endured years of obscurity to cultivate their own grass roots cool. Seriously hipsters – as chairman of the F.E.U. I’m sending a message:


Specs have always been part of the ‘hot librarian’ ensemble, but let us not forget they are also pieces of equipment worn by the visually impaired. How would fashion feel about getting ironic with other medical necessities. How about wearing designer orthopaedic shoes to your next warehouse party, or carrying a glow in the dark walking stick at music festivals. Braces bling? Vintage print sling? Fixed gear wheelchairs? Man, if Darwin Deez can make a brown skivvy and government issue frames cool then surely there’s no limit to the shallow appropriation of daggy doodads.

Some glasses make you look smarter, some glasses make you look like a pedophile –  The Beautiful People™ wear them for both these reasons. As a lifetime spectacles wearer, I’m offended at the idea of them being used ironically or aesthetically. When so much of my indie taste has already been commodified, must another of my ‘favourite bands’ sell-out? Listen up glassholes – you and your fashion cronies just back away from our optometric territory or feel the wrath of our cleaning spray in your face. There’s only one way to join the F.E.U. and that’s by taking an eye test. See how far you get down these letters:



A  K


E   R   S

First published Frankie 2011.