after the parade


I’ve lived here for 20 years now and it happened by chance. I never meant to live here, I didn’t want to live here.

Driving back from dropping the little one in the city today I realised, I haven’t embraced my environment in all that time. We live in the hub of city life. Turn your head that way there’s the redlight district, any drug that exists, the crime bosses. Look back over your shoulder and there’s a homeless guy on every corner. Keep going straight along this parade route and it’s lined with the most unusual of the LGBT spectrum. Do these sections of community coexist so closely in all cities?

Sometimes I can see the colour and excitement, others the black dog and side show alley and it scares and saddens me. Even on the sunniest day.

Last weekend colour was everywhere. Music. Celebration. My cousin marched for the first time. There’s a lot of gay in my family. It’s the confused ones I worry about. I wish an easy life for everyone – I know I’m naïve.

Today it was just dirty and seedy. The green ‘walk’ pedestrian wave dumped hospital workers in scrubs; a large bouncer all dressed in black; a couple of walking wounded, eyes glazed, struggling to lift one leg after the other going not even they know where; and a pair of beyond middle age tourists onto the road, in front of my car. It’ll be the same next time the lights change.

No one’s cheering on Oxford St today.

Same street, keep driving, the designer labels and coffee shops welcome you to the edge of wealthy town. Where’s the line (is it a specific set of traffic lights?) that says ‘if you don’t know where you fit in life turn back, you fit back here; if you like to lunch and shop or watch those that do you’re almost there’?

Could everyone on that side of the line please come over to this side for one day and see just how much they could help. There’s a beautiful long street of diversity crying out for everyday colour. Time to get involved.



26 thoughts on “after the parade

  1. Having lived in the heart of the city I can totally relate 😉

  2. Well done! I didn’t know you weren’t from Oz? I just thought you were born there.

  3. Annie I remember it too, I was an inner city chick living in Newtown, oh how you paint the aftermath well. The sights you see before, during and after Mardi Gras are from one end of the glittering, shimmering spectrum to the sobering dawn, and cinderella don’t look so hot the next day after such a party and only one heel.

  4. My city is much the same. *Sigh.*

  5. I am not a good city person–its almost a social and cultural overload zone for me. My heart is racing a bit thinking of it…

  6. I don’t live in a city, but I often find myself driving in them (my son lives in Boston) and I’ve thought the same thing as I navigate a long street. That line is a curious thing to me. And sad. But the divide has been with us almost forever, it seems. It often makes me think of the film, “The Gods Must be Crazy.” Is it really all for the want of “things”?

  7. amazing imagery you’ve created here – powerful word pictures! I love this, so thought-provoking!
    Diana xo

  8. Thank you for caring enough to post this

  9. So sad and true! This day marks the second time of me being a page boy aged nine, the start of a life defining period that would last for eight years until I was brave enough to go my own way.


  10. Your post resonates with the need for heightened awareness. But is it this or the sheer drudgery of going through one more day as it occurs to many folks? If the latter is the reason, what could be done to shift that perspective? I believe that is the only way to have folks to cross from their side to the other.


  11. This reminds me of the time I accidentally took a trip to New Orleans during Mardi Gras. I’ve never seen such a beautiful city get so trashed!

    • Thanks for reading and commenting Walt.

      Yes, the parade route and environs is a sad state the day after…the city workers are pretty quick to sort it out though. In general a lot of that area is depressing anyway 😦

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