As we went warp factor two and I met all of the crew – 8th November 1994

Look in through my eyes. A story. A true story.

We ran down the hall to the front door, laughing and giggling. She collapsed in a ragged heap on her knees and hung like a floppy doll. I caught her and put my arms round her and she giggled some more. She looked up at me, our faces upside down to each other, and pushed the t shirt that she was holding in her tiny smooth hands into my face and once again giggled.

‘Where’s Gabrie gone’?’ I sputtered into the shirt in my half blindness. She laughed and took the shirt away and her face, still upside down, but closer, radiated happiness through her soft red cheeks, her lightly blond hair cushioning her beauty like a halo.

She looked up and into my eyes and fixed her stare, drilling into me. I was mesmerised and saw the pretty fractal patterns in her steely grey blue irises. For five long seconds, that lasted five long minutes, when the world stopped around us, we were both transfixed with not a blink, a flicker or even a thought until within a split second of each other we both fell about in a giggling heap and then we were off again, up and down the hall. Me and Gabrie.

Gabrielle is five years old, a real cute kid and as her name suggests, very angelic. She will, I’m sure break many hearts when she is older. She’s C_ and P_’s only daughter. C_ being the eldest of the Smith generation that Broni belongs to. Gabrie has four brothers and the story happened at their house. It was a weird feeling looking into those young child eyes, I wondered what was going through her head and I wondered what was going through mine.

It reminds me now of those episodes of Star Trek where Captain Kirk or Doctor McCoy would come across some human shaped aliens on some remote planet and they would say ‘no, no, don’t look into their eyes, they’ve got you if you look into their eyes!’

So, we ended up at their house like this. On Saturday we went to Libby’s and Doug’s, taking with us a spinach quiche and two bottles of champagne, as we always get well fed there we thought it only fair we bring some of our own. After they put little Reg and tall Gough to bed we set about eating, drinking, smoking and playing the night away, playing fun party games like we played in England at Chrissy’s place. At about half two and ten beers later we all collapsed to sleep.

Of course, just like at Chrissy’s, the kids woke us up early and jumped all over our hangovers. Very slowly we woke up, and woke up and woke up some more and then me and Bonz headed into Hyde Park where we watched the fountain water get swirled and thrown about by the high winds, which would later turn into gale force conditions causing much damage from Tasmania to Brisbane, which is a hell of a long way.

We knew C_and P_ would be in St. Mary’s church watching their second son, Michael singing in the choir. So, with about fifteen minutes of the service to go we walked over and round the side of this big old building, which lends itself to the old architecture that St. Pauls was designed by (not being big on architectural history you understand), in the side door where the ceiling rose into a cavernous gloom despite the odd floodlight here and there. It was indeed a very beautiful place and I wondered whether people felt closer to god the bigger the building they were in? Heavenly voices echoed around the room (is it called a room, it sounds too ordinary for the size and manner of this interior) coming from somewhere behind the altar (not big on church lay out either as you can tell!) where a choir in red and white robes stood, though we were too far away in this stadium (yes that’s a good word!) to see their mouths moving, the song they were singing was very beautiful and understated, a bit like a sighing Gregorian chant and well suited to these surroundings but not like a typical hymn idea which would’ve turned me off right away.

Broni laughed at the robes saying Michael probably had a t-shirt and beach shorts on underneath them and something that I have noticed here is a different kind of attitude in general by all the people living here but two things that centre around the church particularly highlight this.

First is something Broni said happened at her church when she was growing up was that they had a sweepstake for the Melbourne Cup horse racing (big event when all Australia stops to watch) which I couldn’t quite get to grips with the church okaying gambling, the second was just a small thing was that some kid in St. Mary’s that day was wearing a Dead Kennedys t-shirt which was a contrast of statements. So I guess it just means people are a bit more relaxed attitude wise, which is cool by me.

P_ was there with all the kids and this was my first encounter with little Gabrie as I carried her back to the car, she very politely told me she didn’t like my hat to which I promised to do something about! P_ offered us a lift to their house which was halfway to our goal of Ch_’s up on the Central Coast. And on the way they decided that they’d take us all the way and go and see Ch_ too.

So, we stopped off at their house (C_ had just gone to Indonesia the day before) and had some lunch before Space Cruising through the gale force winds up the coast. And at Ch_’s we had fun like you have to have fun when there’s six kids running round the house, Joel, Ch_’s son making up the six.

After doing that all day and my hangover getting worse and worse I opted for an early night after everyone left but instead of going to sleep i got engrossed in a book which kept me up far too long and then when Broni came to bed too we talked for about an hour like we would when we were lovers in our first few weeks, so joyed we were to be with each other that we often only slept for two or three hours a night, and though I don’t recall any of the conversation it was very important at the time. (each day we love each other a little bit more).

Photo credit: Neil Willsey

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