It was a night of lengthening shadow…

July 9, 2008 at 4:46 am (Uncategorized)

Still in rewind mode, I thought I’d tell you about Friday night. It seems I’m always the last to know; everyone else has apparently been going to the old Fitzroy Hotel for years, everyone knows all about the laksas, everyone’s been supporting independent theatre for as long as they can remember, especially at the Old Fitz, which they just love. Well, somehow i just never got that bulletin. But thanks to our friends Sophie and Rupert, I have finally been introduced to this fine establishment, one of the last bastions of proper pubdom left in Sydney. What a relief.

And actually it was a genuine relief making it safely through their back entrance. It was dark, I was alone, and walking to the pub via the Cross was quite interesting once I left William St. One of my friends described it today as a ‘tucked away’ corner… that’s one way of putting it. As I nervously slunk past dero square and smackie alley and all but broke into a sweaty trot crossing the dark, lonely underpass, all I could think was “Oh, so this is where the snot-caked drooling mugger lunges at me with a syringe.”

Scary, scary little walk to the pub. I’m getting pretty soft in my old age. I have a minimal risk policy running at the moment that makes me feel like I’ve really lost my edge (no wonder I didn’t know about the Old Fitz – it was all-you-can-eat trifle night in the nursing home!). I used to fearlessly take on those dark alleys like a Wonder Twin, strutting right past the dodgy freaks in a straight, undaunted line instead of the wide, wide arc I give them now. I don’t mind stepping in dog shit if it means I don’t have to pass nearby a man whose hands I can’t see. And what are the rules regarding eye contact, anyway? Is it aggressive to look, or is it inciting the madmen to riot if you don’t meet their haunted gaze? I never know. And do you know what that makes me do? It makes me hesitate, goddamnit, and hesitation kills.

I made it, though, entirely unmolested. I didn’t even get tooted by somebody’s horn. But rather than thinking that’s probably because people are at heart basically good, and that even those poor unfortunates who live in burnt-out car carcasses really do know how to behave, I think it’s probably another sign of age. Specifically mine. I’m probably skidding toward that age group where women become invisible, and not in that cool, “Form-of-an-ice-sculpture!” superhero kind of way. Nope, in that compulsory short hair, long skirt kind of way. You know the one. Who doesn’t look at the propped up bar lush with jangling bangles, gypsy skirt and dyed, aubergine-coloured hair down to her bum and think “Get a haircut, old bag.” Don’t lie. Something happens to our knees at a certain point, too… and that’s when short skirts are officially over and out. Am I there yet? Probably not quite… but then again, that could just be denial.

Anyway, we saw a funny little take on terror in the age of celebrity on Friday night. It was a clever play, it had a great cast, some of whom are recent NIDA graduates, and one of the best ‘drunk guys’ I’ve ever seen in any medium. Good luck to them. We were part of a full house. It was called Poster Girl, and whilst it was the first play I’ve taken in at the Old Fitzroy, it shall not be my last! And at $35 for a ticket, laksa, and beer, I ask you: what more could you possibly want? (except perhaps an escort to the door…)



  1. Rupert said,

    Next time Di you can come from the City with Llew and I…though its not much safer than the Kings Cross route.

    It needs its only little Green Zone, but perhaps that would push the prices up, like in Bahgdad.

  2. Tim said,

    Wow – first time at the Old Fitz? I find that extremely difficult to believe. There is definitely something intensely satisfying about the play/beer/laksa trifecta – we will have to go there one day soon-ish.

  3. doctordi said,

    Thanks, Rupert – although there was something a bit thrilling about making it on my own!

    Yes, Tim, I know, I know, I know, blah blah blah, you and everyone else laid the bloody foundation stone. (would love to)

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