I like my ex-boyfriends. Mostly because I’m only attracted to interesting, intelligent people who don’t hold grudges. Also because I am an interesting, intelligent person who doesn’t hold grudges.
One of my exes is now good friends with my brother, and has also run into CJ at work (which pleases all of us). This ex and I rarely see each other, because something about our complementary flaws makes us both depressed if we see too much of each other – but we always wish each other well and enjoy hearing positive goss about each other.
Also, he’s Koori. You wouldn’t know it to look at him, so for him the main benefit is that he can get into an argument about Koori issues and then spring his Koori status on his opponent just as they think they’re getting somewhere (I may have mentioned I like people who are – and I quote – “interesting”). Also, he’s allowed to eat certain endangered animals – and in the Northern Territory, he can legally ride without a seatbelt.
And so it was that I picked up the phone to call an ex-boyfriend I haven’t seen or spoken to in years – waking him up in the process – and asked, “Do you know what nation you’re from?”
He told me his Koori side is from the Canberra area, which I informed him was no use to me at all. But he happens to know someone who’s Koori and from Victoria – and into speculative fiction. So he gave us both each others’ email addresses, which gives me a brilliant place to start on my place-specific information and permission.
We talked for a while about various things (mutual friends having babies, rather gory traditional funeral rites – you know, the usual) and then he went back to sleep.
Man, I have excellent taste in guys.
Later in the day CJ and I went to the National Library (I badly wanted to read “Triumph of the Nomads” by Geoffrey Blainey and “The Mish” by Robert Lowe – who many will know as the awesome Aussie footballer who also happens to be a Victorian Koori). Every book that’s ever been published in Australia is available at the National Library, so it’s a brilliant resource for obscure bits and pieces (and/or books that are out of print). Here it is:
Naturally I was distracted and spent a big chunk of time looking at books on pepperbox revolvers, the Eureka flag’s peculiar journey, women of the Ballarat goldfields, and convict ships.
“The Mish” (short for “The Mission Base” – where he grew up) was a fun and fascinating book that saw the funny side of poverty and racism and the author’s many childhood accidents.
Here’s a chunk of the book that made me laugh in a manner that isn’t considered appropriate in a library (if you are Koori, be advised that he mentions a deceased Koori by name):
Thanks to the mother’s broom and the father’s plough (he ploughed severely all around the house, making a muddy moat the government men weren’t able to get their equipment through), the house was saved.
The Mish now belongs to the people living there.
And here, because I can, is the pretty view out my window that greets me each Autumn: