Earlier this year I was having a personal crisis one afternoon. My older sister was driving me to her house while I was in a very emotional state and she was concerned about both the larger issues and the shade of green I was quickly turning. Between sobs I told her I wasn’t feeling great, and as she pulled to a stop outside her house, I opened the door, lent out and threw up in the gutter. The only thing I’d ingested in the previous 12 hours was Red Bull, and I looked down at the yellow fizzing mess in on the road and a strange sense of calm came over me. Things could not get any worse than this. I had reached the bottom, the only way was up.
I was wrong.
My dad called, ‘You’ll make it through this, kiddo. Just roll with the punches for a little bit longer. We’re here for you. Now, I hear you have some kind of hip-hop gig to go to, I think you should still go. Go out, dance, have fun.’.
Although I’d spent most of the afternoon prone on a huge beanbag, I sat up with a jolt. ‘I am going to go to the gig, Dad. It’s Atmosphere. They’re the last band on my ‘Must see before I die’ list. I love them.’.
I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to eat, or dress myself, or wash, or go outside, or smile, or watch blooper reels, or look at puppies romping with kittens in fields of clover, but I would go and see Atmosphere if it was the last thing I did.
My younger sister also had a ticket and so to the HiFi Bar we went and lined up for our pat down. I’d decided to stay at her house that night, so I had a pretty big bag with me and as security approached, I lifted my pyjamas out so I could show them that I wasn’t carrying any weapons, or tagging gear, or alcohol, just a stockpile of tissues and comfort food.
‘That’s a huge bag!’ the security guard snorted.
‘Yeah, I’m staying at my sister’s place tonight’ I replied, wishing I had some Red Bull left to vomit at him.
‘Yeah … I can tell. Um. You’ve … dropped something.’.
He and Steph started snickering.
I pride myself on owning very ugly underwear. I’m not ashamed of doing so, but on the very odd occasion when I feel like maybe my lady bits would like to dress up a bit, I have one lacy pair and there they were, lying at the feet of the security guard.
‘ … THOSE ARE MY UNDERPANTS!’ I announced unnecessarily to the rest of the line of eager Atmosphere fans. Instead of being the whitest girl at a hip-hop gig, I was fast becoming the reddest.
In my confusion I tried to show my ID to the ticket woman, another security guard and about four people who I think were probably just fellow Atmosphere fans. Steph practically had to taser me just to get me through the door.
Once inside I thought to myself, ‘Right. You never thought you would laugh again and you just did. And you just dropped underpants in front of a million strangers, so you’re getting your mojo back. You’re going to make it, kid.’.
Just then I spied a familiar tall, pony-tailed figure looming at the back of the room and in my state of new found appreciation for life and a urge to grab it by the balls and squeeze the life out of it, I flung myself into the arms of the familiar tall, pony-tailed figure and yelled, ‘I AM SO EXCITED! I LOVE YOU, I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M HERE!’ to which he replied, ‘Oh thank you so much!’ and graciously tried to extract himself from my vice-like grasp.
Steph stood by smiling and as I bounced back over, she said, ‘That was a nice greeting, who was that? A friend?’.
‘No, that’s Ant. From Atmosphere … oh shit. I just attacked Ant from Atmosphere.’.
Turns out Ant is super lovely and was kind enough to talk to me again when I bailed him up outside the toilets later that night when I had such scintillating things so say like, ‘I really like your music,’ ‘When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold really helped me through a hard time’ and, ‘I dropped my underpants outside!’.
Had I not been so flustered I think I would have let the man be, but instead he tolerated me and I felt about a million times better about a day that had contained crashing lows and now soaring highs. I decided that, fuck it, I needed to go back to being me and doing whatever I wanted to make my days seem brighter.
So when life gave me lemons, I painted that shit purple:
Things have been up and down since then, but mostly up and now every time I wear that particular pair of underpants, I remember the Atmosphere gig and smile fondly and wonder if Ant has hired a personal security guard now.