Journal Entries (2001)
Monday 5 March 2001
I wandered around Northbridge and soon ran into (my Mexican mate) Angelo. He was standing at the lights in front of The Brass Monkey. Angelo wasn’t wearing a shirt, so I yelled out, ‘Hey Angelo… are you trying to look sexy?’ He told me he couldn't stand the heat, especially as it made him horny! I wasn't afraid of repeating that out loud, as we sat on the ledge outside of Fun & Games on James Street. He wasn’t happy it was a public holiday. All the places he cleans windows for, mainly restaurants and cafes, were all closed. When I asked him why he couldn't clean any of the other cafes, Angelo said they weren't his clients. He gets $10-$15 per place and it takes him about half an hour per job. Today set him back a little because he needs the money to pay his rent.
We walked over to Bungee Park (Russell Square) to lie down in the shade. It was very hot today and had been for the last three or four days. I love it and I hope it can stay like this for longer.
A few hours later, I was starting to get pretty hungry. I told Angelo we should go grab something to eat from Hungry Jacks. When we got there, Angelo saw one of his friends called Sue. She was standing outside the restaurant and looked like she was living on the streets, judging from all the bags she was lugging around. Sue turned out to be a lovely lady and a hungry one too! I offered her something to eat and she shyly replied, ‘Oh, what do you think?’ I bought her a large Whopper meal and she looked so happy, if made me feel good. I don't have much money left but it was worth it.
Sue seemed amazed at who I was. I was a teenager with bright pink hair. The last thing she expected from someone like me, was to buy her a meal, she said.
I stayed with Sue for awhile. I don't think she realised I’d bought her a meal and not just a burger. Either that or she was just shy. She'd hungrily attacked the burger but hadn't touched the Coke or chips.
Sue told me her two grown-up girls live in England. Her dad used to constantly rape her and her youngest daughter lived on the streets whilst she was using heroin but has beaten her addiction. For some reason, she seemed really happy to have the honour of knowing me. She said that a few times and wants to meet up with me tomorrow afternoon outside the laundromat on William Street at 3.30 pm.
I left Sue at the laundromat, so she could wash her clothes and I walked over to our
usual spot in the passage of the Forrest Chase GPO. Rob and ET (Extra Trouble), his
Chihuahua, were sitting there as always. Some time later, we decided to go for a stroll.
We saw four cops taking China Simon into custody. Their paddy wagon was near the
entrance of the closed down Archie Martin Vox store in Murray Street Mall. Simon had
probably been caught sniffing or street drinking. A lot of people knew that he had a
loaded .44 Magnum revolver. I think it was Kiwi Kim (homeless man) that said he saw it.
Simon had it for several years and the police knew about it too but it was always
apparently hidden in some bushes somewhere around the city. No one ever knew where.
He just wanted it for protection and quite frankly, I don't blame him. The way the Nyoongars treated him, it's a wonder he hasn’t been done for murder yet! We would never see him again if he did.
It's sad how some people end up on the streets. Simon had his own business but I guess things don't always work out. His wife ended up dying of cancer. She had really struggled with the pain and wanted Simon to shoot her dead, so she wouldn't have to suffer anymore. He had the revolver but he just couldn’t do it and she soon died. Then he gave up on his business and everything else. China Simon obviously couldn't cope.
Tuesday 6 March 2001
Sue never turned up. Slack! She isn't young, so I guess it's got to do with old age!
Shirley (Mort, Salvation Army) was collecting on Padbury Walk, so I went to sit with her for a few
hours. It was really good to see her. She was wondering where I was and
whether she'd ever get to see me again!
She told me with a laugh, that she’d spoken to a guy earlier who had to go and
report to City Watch (police station) as part of his bail conditions. His court case
was coming up this afternoon and he needed someone to put up bail for him. The Salvation Army sometimes do that for people but Shirley didn’t think they would do it for him. He was facing a charge of arson after he burnt down a Salvation Army Family Store! Shirley doesn't want to judge whether he's guilty or not.
Saturday 24 March 2001
I had the worst night I'll ever have. It was freezing cold. I moved several times to try and find a warmer place.
At the food van, Shirley gave me a beautiful, thick pink blanket.
She's such a lovely, caring person. I’ll always remember the
softness of the blanket, even in twenty years’ time. I can't wait
to go to bed tonight!
Donkey (homeless mate) and I were sitting in Forrest Chase when two City Watch beat cops passed us on their way to Murray Street Mall. I dared Donkey to make his braying sound. It's always so funny because he really does sound like a donkey. The two cops spun around and returned to us, asking if we had a problem, what we were doing and why were we trying to get their attention for. When they walked off, Donkey told me about a time he did that and a cop sat down for a good five minutes in case someone would make the noise again and he’d be able to catch the culprit. The cop ended walking off unsuccessfully.
Sunday 25 March 2001
Shirley wasn't on the soup van today. We had a grumpy little lady who looked like she wanted to be anywhere else but here.
I was sleeping in the passage of the GPO when two fresh faced cops, Gillard and Preston, disturbed me and asked me what I was doing. What do you think I’m doing, ya bogans? I told them to pissoff, so they took me down to City Watch. They didn't believe I was eighteen. I tried to protest but I didn't have much luck. They took me by the arm until I managed to persuade them I wouldn't nick off. Would I do something like that?
I knew the way into City Watch pretty damn well and sat myself on the usual
blue padded bench, without being told. The room had changed a little since I
was last here, almost a year ago. There was now an office table and two chairs
across from me under the TV. The very familiar Constable Phillip, was sitting
down at a desk nearby with his partner. They’d just both brought in a young
Nyoongar boy, who had bolted when Phillip went up to him to have a chat. He
was soon allowed to go and was told to board the next Armadale train home,
even though he said he’d just arrived in.
I had to empty out all my pockets. Constable Gillard went through my bag. I told
him to bugger off because it was always so hard to repack it.
The prying Gillard went through every compartment of my bag. He was impressed I cared about being hygienic and clean, as I had a lot of soap. Gillard started looking at my journal, which I totally denied as mine.
Phillip had since left to go get his lunch. He reappeared and sat down at the desk. He’d bought some donuts the night before and offered me one. I said, ‘No, thanks.’ Then he offered me a sandwich, which I think he'd made at home. It was so nice of him to offer. I was pretty hungry but I felt bad because that was his lunch. Not that I like to take anything from the cops anyway.
Gillard and Preston were trying to tell me what was good for me. Like getting a place
to stay, get my ID and a job.
It took ages to pack everything back into my bag. Surprisingly, it all fit in place. Even
the blanket, which was definitely hard to put back in. Maybe it's because I’ve
always been good at playing Tetris.
At around 11pm, I was hanging around Northbridge, when I met a guy called Des. He was with a young 14 year old who was high on ecstasy. She was so off her face, she didn't know what the hell was going on.
Des had to go do a job with some guy who pulled up in a large black car. When Des opened up the boot, I saw a heap of baseball bats, star pickets and all sorts of other weapons that just make your heart stop. He later told me they’d done 'the job' and they had to force themselves through a security door. I didn't know anymore about what happened but I could only guess!
The spaced out girl was kinda loopy and she’d stayed with me the whole time
he was gone. I was starting to get tired and wanted to go get some sleep. Des
wanted to make sure I was safe. He walked me over to a squat on Money Street
and left the girl on her own at the Café, where we always sit. Maybe Mohammed
(cafe manager) had told him, he’d look after her until he came back.
Des said the squat was a really good place and I suppose it wasn't too bad. It
was dark and dirty but this was certainly better than sleeping out in the cold on
any given night. We settled down in the front room. Des told me he might have
to leave me for a while. I was shit scared. Scared of being in an unknown place,
vulnerable and unable to protect myself, the dark and just about everything, I
suppose. But I've got to learn how to tackle my fear.
He unscrewed the lock on the front door so if anyone came in, I could easily escape and leave. I wasn't sure if I was more afraid of the cops rocking up or someone I didn't know! Des ended up sleeping by my side on the thin-carpeted floor, sharing my lovely pink blanket. I am so lucky to have this beautiful blanket. It's so warm!
Thursday 29 March 2001
The only thing that could help with my thoughts was to get drunk. The only problem was, I had $2.50 to my name. So I went up to Barry, Scotty, a man who was going to Adelaide in the morning and a small Noongar lady. I asked them if anyone wanted to go halves in a goon bag (cheap cask wine). They weren't really interested. All I had to do was scam $7.85 and I could afford my own goon bag that I could put in my backpack and get pissed every day. Oh! What a life! Scotty could go get it for me. He usually does.
I suddenly remembered I had money in my bank account. I bolted to the
Commonwealth Bank, which made everyone laugh. I had $33 in my account so I
took out a $20 note. I raced back to the group, who were sitting on the lawn in
Forrest Chase. Scotty told me to come with him to the bottle shop, as he was going
to buy a carton of VB. He told me not to worry about buying a cask of Fruit Lexia, as
they had enough VB cans for all of us. I didn't even have to chip in, so it especially sounded good!
We headed back to Forrest Chase with a spring in our step and we were certainly welcomed with open arms. I looked around and saw two cops behind us, so I tried to warn the Adelaide man and the Noongar lady, who were visibly drinking from their cans. By the time they hid it, it was too late! The Adelaide man hid his can in his jacket and the Noongar lady behind her. The cops demanded them to pour it out. The Noongar lady did but the Adelaide man denied having a can on him. He finally admitted possession of it. He told the two beat cops he was going over to Adelaide tomorrow morning and reckoned he deserved the right to have a good time on his last night here. ‘Well, would you street drink back in Adelaide?’ one of the cops asked him.
For the next ten minutes, the Adelaide man frantically searched for his train ticket to Adelaide to prove it to the cops and ended up having an argument with one of them. He finally poured out his beer onto the concrete ledge of the lawn. The cop wasn't happy about that and told him off. Somehow, it ended up with him shaking the cop's hand.
We uprooted ourselves to find another place to drink. I went to
McDonalds to grab a couple of straws, so we could get drunk
quicker. When I came back, Barry and Scotty were walking
with the cops. Talk about shame!
We sat in the small space in front of a fire exit. Then we
continued our drinking session. I sculled three VB's in less than an hour through a straw. The Adelaide man was getting his arse kicked by the Noongar lady because he’d called her a bitch. So they had a massive argument. They’ve known each other for 15 years though! That's just about my age! But here we were, trying to relax with a couple of beers. Bloody people arguing these days!
The beer tasted foul. It's sick but I sculled it as fast as I could. I just wanted to
get pissed but I don't even think I'll get tipsy. The more I drink tonight, the less
problems I’ll have in forgetting these tormenting violent memories from the
morning (I had witnessed a man severely bashed). Another Noongar lady soon
joined us, with an almost-full bag of Fruit Lexia. I filled my can twice with her
cheap wine. I sculled the first can then went off to answer nature's call. I was so tipsy. When I came back, there was a country cop and a city cop telling them all to move on! I managed to rescue my can of Fruit Lexia, pocketed it and left. Thankfully, the cops didn't notice.
I walked off and caught up with Donkey. We ended up sitting on a bench outside the Commonwealth Bank when he told me I should do modelling. He said he could guarantee me some photo work, as his mate works at a modelling place. You could earn a minimum of $500 per hour. Donkey told me to meet him tomorrow at 9.30 am right here outside the Commonwealth Bank. I don't know if he's telling the truth but I'll go anyway because it's not costing me anything but my time.
Friday 30 March 2001
I remember being taken into a police car tonight and I think I saw Senior Constable Robinson but I'm not too sure. Now I'm in hospital and the staff said my blood level was very high with a reading of .36. I was unconscious when the cops woke me up on Murray Street near William, where Troy was selling his newspapers. I've had a whole range of things put into me including a drip from a saline bag… maybe two. It totally grosses me out having a needle in my hand, which makes it so cold!
They brought me in last night and hopefully I'll get out soon. I have to see the social worker before I go because I have no place to call home. Right now, I don't give a fuck. All I care about is eating a
Hungry Jacks meal. That'll keep me quiet! My cargos and t-shirt have spew on them. The
rest of me just stinks.
I remember throwing up heaps. I'm just praying I didn't throw up in the back seat of the police car. I'll have to ask Robinson what happened. I remember thanking him several times and I also kept saying, ‘Sorry, I'm so sorry!’ to the nurses and doctors.
Fuck this shit! I'm so sick of everything. Why did I have to be there when that mugging took place? A doctor said I could have died. Why couldn't I fucking have tried harder? I didn’t even know you could die that way! I didn't think I'd even get tipsy but now I know. I suppose everyone's bodies are different. Some people can take a lot more alcohol than others and some could be dead in no time.
I saw a social worker in the end. After a while, I told her not to bother about getting me accommodation. I just don't care anymore. It's not worth caring about. In fact, nothing is anymore.
I finally got released. I headed straight to Hungry Jacks for a Whopper meal. I asked the girl at the cash register for a lot of gold coins in my change for the laundromat.
I was supposed to meet Donkey at 9.30am but it was 12.30pm by the time I left
the hospital. I ate my meal in the William Street laundromat. Nobody else was
in there. The rumbling of the washing machines was the only noise I heard.
After I finished my lunch, I wrote my heart out.
I joined Rob at our usual GPO spot, now wearing clean clothes. Two guys called Neil and Samuel, came over. They asked me what happened last night. I told them I didn't have the faintest idea. One of them said I was fully trashed and the cops put me in a sedan. My head had been leaning against the window and I was asleep but I can’t remember any of that. Then the cops drove off. They asked me if the cops took me to detox and I said no.
Constable 'Klutz', who handcuffed Rob the other day with his colleague, came over. He wasn’t in a very good mood but maybe that’s normal for him, especially as he’s always so aggressive.
Klutz: Why did you not plead guilty?
Rob: Because the handcuffs were too tight
Klutz: You were supposed to plead guilty
Rob: Well it's in the hands of my lawyer
Klutz: Where are you squatting?
Rob: Down St Georges Terrace
Klutz: Where abouts?
Rob: Right down the bottom
Klutz: You better make sure you take care of your dog!
Klutz has an evil grin on his face, as he points
At 6.30pm, I saw Des when he came in to Forrest Chase. I was with Melissa (mate), who had new shoes so Des gave her some new Fila socks to go with them. She was really happy about that.
I stayed around Forrest Chase until 7pm. I was trying to find someone to buy me some alcohol when I saw Neil and Samuel again. They said they’d be happy to buy it for me and were busy taking my order down when Klutz appeared. He told me off for scamming money from people and threatened me with an arrest. As soon as I saw him coming, I put my wallet straight back into my pocket. It probably made things look even more suss. He told Neil and Samuel to push off so that he
could speak to me alone. ‘The next time it looks like you’re scamming…’ he said, ‘… I’ll
come right up to the people you’re scamming from and question them about it.’
Klutz and his colleague came up to me the other day to hassle me about hanging around the GPO for so long all the time. When they asked me my age, I told him I was eighteen but he didn't believe me. ‘Bullshit! You're seventeen,’ Deeg said. Fine then. Be like that!
Samuel soon returned from the liquor store and I was able to buy a can of Real McCoy Bourbon & Cola from him for two dollars. What a bargain! Although I had no idea how much it was worth. I didn't end up buying anything else, as Neil sat down to eat a Whopper he'd just bought. Samuel was trying to bum a cigarette from anyone he could, which almost cost him a fight with a group of Asians sitting outside Hungry Jacks.
We eventually walked back towards Forrest Chase and left Samuel to hang around one of his old crews. Neil asked Des for a smoke but he said he didn't have any. Des was walking around with his big, heavy black bag and seemed to be in a foul mood tonight. Neil tried to make conversation with him but Des was in no mood for talking and Neil only succeeded in putting him in a seriously violent mood. Before Neil and I had time to blink, Des swiped at Neil's neck. It happened so fast, I barely even saw the hit. Neil stepped back in surprise as Des dropped his bag.
Neil demanded to know what the fuck he’d done wrong and continuously kept
apologising, trying to fix up any wrongs he may have committed. Des accepted his
apology and pushed past him. I started to follow Des with Melissa but Neil started
following us too, so Melissa and I decided to switch groups to lose them both.
She soon headed off for the night, so I went to James Street to sit outside Sta Travel where the buskers play. There was an Indian guy playing a sitar. Where are the buskers these days? They don’t seem to play here as much!
I'd earlier poured my Real McCoy drink into a Pepsi Max bottle and also had a Coke bottle with a bit of water, which I'd been using to play soccer. I only managed to have a few sips of my bourbon,
when good old Constable Gillard came along. I was playing it safe and sipping my
bourbon slowly throughout the night, in case my liver wasn't functioning as well as it
Gillard walked up to me and began to chat about what I was up to tonight, eyeing my
bottles that I hid behind me when I first caught sight of him. He demanded to know what was in the bottles but I denied it was more than coke. Gillard bent over to grab them but I pushed it further behind me. One of his colleagues grabbed it from the other side of me, as I was distracted. He passed it to Gillard, who unscrewed the lid and upon smelling it, poured it out at the base of a tree near the road. It was a good thing he didn't charge me for swearing at him. If he didn't hear it, his colleague most certainly did!
Saturday 31 March 2001
I kept Shirley company for a while as she collected donations. I realised I didn’t have my awesome red Outereef hoodie on and I began to feel panicky. I'd bought it in Melbourne and it means the world to me. I’ll do anything for that jumper back. On the left wrist, it has a couple of
small thumb holes and a few grease marks under the word Outereef in the middle. I
hope I get it back. I reckon one of the Nyoongars might have it. It’s a good thing I still
have Shirley’s ‘Australia’ jumper. I was going to give it back to The Salvation Army.
I won’t wear it above my clothes because it’s embarrassing. A lot of the Japanese
tourists wear that kinda thing but not me!
I was sitting outside the GPO at about 5pm when I saw Chelsea and her man
Andre. I had four UDL's on me, as I wanted to get pissed tonight. Rob got them
for me. Michelle said you can get them cheaper in Hay Street Mall. So Rob went
over there, then Foodland on Hay Street before going to his usual place on Barrack Street. What a hike and all just to save me money!
It was really funny when Rob and I walked a lap around the malls. I was carrying ET, whilst we were looking for butts. Well, Rob was looking for butts. He suddenly realised why he was so unsuccessful. There was a streetie in front of him doing the same thing!
I walked off with Chelsea and Andre to Pyramid Park (Alf Curlewis Gardens). It was starting to get dark, so we sat down on a bench. As usual, Chelsea and Andre were grumpy towards each other. Nothing ever changes! They make an unlikely couple! I don't know what's actually holding them together. Chelsea soon walked off to a group drinking nearby. Andre started chatting away to me. I got a strong impression nobody ever really listens to him and he seemed to enjoy talking about himself.
We soon headed back to the CBD. I wanted to go to
Northbridge but they wanted to take the ferry to go to
South Perth and back. Chelsea didn't want to leave my side, in case something happened to me. Andre really wanted to take the ferry. When they went on it the other day, Chelsea almost fell into the water on the way back because she was so drunk and stoned. Good old Andre saved the day and grabbed a hold of her before she could.
They told me they had a squat in Northbridge, not too far away. It was warm, had mattresses and blankets and they said it was such an awesome place. So we walked over to Monger Street, where the squat was. It was 100m away from the Money Street squat I’d stayed at last Sunday.
When we got to the squat next to a men's hostel, the front door was locked. Chelsea and I sat on the comfortable couch on the verandah, whilst Andre jumped the fence to go into the backyard.
The back door was obviously open or unlocked because he soon appeared inside and unlocked the front door. Anyone could see us sitting on the porch but Chelsea wasn't worried in the least. What if the hostel next door called the cops?
Chelsea and I stood up and pushed the door open. There were no lights in the house because there was no electricity. It seemed to be a pretty big house and appeared to be just like any house on the street. There was a lot of rubbish everywhere and I could smell a stench of urine, especially from several blankets lying around on the floor. Andre and Chelsea were living in the front room, so I had a choice of three rooms. One was opposite them and the other two were further down the hallway. I chose the one opposite. It was a large room with an old fireplace. There was rubbish all over the floor, cigarette butts on the tables and dust everywhere. There was no light source other than the curtain when I pulled it back. A street light some three metres in front of the house, shone brightly into the room.
Andre led me to a dingy toilet at the
back of the house and briefly showed
me around. He threw a couple of
blankets my way before he retreated
into his room. Only one of the three
blankets didn't stink of urine, so I
used it as a bottom sheet. I had my
beloved pink blanket to cover me.
The room was fairly warm.
My plan was to sleep till twelve and
go to Northbridge to scam some money. At least enough to last me a couple of days and then I'd go back to bed. When we were in Alf Curlewis Gardens earlier, Chelsea reckoned, as soon as we got back to the squat, I'd crash out.
I didn't believe her but it turned out she was right.