Journal Entries (2001)
Sunday 1 April 2001
I went to bed at 7.55pm and slept straight through to 3.30am. I was pretty disappointed but certainly happy I got a good sleep. I hadn't slept that well for a long time, especially in such a deep sleep.
At 8.30am, I got up and grabbed my shoes and jumper to go to the food van. I hate Sunday's because it’s the only day of the week Shirley doesn’t do it. A lady, who seems to hate doing it, replaces her. I wanted to tell Andre and Chelsea I was going. Chelsea was fast asleep and Andre was in the shower. We have everything but electricity here, including hot water! I waited until he was finished and he told me to wait, as he wanted to go to. We left Chelsea in a very deep sleep. Andre was pretty relieved to get some space from her and frankly, I don't blame him!
The lady running today’s food van was just as unfriendly as predicted! Unfortunately, we ran into Luke and he came with us. We shouldn't have passed through the train station! He'd just come out of detox, after taking a shot. Luke began telling us about all the luxurious food they’re served and what he ate, in what quantity. I felt like punching the lights out of him. Or maybe I should get myself a shot, just so they'll take me to detox for three glorious days!
The lady refused to give Andre some food for Chelsea, so Andre said he would share his with her. I only had a meat pie left and I was saving it for dinner, as I hardly had any money. Luke asked for another orange juice because he’d just come out of detox and his throat was really dry. The lady said she wouldn't have enough for everyone. Suck! When we'd almost finished eating, the lady came over to give Luke another orange juice.
When she was dumping some left over crumbs to the pigeons, who were waiting for their usual 9.10am feed, Andre walked up to her and asked if she had any leftovers for Chelsea. She said no, so he asked why Luke got seconds. She replied, ‘He's a special boy.’ Ha! What a laugh! He's the biggest brat a female can squeeze out! Luke rubbed it into our faces for a while. We managed to lose him at the train station where we’d found him, when Andre and I ran off down the Midland platform escalators.
Earlier on the way to the food van, Andre and I had talked about going to the Housing Commission to ask if we could rent the house out. If we both went, they'd more likely say yes. Especially if Chelsea didn’t go with us. Of course, Chelsea's my mate but I think we should make the best impression we can, if we want to be able to rent this place. We would need to clean it up, which would be fun because it was really messy and trashed. So we bought 15 garbage bags from the new 24-hour convenience store on Barrack Street, near William.
As soon as we returned, I set to work on cleaning the house. I love cleaning trashed places. There was all sorts of good stuff like massive collections of stamps and coins, some awesome looking temporary tattoo stickers, a couple of computer CD's including Windows 97, clothes, an alarm clock, books, three old TV's, bags and so much more. I ended up cleaning two rooms. We didn't have a vacuum cleaner, so I tried to sweep most of the floors with a broom. It wasn't easy.
For a couple of seconds every hour, Chelsea would get motivated and start helping me with the cleaning but it never lasted long!
I managed to fill six bags to give to The Salvation Army. I filled nine more with junk and rubbish. Four shopping bags were filled with recyclable containers like cans and bottles. We had a lot of empty VB cans that Andre said might be worth cashing in. It might not be much but even twenty five cents was a lot to us at this stage.
I left the house at 4pm to go to Forrest Chase to meet my mates. I had a UDL with me but the other three cans, as well as a can of VB were in my bag, in my room. I poured one of the raspberry UDL cans into a Fanta bottle a few houses away from the squat, as I wasn't inclined to share drinks like UDLs! If they got me pissed really easy and I had a few spare, then it would be different.
I drank it sitting at our usual spot in the passage of the GPO. Nobody was around. I love the peaceful feeling I get from sitting here, watching everyone. It’s always so much better with a can of drink! So many people pass by but few look up and notice us watching them. You get all sorts of characters and it's really interesting to watch them.
Luke soon appeared, which was annoying but at least he was a bit of fun. We played street soccer with the Fanta bottle half filled with water for a while. Constables Gillard and Preston were on shift. They were walking around McDonalds in Forrest Chase when Luke and I began barking and singing
our regular Baha Men's Who Let the Dogs Out. The two Constables came over to
harass me. I suppose I did provoke them! I was being full-on cheeky.
Gillard said, ‘Do you remember what happened the last time you said that? Do
you want to go down to the station again?’ I quickly kept my mouth shut and
A blue paddy wagon appeared and began to watch us carefully until we
walked off towards the malls. When we returned, the streeties told Luke and me to
behave. It was all right to do that when they weren't around but when they were, we
were to keep quiet as they didn't want any trouble.
Luke asked me if I was hungry. I said yes! We started walking back to his hostel,
although I had no idea where it was. Once we reached Padbury Walk, we continued playing street soccer until we reached the Wilson Car Park in front of Money Street in Northbridge. I told Luke we'd have to change the lid of the bottle because it was cracked. So what does the idiot do? He picked up the bottle and kicked it high into the sky. When it hit the ground, the lid completely smashed and all the water spilt out. I was so angry with him!
We began walking up Money Street to our squat, which he didn't know about. We were keeping it pretty quiet, especially from Luke! I was really worried Chelsea would suddenly come out. Luke was going to fill up the bottle and grab some of his gear from his hostel, which was for men. You can only spend three days there every month or two. His time was up. It turned out to be next door to our squat. What were the chances?
As we walked towards it, a blue paddy wagon passed us. It was the third time in ten minutes, not including when they watched us in Forrest Chase. When we neared our squat, I could see an orange light coming from Andre and Chelsea's room. It was obviously a candle. I just hoped no one would complain or investigate it. In the front yard of the men's hostel, there was a man smoking. He looked to be the manager.
As I crossed the road towards our squat, a female Constable began to make her way over to it, her male colleague behind her. They had big torches in their hand. I began to tell them to piss off because it was our squat and we had nowhere else to go. They asked me if I lived there and I said yes, as we entered the front yard. They told me to lead the way. I was so angry, I began to abuse them.
I knocked on the door and yelled out, ‘Chelsea, the cops are here! Chelsea!’ She came to the door and opened it, as it was locked from the inside. My plan was originally to grab a can of raspberry UDL when Luke went into his hostel. Then I was going to sneak out without him knowing or even being suspicious about me living next door. I was worried Andre and Chelsea wouldn’t be home. I had no torch, I was scared of the dark and anything could be hiding in the shadows. But now, they were home and here I was, being escorted in with the cops!
When Chelsea opened the door, she saw me. When she opened it more, she saw the cops behind me and quickly went into her room to tell Andre. I followed her in and told them that I didn't call the cops but they came here when I did. I was damn thankful I didn't come back after they raided it. I would have had to sleep there all night by myself and I would have been so scared.
The cops said that this house was privately owned but we corrected them and said it was owned by The Housing Commission. We told him we’d spent more than five hours today cleaning it up and first thing tomorrow morning, we planned to see if we could rent it. The male cop insisted that it was privately owned and it was nice of us to clean it up but there was no point because we were still trespassing. The cops headed back outside. I told Chelsea the hostel manager had called the cops because I saw him standing in the front yard, pointing to the squat.
I returned to my room to pack up my gear. Luke was outside, giving the female cop
full-on cheek and being a smart arse. He told her he had three warrants, so the male
cop went to check up his false name. Luke asked the female cop what she would do if he walked
off. She replied, ‘Try it’, so Luke did. ‘Mate, get back here right now!’ The cheek he was giving the
cops was unbelievable. It was a wonder he didn't get arrested!
I grabbed my gear and left. Andre was being a dickhead and sounded like a tape recorder with
his 'good boy' speech! He kept telling the cops he was from Victoria, had only been in Perth for
three days, didn't want any trouble, wanted to know what the situation was about and if we were
going to be moved on. Of course we were going to be moved on! We're bloody trespassing!
I left with Luke, who’d been sitting on a kerb across the street. He now had a small bag with two packs of pop tarts. Beaut!
Come to think of it, it shouldn't come as a surprise that someone called the cops. All
morning when I was cleaning up, Chelsea kept getting excited, yelling
and shouting. I told her so many times she should keep her voice down
or else we’d be kicked out. She told us no one was going to kick us out
because we now lived here. Obviously she doesn't know anything about
living in a squat! She kept complaining to Andre that I was so bossy but
was I really doing the wrong thing by telling her to keep her voice down?
It didn't help she made so much noise sweeping the back patio. The
hostel's backyard was less than two metres away. To top it off, she kept going to
the two sheds at the back of the yard to explore them in broad daylight! It was
a ten metre walk to them from the house and she made several trips back and forth. Each time, she would have been in full view of anyone in the hostel’s backyard or in one of their back rooms which had windows that looked into our backyard. To think it was such a great place to stay at!
Luke and I went to McDonalds on William Street, via the Perth Cultural Centre and the train station. We kept kicking the bottle the entire way, which was so much fun! Luke had filled it up at the men's hostel and found a new lid. Somehow, Andre and Chelsea got to McDonalds before us. I don't know how. I saw them leave the squat when we were down the road but surely we weren't that slow!
When they saw us, they grabbed their gear off the bench outside McDonalds and walked off towards St Georges Terrace.
We had no idea what we’d done wrong but we didn't bother to pursue them. We sat outside Hungry Jacks and Donkey soon joined us. I still had a meat pie in my bag from this morning's food van, which I quickly devoured, followed by some very sweet strawberry pop tarts. Luke tried to scam some money but his way of doing it, was pretty crap and people needed to listen to him for a long time before he got to the point. People have places to go. His story was boring and complicated.
Donkey was waiting for midnight, so he could withdraw $50 when the banks goes down. So many people have said it worked but I've never tried it. I suppose I don't really believe it.
I went to sleep for a while on the bench, with Donkey lying on the bench next to me. I'm lucky because I'm smaller than him, so the benches were more comfy.
After a couple of hours, Donkey wanted to go make money. I’d earlier told him of the three porn magazines I had in my bag, which I'd found in the squat. He said we should walk to Barbarellas in Northbridge because they buy that sort of thing. The magazines were aimed at men and they were pretty gross. I’ll definitely keep my virginity for at least another ten years!
We dumped our bags in an alleyway near the fire exit of a nearby business. I was so paranoid that someone would nick off with them but I trusted Donkey enough to believe they were safe. If they did get stolen, it wouldn't just be me with a loss because he left his bag there too. The night was pretty quiet, so maybe he would be right.
I held the magazines under my t-shirt because Donkey said it wasn't the kind of thing you go carrying around on the streets and the cops might try to charge us for something. When we got to James Street, I waited outside Barbarellas, which was embarrassing. I remembered my first porn magazine, which was called Dude. I had asked a colleague to get it for me but all it showed was men and there were no sex scenes.
Donkey soon came out, unsuccessful. It didn't help one of the covers was almost ripped off when it was squeezed too tightly into my backpack. We returned to where our bags were dumped and thankfully, they hadn't been stolen or touched. As we walked up William Street back to the Hungry Jacks benches, I felt something sharp above my left elbow, where my long sleeves were pulled up to. I looked at my arm and saw a 2.5 inch long American cockroach. I shit myself and tried to slap it away but it ran up to my shoulder. Thankfully, Donkey saved the day. It was so disgusting! I can't stand cockroaches.
As I sat down on the bench with my bags on the floor, two American cockroaches of the same size came running out of my plastic bag and a third from the front pocket of my backpack. They quickly disappeared before we could see where they went to.
We later headed to The Commonwealth Bank and sat outside it. Luke was hanging around to do the bank thing. I tried to get some more sleep on the benches nearby, which were longer and thinner than the ones outside Hungry Jacks. Donkey kept checking the bank to see if it had closed, as he didn't want to miss out.
When my watch said twelve on the dot, I went to check my bank account. It was too early so I pressed the button for a statement to see what time the ATM had. Before it could print me one, the ATM closed down and spat out my card. I reinserted it and went to withdraw $50. It worked! I was really surprised. I didn't think it would. Luke scored $50 before me and began jumping up and down
excitedly, shouting, ‘It worked, it worked!'
It didn’t work for Donkey, so he wasn't very happy. I felt sorry for him. Two clubbers
nearby, who had obviously missed the last train, came over to see what the fuss was.
When we told them, they tried for themselves and both scored $50 each. I guess
they both could now catch a taxi home!
Just before midnight, a guy who sat on a bench near us, told us we could go to
a petrol station and spend as much as we wanted through Eftpos. When their Eftpos goes down at midnight, they have to make the payment manually.
So after Luke and I had scored $50, we began to walk up Murray Street towards the servo in East Perth. After a few minutes, I told Donkey I didn't really want to go. I didn't need to buy anything and it just gets deducted from your bank account in the end. Apparently you can withdraw $200 from ANZ, so if you can open up a false bank account, you don’t have to pay it back. The Commonwealth Bank only lets you withdraw $50.
Donkey was tired, so he came with me to the back of the public library on Hay Street, to get some sleep. Luke and the other guy went to the petrol station, to see if it would work.