Cutting It Fine

North Melbourne – Fitzory
14 September 2016 – Day 203/365

Being in the throws of preparing for my REACH Exhibition which included a number of pre-show commutes to Taradale and back, I was pushing time to the absolute limit.

I'd spent a solid day in the studio with Bob the Bull Terrier for company. Come 10.15pm it was time to get moving. Bob and I pack up and leave.

Walking round the corner I am floored by the feeble glow coming from the headlights of the car. FUCK. My head spins! It's now 10.30pm and I'm in North Melbourne … with a Bull Terrier … a dead car … no money … and not yet shot my gig for the day. This is bad.

Think Zo, THINK.

Ok. Put dog in car. Go back and see if any of the Fringe guys have jumper leads. No luck.

A courier is doing a U-turn …

Excuse me, I'm in a bit of a pickle, my car has a flat battery.
You got jumper leads?
Nah … it's a manual though.
No worries, I'll help you bomb start it.
Thank you.

At 10.45pm my project is seriously on the cusp of obliteration. I can't breathe.

It's raining. We manage to turn the car around so it's facing down hill, the courier jumps in with Bob while I push. The courier attempts to start the car. Dzzd-d-drr-r-r … dzzd-d-drr-r-r … "Keep pushing!" he calls out through the window. I'm on it. Dzzd-d-drr-r-r … dzzd-d-drr-r-r.

We reach the bottom of the gentle slope. A cab passes us and pulls over.

What's wrong?
Flat battery.
I got jumper leads, I can help you.
Thank you so much!

The cab driver pops the hood, leans in to clip the jumper leads onto the battery, then pulls his hands back abruptly and stands, staring into the engine bay.

What's that?
Eh? I can't see anything … shit!

It's a very large spider having a private party right next to the battery terminal. Cab driver gives it a couple of whacks and it fell … somewhere.

Courier and cab driver hook jumper leads up and after a few minutes the car starts. I take a massive breath, thank them both and we part ways. It's now after 11pm.

Fitzroy …

Park the car, grab the cameras, cover the hand-break so Bob doesn't eat it -- I know right! -- and bolt over to The Oldie. Matt's bike is not out the front, and it's quiet. Too quiet. I open the door. Matilda is cleaning up …

Oh no. Zo …
I've missed them?
Yeah. I'm sorry mate.

I sigh.

Maybe Bar Open will still be going.
Good luck Zo!
Thanks mate.

Back in the car, and around the corner. There is a park out the front. Buy a parking ticket. Cover hand-break.

Pete! They still playing mate?
Yeah! Come on!

Anne of the Wolves are well into their set. Their jazz infused folk washes over me. I need it. I'm wired. Someone calls my name from the back of the room. It's Rich, he's sitting up the back with friends. Turning briefly, I hold up my hand and point upward "gimme a min".

Shots got, I walk over to Rich, sit down, put my head in his lap and cry. It had been quite a day.

If not for the good will of complete strangers, Bar Open and Anne of the Wolves, my project would have been over. Thank you to the courier guy and cab driver for jump starting my car, to Bob the Bull Terrier for being solid as a rock, to Matilda for the absolute understanding of my being gutted as I barged into the The Old Bar. Thanks also to Pete and Bar Open for late starts, and finally, thanks to my dear friend Rich.

Tonight was an epic lesson in letting go and trusting in all sorts of shit, including the unknown. Week 29 is about resolve. I hope you all dig it. It is a very special one for me.