Living near the bogan suburbanite magnet that is Brunswick St (at least on a Saturday night) is not ideal. I have no problem with venues or venue noise and I like the food. My problem is with the drunk subhumans who stagger down my street at 3am (some of them having come out of Bimbo Deluxe) and proceed to have a domestic under my bedroom window. There’s always screaming and hysteria. Sometimes there’s a bit of slapping too.
A recent example was the tragedy that is the relationship between Deb and Richard. They’d been out for his birthday and drunk a lot of alcohol. She’s got a voice like a chainsaw and she woke me up with her howling. They weren’t happy and she was scared he would leave her.
Apparently Deb went to the toilet (or torlet (sic) as Richard pronounced it). A man followed her in. Deb claims she didn’t know him, didn’t invite him in, and that he put his hand over her mouth to silence her. She claims nothing else happened.
Richard struggles to believe this. He says that if she really was assaulted she should have spoken to the bouncers when she got out and / or called the Police on her mobile. Sensible and fair. He tries to believe her. He also accuses her of leading the guy into the torlet and snogging him. She denies snogging him but also defends him and refuses to call it assault.
Her story keeps changing. Their friend Raj tries to mediate. He doesn’t say much. Deb claims that previous boyfriends have killed themselves over her. Richard says this is crap. She says that her life is ‘so fucked eh’ and sobs hysterically.
By this time I’m wide awake, dressed and standing on my balcony in tshirt, trackie pants and bare feet, toes wriggling and protesting against the cold. My only recording device, my digital camera, is aimed at the black street below. I can’t see them, but they’ve been at it for more than 10 minutes and there’s no way I will get back to sleep until they leave. In the meantime, I’m curious to hear what comes next.
This happens so often that I’m thinking about buying a waterproof microphone that I can run out the bedroom window and over the balcony wall so it hangs aiming down at the street below. At the other end it will plug into my MacBook Pro that I could leave on the bedside table. When I get woken up by a bogan domestic I could lean over, press record, and lie back and relax in comfort as I record the domestic without having to stand on freezing tiles.
The bogan dialogues are fascinating. The same things happen over and over again. Infidelity. Jealousy. Petty juvenile emotional insecurities. Neurotic and histrionic women. Unreconstructed, though often seemingly decent, men. Their possessiveness. Their inane stupidity and inability to communicate with each other unless they’re almost drunk into unconsciousness.
I’m looking into the legalities of recording them and publishing the recordings. It seems legal because it’s done in a public place. I’m not going to want to transcribe hours of these conversations, but they do make for fascinating listening. I could make a ‘Fitzroy dialogues’ weekly podcast. What do you think?