In 2001 my stereo had a cassette deck
and my bed as yet no sheets
I woke with its diamonds
pressed on my cheek

and it felt like wealth
something I’d paid for myself
conducting surveys on phones
yellowed like bone

in a room full of monochrome screens
Nelly Furtado
was briefly a thing
and careering through a crush

I bought him the second single
pushed my housemate
in a trolley
to a stop outside his place

in the charts
by someone well met
a few drunken steps from the Imperial

where I blew a strapping barman
amongst the empty kegs
my shirts bought short and tight
stretching to anatomise

I bleached my hair in the bathroom sink
some creep
spied on the girls in the shower
until Leigh pitched the soap at him

yesterday’s bread threaded with cheese
from the bakery
that vibrated over the railway line

when I had blown my Centrelink
on Amnesiac or Vespertine
and a loaf
would keep me full all day

getting politics
in the Queer Space on campus
a middle class kid
thrilled by their screen print belligerence

their ratbag seriousness
almost one of them
in Newtown and Camperdown
in 2001