Everything this person has written for TUNETHEPROLETARIAT

I can do the hippy shake shake

Written by

Richie 1250 & The Brides of Christ – Boogaloo

Rod and Kate were achingly cool and everything I ever wanted to be when I hit my mid-to-late-thirties.

Rod was wild haired, glassesed and smiling with a firm, dry handshake. His hello melted with his polite “Excuse me” as he sloped into his kitchen. Kate was towering and makeup-free, fond “He’s just so busy with work”s and loose hair over plaid shirt with the sleeves pushed up.

Their apartment was in Brooklyn and had a fire escape that you could climb onto via the window behind the ficus and there was a cardboard moose head on the wall. Their dog didn’t bark and looked like a tiny, shaggy, white bear. He scrabbled around my ankles, stuck his nose in my crotch and slobbered all over my coat. I wanted to put him in my weekender and take him back with me.

“Sorry about my tornado.” (She was referring to the tumble of travel books and underwear surrounding a half-packed suitcase.) “I’m a horrible packer. Would you like a cup of coffee? We got some of this coffee that you just pour it over, in a spiral… it’s the new thing. Have you had it? I’ll make you coffee the trendy Brooklyn way.”

I perched on their convertible sofa bed while Kate bustled in the kitchen and Rod murmured to an important art-related client via Skype about some important art-related matter.

She handed me a saucer with this new, fancy, pour-over coffee and some crystallised ginger on the side, “because it’s good for you.”

They had a jukebox-cum-bar in their living room, and Kate bemoaned the broken needle.

“I’ll show you how to light her up, though. She’s something when she’s lit.”

With the dog snuffling at my feet, sipping this fancy Brooklyn coffee, spicy ginger burning my tongue, I nodded and enthused as Kate scribbled endless restaurants and bars onto tiny pieces of note paper for my personal reference – the best bagels this side of the Park, a blood orange donut which is sinful, Korean tacos (“It sounds weird, right? But trust me”), jerk chicken and Caribbean mac and cheese, the fluffiest morning pancakes you’ll ever have.

She sent me out the door with their family pass to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens tucked into my purse.

“Go exploring! We’ll leave the light on for when you get back.”

When I left two days later, I forgot I had the pass. I had to mail it back to them, profusely apologetic note underscored with a silent plea to fold me into their perfect lives.

[The Terrifying Splendour of…/Cody Rocko]

The day started with a bloody drip

Written by

Modern Baseball – The Weekend

The brand engraving on my shower-head says “Oxygenics”, which makes me think of cryogenics and that makes me nervous to take showers, so I stand only facing away from the taps. When it comes to washing my front I retreat backwards through the spray like it’s  a waterfall.

It’s like peek-a-boo from when you were two years old and had no developed concept of object permanence: if I can’t see it, it’s not there. It’s not happening. I will not be frozen in a dreamless deathlike state.

I once tried showering with Sam, but he wanted me to face the shower-head and even though I stared at the soap scum between the tiles instead of the engraved “Oxygenics”, I was waiting for the steam to turn to fog and the water to start jetting out liquid nitrogen and for us to freeze in our places oh god like blue statues in a frozen rain.

I have my water scalding, so when I shove back the curtain and try not to slip on the bathroom tiles, I’m lobster-red and slightly puffy all over. I once got out of a shower and realised that my whole face was completely dry, just staring back at me in the mirror, lobster-red and slightly puffy all over.

[Modern Baseball.]

We have the rations to go anywhere

Written by

Freelance Whales – Locked Out

Jeremy can’t decide what makes them the most conspicuous: the out-of-state license plates, the “Obama-Biden 2012” sticker tacked to the inside of the rear window, the ’80s girl pop blasting from the speakers, or Lucas.

Because Lucas is wearing leopard-print sneakers and a shirt with panthers all over it. Because his hair that morning had been swooped into a gravity defying pompadour in the style of late-’50s Elvis and pronounced “flawless.” Because his blond lashes are colored with a hint of mascara and the blue under his eyes is neutralised with a hint of concealer. Because he’s leaning head-on-folded-arms out the window with a cigarette trapped between pointer and middle fingers as he sings along to Kate Bush. Because his head snaps up like a Cocker Spaniel as they drive past the welcome sign for Scottsville, Kentucky, and he shouts over the road and the wind and the music,

“We have to stop here! They have an all-you-can-eat catfish diner!”

So when Jeremy pulls into the diner (Mama Catfish, H fucking Christ) he parks right in front of the greasy windows, and when they get asked by a sever “booth or table?”, he blurts out “booth” through his teeth, and when she starts to lead them into the back he ignores her and pushes Lucas to the one closest to the door.

He hears Lucas ask for “a plate of your finest catfish, ma’am” through water earplugs, garbled and fuzzy from a distance. Jeremy is a state-of-the-art security system, head swivelling on his neck like a sprinkler, cht cht cht shhhhhhhhhhh, cht cht cht  shhhhhhhhhhh. He registers a glass of water being set in front of him. There are tiny air bubbles in a cluster near the rim and he wonders if the waitress spit in it.

Lucas is drumming his fingers on the table.

The waitress is shuffling behind the counter, drawling out the order.

The family in the corner is eating catfish.

A polo-wearing guy and his girlfriend are eating catfish.

An elderly couple is eating catfish.

The bearded man sitting at the counter with a cup of coffee is eating catfish.

A plate is put down in front of Lucas, and then he’s eating catfish too. He brandishes pierced pieces of crumbed white fish over the table, urging Jeremy to “try a bit, it’s like fried E.” Jeremy chews slowly. It tastes like nothing. Lucas is telling him how fresh it is, how good the crumb is, how flaky the flesh is, “oh fuck me Jeremiah, this is good catfish.”

No one’s looking at them. They’re all just eating their stupid catfish.

[Diluvia/Amanda Charchian.]

It’s the softer ones in taller shoes

Written by

Norwegian Arms – Tired Of Being Cold

I met Penelope and liked her right away. I liked her blonde hair and her huge eyes and her op-shop shirt and suede boots. And even though Penelope’s boyfriend was one of my good friends, and he and I had drunk beers and danced and fallen asleep on each other, I was feeling hot in the face and pressure behind my eyes.

I kissed my friend on the cheek (because that’s what you do with good friends), and our hug lasted a few seconds too long and had too much distance between our crotches. I looked at Penelope over his shoulder, could see her pupils blown wide and her body rolling on incapable feet, and the way she smiled slow and warm at the girl who was holding her boyfriend. I was spilling my beer down his back and Penelope was just swaying there. There were vapours rising off the three of us; light a match and we’d all explode.

We danced and people gave us a wide berth. We showered everyone in pints and washed their hair with rum-and-cokes. None of us could sing the lyrics. None of us could hear the music. It was noise noise noise and we were inside it.

And because my friend has a beard and looks like a dirty hippie, everyone always rides him hard and puts him back wet, and he just shakes it off with a passable Jeff Bridges impersonation and a toast. So just like everyone else, I said “Your beard looks like you made it out of your tobacco”, and “I can’t believe they let you into uni”, and added “Loser” to the end of everything. He held up his beer and said “Learner’s permit” and “Arts degree” and “flipping burgers.”

Penelope laughed, laughed fucking huge, laughed so fucking huge you could fit a fist or a bird or a head in her mouth. Her teeth were straight and her tongue was pink. She swallowed us both whole while we looked at each other instead of her and then turned to her in synchronicity and asked, “Do you want another drink?”

[Wolf Like a Stray Dog/LeeKirby.]

Stand up and be a man

Written by

Night Panther – Fever

In a thrift store, I found a white, hand-painted mug for 99 cents. The front read Meg in loving, loopy, lipstick-red script. The back:

April 16, 1994

Meg and Rachel met at a bar when Rachel caught Meg’s eye from across the bar and sent a bourbon-and-coke her way with a wink and a kiss on a napkin. They met in the middle and danced off-beat to The Cardigans and The Go Gos. Meg was trying too hard. Rachel asked for her number anyway. Rachel waited three days before calling, during which time Meg may have had one too many cups of coffee and a few too many cigarettes.

They went for a drink after Meg’s shift on a Friday night and tumbled into Rachel’s apartment, shedding clothes and inhibitions. Rachel made French toast and strong coffee, and Meg fed her strawberries while she cooked. They spent the day together and split a bowl of nachos for dinner.

Six months to the day they met, Meg asked Rachel to move in with her. Rachel said yes and made Meg a mug in ceramics class. On the front, she painted Meg in her distinctive handwriting, and on the back:

April 16, 1994

She chose a shade of red that reminded her of Meg’s satin knickers and the nub of lipstick she smeared across her mouth whenever they went out.

Meg made space in her cupboards for Rachel’s mugs and Rachel’s jeans and Rachel’s shoes and Rachel’s deodorant. They shared a tube of toothpaste, and took turns cooking dinner for each other. They danced off-beat to No Doubt and The Bangles.

In July, Rachel left dishes in the sink and Meg left her a passive-aggressive note without a kiss on it. Meg let her dirty underwear pile up on the chair in their bedroom until it was spilling onto the floor. Rachel made herself a cup of hot chocolate and didn’t make one for Meg. And then Meg cooked a single serve of spinach-and-ricotta ravioli with truffle oil sauce, and Rachel watched her eat it from the door of their bedroom. She silently packed in the morning, and Meg watched her go with eyes trained on an article in Vanity Fair.

Meg tried to collect the things Rachel had left behind, and only managed to find a pair of shoes (high-heeled, scarlet, bows on the toes), a sad-looking beret (navy blue), a packet of Tic Tacs (orange), and the mug. She packed them into a pink holographic gift bag, which Rachel accepted with a liquid expression. She said “Are you trying to hurt me?” and “This was a gift!” and “I think you should keep it” and “Don’t try to erase me!”

Meg put the mug at the back of her cupboard. She moved it to three different apartments, and finally to a house in the suburbs with a tree in the front yard and a dog in the back. In 2012, she packed a box full of books and toys and her children’s clothes, and decided to sort through the crockery. She nestled the mug into the box between a Furby and a pair of teeny tiny red capris.

I bought the mug along with a kettle, a German beer stein, and a tourist guidebook called “James Dean Died Here.”


There’s no satisfaction in knowledge

Written by

Doll Eyes – Mike Degrasse Tyson

Things I realised while stranded outside the apartment at 4:30 a.m. (because my roommate was asleep/having sex/dead and couldn’t be woken by the buzzer nor her phone, despite shouldering the door-opening responsibility by taking the only set of keys):

– The longer you are outside, the colder it gets.

– Those black dots on the pavement that are smoother than the roughness of the concrete? Those are downtrodden pieces of chewing gum.

– Don’t pick at the black dots on the pavement, or you’ll get gum under your nails.

– Five storeys is too high to throw pebbles at a window. This has potential to shit all over plans for romantic street-to-window poetry readings, badass attention grabbing (whereby the person on the receiving end would look outside and see, like, a tank, or something equally awesome), and irate wake-up calls.

– Being cold sobers you up.

– Being in a rage sobers you up.

– Being locked out of your apartment sobers you up.

– There is a time and a place for a transparent top and it is not outside an apartment building at 4.30 a.m. with no way of getting inside.

– Always be thankful for huge, fuck-off menacing boots.

– You will almost definitely start to regret that final beer.

– Don’t risk that gutter pee, no matter how sneaky it seems at the time.

– There is no limit to the amount of times you can press a buzzer.

– The super is not at your beck and call.

– The buzzer is not loud enough.

– Call.

– Call.

– Call.

– Call.

– Call.

– Calling makes you feel productive.

– Voicemail takes control too quickly.

– There will always be helpful-but-suspicious neighbours.

– Smile and thank all your neighbours. Always.

– Knocking must reach volumes previously thought unmeasurable.

– Kicking the door is not an unhelpful outburst of rage. It is tactical.

– An open door will cancel all ill feelings toward a roommate, only to replace them with feelings of complete fanatical devotion.

– Propositioning your roommate at 4.50 a.m. will be met with a contemptuously closed door.

[Big Fun.]

I’ll be dancing in your footsteps

Written by

Neonfaith – Escape

I emptied my trash last week and realised I’d reached a point in my life where the only things I was throwing out were coffee filters, cigarette butts and used menstrual products. This realisation, more than any moment that had preceded it, was when I decided to Grow the Fuck Up. My friends laughed and placed bets. My mum just said, “It’s about bloody time, pumpkin.” (Insults are made nicer with terms of endearment.)

“Fuck them,” I told myself. “I am Batman.”

I made appointments with a personal trainer, a nutritional advisor, and a life coach. I cashed up my Metro card and spent the day riding the subway between buildings.

I listened to their advice. I took their pamphlets. I filled in my shiny new diary with their dates. I accepted their exercise schedules and meal plans and organisational tools. I nodded and promised and shook hands.

I bought adidas and Nike and New Balance. I tore up the Metro card and got a bike. I set up a gym in my lounge room. I stocked my fridge with green things in brown paper labels that screamed “ORGANIC” in retro-style fonts. I sorted through my papers and filed everything into colour-coded folders. I put all my pens into an empty tin. I threw out the coffee and destroyed the cigs. I sold my beer stash to my neighbour for his vacuum cleaner.

I started setting my alarm for 6:00 a.m. and became acquainted with the world of the morning. Hair falling out of a ponytail, I pounded the pavement in my adidas, in my Nikes, in my New Balances. I coughed my lungs out on a children’s playground. An awkward little boy with a gap-tooth and soy sauce curls put his sweaty little fat hand on my sweaty, heaving shoulder.

I looked at him, my hands propping me up from their anchor points on my knees. I breathed the exhaust fumes of smoke, coffee and alcohol that were burning themselves out of my organs into his pretty freckled face.

“Are you okay, lady?” he asked me, patting my shoulder like you’d pat the seals at Sea World.
“I’m dying,” I told him.

I woke up in the emergency room two hours later.


What are people going to think

Written by

Father John Misty – Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings

Everything she wears could be pyjamas – flannel and leggings, worn soft and softer, patterned with cats and whales and butterflies. She wears new boots scuffed with sandpaper, the laces picked and frayed. She slices the sleeves off thrift-store shirts, and lets the edges unravel.

Her eyesight is perfect. Her glasses are horn-rimmed. The lenses are scratch-resistant. She leaves them at home, and says, “Fuck, I left my glasses on my record player.” She squints at the road ahead, at billboards and signs, at movie scenes after paying extra for viewings on stupidly huge screens. She takes the 3-D frames home and keeps them in a drawer. She pops out the lenses and wears them to work.

She dyes her hair brown to red to black to blonde. She complains about the results. She does it again. She cuts it with kitchen scissors, and tackles the fringes strand by strand. She cuts it short and shaves it off and tries layers and graduations and angles. She doesn’t brush it.

She begins stories with, “I’ve made a huge mistake”, “It wasn’t my fault,” and “I know this guy.” She doesn’t make decisions influenced by retrospect. She throws herself at opportunities to stumble. She can not, will not, plan ahead (“I know what I’m doing”).

She drinks vodka and forgets the night. She drinks beer and shouts at her friends. She drinks wine and molests strangers. She drinks. She dances, turning turning turning and pointing pointing pointing. She misses the beat. She collides with everyone. She magnetises eyes.

She chooses soy and gluten-free and vegetarian. She reads Vonnegut and Moody and Eggers. She listens to music ironically. She quotes. She writes. She photographs. She blogs, and tweets, and networks. She rides a fixed-gear bike without a helmet. She collects people who do the same things and files them away for future use. She knows everyone.

She studies. She neglects. She works. She fails. She tries. She impresses and strives. She projects her nonchalance through her glasses, through her dyed hair, through her artistic tastes and aim (failure) to be different. She lives.

[Fear Fun.]

Why do the birds go on singing?

Written by

Girls – End Of The World (Skeeter Davis cover)

On one of the cross-streets between the train station and where I used to work, there is a woman who sits and cries.

I saw her every day, sitting on a bench or a stoop or huddled against a wall, designer knock-off handbag clutched under her arm, regrowth-marred blonde hair hanging like spaghetti, crying with a paper-crumpled face.

The first time I saw her, I was running (literally – boots slapping pavement, suit-wearers launching themselves out of the way) late for work. She startled me, bewildered me, and I wanted badly to stop. Feeling hopeless and heartless, I continued hurricaning on my way. Someone else will comfort her, I let my city mind assure me.

As I sent emails and made photocopies, the crying woman dribbled from my mind. Her despair was replaced with Important Things – deadlines and requests and cups of coffee to be made.

The next day, as I hauled my hood over my head for insulation, her sobs swirled and spiraled like stream from a hot cup of coffee. She watched me as I trekked past. Her wet eyes followed me. I could feel them burning, judging, shaming. She knows I am a compassionless person. She knows I have no soul.


The despair of the crying woman’s life began to permeate my own, soaking everything and leaving a dampness that persisted for weeks, everything I did wet with her tears. When bad things happened – when I missed my train, or when I got food poisoning, or when I rubbed blisters all over my feet and had to hobble like an octogenarian – I rationalised that at least I wasn’t driven to sobbing on a city street. Nothing could ever be as bad as that level of all-consuming misery.

My mind sketched high-contrast lithographs of the world ending, of everyone dying and the city falling in on itself.


The day I was slated to finish at that job, I resolved to confront the crying woman. Perhaps we could cry about it together. She sat in the mouth of a laneway, inconspicuous yet unmissable. The lines in her face deepened as I approached, her features folding in on themselves and wringing out more tears.

“Why are you crying?” I vomited. She lowered the hand that was held to her mouth like a 1920s film star and extended it toward me, imploring, demanding, pleading.

“D’you have any spare change?” she slurred. Her voice, like her face, was wrapped around itself, punctured by fold lines and tears. She breathed smoke and petrol. Her paper skin was kindling. The fire rushed to my face, filling my cheeks with red and steaming away all the water. I choked out a “No, sorry” and tripped over myself as I turned away.

[Morning Light / Andre De Freitas.]

But what can I say, rules must be obeyed

Written by

The Vaccines – The Winner Takes It All (ABBA cover)

The 14-year-old dickwad who lives across the road and four doors down stole his mum’s keys and hid them in our letterbox. She knocked on our door on Monday afternoon wearing tracksuit pants and shape-up trainers, having evidently worked her way up the street Jehovah’s Witness-style.

“He does these things all the time,” she said. “He does these things all the time.”

With the kind of exasperated frankness that only mothers can muster, she told me about the fiasco. I’m still not wholly sure what happened – her story juggled three different cars, two separate cases of vehicular vandalism, various ways to punish the kid (of which she asked my opinion), and a plea to sign her petition to widen our road.

The total cost of events was somewhere between $5,000 and $10,000, $500 of which was designated to key replacement, the rest going to repairs for the two accidents (the cause of which remained undetermined to me). Having left me somewhat nervous over living mere doors away from a potential car vandal and key thief, she blustered back to number five, keys hanging from her thumb as she waved goodbye over her shoulder.

I saw the dickwad a few days later, riding his dickwad skateboard around outside our house. His hair was styled and his jeans were skinny. His shirt was begging for more muscular padding. He smirked at me through the window – eyes dark, brow lowered, mouth upturned at the side, the barest hint of pointy canine protruding over his lip.

He looked like a key-stealer. He probably stole the skateboard, too. He probably took things from every house he visited – stashes of single socks, TV remotes, kitchen utensils, lighters, yo-yos. That’s where my sunglasses were. That dickwad kid had them. He probably took important things too, more important than keys. He probably threw out all his sister’s tampons the day before she needed them, and poked holes in his parents’ condoms.

On behalf of all the inevitable late-night rushes to the nearest tampon seller, and all the potential pregnancy scares to a couple with teenagers, I wanted to punch that kid right in his smirky dickwad face.

He remounted his skateboard and rolled off back to number five, hair flipping and jeans creeping down his backside. I locked my door and decided to forgive him for taking my sunglasses. He was in enough trouble already. [Please, Please Do Not Disturb.]