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

replaced
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
$2
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