“I bowed out of life before it began, for not even in dreams did I find it attractive. Dreams themselves wearied me, and this brought me an extreme and false sensation, as if having come to the end of an infinite road. I overflowed from myself to arrive at an unknown place where I’ve uselessly stagnated. I’m something that I used to be. I’m never where I feel I am, and if I seek myself, I don’t know who’s seeking me.” – Fernando Pessoa an excerpt from “The Book of Disquiet.”
I ended up drafting this post in the back of a cab because I needed an outlet for expression and everything was against me. From the moment I drew breath, I knew I would never know place. I find myself within many places, but when I’m here I’m never really here. For I’ve only ever chosen to dream. Often, and without bounds. The world I dream of is the sweetest flesh I search for. I bleed it. And even when I find myself in possession of it, I keep searching. There’s a terrible longing that exists inside me for where I am not. A neurosis-induced-melancholic-longing of which I do not care to be cured. For the place in my head, the one filled with smoke and ash from the night that came before, is the one I refuse to wake from. And the one I will eternally create as long as I shall live. Yes. I’ve paid the price for dreaming. Because I don’t just live in the world, I live in a world created. And existing as a silent angel within an illusion does not come without cost.
Melbourne. I found myself here more than I’ve found myself in other places. If there’s anything I know for sure, it’s that life and death are the only two things we are. There’s something about meeting death that teaches you the value of life. One never comes back whole. Fragmented, yes. Torn, yes. Re-assembled, yes. I’ve always found greater life in things broken than complete. And I found life in Melbourne. She was it, for a moment. I don’t hold onto memories. I don’t hold onto feelings. And I only half-remember the places I went and people that I loved. But I remember this.
I was only in Melbourne for a short week. I shared a short snapshot on stories, and there were so many requests for a definitive list of places I loved and ate. So here it is. I was with my good friend Luisa for part of the time, and when we were together, often dining, we dined well. Ramblr, was a favourite. I smelt of smoke, sandalwood, and musty cigarettes for the next three days. And I wouldn’t have had it any other way. The cauliflower and sticky-eggplant were highlights. Embla, was another favourite. The soured cucumbers and chickpea pancake I fell in complete consummation with. I also loved Marion Wine Bar, Osteria Ilaria, Cumulus Inc, and Higher Ground. And Project Forty Nine, too. Good stracciatella is an addiction of mine, and coupled with the presence of sweet, over-ripe nectarines and the bite from pink peppercorn, it was even more heavenly. As for pastries, I didn’t go past Lune Croissanterie, it’s as good as everyone makes it out to be. And Tivoli Road Bakery, too. A good cannelé is hard to find and Tivoli’s were the best.