It’s beautiful and sunny in Melbourne today. I’m happy. The city feels happy. I met a dear girlfriend visiting from Perth this morning and she’s happy. She has good reason to be, I must say. She’s a boxer – a shit-scary, honest-to-god, hits-hard-enough-to-kill-you, boxer. And the announcement was made last night that womens’ boxing is finally going to be an Olympic sport at the London Games. (It’s the only sport where men compete and women don’t.) Is my friend good enough to represent Australia? HELL yes! (If you want to support her, here’s her Facebook fan page .)
So, I dropped my famous friend off at the ABC studios in Southbank for her interview, wished her luck for her many other interviews, and made my way back home to Yarraville, home of the Sun Theatre and Sun Bookshop. Said Bookshop called to me the moment I got off the train. It lured me into its papery depths and forced me to buy a book. Yes. Lured and forced. As I ran my sun-soaked fingertips over cool, smooth covers, I marvelled at how many of these authors I’ve met since I’ve been here, and how many authors live in Yarraville.
I touched a fingertip to Steven Amsterdam, Krissy Keen and Jeff Sparrow and felt so happy that I’ve met all of them. If I was still in Perth there would be no faces to put to names, no memories of beers shared or conversations at writers’ festivals had. If I was still in Perth I wouldn’t be attending Nathan Curnow’s book launch at the Old Melbourne Goal tonight, which I’m very much looking forward to.
I felt so happy to be standing there. My hand came to rest on a beautiful blue and green cover, a book called Swimming by Enza Gandolfo, an author who lives in Yarraville. I smiled as I paid for my new book and experienced that glimmer of hope and joy that emerging writers sometimes allow ourselves to feel – that one day, maybe soon, my fingertips will trip over my own book, with its own tag – Written by local Yarraville Author Simonne Michelle-Wells – and walked home slowly, deliberately, my face tilted up to a Melbourne sky.