Fragments Of Sydney

By Olivia Adams

Blood, Sweat & Tears.

Blood dripped, making friends with the sweat on the floor…

It was an eclectic pack of friends and ex-lovers, but at a gig, foul play was temporarily buried. Nothing beyond the jungle of flailing hands mattered.

Fidlar collected a mixture of intentions into the Metro Theatre’s cosy pen. We all had different cravings for the gig. Some nested by the bar to prevent migrating back and forth to the watering hole all night. A pride of long-haired powerhouses fiercely hurtled into the mosh, transforming it into a vicious untamed lion’s den. The rest of us scattered instinctively spotting places that called to us for the night.

I was benched for most of the night, but I cheered, awaiting my moment on the sideline…

Spontaneously leaping into the cage of consequences, I roared — ’I’m going in’.

Hands and Hair everywhere, a pleasureless orgy.

The same unity, a team.

The towering tattooed backward cap swayed and automatically his disciples followed, gun to our heads. I felt a playful and desperate knock on my head. I mediated to the spitting echoes of music in hopes for it to resurrect me, but the cult grew until it collapsed.

I let it wash over me and take me to shore. I submerged, treading through the roots of bodies. A member of my clan appeared, pointing at my shirt.

Looking down as Fidlar was raging on, I noticed red splotches…

Don’t go to a punk gig two days after getting your cartilage pierced.

Heading to Fidlar francis.edenofficial

A Beer With Your Buds

Strolling into the Theatre for a laugh was an unfamiliar but breezy outing. As the lights dimmed the rustling and chit-chat roaming through the venue became muffled by cheerful foot-tapping music, inviting the crowd to embrace the hype. A beat drop emanated a cue for Aunty Donna to appear. In enjoying puzzling people, they intentionally missed it. A humorous homage to their habitual shenanigans. As they staggered on stage, it felt like a family reunion as those around me absorbing their drinks also had a twisted sense of humour. This abundance of hysterics embodied laughing at men in their thirties fluttering around in school uniforms. Quickly registering that the sound guy was the pilot steering the sketches, I knew without him the show would be rapidly cast away. He composed popping punchlines, and meticulously timed transitions, painting a picture of a school environment with laughing children and banging bells. The crew left you nonsensically giggling, it almost had you nostalgic for high school. An improvised sketch poked fun at one of the performers’ height, alluring for audience participation. Edging to be seen on various things, the audience bounced with inclusion that they couldn’t see him.

The broken fourth wall metamorphosed the theatre into a homely warm pub. A place to have a beer with your buds, who happened to be absurd thirty-year-olds.

Race against the Rain- Newtown station

People pour out of Newtown station gates, as rain floods down. Shuffling out like horses exiting a starting stall, it’s a race against the rain. Instantly patterns of polka dots and floral umbrellas hasily point to the sky like wands conducting rain disappearing spells. Jackets flung on, bags recklessly lifted to cover heads and legs scampering to shelter like bugs avoiding Mortein. Beeps of the Opal machines repeat, harmonising with frustration that reverberates in the heels of a woman tapping the gate over and over. Seconds later a rebuttal appears, as a teenage figure comes swinging in and hurdles over the obstacle. A train guard shouts, trying to halt the untamed fare evader, who continues bolting as they present a brief middle finger. To their right, a guy heaves his guitar on his shoulder, adjusting his collar. His cowboy boots briskly click-clack on the concrete. Holding a few books close, an impatient shove knocks them into a puddle. Without warning, the rain attacks a group of femme faces painted with Bi colours. Flaying their hands around like a stressed mum before company, their pink and blue tears race down their faces. Bops from the bars and laughs from the crowds skipping past switch their focus. They bounce up King St, the rain is just background noise now.

Two cops walk into a skatepark

A few friends were sitting at a skatepark on a Friday night when a cop car abruptly pulled up and drove over the grass right up to the skate ramp. It almost seemed like it was attempting a trick on the half pipe, it was that close. The group had spent the day going to skateparks around different areas in Sydney and had ended up at Seven Hills skate park around 8 p.m. A few adults hanging at a skatepark on a Friday was enough to draw suspicion to these cops who seemed like they had an uneventful Friday night and were eager to pin something on them, or someone. Two of them hopped out of the car with a smirk of pride and a pinch of authority in their eyes as the group waited for the boys in blue to approach them. A mouth-short white man and a more quiet and conforming Indian man arrived on the slab of concrete.

All the group was doing was hanging out, talking and skating down some ramps, so they had no reason to be worried. However, cops can often allude to such an aura, that a lot of people seem to feel a sense of fear whenever they are around. The group of friends politely asked them what was going on and if there was anything they had to be concerned about. It was ironic because not too long after, the group realized the cops were the ones they had to be worried about.

The cops put their veil of examination on and hounded the adults with many questions about what they were doing out in the area. The cops had specified that it was quite a rough neighbourhood. I had heard that about Seven Hills, but a member from the group who had lived around there replied to them calmly that he thought it was a nice area and he had never seen much trouble. The loudmouth flexed that he had been on the force for thirty-five years and had some issues around here.

They began Integrating the adults about whether they had anything to drink, although all of them looked as sober as you could look when you’ve been skating all day. The boys in blue also poked them about whether they had jobs and went to university as if looking for a stereotype to pin them against. The officers checked IDs even though the group had not given them a reason to. It seemed like they were fishing for something, anything on this Friday night.

Although none of the adults had been skating, one of the petty cops was about to pull the group up on riding without helmets but a distraction intercepted this. Two young boys who looked about fifteen were headed towards the skate park, one of them on a bike. The cops immediately turned their attention from the adults to the children. The short cop aggressively yelled at the kids straight away, asking them to get off the bike or they’d get fined for not wearing a helmet. The boy on the bike didn’t react straight away, a classic fifteen-year-old. Without comprehending that he was talking to a fifteen-year-old, the cop angrily swore at him. The teenagers did the same back. Can you blame a teenager for retaliating? How can you demand respect from a teenager when you’re egging them on?

It became obvious as to why they directed their attention to the boys; the cops knew them. The short cop probed the boys by asking in such a taunting tone, “How’s your mum” and “Are you still setting things on fire?”. He was begging for a rise out of them. It was astonishing for this to be coming out of a cop’s mouth. The next thing that happened was a sickly surprise. The cop retaliated to the children swearing back by taking the air out of the kid’s bike. These kids had been in a bit of trouble before but they seemed like all they were doing was having a bike ride and chatting on a Friday night. The cops’ efforts to investigate what the teens were doing were a pure failure, mixed with assumptions.

It is this attitude that cops have that puts people in boxes and categorizes them as bad people. Marking them as criminals before they get a chance to explain their side of the story. Children who have been exposed to a bad environment and are mixed up in the wrong crowd aren’t given a chance to change when cops like this assume and stereotype. How do these cops expect these teenagers to stay out of trouble if they are looking for trouble in them? How can someone whose job is to protect society, be so apathetic to a child who has been through some traumatic experiences and acted out because of it?

Cops are not trained properly to deal and empathies with people. They react and retaliate. They make assumptions and snap decisions. They abuse their power. In plain sight, they are seen egging on a child to act out. It’s cruel, it’s manipulative and it’s not protecting and serving. The training of cops needs to be reassessed. A teenager should be able to go about his night on his bike without getting the air taken out of his tire by an angry c*nt who wears a badge to protect and serve.

Violation Tattoo

Sexual harassment conducted by a tattoo artist has sparked bad reviews for Newtown’s King Street Tattoo Parlor.

Lately, lots of women have been using their voices on social media about their current or past sexual harassment experiences. They are sick of being silenced and are empowered to unite over horrible experiences. It’s disappointing and uncomfortable to hear about these stories that take place in well-loved venues or by people you have interacted with. But it’s also key for these perpetrators to be held accountable, for them to lose their jobs when they have crossed lines.

Feeling safe when you’re lying down and getting stabbed for a couple of hours by an ink gun, is a must. It’s important to know that the person carving art on you, respects your body. That’s what you’d expect right? You’re allowing them to connect with your body. It can be quite an intimate moment when you think about it and trust should not be breached.

King Street tattoo has been a favourite for many people aching for an etch of ink on their skin. However, recent events have changed the once-popular popping parlour. What once was filled with tipsy tumbling people and eager clients, is now going to be hauntingly empty. A few days ago, an 18-year-old girl was flicking through tattoo designs at the parlour, deciding what to get. As she was mulling over what to permanently put on herself, an artist by the name of Simon took an upskirt photo of her. Violating her body, violating her trust and violating any form of respect. This act would have gone unnoticed by this girl if another lady waiting for a tattoo had not spotted it and rushed to tell her. It is gratitude like no other when another person can give a heads-up during a creepy situation.

In response, the girl confronted the artist who did not react very seriously. In a video that is filmed by the young girl, you can hear him laughing and stating he thought it was a ‘funny thing to do’. His laughter is accompanied by some of his workmates which further upholds this unsafe environment. The young girl was upset by the mockery and took to social media to express her experience. This led to a crowd of outraged people, commenting on posts by Kings Street Parlour and leaving lots of reviews expressing their disgust for the incident. ‘This tattoo shop employs and protects a known sexual predator, who was caught preying on a female customer’ one lady on Facebook expresses her disdain. In response, the parlour blocked comments and bad reviews and the accounts that made them.

Finally, a response from the parlour was elicited due to the mountain of pitchforked keyboard warriors, battling for answers from the parlour. A half-assed apology a few days later did not leave people satisfied. It stated that the parlor was not aware of such an incident. A highly unlikely truth, due to the other workers laughing in agreement and the constant reviews and comments explaining the situation. However, firing Simon was a good option they followed through and expressed their apology. The silence of the other workers remains complicit and not held accountable. ‘Where’s the commitment to revise the staff admission and hiring process to make sure it’s a safe space’ Instagram artist Allie Banks says. The incident by Simon, the poorly handled response to the situation and the unnamed, unapologetic workers remains uncomfortable ghost sitting in the empty parlour. Locals and tattoo enthusiasts have shared via social media that they don’t wish to return to the parlour for any more tattoos.

What was once a very loved place to go to get a tattoo has now lost respect. That’s expected when respect is not given, when trust is broken and when a body is violated.