This is a continuation of My Original Name. I have had to heavily condense this part of my life into these pages. Some of it may not seem relevant,
and it has proven almost impossible to fit everything in. My apologies to anyone left scratching their head over this one, but instant gratification
has never been my kind of thing. Thanks to everyone who read My Original Name
means a lot to know people are interested. I have changed my original name for this story. All this came about thanks to
What's in a Name? A Lot.
This has been the hardest part of my life to write about. It gives me a stomach ache to write this down. I am not proud about my behaviour during
these years, and I need to make that clear. Who I was then is no longer the person I am now.
Part Two – Escalation
Flying back into Sydney was a harrowing experience for me. I had $50, no contacts and no job. I had knowledge, but did not realise it yet. Making
my way thru the throng of Sydney International Airport I was dismayed to find the bus into town cost $20. I paid my fare, sat down and let my worries
The cheapest place to live in Sydney is Kings Cross. It acts as the intersection between the real world and the fantasy world so many people seek.
Drugs run freely throughout it's narrow streets, and call girls line up every day and night against the parade of people that walk up and down the
strangely designed avenues. The Cross never sleeps. Sometimes, it may appear to slow down, only to roar into life again with each fresh exodus from
its smoky underground clubs. Everything is for sale in the Cross. No questions are asked and no remorse expected.
This was where I found myself standing, backpack in hand one late November day. The heat amplified the rotting garbage piled high discreetly between
each building and at times the stench of urine seemed to solidify as it reflected against the high city walls.
What the hell am I doing here?
I thought, observing the crowd.
I had friends in Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane. Why had I decided to stop here? I shrugged my backpack onto my shoulder and walked into the faceless
For $20 I could get a room for one night. I had $10 left out of my life savings. Ten dollars to make a start in this uncaring city. After showering
and washing away the grime collected half a world away, I headed out into the Cross to find my life. I felt strong, but also very confused as to what
had happened to me in Romania. The departure was so quick, and the lesson learnt so unexpected, I hadn't had any time to let it sink in. All I knew
is that I carried an old yellow piece of paper with my original name on it.
Sliding thru the crowd, my eyes tried to see every way at once. Sights and smells attacked my senses. Girls called out into the crowd, seeking the
eye contact which may inevitably lead to forgotten sex in a musty room rented high above the street. I was out of place, and instinctively turned my
head to look when a females voice called out to me. Our eyes made contact, and she stepped out from her vantage point outside a run down old strip
“Hey babe, you looking?”
I didn't know what to say. I instinctively retreated behind my manners.
“Hi I'm Shane. I've just flown here from half way around the world. Do you know anywhere I can get a job?”
“Hi Shane. I'm Candy. What kind of job you after?”
“One that pays. I need money” Candy's eyes narrowed.
“Oh. Go see my boss,” She motioned into the darkness inside the building. “Tell him I sent you.”
I walked on autopilot down the back carpeted hallway toward the throbbing music. Drunk customers swaggered past me. I felt agile and aware. Inside
the club there were two large stages where bored looking woman danced. Between them sat a bar, surrounded by blue neon tubing. An angry looking
bouncer stood by the door I had just walked thru.
“No touching the girls, no private shows tonight.” his deep voice cut thru the music.
“No, I was told to come in for a job?” My nervous voice lost itself between the throb of the bass.
“What?” He leaned in, anger still on his face.
“I'm looking for a job!” I shouted. “Candy told me to see her boss!”
He pointed to the man behind the bar. I walked up to him.
“Candy said you might have a job opening?”
He looked me up and down. “You a junkie?”
“No” I showed him my arms so he could see I wasn't using.
He nodded. “You wanna be a glassie?” He asked.
So for the rest of the week I worked 12 hours a day picking up glasses and cleaning up mess in the strip club. I didn't care. I has survived my
first week in the Cross.
After a while, people on the street became familiar. I noticed who was a local and who was there for the day. The backpackers were easy to
distinguish, as backpackers are anywhere. Pattens emerged amongst the familiar people that I saw every day during my life in the Cross. I kept my
nose down and worked hard, desperate to make a living amongst the bedlam I now found myself in. Something was keeping me here, and as yet I didn't
Soon, I had enough money to look for another job. I told my manager one night, during a lull in customers. Immediately he offered to teach me how to
work the bar.
And so I became the barman.
Life became a routine. I soon did not notice the strange surroundings that I found myself in. And time passed.
One night, during a typically hectic shift behind the bar, I noticed a man. His head was down between his drink. At the time I didn't worry, as
many of our customers would drink themselves into oblivion before staggering out of the door, always under the watchful eyes of the bouncers. He did
not move for some time. My shift ended, and after advising the next barman who to serve and who would likely begin to cause trouble, he began to
stir. He absently slid off his stool and walked about three steps before hitting the floor. Hard. Although my time here had diluted my sense of
responsibility, I found myself standing over him and shaking him with my foot.
[edit on 9/7/09 by shamus78]