Reading Toby Zoates brings back memories of times when I was just a little kid. For example, my Dad would bring me around Darlinghurst and Kings Cross as a small kid and Darlinghurst from memory looked like a war zone. It was even like that up until the 90s but those little yuppie cafes started opening like a slow takeover. Now that stuff is everywhere. Zoates though sheds light on a lot of the scenes from the 60s, 70s, and 80s that I wasn’t even born or only a little innocent kid to know. My Dad was a notorious street walker and could snap into a paranoid rage if pushed by a lot of the types wandering around Sydney over those years.
Zoates book is absolute magic and it makes you realise how crazy Sydney was back then, some of his stories I can relate to and during the mid-eighties I knew a lot of the dangers lurking at that time. I saw a few bloody fights as a young teen and also copped some beatings here and there. Although I tried to avoid drama as much as possible it was hard when your playground was the streets. Zoates though was on a whole other level of involvement with all types of scenes that I am kind of glad I wasn’t born yet to see. Actually my book ‘A Bad Performance’ kind of explores some of the scenes in the 90s but to be honest it is a painful read compared to Zoates larrikin style.
As a young child, I was a bit spoiled, I think as compensation for the working class life I was going to have as my Dad succumbed to schizophrenia and me and my single Mum lived on a little workers’ terrace in Randwick. My Dad burnt a lot of bridges and he had to find his own style of survival which was by living on the very edges of society, visiting drop-in centres and the Nuns for sandwiches and tea. He did very well for himself as he lived in poverty with no overheads, he didn’t use electricity, hot water or any costly items. He saved every dollar he found and lived in a state of poverty for his whole life. Some people saw this as selfish as he seemed to be sponging off the system but really he had no other options.
What I think was good about him living as a pauper was that he proved that the world of money is simply a load of garbage and every dollar you have needs to be invested in something other than a lifestyle. Most people these days see lifestyle as the golden oracle of life itself, whereas even if you turn off your electricity and live in the darkness you will have smaller overheads which means your lifestyle needs to be shelved. I am sick to death of the money quest constant dollar dazzler vibe of the last thirty-plus years but that is just how I feel. Everyone is fake smiling and doing the grind thinking they are saving Koalas and people in need. I am just blogging and my cat is expecting hugs.