Shit-Sandwich Shop Stop
August 29, 2020
May 31, 2021

My dearest Melbourne,

The simple mouthing of your name fills me with longing, the way it sounds on my lips, Mel … booooourne, oh, what mixed emotions stir deep within my soul for you.

I miss you Melbourne, more than you can imagine. I miss everything about you.

I miss your rain-soaked streets, I miss your trams. I miss your dirty brown river and the clear, tranquil water of your bay and the way it gently laps the shore. I miss your cathedrals and those clocks and your noodle bars and coffee shops and decadent cocktails sipped behind silly, secret doors. I miss your street art. I miss your theatre art. I miss laughing in your comedy clubs. I miss the sound of seagulls and I even miss the smell of stale piss under Princes Bridge.

I miss the lights being turned on at the MCG and I miss footy crowds wearing footy scarves descending on Southbank in droves. I miss pre-game drinks and cold meat pies and heckling the umpires.

I miss the buskers down the Boulevard and the whoosh of those fireballs outside Crown. I miss drunken nights and late-night kebabs and pain in the balls of my feet from partying too long in heels in your venues.

I miss the never-ending eye candy from your never-ending shop windows, Haig’s Chocolate, the whole Block Arcade, Swanston Street, Elizabeth Street, Bourke Street, Collins Street, all the streets, I want you so badly Melbourne.

I really miss the river. Our river. My river. I like it dirty. It wouldn’t be part of who you are if it wasn’t dirty. I miss our long walks by the river. I think about all the things we shared there, all those conversations and thoughts, the quiet times sitting on that park bench, watching the sunlight caress the ripples of the river’s skin. Your river. Our river. My river.

I am so sorry Melbourne, that I took you for granted. I didn’t understand how tirelessly you offered yourself to me, with all that food, all that abundance, all those events you put on for me and all those places to go. You never rested, never slept and all you ever asked of me was to enjoy you, be with you, drink you in. And I did, I selfishly took it all whenever I fancied. Other times I said I couldn’t be bothered, because I was too tired, or too broke or too stubborn to spend time with you. Sometimes, I said I just wanted to stay home.

I regret that now.

Truth is, sometimes I thought you were too difficult – the traffic, the parking, the expense – it’s easy to focus on the bad stuff and I let complaints slip too easily from my lips. I will overlook every one of your flaws when I get you back. We all have our flaws.

I do have to be upfront. I have fantasised about others: Brisbane, Sydney, Perth … even Adelaide. I promise, it was just flirting, it was nothing serious, nothing happened, it was a quick online fling and meant nothing to me. Maybe I was just craving a bit of fun, because, I know you know it has been hard, with you, lately. Fleeing feels so seductive, so risqué and I was so tempted to break the rules and there they were so, so alluring with their promise of fun and freedom.

But, leaving you is a quick fix and it doesn’t solve the problem that’s coming between us. I could never leave you Melbourne. Those others, they have nothing on you.

Melbourne, please know, I carry you in my heart everywhere I go.

I miss you Melbourne, more than you can imagine. I miss everything about you.

I am afraid that what we are going through will change us both forever. You are straining under crippling pressure, but please, I beg you, stay strong, for me. I need you. I want you back. Maybe, it won’t be the same as before, but different doesn’t have to be worse. Maybe, it will be better. Imagine, what we will do with all that we have learnt about each other.

Melbourne, you are in a dark corner right now, you feel isolated and alone. But you are not alone, I am here, waiting for you. We can do this, together we will get you back on your feet.

Please, take the time you need. I will leave my light on for you. Always.

Forever yours.

Karina Grift
Karina Grift
I am an artist and writer living in Melbourne, Australia. Professionally I am a freelance journalist, editor and media consultant. I paint and write for sanity and the challenge.

1 Comment

  1. Cathy Vaz says:

    Well Karina I didn’t know you such a great writer and I like very much what you wrote about Melbourne and I share the same emotion.

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