19 July, 2005

the passion and the poison

On Friday evening, Federation Square hosted the premiere of Visionary Images' latest project: a short film / animation project entitled Pause & Effect. Ryan has been a memberof Visionary Images for several years now, and has spent over a year working as part of the collaborative group which created Pause & Effect. So it was great to see all their efforts come to fruition, at the first screening of the film on the huge screen at Fed Square. Quite a few people gathered in our fair city's hub for the occasion, Rye made a nicely succinct and to-the-point speech, the work screened, and was very well received. I think the whole V.I. team were (rightly) proud of their achievement, and very pleased with the great public response.

Myself and the irrepressible Ms Nat (whom I will never DARE neglect to mention in a blog again) were invited to join les artistes as they headed out for a beverage or two to celebrate, before a magnificent dinner for all at the Shark Fin in Chinatown. When Rye, Nat and munkey finally stumbled back to Munkey Towers, it was the wee small hours of the morn.

It was off to the movies on Saturday with the lovely Mr Adrian, to see My Summer Of Love, a subtle, mysterious and intriguing story about the relationship between two teenage girls in northern England. The film was very good - economically written, and nicely underplayed with excellent performances from the two young leads. After the movie, we enjoyed lunch there in Camberwell *all-day-breakfast munkey* and then headed back to my flat (after receiving a parking ticket GRRR!) for coffee and chat.

After bidding Mr Adrian adieu, I drove back to Ryan's house to help him shift some very heavy tropical fish - that is, the tank was heavy, not the fish - to the home of his friend Jess, who had purchased them but had yet to take them off Rye's hands. That bout of physical strenuousness completed, I jumped in Oli and trundled off to the family home for dinner with patermunkey, Ms Cait and Electroboy. It was great to see the fam again, especially my siblings, as I seem to see them so rarely nowadays.

Ryan had headed off to a Masquerade Ball with people from the Lord Somers Camp he attended a year or so ago, so I came home from patermunkey's and settled down for an early night. Sometime after 1am, I was awoken by a frantic buzzing of my flat's intercom, and was alarmed to hear Mr Ryan on the other end, very distraught and needing my help. I rushed down to find my poor beloved huddled against the wall, scared, sick, sad and sore. I quickly paid for the taxi which had dropped him off - as he had lost his wallet somewhere in transit - and helped him upstairs. Make no mistake - Rye and I have drunk much alcohol together; I have seen Mr Ryan Mac very intoxicated. But I've never seen him anything remotely like this. He was terribly upset and barely coherent. This was more than drunk. To be honest with you, lovers and dreamers, I was really worried and just overwhelmed by the need to make him safe and well. As he calmed down, and felt less disoriented, memories of the evening floated back. He had only had five or six drinks. He had collapsed on the dance-floor, and spent around an hour unable to stand up in the toilets at the reception centre. He had tried to make his way outside and fallen down the stairs. He had spent some time unconcious in a garden outside in Albert Park. He had been kicked out of one Taxi for being too "drunk" (it was at this point that his wallet had gone astray). He had finally managed to get into another taxi, and remember my address.

This was not just a case of over-indulgence. As more info came to light, it was obvious that some fuckhead - probably merely as a "hilarious" prank - had spiked Ryan's drink with something at the Ball. I can't tell you what a horrible feeling it is to realise that someone you care about has basically been the brunt of a cowardly attack, for the amusement of someone else. And I was also mad as hell that none of his friends at the Ball had bothered to find him or check that he was ok when he became unwell. They all simply trundled off to the after-party, doubtless walking right down the stairs Ryan had fallen down, and right past the garden where he was lying, on their way to a fun evening... while he lay sick, crying and in potential danger.

At any rate, the important thing is he managed to get back to me *florence-nightingale munkey*, and by morning - or afternoon rather; he slept a good 13 hours - though still a bit sick and in pain all over, he was on the improve. And, lo and behold, there was some good news to come out of all of this: a kindly gentleman, while walking his dog early that morning, had found the wallet, and returned it still containing its cash to Rye's house. I guess, for every evil fuck in the world, there is a good samaritan waiting to balance it out. Anyway, long story short, Ryan has submitted a statement and blood samples to the police regarding what happened, and is ok again - although will be wary of drinking in public for some time, i think.

With that unhappy and emotionally draining episode in the past, I headed off to work once again, and then last night attended an event at the State Library Of Victoria, organised by Lady Lilikens: Neil Gaiman. Now, for those who don't know, Neil Gaiman is a writer extraordinaire, having written novels for adults and teenagers, childrens books, films, television, and - perhaps most famously - created the Sandman series of comics / graphic novels. It was great to hear him speak and get some picture-books signed by him for Ms Cait. Oh and the other good news is that Mirrormask - a film written by Gaiman, directed by his long-time illustrative collaborator Dave McKean and produced by the Jim Henson company - is finally in negotiations for an Austrlaian release. Hurrah! For fans of Gaiman and McKean, or of the darker side of Henson films such as Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal, this is definitely one to keep an eye out for. And can you balme me for purchasing and having Neil sign a fully-illustrated book of the complete Mirrormask story-boards and screenplay? I think not. Okay, I'm meant to be saving, but it was soooo pretty!

Well, take care of yourselves one and all... for starters, DON'T EVER leave drinks unattended at events! Speaking to several people since Ryan's horrible experience, it's frightening to realise that almost everyone has a story of themselves or someone they love being assaulted in this way. So of cousrse, life is for living and bars are for drinking, but please be careful. And hey, you bastards, if you're out with friends or even just acquaintances, and they become unwell and go missing, LOOK AFTER THEM FOR FUCK'S SAKE!!! This has been a mindlessmunkey public service announcement.




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