the pacific highway is constantly upgrading. the roadworks never end. the road stretches into the distance, quiet. there are no workers, but the machines still dig.
you log into facebook. people you may know has updated. a girl is friends with your cousin. your cousin is friends with your boss. your boss is friends with the girl’s brother. they all live three hours away. they all know who you are. you do not know them.
Grafton is inland, but there is nothing to the east. do not ask what is there, only pray you will never find out.
city people ask you where you’re from. you tell them the name of your town. they have never heard of it. neither have you.
the villages on the coast brag about the beach. you visit, once. the ground is covered in sand. seagulls tear hot chips from your fingers.the people are covered in sand too. none of them wear shoes. there is a vacancy in their eyes.
don’t linger too long at the Taree service center. everybody is dressed in yellow and red. the town is yellow and red. yellow and red sponsors the town. yellow and red owns the town. yellow and red is the town. Taree is McDonalds.
the islands off the coast are empty. only one has a lighthouse. we say nobody lives there. we know that it blinks at night.
choosing a university is difficult, even with your regional points. you could brave the cold winters of Armidale, or escape to the drunk paradise of the Gold Coast. quick, you only have 3 seconds to decide, or Lismore will be your only option.
Mullumbimby doesn’t exist. Iggy Azalea never grew up there. The beaches were beautiful, but it couldn’t escape the shame. Mullumbimby doesn’t exist.
the Great Dividing Range looms over you. waterfall way is the only way up to Dorrigo. your parents warn you never to go west alone.
state of origin night, and all the houses are painted blue. all the faces are painted blue. except for the children. they don maroon. they have never known victory.
your local shopping centre has no escalators, if you even have one at all. you buy your clothes from target country. unless you live in Coffs Harbour. in that case, good luck.
it’s July, and the hipsters, goths, indie girls, and tired dads swarm up the highway. they ask you for directions. splendour, they say. it’s in the grass. you only nod blankly. there is no splendour here. only mud, and rain.
there’s a roundabout in the middle of the highway. and a 40km school zone. this is the main route between Brisbane and Sydney. only the strong will survive Urunga to Nambucca.
Russell Crowe’s house in Nana Glen is empty. he only ventures home to visit his parents. there is nobody living there, but that doesn’t stop the sightings.
You visit Casino for Beef Week. You see the Beef Queen crowned. You clap, as the cows surround the regent. All hail the queen of beef.
you wait at your local bus stop, for the once-a-day service. it never comes. it was never going to.
working a shift at your local bowling club, you notice the customers ageing. they age, and you are afraid. everyone is old. they all order chicken schnitzel. you must send them to Port Macquarie. it is the only place for them.
everybody loves the big banana. you are proud of the big banana. everybody wants to visit the big banana. nobody wants to leave the big banana. nobody is allowed to leave the big banana. everybody want to stay at the big banana. everybody must stay at the big banana. it’s a whole bunch of fun.
you moved to the north coast when you were young. you know your way around. it becomes your home. soon, you forget any other places exist. you stop visiting Brisbane or Sydney. you have never been further north than byron bay, never past the nymboida, you are scared to step foot in forster-tuncurry. you were born on the north coast.
I’ve tried a few remote places and you still get pictured. It’s flattering — they’re fans and it comes with the job — but it would be nice to know there was a country where nobody knew you at all. I’d like to find it.
Is there a place he isn’t recognised? (Zayn for Evening Standard Magazine)
Hello! I’m not sure if this post is relevant, but it’s been on my mind for a few days.
My name, for a want of a mild degree of anonymity, is Toxo, and I have been an on-off part of the furry community most of my life.
As with most furries, I have a ‘fursona’, a character I use as my selfrepresentation in everything I do. And I suppose I want to talk about how that has related to my fatness through the years.
My character started off very plain and slim, you see. If I recall, she may have been feline. Very ‘normally’ attractive. 'Curves in the right places’, as somebody shallow may describe. It was how I wished I was in body, but online where nobody knew otherwise.
As I became more acknowledging of my fatness, I changed my species. An otter. Small and chubby, hyperactive and with a delightful array of chirps and squeeks. At home in the water, as I so often was. She was small and diminuative in all but her weight. Short enough that she could make herself disappear in a crowd, as I often wanted to. I was acknowledging of my size, but I was not happy with it.
Sometime later, I stumbled very unwittingly into HAES and Fat Acceptance blogs. My god, what a breath of fresh air. I finally started looking at all of myself, I noted the sheer presence of myself. And I loved it. I am big, I am of the 'really fat’ size thinner folks deflect with when they make fat jokes in front of fat friends. When I hug people a little too enthusiastically, they stumble from my weight thumping into them.
I started to love those things. I made my character as huge in height as people made me feel - as if I simply could not be ignored for simply being outside. I made her, like me, a monster - the kind Jeffery Jerome Cohen has spoken of in his Seven Theses of Monster Culture, who challenge prejudices and biases in our society. It sounds harsh, I suppose, but the title 'monster’ is one I cherish and hold dear. It became a centrepiece in my self-identity. A word that I took and made mine.
She is no longer a specific species, she is a stunning and beautiful melange of the things I love about myself. Masculine, with my PCOS facial hair. She has my thick neck, my huge thighs and my soft belly; she has my fat and my strength. I turned all the things I’m supposed to hate into prominent and beautiful parts of my character. I’m no longer accepting of my body but, for lack of a better word, reveling in it.
When I look back and feel like I’ve not developed as a person, I can see this path that I’ve carved in my own character, and how on a hugely magnified scale she has changed with each change in myself.
I love my character, I love myself.
Toxo, I’m 110% glad and honored that you felt comfortable sharing your story with us. I’m in the fuzzbucket community as well, and I remember the struggles of my fursona. They’ve always been the same species throughout [ A tigerfox ] , but as I grew more comfortable with my body, I made them match my body type… and soon bigger!
I’m glad to see that your fat acceptance traveled through your beautiful beast.
I’m having a quite contemplative evening, packing the last boxes in my flat. (Because I’m moving soon). I’m suprisingly relaxed. Happy about the new chapter in my life (professional and probably personal life as well). I’m leaving a job behind that I struggled with a lot in the beginning, that I eventually managed to get along with, but still feel releaved about to come to an end with now. And I’m also leaving a town where I knew nobody besides neighbours and collegues. (which was intentional, because I was writing my Master’s thesis last year and wasn’t interesting in socialising).
But you - all you people on tumblr :) - have been such a constant in my life in the past three years. So I just wanted to say hi! I’m still interested in you and what’s going on in your life (although I currently don’t have as much time to spend on tumblr as I used to). How are you? How’s the fandom doing two months after you know what? What’s important to you personally atm? What are you passionate about?
Do you know how I got over you?
Let me tell you, it was not easy
I ran away from my city
I wanted to forget everything and everyone
I went to a place where nobody knew my name
I wanted to be anonymous
I eradicated my existence trying to forget you
It’s hard for me too, I thought, but I didn’t say it. I kept quiet, knowing that the sadness I was feeling was the wrong kind of sadness. I stared out the car window and understood that I was in a place where nobody knew my heart even a little bit.
When I got there and got my pass I started looking around for Mark, Bob, Wade and Molly, and had no luck. I ended up walking up to anyone who was wearing a Markiplier hoodie or shirt and asked if they knew where any of them were. Nobody knew, but I made some cool new friends.
Eventually I found myself near an escalator that lead to the dealers room, where I met these two young ladies who were also looking for the four. We started talking and searching around from above and when we found nothing we were about to head off but, just then, I managed to spot Wade and Molly coming onto the escalator we were right next to. I showed them and one of them started yelling and jumping up and down, but I just lost all breath I had and got jitters like you wouldn’t believe.
We waited in silence while the two went up the escalator and it was the longest 10 seconds of my life. When they got up there I immediately gathered all courage I had (which honestly wasn’t much, I was shaking so badly) to ask them for a picture. Wade said absolutely and told me to stand over by the wall for better lighting.
Wade then said “Do you want Bob in the picture too? He’s right behind you.” I looked behind me and saw Bob and I just fell apart, it was pretty hilarious.
When it was my turn to have my picture taken, I nervously asked if Molly would join in the picture too (because she is honestly a fucking queen and I love her) and the picture was taken, (after Wade playfully covered Molly’s face when one of the girls was about to take the picture).
I asked them if they knew where Mark was and they told us he was outside the panel room, which I doubted cause I was just over there 10 minutes before that. But, we all walked down there together. And since Mark wasn’t there and there wasn’t many Markiplites there as of yet, I got to hang out with Bob, Wade and Molly personally.
They were so sweet, and treated me as a friend rather than a fan. I hung out with them for around 15 minutes before I got in line for the panel. (Me and Wade didn’t talk much, I asked him questions about the panel, me, Bob and one of the ladies from earlier discussed how tall he was in comparison to us and Mark and then me and Molly talked the most, about Texas and how the weather hates us here.)
After an hour and a half, I got into the panel room (around 3 rows back, great seats) and the panel started.
It was AMAZING.
I even asked Mark a question that made the whole audience clap, cheer and all around freak out, it was pretty funny. Wade also playfully snatched the mic out of my hands and yelled “give that back” before walking away, which was hilarious. The panel was amazing.
After the panel, I asked Molly if she was going to the autograph session afterwards, and she said maybe. I asked if she could sign the Opinion Minions T Shirt I brought for every one to sign. She asked if I wanted to have her sign it there or wait till the autograph session. I thankfully told her to sign it right there. Thankfully.
By the time I got down to the autograph session I found out that midway through the panel the line had maxed out and they weren’t letting anyone in. I was devastated, cause I hadn’t been able to meet Mark yet, which was the main reason I went in the first place.
After 30 minutes of standing there and holding back tears, suddenly, Mark came running down the side to give everyone high fives, before finally saying hello to everyone who couldn’t get into the line that were still there. He was about to turn away when I called out to him.
I asked him if he was going to stick around after the session and he said regretfully “I’ll try but probably not. I’m really sorry.” and then had to run back up to the front.
But I got what I wanted, and I was able to meet Markiplier.
The whole thing was amazing, and was more than I could ever ask for. I hope they come back next year.
The second part of the dream was a lot less hilarious, in that it contained the apparent information that the clockwork sun in Skies was sort of a terrifying reconstruction of the corpse of the old Sun using the framework of the Dawn Machine. And that the Bazaar, in its grief over the love of its life perishing and then being crudely resurrected in such a horrible way, had just… left. Left London, left the Neath, left Earth. The Masters left too. Nobody knew where they were.