Aoife Daly is a writer and researcher residing in one of the most isolated capital cities in the world (Perth, Western Australia). She occasionally tweets at @dailyaoife.
12:30 AM, my bed: I wake up with a start – I fell asleep listening to a podcast about Easter Island, but now they’re talking about cannibalism. I’m sure this will give me strange dreams.
5:45 AM: My arm is throbbing painfully. Instead of cannibals I had incessant nightmares about missing appointments. I really don’t want to be awake this early, so I curl into the embrace of the man beside me and focus on emptying my mind.
6:15 AM: Resigned to the fact that I’m not getting anymore sleep this morning, but not willing to commit to getting up. I listen to a podcast about the ‘dark history of sea monkeys’ (spoiler alert: the creator was a monster racist) and tag friends in dog photos on Instagram.
6:30 AM: My phone buzzes with a text from Sarah responding to several messages from last night. “Are you still awake from drinking?” she asks, though I was well and truly passed out by 11.30pm.
7:00 AM: I start another podcast and scroll through Twitter whilst contemplating the gnawing in my stomach. Jake stirs next to me and tells me to go back to sleep. This is the earliest I’ve been awake on a Saturday in years.
8:01 AM, bathroom: I spent way too long reading the news on my phone and now I’m running late. I set a record for the world’s quickest shower, pulling on jeans and a shirt with a picture of that Sassy cover of Kurt and Courtney kissing. It used to belong to an ex. I notice I’m also wearing an oversize flannel cardigan the designers called ‘Nevermind’ after Kurt, a stupid little coincidence.
8:07 AM, Daphne Cafe: Even though I’m already late, I have to stop at my favourite coffee place. The barista there is lovely and always thanks me by name, which makes me feel like an asshole for not knowing hers. I make a mental note to ask her next time.
8:10 AM, hair salon: I used to despise going to the salon, mostly because the idea of two hours of small talk with anyone filled me with anxious dread. Only two people work in this salon though, and I like them both very much. I tell them about the birthday party I’m throwing myself tonight.
8:51 AM: My scalp is tingling with satisfying bleach burn. ~Beauty is pain~ after all. I feel like upkeep of my incredibly thick blonde hair is probably my biggest yearly expense after rent.
9:01 AM: Time at the salon is my only exposure to tabloid magazines, so I relish a rare flip through the gossip. I’m reading a story about Taylor Swift, in which a former high school acquaintance claims Tay enjoyed dissecting animals in biology class a little too much. I wonder if the implication is that Taylor Swift is some kind of sociopathic serial killer.
9:23 AM: I really wish I’d remembered to bring my newspaper with me. I’ll be busy all afternoon with party prep and will definitely be too hungover/busy transcribing this here EE post to read it tomorrow. Throwing it away unread at the end of the weekend makes me so sad. Sometimes I read it days later so it doesn’t feel wasted, but then I worry I’ll end up like that character in the Tom Rachman novel The Imperfectionists -who was something like 20 years behind on the news because she wouldn’t read the next days paper until she finished the last one. That kind of ignorance would almost be admirable in our 24-hour news cycle.
9:35 AM: I get a message telling me that two of my friends, a long-term couple, have just broken up. I’m not sure how to feel about it, so I mostly feel a bit sad.
10:40 AM, Source Foods: I leave the salon and go next door to buy my favourite bagel (salted beef, pickles, mustard) and a glazed donut for Jake. Little sugary gifts are how we best express our love for one another.
I panic and say no when they ask if I want my bagel toasted, then feel immediate regret.
11:09 AM, the house: Listening to a record Jake gave me for my birthday, a compilation of the early recordings of The Sonics. It’s a good soundtrack for the general tidying I’m doing around the house, which I am doing so my friends will see I don’t live like an animal.
11:49 AM, the backyard: Despite it being the middle of winter, it is a gorgeous sunny day in Perth. The sky is insanely blue:
There are a lot of things wrong with this city I live in (one of the most isolated in the world) but can’t help but feel it often redeems itself by serving up these kind of A + winter days.
11:56 AM: Jake and I are sunning in the yard when his brother stops by to pick up some mail, and they debate whether Breaking Bad can claim the title of ‘best TV show ever’. There’s no agreement, with the X Files, True Detective and Twin Peaks also bandied about as potential choices.
12:15 PM: We dance to James Brown’s ‘Cold Sweat’ and try to get the cat involved, but she won’t have a bar of any of this nonsense.
1:00 PM, the kitchen: I’m starving again and throw a salad together- spinach, cherry tomatoes, beetroot, feta, tofu and carrot. I cut up the tofu after I’ve done the beetroot and it makes my meat substitute look unsettlingly like fresh flesh. An Elvis record we bought in the basement of a Detroit bar spins in the background.
1:10 PM, the dining room: Jake’s dad comes over for a whiskey tasting to determine which one we’ll serve at tonight’s party. This is a sentence that makes me sound a lot fancier than I am.
1:35 PM, Dan Murphy’s Hyde Park: We drive to the bottle shop, one of those mega booze barns, to pick up two cartons: one of Coopers Pale Ale, the other Castaway Cider. It’s a depressing place, particularly as it was once one of the most beloved punk pubs in Perth. You can even watch a documentary about it, but essentially this supermarket chain bought out the venue and turned most of it into the bottle-o and the rest of the pub into a sanitised shadow of its former self. I feel bad putting money back into the corporation, but inner city booze prices in Perth are fucked. If I can get my carton of beer for $50 instead of $70, what’s a girl to do?
2:02 PM: The drive home takes us past the park, full of people walking their dogs in the afternoon sun. We talk about the dog we will own one day and discuss how delightful it is that a group of pugs is called a ‘grumble’.
2:40 PM, dining room table: I read a Vulture piece about the NWA biopic, which I am really pumped to watch. I then check Instagram and Twitter whilst putting together a killer playlist for tonight. I think about having a whiskey while I do this, but decide to hold out.
4:30 PM: I’m still making the playlist, which will surely be the most crucial factor in tonight’s success.
5.30 PM: I get texts from two friends telling me they can’t make it tonight. It triggers that sick kind of anxious dread that reminds me why I rarely host house parties, and brings me back to being an insecure teenager. I hate it.
6:10 PM: Jake pops open a bottle of Veuve Clicquot that I got at the end of an internship in Sydney and have been saving for 8 months. It feels good to finally drink it, and it helps take the edge off the anxiety still churning in my stomach. We watch an episode of Wet Hot American Summer and finish off the bottle.
7:02 PM, the bathroom: Putting my face on is equally soothing. I end up painting my cat eye too long, nearly touching my eyebrows.
7:15 PM: I’m buttoning myself into a 1960s houndstooth minidress I just got from Etsy, and it’s just tight enough to bunch weirdly. Whilst it feels like I’m just barely squeezing my skin rolls in, a leather jacket on top and the strategically lit darkness of the yard should cover it. I really want to wear this dress.
7:25 PM: Jake brings me roman chips and garlic focaccia, which we devour to Young Jessie’s “Hit, Git and Spit.” Because he is a bonafide sweetheart, he thanks me for sharing the food he bought with him.
7:47 PM, the backyard: Now comes that awkward stage of waiting for the first guests, my anxiety peaking. The neighbours behind us are having some kind of very adult-sounding dinner party with loud nattering laughter and no music. I hope they like my playlist.
8:17 PM: Jim is the first to arrive. He is one of the best storytellers I know, and immediately makes me laugh with some great tale.
8:46 PM: More people come through, including Vikki who has just finished Twin Peaks for the first time. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to discuss it with her, and we get stuck into analysis.
10:24 PM: I tell a few of my friends that I am recording this day for Enormous Eye, and they all immediately panic and look for hidden cameras.
11:15 PM: I talk to friends who have just bought houses, making me starkly aware of my age and career progress in comparison. Then I talk to a girl someone brought about how she is a vegan who eats mayonnaise, because it’s not as bad as eating a whole egg.
12:20 AM: Michael tells us that ten people a year get throat tumours from eating live squid. He says this happens because the squid tentacles have hooks that inject semen into the skin when you swallow them, and I tell him this sounds like bullshit.
5:30 AM: Sitting around the table with Jake and Claire, the last two standing, I’m hit by the realisation that I’ve been awake for 24 hours. I suddenly feel incredibly tired but entirely peaceful, buoyed with the buzz of the night and the love of my friends. It’s a comforting feeling to fall asleep with.