To borrow a line from L.P. Hartley: “The past is foreign country; they do things differently there.”
This line has been haunting me for most of the weekend, since I was down on the Gold Coast to man a booth at Supanova and it involved seeing parts of the Gold Coast I don’t often go to. While I frequently went down there to visit my parents over the last few years, it was relatively easy to ignore the vast bulk of the city while doing that – I barely had to get off the highway to reach their house, and there was never any call to go toward the beach where the bulk of the Gold Coast lives.
The Gold Coast Supanova, on the other hand, takes place in Broadbeach – right next to the Casino and Pacific Fair shopping mall, right across the road from the Broadbeach mall where I spent a lot of Friday and Saturday nights in my late teens and early twenties. It’s where one of the handful of game-stores on the Coast existed, so I went there a lot to buy copies of D&D and Vampire and, if I’m remembering correctly, one of the first attempts to create a Babylon 5 RPG.
Basically, it’s a part of the Gold Coast that’s loaded with memories, which is why it shows up in the Flotsam series so much.
It’s also a reminder that I don’t remember the past well.
I don’t forget things that happened, necessarily, but I’ll hit a place like Broadbeach and suddenly remembering periods of my life that seem like they happened to someone else. It’s lots of that time when we all went through our Goth phase and that time I was engaged, how the hell did that happen and that time I accidentally ended up doing theatre and all that time I spent at university, pretending I really wanted a PhD.
Anything that happened more than decade ago just seems unreal to me, like I was just treading water while I figured out what I really wanted to do with my life.
And the memories bubble up, again and again, transmuted into fiction in one form or another.