I’m writing this at 11:40 pm on a Monday night and Honi, gracefully, is not due until Tuesday due to Labour Day. My highest aspiration with this paper was that people would read it and not feel like they’ve wasted their time. Still, there are always alternatives and now more than ever I find myself in a conversation between what is and what could have been.
When I lived in Bondi, people would get drunk overnight and swim at the beach. From the balconies, you could see discarded clothes among the nested pigeons. Occasionally, those swimmers wouldn’t turn up, and a concerned onlooker would call the police who would call the coast guard, who would launch a helicopter. No matter what time of night on hearing the sound we would all leave our apartments and mass along the balconies to watch the search: a single brilliant light from the chopper piercing through the water and revealing clear blue to the floor. Sometimes, the person would turn up (usually, they washed up sober along the rocks and wandered in an embarrassed way along the coastline to recover their clothes) and sometimes they wouldn’t. And in those latter cases, there would be no talk among the observers and, instead, we would all withdraw wordlessly as the helicopter did and go to bed. In the same way, there were stories we didn’t recover and voices we didn’t represent, and it remains in the back of our heads unwritten.
Honi, for me, has been an attempt to communicate. The surprise was realising the joy I derived from helping others speak their work. I feel sincerely grateful for everyone who devoted their time to making our paper, and to everyone who devoted their time reading it. Admitting you like a Bret Easton Ellis novel at university is like shitting in an elevator. They won’t kick you out for it but you’ll develop a reputation. Still, I adore the way he concludes Lunar Park and will, in all its melodrama, appropriate it for our paper:
“You can always find us here, whenever you want, right here, our arms held out and waiting, in the pages, behind the covers, at the end of Honi Soit.”