Episode 53 - The Aftermath

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ROSLYN: You've reached the Love and Luck Podcast.





JASON: Hey babe. Just closed up. God, it was busy tonight. Couple of big groups came in not long after you went to bed, which kept me pretty damn occupied till closing.

Between helping the boys move today and Victor not being here to absorb some of the work tonight, I am completely knackered.

[Sigh] Looking forward to cuddling up to you in a few minutes. Love you.



KANE: Hey, so. When you wake up and check your phone, you will no doubt have received the invitation to Victor and Michael's housewarming party. Now, normally if we want to go to a party, we have Victor or Michael to look after the bar while we do that. Or Helen, in a pinch. But in this case, that's not really possible, since, you know... they'll both be there with us.

I'd really like to go, and I KNOW Victor and Michael would love to see us there, so... let me know if you have any good ideas on how the heck we can work around this? I'd really rather avoid closing up the bar for a night if we can avoid it, especially on a Saturday night, but... I'm fresh out of ideas.



JASON: Hey babe, hope you're sleeping well. So, I called around a few of my mates like I said I would, and I've found a couple of people that I trust to watch the bar for us on Saturday. Their names are Josh and Hannah.

They're going to come around tomorrow so you can meet them and get a feel for them, because I KNOW you'll feel better about the whole idea if you get to suss them out in person before they're responsible for all our shit for a night.

And if you don't feel comfortable with them, then I'll try and find someone else, okay? So don't let your anxiety tell you that it's either be okay with these specific people or not going to the party at all. That's not the case. That's a false dichotomy. Or whatever. Did I use that phrase right?

ANYWAY. We've still got a couple of days to figure it out, so don't stress out too much. I mean, worst case scenario, I can try throwing around some luck magic and see if we can find a solution that way.

I love you, and we're going to have a great time at Victor and Michael's party. I promise.



KANE: [Sleepy] Hey. Just wanted to leave you a [Yawn] bedtime voicemail.

Thank you for getting Josh and Hannah to come meet me today. You're right, I feel a lot better about the whole idea having actually met them.

I still... I still feel weird about it. It'll be the first time the people behind the bar aren't like... us, or our people, you know? But I guess... there was a first time for when Victor was alone with the bar, and a first time for Helen, too, so... yeah.

I don't know why I'm struggling so much with tiny changes lately. First the idea of Michael moving out freaked me out, and then I got upset in the supermarket the other day when they didn't have my usual muesli, and now the idea of having someone different look after the bar while we're gone is freaking me out.

I don't know why I'm like this. [Chuckle] Well, I mean, I know I'm an anxious mess. But I don't know why I'm being more of an anxious mess than usual lately.

[Yawns] I love you. Thank you for dealing with this anxious mess.



JASON: Kane. Babe. Honey. Sweetie.

Please tell me you're joking about not knowing why you're an extra anxious mess lately.

Like... c'mon now. Do I need to spell it out? You're still struggling with everything that happened. With the bigots, with the vandalism, with the hate crimes, and how it ended... it doesn't matter that you don't regret it, or that it's over, or any of that. It's still left an impression.

I mean, even you said that you feel sick when you try and use magic now, because it reminds you of what you did.

Horrible things happened to people we care about, and you did something that was really upsetting for you to do, and you're hurting over it. That's like... really, truly, very understandable.

Of course you're anxious. You're still dealing with everything that happened.

We all are. Just because it's over, doesn't mean it's over, you know? There's still a lot of dust that hasn't settled yet. I don't think this kind of thing ever just... heals over immediately. It kind of scabs up first, you know? And then, if we're lucky, the scar will be small, and not really noticeable. But... when the wound is as big as this one? Scarring might be inevitable.

I mean... I know even I'm... different, now. I'm jumpier. Angrier. Not like... not like angry-angry. Just like... I don't know. Like I'm simmering. Like it takes less, now, to set me off. Like I'm more willing to get angry, more willing to jump to conclusions. If I get even a hint of anything that feels threatening now, it's like... I feel like a bloody frill neck lizard. Just... puff myself up and start running straight at people.

I don't, obviously. Mostly because... there haven't been any threats, not real ones. But I still feel it. Every time I hear Ricardo have a nightmare, my chest gets tight and my skin gets hot and it's like... my body is getting ready to fight.

Wait, is this what anxiety feels like? Because like... if so, this is bullshit, and I don't know how you manage to be so well put together with this as a big part of your life. Holy shit. You're even stronger than I thought you were. You're some kind of goddamn superman.



KANE: [Amused] Yeah, honey. That's... that's one of the ways anxiety can feel.

And... yeah. It's bullshit.

[Sigh] You're right. We're all healing. Or... trying to, anyway. Doing the best that we can. Putting the ointment on the scar, I guess.

What does healing even look like after something like this? I don't think I even know. Will we ever get back to the way we were beforehand, or... do we need to just get used to being something new?

I don't know. I guess we have to just... try and figure it out, ourselves.



MICHAEL: Hi, Kane, Jason... it's Michael.

I was chatting with Victor about when he moved out of the bar, and he said he left you both some long rambling voice messages, and well... I know you both love your voicemails very much so... I thought I'd follow the tradition. I... felt a little bit too strange about leaving separate ones for each of you, so... that's why I'm just leaving this at the bar's phone.

So here, I am. Fully unpack, in my new home. Somewhere a bit quieter, but still with a friend I love, and room to paint. There aren't as many magpies here as there were at the Best of Luck, but on the bright side, I think we have a pair of rainbow lorikeets nesting in a tree outside of building.

I wanted to say thank you. For letting me stay with you, obviously, but... for more than that. Thank you for encouraging me to keep painting. Thank you for your delicious breakfasts and evening card games. Thank you for the bandages, both on my body and in my heart.

You are both very dear to me, and while I could've done without the circumstances that brought me to you... nonetheless, I'm glad to call you my friends.



ROSLYN: Love and Luck is written by Erin Kyan, and produced by Passer Vulpes Productions.

Kane is voiced by Lee Davis-Thalbourne. Jason is voiced by Erin Kyan. Michael is voiced by Oscar Sabogal. Credits spoken by Roslyn Quin. Recorded by Kermie Breydon and Eris Barnes.

Thank you to the Big Gay Fiction Podcast for supporting this episode.

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