There's something intrinsically Australian about a bunch of brothers and school friends getting together as a band at a very young age and all pulling together as a band at a very young age and all pulling together as mates to make something happen.
In my situation, every time I write a sentence, I'm thinking not only of the people I ended up in college with but my siblings, my family, my school friends, the people from my neighborhood. I've come to realize that this is an advantage, really: it keeps you on your toes.
I lost relatives to AIDS. A couple of my closest cousins, favorite cousins. I lost friends to AIDS, high school friends who never even made it to their 21st birthdays in the '80s. When it's that close to you, you can't - you know, you can't really deny it, and you can't run from it.
I was complexed and awkward that I was good for nothing and was always lying. I would lie to my school friends that I was a stud in my colony and to my colony friends that I was a stud in the school cricket and football teams, though I was in no team.
I remember the noise of the bells ringing at school as the effigy of Guy Fawkes we'd prepared earlier was carried out on a canvas stretcher, hoisted on to the huge bonfire and set alight. Then the revelry would begin. My school friends and I would all have sparklers we passed around, lighting one from another.