The Ones That Got Away

The landmarks of Melbourne will remain forever etched on my mind — each and every one is indelible, whether it be the futuristic silhouette of Federation Square or the grand Victorian architecture of Flinders Street Station. I’ll always be able to recall how the glossy Rialto Tower reflected the azure of a clear winter sky; how the Eureka, with it’s funky stickle-brick design, towered slightly above it; how the Melbourne Cricket Ground perched nearby like some sort of majestic crown.

I’ll always remember the beautiful parks and the botanic gardens; the quaint burgundy restaurant trams trundling through the city; the clacking of the pedestrian crossings. I’ll never forget standing on the south bank of the Yarra River, watching in awe as jets of flame roared into the night air outside the Crown Casino. I’ll never forget the smell of the soup kitchen on Flinders Lane, or playing chess under the grand dome of the State Library. Each and every corner of the city holds some sort of memory for me.

After eight months there, I pondered over this as I skirted around the edge of the city on a final walk-around. I cut through a tree-lined avenue on a patch of grassland. And as I walked through the park I felt an unusual sensation. At first I thought it was sadness, but when I examined it more closely I realised it was more than that. It was bitterness. Melbourne doesn’t belong to me; it’s not my home city, and I realised at that moment that it never truly could be. And it made me sick.