These Are the Pleasure Lovers
From Stab issue 65: These Are The Pleasure Lovers! In which two brothers, nomadic housetruckers, chose a new lifestyle and leave monotony in the dust.
Words by Elliot Struck | Photos by Trevor King
In Byron Bay, the living is easy and that easy living has magnetism and charm. The town adopts vagrants, freaks, groovers, beatniks and everything between without discrimination.
“It’s the tale of two cities here,” says Angus, an expat who’s a perfect example of the kinda character Byron attracts. Angus is 28 years old and he is a casual school teacher (though he prefers the term “emergency”). He teaches mathematics and he calls it mathematics not ‘maths’.
He is a lover of surfing. He also lives in his car. Angus experienced his Warhol five minutes last month when, after plucking a coupla drowning French backpackers from the rip at Kirra, he appeared on theToday Show for an interview, during which host Karl Stefanovic took much delight at Angus’ appearance and burst into repeated laughter.
This is because Angus’ appearance is very hard not to associate with divinity. Well, divinity, but more eccentric. A beard tickles his chest and his hair falls as long as a rose stem. His eyes are dark and bright. Angus’s brother, Duncan, is 22 and is a gifted surfer. He was also drawn to Byron, and also lives in his car.
For work, Duncan picked blueberries for a few months, then washed dishes, now he is a cleaner. His hair is also long, died pink at the ends, but his beard is not like his brother’s. Duncan has a dusting on either cheek and on his chin, a curation that he later describes as “suss”. His hooked nose is charming. Both men are, as they say, “disgustingly single.”
It is in the northern area of Byron Bay named Belongil that Stab falls upon a beach house for a spill. This house exists to embody summery creativity, the kind that beer maker Corona celebrates, musically, artistically and otherwise. It is a difficult place for Angus to find himself because, although he’s not adverse to exploring altered states of consciousness, he has decided on a year of sobriety. It does not impose on his fun, however – Stab sees Angus dancing at a party on the Gold Coast a week later sans inebriation.
There are other men at the Corona house besides Angus and Duncan and their names are Blair, Jake and Tim. Blair’s eyes are piercing and his hair is also very long. Jake is strong, like a wrought-iron statue, with a short crop of dark hair. Tim is two tones of gold and he is from the West. He likes it here out on the east coast.
It’s a free life, this life that Angus and Duncan are living. Angus in his converted panel van and Duncan in his kitted-out station wagon. Nomadic housetruckers! Is it not fabulous? “We’ve been talking about it a lot,” says Angus. “And I don’t think we’ll ever go back to living in a house.”
Duncan mentions the idea of selling their cars and buying a larger bus. Angus nods in agreement. This is a common occurrence. There are many kinds of brothers and these two are the kind of brothers that think in similar patterns and agree on most things. The majority of things they say are complimentary to their sibling’s previous sentiments. “You’re always doing something that you want to do,” continues Duncan. “When you have a house you’re just chilling in your lounge room watching TV, but when you’ve got no house, you just use all your time to go surf or skate. I go surfing heaps or skate around, go to the library. Then work during the week. I’m always doing something, not just chilling out. ‘Cause, uh, I’ve got nowhere to chill.” Angus pipes in “You’re always doing something you fucking wanna do. I haven’t been bored one time in the last two months.”
Now, before we progress, let us make something clear. While Angus and Duncan live semi-nomadic lives, neither of these men are hobos. Both are intelligent hep cats with opinions and charisma. Their remedies for time-killing are surprising for a duo living such a vagabond existence. “I was struggling a bit between dinner and going to bed time,” says Angus. “I didn’t know what to do with myself ‘cause I don’t drink. It’s not like I can go get pissed every night. But then I kinda figured it out. I’ve just been chilling in cafes, doing maths, ‘cause it’s what I do. Any sort of maths, it’s all good. And it just kinda keeps your mind off stuff. I didn’t do it last night and it sucked.”
Duncan’s hobby is equally intriguing. “I’ve been reading heaps of astronomy books,” he says.
“And a book about an interpretation of time, and what would happen if you sped it up or slowed it down.” Angus says, “You’ve always got fun facts when we meet up or a topic of conversation.”
Another topic that’s been getting much airtime of late has been Angus’ moment of spotlight on national television. “I signed my first autograph the other day,” he laughs. All six feet and five inches of him. “A lady wanted me to write a love note to her friend and I happily obliged. I think I wrote, ‘Hey Mary’ and the lady wanted me to tell her to come up to Byron so I wrote, ‘You should come play in Byron. Love, Angus.’ All the kids at school are crazy on it, too. The other day, everywhere I walked in the playground random groups of kids would stand around and clap. Absolutely taking the piss but really funny.” And, what about women who want a taste of micro-fame? “All the chicks that wanna get down ‘cause of it are sketchy and not really chicks you wanna get down with. A few chicks have pretended they didn’t know.”
While fame’s not the worst kind of recognition, the brothers do sometimes attract undesirable attention. And it’s because of their style of living. “I’ve been spooked out by the cops,” says Duncan. “But I was just parked in a dumb, obvious spot. I just got hell drunk and had parked my car right in town.”
This sent Angus in search of clarification. “I read up on it and, as long as your car is parked lawfully, not in a No Stopping sign or No Camping sign, if there’s no sign saying you’re not allowed to park there, then there’s no council law or state law against it. There’s council bylaws and state legislation about certain things around it, but no one can tell you you’re not allowed to sleep in your car. So it’s all cool.”
No one can tell you how to live either and Duncan and Angus are living how they wanna. “As we were saying, you never catch yourself doing something that’s bad,” says Angus. “Like, we both love our jobs and wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. And everything else is golden.”
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