Thursday, March 31, 2011

Glock - 2/3

There’s a quick-witted voice bouncing in my head. The tent is collapsing, then expanding, like a lung, breathing life into this quick-wittedness. The voice isn’t saying anything funny, just saying a lot. There’s no order and there’s no chaos. Just a constant stream of non-sequiturs, chewing on each other’s behinds like a scene from the Human Centipede.

Close your eyes and concentrate on the bird laughing.
The laugh falls into the exhaust of a pink pick-up, driving into a brick wall that shatters, fragments landing in the lunch boxes of midget children wearing technicoloured dreamcoats and Nike high-tops. They’re running from something now; it’s a colossal wave, peppered with Nutri-Grain. All the coloured midget children are swallowed by purple lips that could belong to a fish, grandmother or clown. This could be a perfect scene for that short film I want to make. Find a pen, find a pen. You’re going to lose it.

I open my eyes in the hope a pen will appear in my hands. I become aware of something outside my tent; shadows dancing on the ends of strings in front of my eyes, like two-dimensional puppets with no faces.

You have to leave. You’re Glock. Ryder and Ashe and Jon and Sam and Pat and Sunni are waiting for you on the hill. You’re Glock. You have to go. The band’s about to start. You’ve got your pants on now, there’s no reason to be cold. Get up, World’s End Press are about to start. You like it when Sashi plays the bass. You’ve got some good moves, Glock. Very impressive. Could be a fun time.

The quick-witted voice comes back again. The one that doesn’t speak, just bounces around, chasing centipedes along the zip-line of the tent. The same voice causing the drops to patter, then slide, then vanish into the grass. The drops move now, along the ground, being carried by the ant kingdom’s equivalent of Schwarzenegger. The drops are laughing, like the birds were. They’re all laughing and telling me to ‘Get to the Chopper’. The wooshing starts and the chopper can’t be far away. Hurry.

The zip comes undone easily. I kick chairs from my path, dance over bottles, fend off shadows with an open palm and crafty side-step. I am past the car now and stop just short of the landing zone and wait. I wait for the chopper with a cigarette in hand. Waving it from side-to-side above my head, hoping the pilot will see the cherry, and lift me away.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

British Art.

The girl next to me is cuter than her accent makes her sound. She’s recounting the clothes she bought from a 'thrift store' and the new bikini waxer she visited, the one who can get her on the door of some city nightclub. I didn’t catch the name of the club, but I could picture the velour ropes and clipboard smirking door bitch. I conjured images of roofie-slinging, general-knowledge aficionados standing in the darkest corner, tapping their feet irregularly to the 90s house, waiting like a goldfish for a flake or waif to appear on the surface of its bowl.

“Excuse me, are you from Ireland?” I ask, genuinely intrigued.

“Do yew fink am from Island?” She drools, as if hit by a bus in her formative years.

I did think she was from Ireland, but no one from Ireland asks you if you really think they’re from Ireland.

“No, of course not. I mean, I also don’t think that cockroaches can survive a nuclear holocaust. No, no I don’t think you’re from Ireland. You’re clearly from Scotland.”

Their giggles tell me I’m wrong again, so I go back to writing. To hell with the fucking Irish or any of their tea-drinking neighbours. All they’re good for is a…

 “What are ya wri’in, then?”

“A short story. I have this thing I do every day where I….”

“Every day yew cum to this bah?”

“No, every day I write a short story.”

“What aboww?”

“Anything. Notes, music, travel, girls I meet in bahs.”

I shouldn’t be mocking her, but the crooked teeth and obnoxious, elongated speech is really getting to me.

“Will ya reed me sum?”

There was no way I was going to read her some of my writing. Not out of fear that she’d mock it, more out of panic that I’d take a candle to her brittle hair and watch her vanish into flames.

“Sorry, I never read anything to anyone until it’s finished.”

With that, she picked up her Tequila Sunrise and left. Her stereotypically crooked teeth chattering at the back of her tall, chunky, blonde friend’s back as they barged their way through the crowded bar.

I’d read about an artist that had killed British backpackers, strung them up from low hanging branches like fruit and painted them in bright colours. Throwing fist fulls of paint at their chests, torsos and genitals. Making them enigmatic, like the kindergarten artwork of a child. He, this murderer, was jailed after only four years of making his art. He’d made only 20 works, though 22 people had gone missing in the time of his reign.

On the way home I searched the Internet on my phone for 24-hour paint sellers and smiled when I found one in Footscray. Now all I had to do was find some low-hanging branches and an ex-aristocrat to commission my work. Then I wouldn’t have to write, as long as I saw them again soon.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

On your way to the big city.

A few words from me before you leave, dear friend:

Be wary of the semi-comatose selling smoke from the comfort of their sleeping bags. Watch your pockets around women with deep grooves formed around shallow mouths, wearing short skirts to guarantee long sexual lifespans. Never carry a gun in a public space unless there are such women, or gypsies trying to sell you a fake Rolex while you’re getting one off. Don’t swallow anything that starts with the letter ‘c’ and ends in ‘m’, including, but not limited to, clam. Always leave your apartment after sundown, for fear that getting on the drink beforehand may lead to reckless, unconscionable behaviour. I know this last piece of advice you will not heed, but it had to be said.

I’ll miss: terrorising flight attendants and Japanese store clerks; pretending we’re from a band called West Coast; moonlighting as semi-professional journalists or skateboarders (depending on what the situation called for us to be); accidentally stumbling into underground biker bars or the middle of a suburban living room, chasing a drink and drunken jazz; forging press passes and short-lived relationships with foreign musicians and bartenders; but most of all, I’ll miss the four day bender that our memories have only saved in the form of a three-minute video that can not be shown to parent or those pregnant.

Safe ride, Jimmy. Start scheming, thanks for everything, and I’ll miss you,


Monday, March 28, 2011

When there are so many possibilities...?

The girl that makes his morning coffee has a newly acquired power over him. She is the first face he sees, other than that in the mirror while he brushes his teeth, and the recipient of his first morning words. Occasionally she forgets the sugar and it makes the morning bitter. Once, she burnt the milk and it made him miss his tram and a morning meeting. She asked him last week if he’d like to go for a drink when she finished work. Despite her beauty and intrigue, he denied.

The past four months has seen a considerable amount change as a result of his infractions - he drinks more, sleeps less, and reads up on Japan. More recently, he has been wondering why, when there are so many possibilities, must he writhe over just one? After all, there were 1.7 billion other women still to meet. To buy a drink, invite to the zoo, smell, film chasing pigeons, share a massaman and the ensuing colonary explosion with. There were still 1.7 billion possibilities.  

This recent thinking served to remind him that both Dostoevsky and his uncle were wrong. It contradicted the memory of a postcard he once sent that explained an over-stimulated mind, simplified by one thought. It put to ease the waking fear that the same thought would be lost, and again he would have to think.

Tomorrow he hopes to have his morning coffee and then a drink with a beautiful and intriguing waitress. He hopes that tomorrow he will finish an entire meal without pausing for a cigarette to think.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Let me be a freckle?

If your chest is a beach, then can I be a rock on that beach? 

A malignant rock that can’t be moved by wave or seagull washing over me? So that when it’s time to leave, when the sun has disappeared and it starts to get dark and I’m forced to remove my head from your sinking beach, there’ll be something you can’t rub off? Something to replace my smell?

If your chest is a beach, can I be a rock that can’t be washed away?  

Living with a wanker.

I come home to a muffled sound slipping under my housemate’s bedroom door. After 3 minutes there’s an eerie, guilty silence, and the door opens. He is in a towel, smiling and hiding a fist full of tissues behind his back.

“Why don’t you just wank with your headphones in?”

“Hi to you too. I don’t wank with them in because I need to be spatially aware”, James says triumphantly, like he’s just conquered the Everest of erections. But I know for a fact his penis is smaller than a replica Kilimanjaro made from 8 matchsticks.

“What do headphones have to do with spatial awareness?”

“They inhibit it.”


“Well I need to know where my cock and hand are at all times. You know, let them communicate.”

If they did communicate, I knew what they would be saying to each other. I didn’t tell him this, but I was cognisant of the fact he thinks about my girlfriend while he’s wanking. In fact, recent investigation of his ‘search results’ found he’d typed in several lewd things mentioning her name: “Kate Nude”, “Kate Shower”, “Kate does James”. I didn’t want to ever bring it up.

“They don’t need to communicate, idiot. Usually it’s pretty easy. Just hold on to your cock.”

“Do you mind if I roll a smoke?”

“Are you going to wash your fucking hands before you impregnate my tobacco with a thousand retarded James'?”

“What the fuck’s your problem?”

“You wanking over my girlfriend, maybe?” Shit. Remain calm.

“Well, at least it’s not your mum.”

That’s true. It wasn’t my mum. Why would I be dating my mum? I’d be super pissed if he was wanking over my mum while I was dating her. Super pissed.

“You’re thinking about dating your mum again, aren’t you?” 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

At Prudence

There’s a dry booger on the urinal wall. My major concern isn’t that there’s a dry booger on the urinal wall, but that a finger most likely got wet with urine placing it there. I scan the bar for hands dripping with gold. James, our drummer, pushes past the Jameson drinkers and offers his hand. I give him my elbow.

The rest of the band arrives and we should probably bail nods are exchanged. On the back of a client brief I write a note for the girl I’ve been watching from afar. She can clearly see me in her periphery as I approach and the intensity with which she talks to her friend increases. She had predicted the predictable.

“Hi, enjoying your beer?”

“Yeaahhh…” She drags out, followed quickly by a schoolgirl giggle. Not a good start.

I hand her the note folded three times on itself. In primary school I folded a piece of paper six times on itself. I am pretty sure that’s as folded as you can make it.

“Anyhow, just a little note that, you know, I thought I’d give you. Ok, so, read it and let me know.”

“Let you know what?”

“The answer to what you're going to read.”

“What about if I don't?”

“Don't read it? Well, I guess that's your loss.” I have never said anything nearly as ‘smooth’ and clichéd to a stranger before – it feels good.

“Ok. First, tell me something interesting that I couldn't learn from this piece of paper.” She says, waving the folded paper square in front of her; the square representing the last of my self-confidence.

“Well, I go to the aquarium every Saturday. I don't like fish. I don't particularly like stingrays, or sharks, either. I mean, I don't mind sharks. I've never been attacked by one and they are quite beautiful in a strange way.”

“So why do you go to the aquarium?”

“The silence. I mean that sounds lame, but so is wearing a band t-shirt”, I counter, pointing to her chest.

“You equate the lameness of silence in an aquarium to a band t-shirt? I'll read your note.”

I leave the bar with the band, not quite sure of what just happened. Had this band t-shirt wearing midget, with her short cropped hair, disarmingly small eyes and squished nose just ripped my fucking soul out? I considered going back to retrieve my note. Then I remembered the contents, and it would only re-affirm what she is probably now thinking. The note read:

Hi, you’re cute. And I am not crazy. Despite what they say, you can’t tell if a person is crazy from their handwriting. Would you like a beer sometime? Tommy. 0400976715. 

Just then, as Sam sparked a cigarette and the car took off toward the outskirts of North Melbourne, I received a text:

Your handwriting belongs to a little boy. I’ll come to the aquarium with you on Saturday and then I’ll let you buy me a beer. Alice.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sarah at a glance.

It’s certainly not a dull face you have, but there are dull components. You’re neither tan, nor pale. Eyes are without sparkle, but also without pain or sorrow or regret. I don’t know how I can tell these things. Your Nose is symmetrical, not sharp or blunt, not big or small. I can’t see your ears, Sarah, push away some hair so I can see your ears.

(My beer arrives)

Your body’s interesting. Though I can’t see your feet, as they are obscured by those leather clogs. I imagine them to be slightly gnarled, rough and bruised from hours on your feet, and the dancing, of course. Jeans are bulging at the calves, the seams straining from the blood throbbing in your muscles. These must be long days for you, Sarah, with all this work and training.

The mouth of your 'crevasse', sorry to call it that, is clearly defined, as you’re slightly bow-legged, but this only serves to make you more attractive. It seems you never turn around, like you’re hiding your ass from me. You walk almost sideways through the doorway as if to avoid it. I guess you’re no stranger to my watching you. I wish, at least once, you’d wear a skirt. I’d love to know if you have knobby knees, or scars from cycling as a child.

There’s something beautiful about the horizontal lines in your neck. They remind me of the creases of fat between an infant’s hand and the end of its forearm. The creases of fat that turn into a human wrist as we grow older, less soft and less cuddly.  

In 30 seconds I’m going to spill my drink. Come over and wipe my table. Don’t forget to brush my hand, Sarah.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Big Size.

On the end of my finger was the stench of hooker, or what I imagined was hooker. A combination of fish, cigarettes and burnt plastic.

“I only sort of rooted her”, looking to escape the moral hangover.

“Well, you can’t be half pregnant”, Sam laughed. “You’re like a badly made origami swan.”

“What the fuck does that mean?”

“Eh. Man, it was strange, though. She came in, saw me naked, got on her knees and just started sucking my dick.”

“And you expected it to be different how?”

 “She just kept going ohhhh big size! and I’m like, I just want to talk to you…

“Big size?”

God I think I want to marry you, I said.”

“You’re not helping at all.”

“Man, I thought she was going to charge me a finishing fee… It was like getting a load off with someone trying to sell you a fake watch.” I instantly imagined him buying a fake watch, cock in hand.

“Pretty sure I got bitten by something in the love hotel.”

“Well, my bedsheets had blood on them… you probably got bed bugs.”


“You’re right, it’s not as if you were laying down in a brothel.”

“But they’re a clean people.” 

“My sheets had blood on them.”


“Don’t you wish sometimes you could capture a moment as it is?” pointing at his camera.

“You can’t capture conversation, Sam.”

“I know, Jas. I meant your face. You look fucking terrible.”

This night marked the end of the first month of my escape – it was nothing like I had planned.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Chocolate Saint-Jacques.

You used to love that chocolate.
I don’t anymore.
Why not?
Well, I do love it, I am just not going to eat it anymore.
Can you explain why?
Not really. Who cares? Chocolate doesn’t have feelings.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Stop Talking, Idiot.

Poo, sex, toy poodles, is that all you can talk about? You’re an interesting guy, remember? You’ve seen bears, witnessed civil war, taken acid during the day at a family BBQ. There’s plenty to say, she barely knows you. Anything but more talk of how often you poo, or strange sex positions you saw in a book at the local ‘toy’ store. And certainly don’t mention the dog you want to own with her one day when you live together. It was funny at the start, now it’s just frightening. There’s more to talk about. Hmmm, never really noticed how short her stride was before, not that mine’s especially long.

“You have short legs.”

Great, exactly what a short girl wants to hear, that her legs are short. Sure she hasn’t noticed.

“They’re short, but they aren’t stumpy.”

Don’t look at her. That was stupid. She’s got really nice eyes. Round. Sort of like almonds. Why almonds? You hate when writers describe her eyes as almonds. Such bullshit.

“I know I have short legs.”

“You have really nice eyes. They’re round. And kind of like almonds. In colour, not shape. So I guess they are just brown, didn’t really need to say they look like a nut.”

“What are you talking about? Can you hold my icecream a second?”

Goddamn it’s hot and this serviette is saturated. Why am I holding her icecream?! It’s dripping right down my arm. Wish I had a hand free, but I don’t. What’s that on her arm?

“What’s that on your arm?”

“It’s nothing.”

Why’s she hiding her arm from me? It looks like mine. The mark looks like mine.

“Is that a birthmark?”

“I guess so. I hate it. It’s ugly. No one else seems to have one.”

Roll up your sleeve. Show her yours. Show her the mark on your arm that is almost identical; that you hate, that you think is ugly, that you hide. Tell her about all the co-incidences you’ve noticed. The number 13, knowing about number 6, interests, ambitions, sense of humour, dreams. Tell her you didn’t want her to leave, that it was a waste, that it was a shame how you’d only just met, that the arm wasn’t a mistake, neither was 13, or how you first hooked up. Nothing was a mistake. How you’d call him Eddy, he could be a poodle or whatever breed she wants. You’d buy him a collar, and make sure the terrace in Carlton had a big enough backyard that he could fetch and dig holes. Tell her the note you wrote about the ears and the starting to fall in love despite having only known her for two weeks wasn’t a lie. That it wasn’t a joke like you said. That you really did want to dance in a living room with her in 40 years time, hair sticking out of your ears, listening to Phoenix on iTunes 40.1.

“Don’t leave.”

“Leave where? What?”

“I’ve poo’d three times already today.”


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Clear Headed Holiday

Poolside, my drink hasn’t arrived. The Russian boy with the dimpled nipples smiles an ungracious smile at the waiter; he has his drink, I still don’t have mine. Mum rubs lotion on her chest and I rest the pages of Letters in Love against my still wet body and fashion a gracious smile as the letters bleed.
The entire flight was spent thinking of you and consuming drinks. The pressure in my ears was unbearable. When we landed I held Letters in Love over a rubbish bin filled with foreign packaging and tissues. But this item wasn’t mine and it didn’t deserve such a fate.
My drink arrives and Mum’s brown body now has a tinge of shiny white. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A place to rest.

There wasn’t much life left in the day, so Patrick opened the drawer marked ‘Things to Remember’ and withdrew a bundle of old Christmas cards, holiday photos and trinkets. Among them were: photos from his and Tim’s first trip to Europe together, when Tim was just 5 years old; the first birthday card Stephanie wrote for him on her own; Tim’s report card from Grade 5 commending his way with words; a shell Stephanie collected outside their beach house in Rye; the funeral booklet of his Mother, Diana.

Patrick’s hand weakened at the last item in his ‘Things to Remember’ bundle. In his handwriting was a torn note he hadn’t thought of in years. It was a note he had written for Sarah when she was 27 and he first knew of her being pregnant with Stephanie. He hadn’t looked at the note since she had passed.

Dearest Sarah,

Tim can’t sleep and your news kept me awake too. We have created something I had never dreamed I would be a part of. Our little man, with his tiny hands and big, bold eyes, will soon have a friend. I have never not wanted sleep as much in my life, for every moment left I want to savour with open eyes.

Promise me, that as long as we’re both awake, you’ll never leave. Otherwise there’ll be nothing for me to do but sleep.

I love you,


There wasn’t much life left in the day, so Patrick watched from his window as Mickey chased bees in the lavender patch, before finally allowing his memories to sleep. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Glock - 1/3

Glock’s armpits omit the damp, humid, sweet smell of rain.
He’s been three days without a shower, two of those days without sleep. His face wears a smile that only ever comes from one of two things. I doubt he’s been laid. I doubt he’d let anyone get close to him smelling like rain.

Smiling from the highest branch of The Tree of Perfect Solitude, Glock is ready to give his annual sermon, to address his congregation.

“Welcome, friends, welcome to The Tree of Perfect Solitude. With many of our members not present this year – dead, overseas or missing from us - we welcome two more, Shaun and Amy. Welcome!”

We all put our hands together, mine feel as if they aren’t touching, but still making noise.

“Last year was the Year of the Salmon. We shall no longer live in the times of Salmon. From today forth, the year will be known as the Year of the Climbing Tree Frog!” Spirit has momentarily left his voice, though I still believe he believes.

Sam interrupts: “Surely there is something better than the ‘Year of The Climbing Tree Frog’?”

There is a moment of silence. Anxiety lingers. I feel frightened that Sam will be scolded. I feel worried that this may all end; that Glock may not come up with a suitable, worthy name for the year. That we will all lose faith. That the tree may disappear, crumble, burst instantaneously into flames taking all of us with it. Anticipation is everywhere.

“The Year of the Prawn!!!!”

The congregation of five erupts. Our thoughts now alive and wild, having fermented like paper under tongue. We’re ready to move now. To face the long grass, orb spiders, human-shaped holes in the ground. Alex moves forward, I follow behind. His ankles buckle under the weight of thousands of thoughts. Glock offers his hand and I smile a smile that can only come from one of two things. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Day Walker (iPhone Note)

It's dark. As dark as usual, anyhow. Walking down my regular route to where the tram leaves from, I ask Phillip what the time is. He doesn't reply, just keeps walking. Keeping an eye out, ignoring other commuters.

I board. The tram jolts forward and a million tiny hands touch me, saving me from a dozen tiny bruises. Two million eyes and more are now trained on Phillip and I. When this happens you can feel the heat, they aren't burning through you, like you read about in romance stories, it’s more like the numbing of warm wax. No flames, nothing dangerous.

With the millions of eyes trained on me I decide to do the same back.
I remove my sunglasses and at least one million eyes leave me, the remainder growing more intense. All at once they go up in flames.

Phillip leads me off the tram and we start our day with a coffee at Marios, where they always bring him a bowl of water and hang my cane.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Listening to talk of Jazz

I don’t know why we are talking about jazz. Neither of us particularly like it, I am not even sure you could name three jazz records. Not that I could, but from the way you're talking it’s as if you worked in a record store in the backstreets of New Orleans in the 1960s. But no, you’re wearing a dress that cost you $480, I know because I was there when you bought it, Karen Walker shades and clunky, colourful jewellery. Your hands have never rubbed the brass off an instrument from overuse, your saliva has never leaked from a trumpet valve.

“Jazz, you know, it’s it. Like, when that trumpet flares, or that sax fucking screeches, it’s like the perfect orgasm.” 

I have never given her an orgasm. I certainly don’t know how a sax screeching could get her off.

“Sure. I get it.”

“But do you? Like, have you ever just listened? Closed your eyes and really listened?”

Sure, I have closed my eyes and really listened to jazz. Lots. Fucking loads. When? How about when I bought a knitted jumper, some Ray Bans with no lenses and drank whiskey in dim-lit jazz clubs for three years in New York? That's when. Yeh, I’ve listened to plenty of fucking jazz. I mean, for fuck’s sake, neither of us has ever set foot in a jazz club, I am pretty sure you think Mickey Mantel was a trombone player, and the last album I heard you play was by Snow Patrol.

“Yes I have, now can we change the topic, maybe?”

“Why, you don’t like jazz? ‘Cos I love it.” 

With that, she finished her vodka soda and we left. While we got ready for bed I YouTube'd 'screeching sax'. The clip started and I gave her a wild glare and advanced, slowly, sensually, jazz-like.
Without a laugh she closed the lid of my laptop, rolled over and went to sleep.

Fucking jazz, it's just like 'it', you know?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cigarette, But.

I had never seen someone eat a cigarette butt before. Much less on a Sunday, in a park, surrounded by nothing except bottle caps and nameless bugs.

“Why am I eating this again?”
“It’ll impress me.”
Without another hesitation the butt disappeared.

There wasn’t much I could do. She had raised the stakes and I had a gag reflex.
I went into a mental spasm, pregnant with anxiety that she may walk away from this deserted park with ‘hand’.
Insert a stick somewhere I shouldn’t? Is foreskin or butt hole more disgusting? Butt hole. But then I could make a joke about her only swallowing a butt whereas I had filled one with something. Something!? A stick. Too sharp. What about a cigarette butt? Too obvious. Too clichéd. How is sticking a cigarette butt up your ass in response to a random girl swallowing a cigarette butt clichéd!?

There wasn’t much I could do except pour a beer on her head and try to decipher what her breath would smell like now.

“I bet your breath is going to stink.” I loosely commented, with immediate regret.
We hadn’t even kissed, though I had seen a hint of breast as she’d bent in half to collect a 6-pack from the cool room. I wasn’t a breast man, well, not by default anyhow.

“I don’t care if my breath smells, do you?” I did, and I believed she didn’t.
“No, of course not, it’s not as if…”
With that, the girl I’d met only two hours earlier leant over and… well, you’ve all seen The Notebook. Fill in the gaps.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

iPhone Note - 8/03/11- 55 Tram.

Dark skinned, pierced nose, tapping your feet, probably to The Strokes. You nearly set fire to your cardigan as I watch. I’ve never seen a girl with a Zippo before. Where are you coming from? Probably RMIT University where you study graphic design in that hope that one day you'll do album covers for indie bands, or the packaging for a new tampon brand. Nonetheless, you smell amazing. A mixture of sex, cigarettes and Kate Moss’ new fragrance. I wonder how many times a week you eat at Lentil, and whether you admit to the fact that you once loved Jack Johnson. 

You’re the dark skinned girl, with the pierced nose. You smell great, but given the chance, I’d take some of that lighter fluid to your clothes and strike a very indie match. There’s nothing romantic about that. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Revolver With Tim Part 2 (Home)

It’s completely unstable, irresponsible, hard-out strange, that you should let him cut his pubic hair in the shower, particularly in this state.

The drain is fully clogged, grime spilling through my legs on its way to find an exit. I remember when we used to shower together; the drain was never clogged and you lathered my back with an unprecedented finesse. But here I am, on acid, trimming my junk with my flatmate’s scissors in preparation for a new body. I wonder if she’ll intuitively know where to touch, or will I have to teach her? Never been much good at teaching. I imagine it's a lack of patience, or empathy for stupidity, or something. Something with a name. Tried to teach Tim how to roll a note last night. I gave up when we starting speeding too fast and had to slow down for the cars. I must be careful not to cut myself. 

When did I become aware of my breathing? Wait. You can’t actually just become aware of something that is happening all the time, I mean, that’s like saying you didn’t know grapes grow on trees, or goats eat cicadas. I wonder if it will be this heavy when I go over to her house? If I stay the night, I am bound to snore. The anxiety is unbearable it’s enough to make anyone lose their train of thought.
I lost it. Lance Armstrong, freedom fighting, wolves, Gaza strip. Arghhh, Gaza stip. Wonder if this new one has one of those? She’s an odd girl, and Mediterranean, I think. Not that I am ignorant to the fact that the Gaza strip is not in the Mediterranean. I am not stupid. Neither is she by all accounts. Mumbled something about writing a thesis on numbers, or rain, or hard-lined ukulele unions. She's a bit nerdy, don't think she'll have a strip. So why I am bothering to...

Holy shit, you have to get out of this shower, get a packet of cigarettes and hope one of them triggers a bowel movement in you. You certainly don’t want to go over to her house fully loaded. No way. Pull yourself together. Right. Can’t handle this shit anymore. I am turning off the tap. Not before you soap. Right, the soap.
The blue Radox shower gel disappears into white foam. How?    

Friday, March 4, 2011

Driving Things.

The thought lost in the eyes of a unicorn
Appears again in a dog’s laugh.

Been cursed with the ability to see you in everything: litter, trees, book spines, stamps, tickets, postcards, quartets, umbrellas, phones, statues, lingerie, waiting room magazines. 
Been cursed with the ability to smell you in: the dampness of rain, florists, dad’s lavender patch, pub toilet soap, old pillows, salt water, seaweed, humidity, boiled rice. 
Been cursed with the ability to feel you in anything from sheets to peaches, velour to fur, water balloons to dewy grass.
I have lost your taste but your voice still echoes on walks home alone.
Reminds me that things aren’t things. Things are vehicles; vehicles for memories that have nothing to do with the things that are driving them. It’s no longer a blessing, it’s a curse.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Revolver with Tim - Part One

“There are Turkish prostitutes everywhere.”
“You’re right, Tim, vicious, evil prostitutes”, I replied, peeling myself from the velour couch. “Must be hot in here, I’m sticking.”
“Can’t feel a thing. Cigarette?”
I nod softly, all too aware that any sudden movements would startle the bouncers into consciousness, alerting them to my incomprehensibly inebriated state.

“Excuse me, can I swap you this packet of cigarettes for two of your real ones?” Tim spoke in the colour blue, like he always did when we were like this. He said I spoke in green, but I doubt if he knew at all.
The girl looked perplexed and I was almost positive that she was wise to us, perhaps even in on the whole act.
“What’s wrong with yours?”
“Cheap Indonesian shit”, Tim gurgled.
Reluctantly, the girl offered her deck in the direction of Tim’s hand and he made the exchange.
“Thankyou”, I said with absolute sincerity, locking eyes. “When all this comes crashing down, I’ll make sure you’re spared.”
Tim looked at me as if I’d made a promise I couldn’t keep, and I realised I had. We only had room for four, and with Elise and Ashley already on board, there’d be no room except on the wing. With Marlboro Light girl on one wing, we’d have to commission another weight for the second to ensure we were balanced in flight. There was no time to find anyone else, so, with an understanding look, I ushered Tim along.

“You know we can’t take her, right?”
“I know, Tim, you’re absolutely right, but she’s so cute.”
“I suppose we could use her, but for all we know, she may have a penis.”
“I never thought of that. This place is a dungeon, it’s more than likely.”
“Turkish prostitutes everywhere. Let’s get out of here.”

On the outside there seemed only one reasonable thing to do.
“It’s been a wild ride, man”, I said, pursing my lips against his contorted cheek.
“Fair thee well."

A girl lingered in my periphery wearing a short skirt and long jacket, just like the Cake song.
“No strings attached”, I whisper.
I repeated. “No strings attached”.
“Fuck off! You’re fucked in the head.” I’d heard this before, from better looking girls, too.
“I meant you’ve got no strings attached to you, you’re clean.” 
She was clean; a cold, calculated clean. The type of clean I imagine Hitler commanded from his chambermaid.

A man approaches, looking infuriated and confused. I quickly calculate that it’s her boyfriend. He doesn’t hold my attention.

I wonder if she gets cold legs when she walks, because of that skirt and this weather. Surely she does, but warms them up when she gets home with a blanket and a hot water bottle and warm cocoa, and the breath of her boyfriend against the nape of her neck as he actions his pre-meditated plan to have foul sex in their living room while his parents sleep in the comfort of knowing that he’ll attend university the following year to study law, achieve the highest standard of excellence, perhaps a scholarship, marry a willing participant and move back to Malaysia to become King of his country, country and family. Fuck me, what is he thinking? Run, fucking run.

I push him in front of a car, the bulbar striking his kneecap.
“I’m doing you a favour, man”, I cry insanely, holding his head against the tram track, waiting for the number 16 to fly by and cut his head off. “I’m doing you a favour, man”.
I let him go when I see the fear in his eyes and I realise it’s time for bed. Surely the cops would be on their way too, and after the awful things I’ve done tonight, perhaps it’s not wise to stick around.

“Another day, man. Just don’t let your parents talk you into doing Law, for fuck’s sake. And you!”, I exclaim toward the girl, “when he offers you cocoa it’s only because he wants to have foul sex with you. I’m sorry, I have to go now. Lovely meeting you both. Wave to the dot in the sky. If we had any spare seats I’d offer one to you both. Make sure you wave.”

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Butterfly Effect (An oldie)

Her mother’s ruby red lipstick was missing again, but Michelle never strayed far. Like every summer afternoon, Michelle’s slender, tanned calves were propelling her closer to the butterflies leading the garden chase. But she always returned for dinner, seated at the head of the table, leaving red stains on her mother’s good napkins.

Michelle’s habitual acts were her own, but her snippets of knowledge were Jerry’s – the next door neighbour. Six years her elder, Jerry was the burger flipper who liked to smoke his mum’s menthols on the balcony once all bedroom lights had been clapped off. It was Jerry who taught Michelle about mortality.

According to Jerry, Molly, the beloved cat placed in a cattery for two weeks, died from ‘sad head’. The separation led to anxiety and depression and the cat was found dead in its cage by a nice lady named Betsy, who assured Michelle that her cat loved her dearly, and just went to sleep awhile.

‘Sad head’ was not the only morbid thing Michelle learned from her pubescent teacher. One day Michelle announced to Jerry that she was visiting the zoo later that afternoon, and was particularly excited about the butterfly enclosure.

‘Oh cool… but be careful not to touch them! They will die’, Jerry cautioned.

‘From ‘sad head’? Like Molly?’

‘No, no, silly, from 'heavy wings'. When butterflies are touched by humans, it makes their wings heavy. They then get sick in the head and die. Understand?’

Michelle had nodded, understanding very well.

Jerry wasn’t to know, and I’ve told Michelle’s parents this dozens of times. Michelle had been struck down by a sadness which had no fake name. Her tanned calves had been touched by the old and swollen hands of Mr Griffiths and it was weighing her down. Her head must have been too heavy, too, because on that day, when her mother’s lipstick went missing again, her parents found her ruby red lips pursed against the side of the white bathtub.

Unfortunately, unlike butterflies, Michelle’s legs could not take her from harm and away from a fatal human touch. No, Michelle’s parents lost a daughter that day, one who would have grown up to use ellipses at the end of every story…

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Don't Explain What Country You're In

A writer in love
Must never portray a writer in love
Just as a foul beast
Should never moonlight as a beauty

Click – the image vignetted and blurred. It has been six days since I’d had a sober hour. Squished behind card tables and the glares of hoarders, the women of the puces smiled a knowing smile. They were the same ones from the brothel, but their clothes had changed and so had their smiles. 

I dropped to the eye level of small children inspecting the bulging pockets of bulging American tourists and decided on one thing; after this final cigarette, and this next liver varnish, and the one that would follow, I would rouse myself from this drunken stupor and begin living again. I had kissed the devil, soaked in his bubbling blood and floated in his charcoal faeces for too long. Seven, ten or one virgin waited for me in Vienna, or another of the other great literary cities. There I’d have the freedom to soak in my own alcoholic, distorted and retorted way. Where I could write a novel no one would read and be content with no one ever reading it. Perhaps seeking no one ever to read it. All the while on the brink of conversation and discussion of things passed without ever mumbling a word.
Sure, it would be an utterly lonely and tiresome existence.