Friday, April 29, 2011


I imagine her smile would sound like a dolphin eating a biscuit. I imagine her ears have seen great tragedy and that her nose has tasted the salt water of many seaside towns. What I don’t imagine is that she realises how close she is. Not by proximity. Let me finish. How close she is to being asked a question. Do you want to go for spaghetti?

Getting spaghetti is the perfect first date. It shows eating confidence. It shows an aptitude for eating without making a mess over your shirt or pants or chin. It’s an ugly food. Long and tangled, it must be slurped to be enjoyed, or cut short with the teeth like a meaningful conversation on ecstasy. I have never actually asked a girl for spaghetti, though it’s always my intention.

“Another coffee, Rob?”

No one calls me ‘Rob’, but I let it slide. She has never been introduced to me before so I take it as a compliment that she has bothered to ask one of the baristas for my name; or perhaps she has caught a glimpse of my ID when I’ve paid my bill before. Or maybe I have told her. I don’t remember.

“I’m ok, Molly, thanks.” I know her name.

“No worries. Do you want anything to eat?”

Yes, I want something to eat. I want to eat your ears. I want to feast on the plastic clips of your bra that your shoulders are currently showing off. I want to dine on the faint, black hairs on the back of your neck.

“I’m ok. Thanks, though.”

I’m ok? You’re a fucking idiot.


“Yes, Robert.”

Shit, she knows my name is Robert, not Rob. Then why is she calling me Rob? I can’t be into someone who calls me Rob, not until I am 45 and unable to get erect on my own accord.

“Do you want to go to the movies?”

“I would, but… I dunno, I am not too good at the movies. My tummy rumbles.”

Same as me. Why did I even ask her to the movies? I would have been a ball of anxiety. Stick to the plan.

“Well, how about some - spaghetti?”

“Ohhhh”, she laughs, “spaghettiiiii…. I don’t know.”

Fine. I give up. You’ve got a boyfriend. You find my moustache vexing to look at. I’ll shave it. No. I won’t let you dictate how I look. Or think. I won’t change. Not for you. Not now.

“Ok, then.”

“It’s nothing personal, well not against you. I just hate the way it moves.”

Molly walked back inside and left me thinking about her smile, and whether dolphins can eat spaghetti. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

On being a butcher - iPhone Note.

“There's only one reason I can't be a butcher.”

“You're a vegetarian, a vegan, a soy-swilling animal rights activist?”

“No, I hate the smell of meat. I'm very particular about my smell.”

Stefan really was very particular about his smell. He hated the smell of meat, lavender and a room overpowered by sage. Conversely, he enjoyed the smell of his own urine and the taste of bushfire. He was not adverse to smelling others' body odours either. In fact, just last week Stefan received peculiar looks from fellow passengers when a lady alighted the tram and he put his nose to where her buttocks had been. The strange thing is, Stefan was happy to smell it, but hated sitting down immediately after someone else; he found the warmth of another body most disconcerting.

He was full of little peculiarities and contradictions. He understood the meaning of the phrase 'hardly would have impressed the French Court', using it when alluding to a TV presenter’s quip or a daily's cartoon, but he couldn't tell you the meaning of 'egalite'.

Curiously, Stefan didn't think of himself as homosexual, bisexual or even straight. He preferred to smell the seat of a girl but often found men more fascinating. Today there is a boy on his tram he feels would complement his genetics perfectly, if only they were able to mate and create. This boy had the height he lacked, a slender frame and rosy, soft skin. This boy had all the Arian qualities that made Stefan swoon, but with eyes that hid something dreadful. What could it be, Stefan wondered. The shame of homosexuality? Childhood loss? Soiled underwear? No, he couldn't smell it, he couldn’t smell this boy’s soiled underwear.

Then it dawned. If only this boy were meat, Stefan could fulfill his dream of being a butcher.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dreaming - iPhone Note

“You're twisted as fuck.”
“Because of the whole toothbrush thing?”
“Yes, because of the whole toothbrush thing, you idiot.”

I look down to the floor of the tram.

“I think that's the pen I lost yesterday…”
“It could be.”
“It is.”
“I'm not debating that with you. Can we get back to you lending your ex girlfriend's toothbrush to one night stands, please?”
“I don't see what the big deal is. Sarah was a clean girl. I don't imagine it to be a hygiene thing. Are you worried one of the girls will take it and I will have lost Sarah's toothbrush?”
“No, I'm worried that you may finally have lost it.”
“Do you have that ringing in your ear too?”
“No, Tommy, I don't.”
“I think it's talking to me.”
“Now you're just being a fuckhead.”

I get off the tram and step into my shrink’s office, waving Pat goodbye.

The routine starts and I am asked what’s on my mind.

“What’s on your mind?”
“Well, last night I had a dream about my best friend and his family, you know, Pat?”
“Yes, we’ve talked about Pat before.”
“Ok, well, he picked me up. I pissed all through his car before realising his mum was in the back seat. I apologised, but she was acting strangely. His sister, meanwhile, was in the other back seat taking off her pants. I think the world was about to end or something because she was looking at me the way I look at free beer. She didn't seem put off by getting naked in front of her family either. Pat’s Dad wasn't there, though. He was replaced by a guy from my office. They aren't even the same nationality. I guess the world was ending and whatever, or whoever, in my subconscious writing the scene didn't give two fucks about reality.”
“That sounds interesting.”
“I have a question for you.”

He gave me the you can ask me anything pause.
“If everyone has crazy dreams, then having a crazy dream doesn't mean you're crazy. Otherwise everyone would be crazy. Right?”
“In your case, having crazy dreams is not a symptom of your, what you call, craziness.”

I hated how he moved his fingers through the air like a stapler when he repeated the word 'crazy'.

“So you’re admitting I am crazy.”
“No. I am admitting you dream, all the time.”

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Photographing Birds.

The man sat for a while in silence. It was not an awkward silence. He wasn’t conjuring or pausing for effect, but recalling. Peter knew he was recalling, from the way his eyes shifted, the pained look and flexed cheek. He regretted taking the photo now.

“You look strange, like a bird. You’re a weird boy aren’t you?”


“You come to the park, taking photos of strangers, peering from a distance before approaching. I saw you from behind the tree… you’re not so slender, you know?"

Peter knew.

“Why like a bird?”

“Birds are different. No human can teach a bird, you see. You’re like a bird, boy. Even the way you look through your one eye, head to the side. You hide behind a tree, waiting to seize an opportunity, unsure of your surroundings. I knew a bird like you once. She shined, metallic and smooth. Her hair was dark and oily. A different type of bird, boy. You’re a scavenger, one I can tolerate. Just beware of the birds of prey."

“You’re fucking crazy."

“Watch your mouth. You’re right about one thing, though, I am a little crazy, but she was the one that made me crazy. Beware of the birds of prey, boy. There is one out there hunting all of us."

“Here’s your money."

Metallic and shiny, it fell onto the subject’s lap, and Peter hopped away, legs two at a time.

When Peter got home he googled ‘birds of prey’: Birds of prey are birds that hunt for food using their keen senses, especially vision.

He knew now - Genevieve, bird of prey. He remembered once in the car, when she had been driving him to Tuba practice – being unable to drive because of his issue – she pointed out a lone sheep on a hill, which he never saw.

“Where is it?! I can’t see anything…” he remembers saying.

“It’s up there. You can't see it? I guess I was just born with special vision. Just like you were born with your special brain. My Dad calls me Eagle Eye."

Peter’s father had given him no nickname, no legacy.
At the time he’d thought of her as special, like him. He even asked her if she ever wondered whether there was something behind the sky, and if there was, what would be stored there. He asked her if she knew the correct term for the space between the couch and the wall, and that if it was just ‘gap’, why was there a special word for the space between his bathroom tiles. 
She had never answered him with any authority, and he assumed it was because she wasn’t special like him. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

She loves jogging.

 She made love as he imagined she jogged. Eager to impress, going out too hard. Unable to maintain form, arching the middle of her back as she grew more tired, head skyward, body starved of air, before ultimately collapsing into a sweaty, exhausted bundle. But Jeremy imagined she jogged clothed, and not in her bedroom. In fact, he was certain of it. There wasn’t a treadmill in sight and he hadn’t heard of anyone jogging on the spot since Grade 5 football practice. Besides, even if she did own a treadmill there is no way she’d jog on it naked. What if she slipped? It would rip her ragged.

After their routine, Jeremy clothed and rode his Dutch-style ladies bike back to his apartment block. He liked to think of where he lived as a bowl of fruit. In this bowl were fruits of different shapes and sizes, like those from a still drawing class, but none of these hideous creatures from his apartment bowl were worthy of wasting a 2B on. All were fruit, and all were too acidic for his fragile stomach to process.

There was Sophie, the peach. Soft, pink, round, from the outside she was totally edible – but there was always the lingering fear of choking on the hidden pip. Then there was David, the tall, half asian taxi driver who refused to pick up other Asians as passengers. He was a banana, for another reason other than his complexion and impressive height. When questioned why he wouldn’t pick up other Asians, David said: “Because they aren’t like me. I am half. Yellow on the outside, white on the inside. I just wear this yellow skin.” Hence David was a banana, a racist banana. Lastly, there was Rosemary, who smelt nothing like rosemary. She was scabbed and incontinent. Jeremey liked to think of her as the lockeroom live-in apple. He had never spoken to Rosemary, well, not after the mints incident.

Jeremy thinks about the girl he has just made love to / exercised with. He thinks about her as he scales the stairs of the fruit bowl to his humble apartment. Rosemary hears footsteps and enquires from behind a half-open door. She smiles a toothless smile and Jeremy steps over the puddle leaking into the corridor. As he settles down with a book on his two-seater couch he hears David screaming, probably racist drivvle, so he puts on lounge music. As he flicks to the next page of The Leopard he starts to choke.

Concetta, with all the beauty and innocence of a virginal peach.

He closes the di Lampedusa classic and thinks of Sophie, the peach, and how she would jog.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Adam didn't know

There’s a meal somewhere, festering in his underwear. The gun in his pants is about to unleash bloody mercy on an unsuspecting woman. She carries a handbag he hasn’t seen on the shoulder of any other human before. It’s a handbag that could hold just about anything. Change of panties, panty liners, a whip, Cool Whip, cartons of Winfield Blues, empty Slurpee containers. The meal is there still, festering somewhere in his underwear. He's afraid the gun may fire simultaneously, though he has seen no videos suggesting this is even biologically possible, even for those with a faeces fetish. It just seems too challenging physically, like patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time. 

When was the last time he visited his daughter? Adam didn’t know.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Do you want to go to the movies?

It’s a Friday afternoon and Sarah has her weekly appointment at 4pm. It’s deliberately this late in the day, in prime drinking time, that she goes. She sips tea and spends an hour droning about what she’s done that week, what she plans to do that weekend, and anything pressing that’s on her mind. It’s usually nothing.
Today, on this Friday afternoon, Sarah decides to try once and for all to remove the festering faeces from her sole. The faeces she stepped in over a year ago and whose smell has followed her ever since.

Is he is the one you love, then?

No, he’s my boyfriend, he’s the one I sleep with.

Do you have intercourse often?

No. Once a week, maybe I’ll give him a blowjob if I can’t be bothered with the whole thing.

So who is the one you love then?

Well, it’s not the one I sleep with, and it’s not the one who makes my coffee, or serves me fruit at the market on Sunday mornings.

Then who, Sarah?

Mark. He died.

He’s dead?

Yes, he died. He died a year ago.

How did Mark pass away?

Mark passed away because he couldn’t control his thoughts.

In what way?

His mind raced. He would tell me this, lying in bed. He would say something is racing in my head. A thought. It’s racing. I would ask him where it was going. It’s going somewhere quickly. To an edge. A jagged edge. I would ask him what he could see from the edge. You. And you’re not alone.

Why have you not brought up this death before?

Because I still see him.


Everywhere. At Auction Rooms, Prudence, the chemist, on our knoll in Flagstaff gardens, on the 55, on posters, on stage, outside my house, my window.

This sometimes happens when we lose someone close. We hang onto them.

Like monkeys in a jar?

That’s one way of thinking about it, yes, like monkeys in a jar. When we lose someone close to us, especially to suicide, then we want to hold onto them. We may create places for them to live in our mind, but we may also see them in places, in memorable places.

But it wasn’t suicide.


No. That’s why he won’t let me come close to him. That’s why his voice cracks on stage when he sees me wave. That’s why he’s careful not to leave his scent on the stool of the bar, or any traces on the knoll in the gardens. He won’t let me come close to him.

And that’s because he isn’t really there?

He is. It’s just that, well, I killed him. And he won’t forgive me. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Too stupid to be a poem, Poet.

Reason collided with passion. She was again in his bed. Did she have the intention of executing that act with him again? Or were they simply ex-lovers-turned-friends? The entire night was suspect, becoming the subject of much internal discussion, as she polished off her third tea and triple chocolate muffin. Where, if anywhere, was this headed? So much desire, lust and irrational thought was imbedded, in every layer of conversation. Where had he been that day? ‘With a friend’, his response. Leaving it to interpretation, with the potential for over-thought, of who this ‘friend’ was. A lover, a tryst? Or worse, an individual breathing in the same layers of conversation she had once stripped away. This individual, working their way closer to the core of him, which she believed belonged to her, and only her.

The next day flowed a little less well. Dribble still formed at the corner of his mouth, which she said she still liked; he imagined this was because it was a small signal of at least one thing having stayed right.
It seemed that the restless sleep had left thoughts coagulated in his mind, rendering him unable to ask the question of “are we together again?”, to this ex-lover-turned-friend. As she returned the pants he bought her to their nominated place, above her hips and around her waist, he tried to touch her once more. As if nothing had happened the night before, she wriggled away and moved for the door.

Her car started with a cough as he choked down the urge to chase her away. Why had she stayed the night, when she knew full well only wrong could collide with right? Why had she returned to his life, once again penetrating his mind? Now all his thoughts would again be owned by and revolve around, this ex-lover-turned-friend.

Over a glass of beer he finally confirmed. She’d lost the right, the right to be the only one, that night she stayed the night.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Wednesdays are when you miss the strangest things. Two years ago we would watch Bones and drink MoMo without fail. Under a doonah, showered, asleep before 10:30. Content.

As a pre-schooler, it was the night Dad used to skin our kiwi fruit and play our favourite game, ‘Uncle’. He would sit on the wooden bench he’d been given as a gift in Zimbabwe, and make the three of us run the gauntlet down our Victorian era hallway. Every second run he would catch us, still seated, and render us defenseless with tickles and laughter.

It was also the night Mum would work the late shift. Around 9, we would hear the distinctive hum of the Volvo and make for bed, catching the light first. She would plonk down the hallway, with no one left awake to tickle her, and summons us with a call – “Bubbies, it’s _ _ _ _ _ _  time!” We would wipe away bogus sleep and fumble into the bathroom, alert, with eyes half-closed.
“It’s _ _ _ _ _ _  time! Time to brush your _ _ _ _ _ _ s!” And we would, we would brush our _ _ _ _ _ _s.

Wednesdays you miss the strangest of things. Tonight, on the way to practice with Citizen Sex, we will pick up a slab and a bottle of Jager. We will write songs about prostitutes and New Year’s resolutions to stop making pornography.

It’s on the way home, full of Melbourne Bitter, with not a bottle of MoMo or wooden bench in sight, that I will miss Wednesdays past.

In particular, I’ll miss _ _ _ _ _ _  time. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Creating Co-incidences

“I’m going to write you a letter.”

“Why are you going to write me a letter?”

“Because some things are hard to say aloud.”

“That’s such bullshit. Tell me what you can’t say but you can write…”

“It’s to do with co-incidences.”

“Fuck this, Robbie, this is bullshit. Write your fucking letter. I've had it.”

You hung up the phone and so I wrote the letter to you. On the plane home from Sydney. In the cabin with the air hostesses and the girl waiting for the toilet in the black bra and white singlet top, jumping up and down like she was holding $10.50 worth of chips in. I wrote the letter in the same cabin as the man with the Timberland shoes, beard, camera and blaring hip-hop. In the same row as the lady who wouldn’t stop crying and looking through photos of, who I could only presume was, a younger her and a handsome man. In the seat next to the man with a wedding ring who wouldn’t stop staring at my crotch the entire flight. That’s where I wrote the letter. This is the letter. I made a photocopy, then typed it out, then posted it on this blog, then onto my Facebook. I am an evil piece of shit.

Dear Sarah,

As I mentioned over the phone in my hotel room, this is a little letter about co-incidences. Ok, so there is: luck, chance, fate, the meant to be factor – I guess they all mean the same thing, right? Why do I do this? Questions in letters get me every time. I remember all the questions I used to write you. And how it would take three days for the letter to get to your door, a day for you to respond, then three days for it to come back. Sometimes it would take a week and a half to get a response to a question like “how did your exam go?”. The answer to which I had already procured via text, Skype, drunken phone call or email. It’s a wonder why we still send mail like this. Though this letter won’t have a stamp on it. I’ll just leave it by your bed. Our bed. In fact, it’s a bit stupid I am even writing that, but there’s no way I will put a line through it, for it will ruin the entire aesthetic of the letter and you’re always hell bent on my just writing what’s in my head etc.

Back to co-incidences.

So there’s luck and fate and chance. Then there’s complete post-rationalised thoughts about a particular circumstance. For instance, I have no doubt that the purple hat lady existed, and that she pointed to us and that she drew the love heart in the air. Afterwards I was sure this was a sign. But perhaps it was just co-incidence; co-incidence that was post-rationalised and romanticised into the ‘fate’ category; that she was destined to walk that street, that day, while we still wreaked of nature’s perfume, and point to us. It could have been to anyone. Who points and draws a love heart anyhow? She was probably a whacko.

Second. There was our meeting in the supermarket. Both picking up dried apricot sachets. At the same time. Wearing the same jumper. Yes, I know you lived around the corner, and it was 7pm, which is a regular time for people like us to go shopping on a weekday, and I know I’m not the only one who likes dried apricots or wears grey Bonds hoodies… but, there was something in that. There was some co-incidence in that. There was some truth to ‘fate’ or ‘chance’ in that. But really, it was the ensuing courtship that made our relationship. The countless coffees, meaningless jokes, bike-fixing, movie-enduring, vegan-meal-chewing. That was what made us date, go out, fall in love.

What I am trying to say is that most co-incidences should not be read into. Most. What should be read into are the opportunities following a co-incidence. If my uncle hadn’t visited Shepparton in the summer of 1989 for the buck’s party of a high school friend (who he didn't even particularly like, and whose fiance he had been familiar with only weeks earlier), he would never have bumped into his ex-girlfriend, Sophie. Four years had passed since they broke up over a breach of trust. Both had fallen in and out of serious – or what seemed serious – relationships. All the while something had lingered in their heads. Now, as you know, Jack and Sophie are married, happily. That was a co-incidence, their meeting again, but it wasn’t the thing that meant something, it was what followed.

All I am saying is that, if a co-incidence comes again, you have to take it, otherwise, how do you know what anything means? Is our relationship going to go any further without another co-incidence that we can conjure into fate and use to propel our destiny?

Ok. With that said, I am leaving. When you receive this letter I will be off to an airport. It could be Avalon or Tullamarine. I am not going to say which, or where I am going. I won’t say the time. I won’t even tell you if I am leaving that night. There will be no clues. I have packed both winter and summer gear as I plan on going – hopefully with you – for a long time. None of my friends know, neither do my family. No one at the local cafĂ© has a clue, and don’t bother asking the bartenders at Prudence. Ok, so, if I see you at the airport, then it will be a co-incidence, one that we can manipulate into fate.

Pack for all seasons, baby, I hope that we’re going away.

Yours, forever, and truly,

See you soon?


Monday, April 11, 2011

On the way home from the Mercat.

We were on our way home from the Mercat, only a 15-minute walk from our single-fronted terrace in Fitzroy. We disobeyed the signs in the Carlton Gardens to keep off the grass. I was explaining my latest theory to her, the one about the post boxes. I had made this theory up only moments before in a drug ramble – she had listened intently, the ecstasy taking a stronghold on her emotions, rendering her vulnerable to deep, delightful, bullshit conversations. Talking on drugs was like trying to walk down a powder dirt hill in the bush, slipping, falling, thinking you’re the one in control, until you come crashing down upon realisation that you were ill-equipped to be walking down that hill. You weren’t wearing the right footwear.

“Our heads are filled with tiny boxes.”

“What do you mean?” She had a certain way, when high and walking, of stopping, turning her head in my direction, and asking a question; then having to run a number of steps to catch up and hear my reply. It was like a little girl throwing a tantrum in the chocolate aisle of the supermarket. I imagined it was just a clash in the mind – thought taking over from motor skills. Both being impossible to execute all at once.

“I mean that everything we’ve ever done with someone is in a box with both our names on the front.”

“What’s in our box?”

“Plenty. Signing a lease together. Our first kiss in the salt baths. Melting icecream and sticky hands."

“Do you keep everything in there, or just good stuff?”

“We keep everything.” Her walk-stop-question-jog routine was starting to get to me, so I stopped by the curb. “I’ve closed and locked many boxes in the last few years. I’ve only opened one more.”

I was starting to get deep now. Not just with my words - the type you only speak behind closed doors - but with my eyes, my exaggerated facial expressions. The expressions where you managed to stretch skin in places you never had before. Expressions on drugs.

I alluded to the fact I never wanted this new post box to close, and if it did, I never wanted another one to open in its place. She said she understood, giving me a stretched smile and powdery eyes. Looking back on it now, she couldn’t have. I am not entirely sure I understood, either.

Just beyond the park she threw her cigarette into the drain. It was nearly light out and it had been raining, the butt glistened slightly, though it could have been the mushrooms.

“What about the poor dolphins?”, I asked, with unconvincing disgust.

“Where else are they going to get their cigarettes from? There are no 7-11s in the ocean.”

“I guess it does look like a tiny boat.”

I had a habit of saying whatever was in my head, regardless of how stupid, random or unfunny. She used to tell me this was one of the reasons she loved me. You have a beautiful mind, she used to say. I think, in part, this was validation for my mind-altering substance abuse. I continuously felt the need to push my thoughts further to the edge, for fear that if I was one day was boring, one day normal, I would lose her.

Our journey ended and we climbed into bed, physically exhausted, our bodies fuelled only by artificial energy. We fell into each other, her body a wave crashing on me for hours on end. Both unable to orgasm properly, giving up with a kiss before sharing a shower and bar of soap.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Once a week: Coffee, Dream face - 40 years on.

Patrick has this recurring dream. She is standing in front of him. Behind her right shoulder is a stream. At first it’s a light brown, then it becomes marbled and finally black. After 30mls it stops and then starts again, light brown and finally black.

In the dream she is the same age as when they first met. Hair like a mushroom, eyes like the prunes he uses to shake his bowels awake. Patrick reaches for her, every time, but she’s like a panda behind thick glass. He’s careful never to leave fingerprints on the panes.

When he wakes up he can still see her in his head. He draws her, but only parts at a time. Today he sketches her eyes and ears, tomorrow perhaps the nose and eyebrows.

Scattered on the floor, among beer bottles and browned Venti filters, are dozens of scraps of paper. On Friday he’ll finish the week's cycle by collecting all the pieces and putting them together. Day-by-day her face comes back to him, complete. She still hasn’t left him, even after 40 years. This recurring dream, everlasting. His studio now a shrine to her. Hundreds of collaged faces, one added to his walls on weekly basis.

This Friday promises to be the last time he puts together her face. He is tired of the glue that makes his hands dry and stuck together. Once this week’s face is done, he will find something new. He'll find comfortable sleep.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Post-it note.

If there is no thought,
It does not exist.

If there no reminder,
There is nothing to be missed.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Mr Flockhart - Part Two

After dinner Sarah retired to the bedroom, as much out of fatigue as allowing the opportunity for me to set out on writing my article.

Flockhart spoke with an air of distinction, all except when speaking of women. When he did his voice was guttural, his actions primal and unforgiving. A slap of the back, a jab to the ribs, he became one of the boys. I unsheathed my dictaphone.

‘You’ve been in love’, I stated, rather than asked.

‘With one, yes, her name was Sarah’.

I knew Sarah was a sickly common name, but I couldn’t help but feel a pull in my stomach at the sound of this beast having loved a woman that shared the same name as mine.

‘At what age?’

‘About yours’, he said, predictably.

‘And how old would I be?’

What the hell did he want me here for? Drug guzzling, womanising scum. If I were Thompson I would have called him swine, yeh, that’s what I’d call him, swine. I’m going to tell the truth, alright. The truth that he is evil, a manipulative, self-absorbed rich piece of shit. No, be balanced. You made a promise.  Right, the fucking promise; the promise to Sarah. Like I promised her a three-piece suite and never to quote Trainspotting again.

I change the topic.
‘I read somewhere you were into philanthropy?’

‘Sure. I once sponsored some Thai children’

‘Go on…’ 
I wanted to lead him down a dirty garden path. One filled with sexual innuendo, an unravelling of a complex child pornography ring and three counts of sexual penetration of children under the age of 16. I’d have a scoop, maybe a fucking Pulitzer. Better yet, a book deal.

‘I took two boys in. Their family was so poor that each child had one notebook only. Am I speaking clearly enough into this thing?’

I nodded.

“Well each boy only had one notebook, right, and each time the notebook was filled, all the knowledge was rubbed out and replaced by more sentences that were destined to be forgotten.'

‘That’s terribly kind of you. And where are they now?’

‘Both ran away when they found out about the hidden…’

Right, I’ve got you, you filthy fucking animal, you filmed them!

‘The hidden money… They stole from me. I hold no grudge’.

In my periphery I saw Sarah. She’d come out of bed, draped in velour. Woken by some talking she said. Flockhart looked more than pleased.

‘Should we smoke?’, Flockhart produced a rock and what appeared to be an ivory pipe from his pocket.

‘Why not?’, Sarah replied, before I could start.

He had a way of grabbing one’s attention that infuriated me. When he focused on you, you were his world. And now that he was focusing on my girl, I wanted none of it. I was ready to pack it all in and drive home, but I’d had too many, and even my voice was wobbly. I wanted to jump from the balcony to grab her attention, but she was in his focus now. I was a mere flaming cherry in the very dark periphery.

Sitting in the shadows, Sarah in my only tunnel of vision, she looked as if she were blind. Cloudy eyes hung low in her skull, and her face looked contorted as if constantly searching. I’d seen many blind people before, but none that could actually see, and all of them carrying a cane. I realised that much of this wasn’t making sense so focused my thoughts back on the task at hand, Flockhart. It seemed difficult that I would ever write a bad word about this man, considering his hospitality and lenience with sharing his cocaine.

‘Excuse me’.

With my hands I found my way along the walls and into the bathroom. The gear had run through my head, down my chest and aroused something in my belly – there was no greater need than to seek out the stinging chill of a porcelain seat and a wrinkled copy of Time magazine to keep my mind occupied while I emptied my bowels.

One article on Bush’s ‘War in Iraq’ later and I made my way back onto the balcony. Something caught fire inside me immediately; I felt both numb and intensely hot. The type of feeling I imagine one could only replicate by stoking a fire atop a frozen mountain. I saw him, his hand between her legs, her arm extended behind her, moved back and forth as if skiing. I carefully moved back inside and searched frantically for a gun.

Surely this fuck would be holding. I’ve seen it in movies. He’s rich, home invaders, must protect himself. The jewels, keep away from my fucking jewels. They’re my fucking jewels, you thieving fucking….

There wasn’t a gun. What should I do? Do I grab a knife? Do I get in the car and drive fast and hope for a tree, snapped neck, a coma even? No, no! I’ll jump off the roof, break my legs and never fuck her again.

Then I saw it, outside the window.

With a chocolate biscuit I ended it all. I lured the mongrel close and grabbed it by the scruff. I removed my belt, and slowly pulled the leather through until the buckle was tight at the very last hole. I had him.
It took mere minutes for him to stop struggling, and about the same amount of time for his eyes to shut off as it does for the fire to appear after striking a match. Two hind legs, that had once propelled a savage dagger into the bowels of the man I despised most, hung lifelessly below the oak tree.

I grabbed my keys, rife with new life, and made my way back to Melbourne, with a pending book deal and the rationalisation that I’d done the right thing.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mr Flockhart - Part One

We crept in the backdoor with our bags and looked for signs of life. Sick with exhaustion from our psychedelic journey and love-making we found our room, clambered into bed and fell silent. Hours later, woken by the dappled sunlight leaking through venetian blinds, I went in search of water.

Surely this monstrosity of a house has a kitchen. Or perhaps I was to ring a bell for a maid, or something? Fuck, I don’t want to make the wrong impression. I don’t want them to think I’m some uncultured pauper who has never had ‘help’ before. I know what they’re there for. I once had a gardener, remember. Well, not mine, but the neighbor’s… and he did trim my overgrowth… no, not your pubic hair, silly. Not that I would ever ask him, but I’m sure he wasn’t that way inclined, those muscular  forearms with their golden brown hue… Fuck… I really do need some more drugs to straighten me out. Back. Focus. Water. Exactly, there’s the kitchen. Nice one.

It was nearing mid-morning and my mouth was dry and ash-filled – not entirely foreign feeling. Having focused all my attention on getting water I hadn’t noticed Flockhart earlier. I’d expected to see things worth writing about on this weekend of investigation, but nothing like this - Flockhart, on all fours with his head in the refrigerator, having his asshole licked by a pitt bull terrier, which to my knowledge he did not own. I’m guessing he wasn’t searching for a sandwich, and I wasn’t about to ask. I could have written pages for my article about that scene alone, but it would never have done it justice.
Carefully I backed out of the kitchen, trying not to drop my glass, but unable to avert my eyes. This was going to be a productive and eventful weekend, though I had already made a pact with Sarah to write truthfully. My editor would see it differently, of course, but as Flockhart had said himself, I had a reputation as being honest, and a writer of the truth; the truth on drugs, but the truth nonetheless.
Flockhart had been a wealthy and respected businessman before his downfall. It wasn’t the drugs, or the gambling that brought him unstuck, but the women. It was made known, via sensationalist but clever pieces of journalism, that he was a womaniser. Unfortunately his company’s success hinged on its image, and how that image was seen in the eyes of women. His company made sanitary products, and in a twist of irony, it seemed that his sexual encounters had left him the only one bleeding from between the legs. “I used to string along dozens at a time”, I once heard him being quoted.

When Sarah and I finally rose, sometime before regular people have dinner, we decided to explore. On entering the living room Sarah had her first taste of Flockhart – naked on the couch, with what appeared to be two dead hookers, each with a head on one of his sagging breasts. It was some display: three sets of legs, one grotesquely hairy, fanned out like a giant minoura. I’m guessing it was Sarah’s involuntary yelp that startled them into consciousness.

“Let me shower, and I’ll take you two for dinner. What’s your name precious?”, Flockhart mumbled in Sarah’s direction, completely ignoring my presence.

“I’m Jeremy, and this is my fiancĂ©, Sarah. I’m the writer you sent for”.

“Lovely to meet you both”.

He leant on one ass cheek, as if leaking sulphur into the air, and made for a pile of white powder next to an art deco reading lamp like the kind you’d find in the State Library. In a foul swoop some powder was cut, inhaled and was on its way down the back of a dry throat. Like hunting dogs, the two women, comatosed until this point, rose from his chest and sought revival. In less than two minutes the stack of white was gone, and the table now appeared like a chipped weatherboard beachouse. Flockhart rubbed the remains into his gums and exited the room. We waited while he showered, eluding small talk with his two female companions by fidgeting with artefacts and decaying books. The shape of many of the objects we picked up made me uncomfortable and I was glad to see our host finally re-emerge, sharply dressed and clear-eyed.

Flockhart wanted to take Sarah and I out for a pre-emptive ‘thankyou dinner’ by the shoreline. We indulged him – though I knew better than to have my journalistic integrity swayed by shrimp cocktails and drinks served ‘old fashioned’. There we sat comfortably in hand-woven chairs facing the seaside, all three in a row. Like ducks, my mother would have said.

“That looks good”, Flockhart commented, pointing at the crab bisc.

How can something look good? It’s on a menu, sheltered behind a plastic sheath. No smell, no sight, and certainly no taste. Irony is lost on these people. I mean for fuck’s sake, I know he’s not the only…

‘What are you having, dear?’

He wakes me from my inner-tirade.

‘The crab bisc’, Sarah, replied. ‘It does look good’.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Other, Bigger, Bull, Other One. Lots of Other.

Two bulls are at either end of the station. One has sporadic curly hairs on its head, the other looks like it has been closely shorn, though it has been this way since birth. They are regarded as bulls of the same temperament, same personality even, despite one having had more success with breeding, the other being blamed for the blemish on his rump. They stare, from either ends of the station, at the cattle between them.

It’s a Sunday, and the one with the close hair, the slimmer of the two, has been chosen for the mating circle. Every few months he is made to spray his seed with no real-lasting euphoria. Staring enviously into the distance, wondering what lay beyond the fences he has always seen, for however long it is he has been alive. A life spent living and penetrating; forced by nature and an overall-wearing, clef-palate drooling farmer to procreate, though all he wants to do is eat, beyond those fences.

Peculiar as the farmer is, he decides on this day to place the curly haired bull with just one cow. This cow is smaller than the rest, more of a coffee colour. The bigger bull has a semi-permanent mate, now. He has done well on this farm.

The other will be left to parade the mating circle every few months, spraying his seed with no real-lasting euphoria. Hoping that one day he’ll be again be placed with just one cow. Preferably the one that is smaller than the rest, more of a coffee colour. The one that keeps staring over the paddocks at him. Unable to jump the fences, unable to escape the charge of the other bull, the bigger one. The one she has to mate with now. But perhaps not forever. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Repetition on the tram home.

I see the Japanese Man again. I know he is Japanese as he always reads his book backwards and he looks Japanese. And the book he is reading has Japanese characters on the cover. Fair enough to say he is Japanese. I feel like asking him if he’s ever eaten avocado sashimi or if he can count to ten for me (I always get stuck on seven).

There’s a hint of surprise, or unease, every time he catches me admiring. I find him beautifully soft to look at, like a sheet billowing in a Mediterranean windowsill. There is no frank way to describe something seeming soft to look at without making it painfully corny: the inside of a peach; rolls of fat on an infant’s hand; the dimmed headlights of an oncoming 18 wheeler. I’m not sure he’d mind. Perhaps the nuance would be lost on him.

It does make me wonder if he thinks I find him beautiful. I wonder if he is surprised that I am looking for this reason, or apprehensive that I am a sadistic racist. The latter seems most likely when he changes seats to obscure himself from my stare. He’s done this before as we’ve ridden home together, this Japanese Man.

The Duffel Coat Girl gets on just after the Crown Casino. She’s Duffel Coat Girl in the winter and Light Tartan Jacket or Singlet Top Girl in summer. Either way she has built up a reputation in my head. A reputation as a beauty; someone to fall in love with for 21 minutes. Her hair is unruly, face simply put together and I wonder how she’s garnered such a grand reputation. It seems a fleeting reputation, or one made up by someone, forced by isolation and boredrom to give it attention. Like a motel with 4 stars, but a muddied bath, leaking toilet and non-existent stereo. She represents a motel I would stay in for 21 minutes a day, but would never go to on my honeymoon. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Breaking up with me, Robbie.

“You're not on my mind anymore.”
“Then why did you call?”
“To tell you that.”
“Just that?”
“That, and my plan to marry.”
“Marry who, Robbie?”
“Someone with a tick. Not the parasite that lodges itself on dogs or whore house couches, but more of an involuntary tick; click of the eyes, spasm of the ears, shake of the head type tick.”
“And what's wrong with me?”
“Well, for starters, you order expresso martinis. Secondly, your bottom lip looks like it has horns.”
“My bottom lip looks like it has horns?”
“Are you fucking insane?”
“Let's come back to that. Thirdly, you never wear bras, it's no longer exciting seeing your breasts.”
“Well, I'll start wearing bras then”
“No, it's too late. The damage is done. Your nipples are forged into my memory like sea shells on a beach. I think of them often now. It should have been my treat! You know? Seeing your breasts should have been my treat, now it just reminds me of peanut butter sandwiches and getting beaten for having a Barbie and Ken lunch box. Also, I kind of feel like I am at the stage where I need to find someone who shares my passions.”
“And what would they be?”
“I dunno. Reading the obituaries…?”
“You never read the obituaries.”
“I started. Just now. It’s brilliant for self-esteem.”
“Fuck you, Robbie.”
“Fuck me, Robbie. Yes, fuck me, Robbie. Interesting.”
“You're fucking insane.”
“As a ghost perhaps, but in my current shape, with my current complexion, I reckon I’m doing ok.”
“I didn't say you were invisible, I said you were insane.”
“Ghosts aren't invisible.”
“Whatever, I am sick of this. ‘Ghosts aren't invisible...’ You need fucking help.”
“I don’t need fucking help. Never need help with that.”
“Robbie, shut up.”
“Sarah, turn around, a ghost is about to stab you with a ballpoint.”