Hours pass and my anxiety is too intense to leave the armchair to dash to the bathroom. I fantacise about what might happen if I got up. If a man appeared in a black hooded jumper with a bat, or knife, or monkey trained in martial arts. I envision the fight that would ensue in which my lung would be punctured, an artery severed, an ear torn from the side of my head and flung toward the kitchen to be lost among the lint beneath the refrigerator. The man would leave with a handful of change I’d thrifted from my mum’s parking money, my laptop and the one-eyed cat, which I could only assume he’d feed to the rest of his martial-arts-expert-monkey-clan.
On the bright side, maybe, if I did suffer these injuries, I could take a break from the vocational stresses rendering me impotent of creativity. Maybe then I could write the novel with the beautiful title and characters with double barreled surnames and thick British accents. The novel with the women with fake breasts and men with real leopard skin coat lining and money clips and secret child pornography syndicates. The men would have to be Dutch, I’d finally decide. No one would believe a well-to-do Pom to have such perversions. Not unless those perversions involved a type of hunting dog or string of transvestites in over-the-top hats. What do they call hat makers, again?
I wake to a text from a friend saying that he has booked a retreat at some sort of ‘silent convent’ in India. No alcohol he says. No talking at any time, he’s been assured. This is the same friend that, six months earlier, was charged with the aggravated assault of a police officer after a street fight with some strip club bouncers on King St. He’d called one of the dancers a “filthy prostitute”. He then spent a further 15 minutes arguing the nuance between being a body for hire and a body to watch. Ultimately the girl, likely to be some sort of Communications student paying off a loan and methamphetamine debt to her tattoo-sleeved ex-boyfriend, grew tired of the insults and called over one of the bouncers to eject my friend. “The slut tried to fuck me”, he said.
This was my friend who was moving to India to be sober. To meditate. To be alone with his words and his thoughts. I had the impossible feeling that perhaps he was to feel more pain than any nunchuck-wielding orangutan could ever inflict on me. And I got the sudden urge to go with him.