Sunday, 29 March 2015

When Rock Bottom Is A Step Up

He died from SIDS and I fell. I tumbled down a bottomless pit. Until all light disappeared. Each moment deeper and darker than the last. No one was there to catch me, no one was there to comfort me as I fell. I reached out, in my own way, but no one reached back. I called out and nobody responded, not even an echo. What friends and family I thought I had turned out to be a mirage. I fell right through their safety net as if it was made of smoke, dispersing and dissipating before my eyes. I could curl into a ball, sob myself to sleep, and still wake up and be falling. Sinking lower and lower into the blackness. I could rage and scream and yell, I could punch and kick and dig my nails in until they tore off, and nothing would change. Nothing would bring my baby back. Nothing can take the pain and loss away. I beg God for rock bottom, so I can break my neck.


Living because you don't know what else to do

You come home for lunch and spread nothing but mustard on some bread, because you don't really give a fuck and you'd rather be dead. Of course you don't want to die in pain, like drowning whilst kayaking up a drain, or dying due to some cunt's shit effort at flying a plane. But still you're ready to breathe your last, as long as your death is unforeseen and fast. Because at the end of the day, living life becomes pretty lame, when you're struggling to smile every day, struggling to get paid enough to keep the bed's made and the table's laid. Life is supposedly just a game, but if it's all the same, I'd rather just abstain.


Thursday, 26 March 2015

Being Us

Lazily we pushed forward without a reason but with a rhyme. We never fully reconciled that Creg was a part of who we were inside. Every time we laughed and joked at his expense, we cried inside as recompense. His woes were our woes, and his fears were shared. His feelings were incinerated so ours could be spared. Every word was abreaction on tear stained note pads. No one could claim to be as gloomy and cynical as us two young lads.

A year ago this month I was in a hotel in New South Wales, James messaged me and said it was time again to tell tall tales.  For four years we'd waited and quietly stewed, bottling it up until it all came unglued - into 12 months of misery and 12 months of regret, week by week we'd served it up for the universe to neglect.




Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Were- the Wendi go

Sometimes when I go to my fridge to get a drink at night. A silhouetted figure outside gives me a fright. It crouches on my carport, and peers through my window, never moving, even when the wind blows. Sometimes it's closer and sometimes it's further away, but no matter how close, I can see it's breathing induced sway. By the time I grab my torch it's gone, even before I can turn the light on. Sometimes I freeze in panic, thinking it's somehow gotten into the house. Other times I wish it would just hurry up and tear me into shreds the size of a mouse. Often I wonder what does it want from me, to sit outside my window so eerily, is it love, or is it hate, or did it make a whitepages mistake?

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

A Sole Soul Selling Solar

He said that he was selling solar, I said there was no chance of that. You can't sell something that belongs to everyone, plus if solar's so good why are you wearing a hat?

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Reminder

I have less than ten more years until I'll be all alone. Until I'll have no guilt for all the missed calls on my phone. Until there's no one to callback whenever I need something. Until I've got nothing, and all the misery that brings.

Reasons to Never See Someone Again

You asked for another ham sandwich. I handed you what was ostensibly a meat coffin for an embalmed pig. You ate the remains and sucked each of your fingers from the second joint down. My face scrunched into a sour lemon ball. I hated people who sucked their fingers.

Even the Windscreen Wipers Couldn't Wipe Away the Tears

The sadness drains me every time I sit in that car. We said that we'd go far. All along the south end, from Falmouth to Gravesend. But after I said those silly things, I never heard from you again.

Infantaci

She kept a baby skeleton under her bed. Gave it clothes to wear, kept it watered and fed. There were no selfies on her page, just baby questions instead. "My little boy still wets the bed," "what's a good balm for when they've bled?"

Gallus Gallus

When you turn away from me, that hurts the worst. When you say you can't give me what I need my heart bleeds.

But you could if you tried. If you weren't so indecisive. So desperate to cling to a little boy's lifestyle.

You don't know what I could do for you or how happy we could be.

As Seen on TV

Remember when life had a meaning. When the little things meant something. Except for time. Time meant nothing. It was endless. Though every little waste was painful, like being stuck in church on Sunday. The world was greener, and things were better. People were nicer. The world was kinder. Or perhaps I'm just seeing the past through amber tinted shades?

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Maggie

We used to run down the backyard with ice-cream buckets on our heads. Frantically ducking and watching our steps. Then we found it, laying on the grass. A naked pink baby, gasping it's last. It's eyes weren't open and it became dead. We never had to wear those buckets again on our heads.

Not making senesce

This is not real life, this is not reality. This is a snapshot of much larger picture. This is not normal. Nothing you could possibly expect is normal. You have no grasp on what normal is. You have not enough collective experience to judge normality. What's normal is something else entirely. What's real is utterly subjective. If you're not a mountain, you're not old enough to know anything.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

I thought I knew what I was doing


He was the kind of guy that referred to his wife as "wifey" and she for her part would reciprocate with "hubby". He was the kind of guy that would take your childhood toys and sell them on ebay and not give you a cent. The kind of guy that thought he was exceptionally classy driving around in a sunbaked, thrashed out, old sports car, flaunting his penniless vain attempts at appearing fabulously wealthy. The kind of guy that went to church and put on facade after facade of pretence, and then went home and pushed his step kids through the drywall. A scumbag, basically. A scumbag who thought every thing out of his mouth was either profoundly intelligent or ridiculously funny. As a guide to which of those two he was currently aiming for, he would helpfully either pull an all-knowing earnestly wise face, or a silent mock-laughing face.

It was one of those silent laugh times, with his head tilted back, open-mouthed, head shaking up and down like he was retarded, or as if he had just stubbed his toe and snapped it in fourteen places - the unbearable searing pain somehow stopping all noise from escaping his lips, but leaving his face to contort as if it was trying to eat itself. I looked at him, unbearably aware of how much of a tool he was. He'd just finished making an unfunny, vaguely racist joke, before his voice-over came through on the home-video he was playing, making the exact same joke word-for-word again. His face contorted again, at the sound of his own echo, and this time he literally slapped his knee.

He'd asked me round to try on the 'genuine' Armani suit he'd sourced from some 'genuine' tailor somewhere in a third world country for $100. Except instead of trying on a suit I was compelled to first watch three full hours of shaky handycam footage and still photo slideshows of his latest trip away. I was feeling physically nauseas by the end. I tried the suit on hurriedly, said it was perfect despite it not fitting quite right, bundled it up and left. I ended up having to get the trousers and cuffs shortened. It was a thin, cheap looking suit, but I stood by quietly when he told everyone it was a genuine Amani. What else was I to do? The best man has to be accommodating. On the drive home I felt sorry for him, that he'd had to ask his own brother to be best man; we barely spoke and had never had a good relationship or any interest in each other. The poor bastard mustn't have had anyone else to ask, so I said yes. I was far too timid to say no, even if this was the man who had rung me late one night, two years before, to apologize for hating me all my life. I briefly considered the idea of going over to his place more often, having a beer, finding a common interest. Then I remembered he exclusively drank a skunked out lemon-lime radler, and thought better of it. Even so, on the long drive home I made a promise to myself to try and forgive and move on, every male wants a brotherly brother to bro it up with after all.

I didn't have to throw a bucks night, my task for the big day was merely to collect sand. There was to be a sand ceremony (whatever that was), and I was to bring sands in various colours, as well as some sand from the place they first met. For those who don't know Brisbane, there is a fake beach built along the river in the centre of the city. I turned up there looking like a turd in a $100 tux, carrying three old empty chinese containers. They'd been through the dishwasher so they were warped and the lids didn't fit right. He never specified quite how much sand he needed, so I thought I'd play it safe. I scraped up the sand whilst children and parents watched me with suspicion. There was a bit of speculation on our part at the time - how could this open public space, where little kids go to swim, be the first place they met? It doesn't make sense, not when they claim to have met in a coffee shop whilst she was somehow reading his self-published book which no one bought copies of. Who meets in open public spaces besides e-daters looking not to get murdered? There are no coffee shops along this fake beach at all. Regardless, I turned up with three half spilt containers of mucky looking sand. Looking at the carpet in my car, I wished I'd just brought a bag of the gardening sand that I kept under my house and passed it off as the real thing. In fact, it probably even comes from the same place they get the sand for the fake beach.

The ceremony was to be at 3PM on one of the main beaches in Caloundra, but god had different plans. He tried his best to stop the whole disaster by brewing up a storm. We watched out the window  of the hotel as the palm trees bent at 45 degree angles. That was 2:30PM. The future 'hubby' still hadn't turned up. He was supposed to pick me up mid-morning to go have lunch and a chat about what would happen at the ceremony. To go over things, to prepare, to do a dry-run of where to stand and what to do. Instead I got a call to say he'd be there soon and the 'other best man' would be coming up to the hotel to get ready. An awkward conversation ensued:

"Other... best man?"

"Yeah, you're both the best man. I can have two best-men you know."

"OK..." I couldn't be bothered to argue or ask how it was supposed to work.

The other best-man showed up, took a seat on the sofa and got to chatting. He asked in his Greek accent for embarrassing stories to say in his best-man's speech. At least I got out of having to come up with one of those, I thought. My sister tried her best: "He used to eat luncheon meat slices with peanut butter on them..." The best-best-man wasn't impressed.

"You know, when I first met him, I thought: "this guy is such a wanker. This guy is such a dickhead." He paused and my sister and I looked at each other wondering if we were supposed to laugh or if that was the end of his story. I started laughing out of surprize at how completely accurate the statement was, but he wasn't done.

"The first time I met him I punched him in the balls," he said. I laughed harder. "I grabbed his balls through his jeans a-like this," he said as he acted it out, "and then with my other hand, I punch him, right in the balls, I said to him, stop being a dickhead, or I will do it again. He cried. He had tears in his eyes."  If only I'd known that was the way to get through to my brother, then perhaps I could've been using the technique for years.

The man with the punching bag goolies finally strode through the door at 2:50PM in a world of carefree self-involvement. His suit was un-pressed, and he hadn't showered or shaved. My nephew-in-law began scrambling about trying to get him organized, grabbed his suit and started ironing it. The storm outside had died down slightly, God obviously hadn't got the memo that we were running late and to keep it up a bit longer. It was futile in the end though, as they had made rain arrangements. There was a fifties-era retro diner that had been booked for the reception, the wedding would simply happen there a little later. He'd not deemed it necessary to pass that information on to anyone else up until 3:30PM though, after all our frantic panicking to rush him out the door.

We arrived at the vinyl seated, linoleum floored diner. The walls were strewn with 50's memorabilia, and there was a neon rainbow jukebox in the corner filled with LP's. This was the wedding venue for the so-called super wealthy, self-made millionaire who tells others what to do with their money. For a few minutes we milled with the other guests who arrived, after finding a notice posted at the beach. And then the wedding began. Sand was poured. Things were said. People cheered, and then the bridal party left. Whilst we were gone the whole room was seated and then there was a shake-down for cash by the emcee. On the RSVP there was a "no gifts" clause - but it now seemed that in lieu of gifts there was apparently a mandatory $50 or more per person 'donation', to be handed into a bucket on the stage. This was claimed to merely be a cover charge for the cost of the food. But why we had to cover the cost of food for the town's own self-made wealth guru was anyone's guess. There were grumblings from people saying they wouldn't have come if they'd known. People who didn't have cash looked around, frantic and embarrassed. Humiliation, resentment and awkwardness abounded. Luckily I wasn't there to deal with it. But I had a much worse job.

I ended up being the bride's umbrella carrier. The bridal gown's train carrier. The running around general dog's body whilst the photographs were taken. Sploshing through puddles and sacrificing myself for the dress. I hadn't eaten all day - expecting to be having lunch with the new 'hubby', which he never showed up for, I'd decided to skip breakfast. The photo shoot took over an hour due to the bad weather. By the time we got back, it was 5PM.

The normal downtime between wedding and reception didn't exist for the other guests due to it all being at the one venue. For some reason, only drinks had been served whilst everyone waited for the bridal party's return, appetizers apparently were not covered by their $50 'donation'. One of my sisters had been drinking the entire time without a single bit of food. She was drunk. She was loud, and shouting obscenities. It wasn't her fault. The whole place was a mess.

I was sitting quietly amongst the chaos that was unfurling around me, thinking back to the time we moved house as a kid. I was seven years old and had never ventured very long or far from the family home. We were moving interstate, I'd never see my best friends again - I'd never see my regular friends again, nor some of my cousins. My brother was 20. He'd come back to help us pack, and for the one rare time in my life he included me in something, asking me to join him on his walk with his best and, as far as I was aware, only friend. We walked across the town, they talked about things I didn't understand but I was happy just to be there. One of them bought me a spearmint lolly. It was the first time I'd ever had spearmint. I didn't like it but I ate it anyway and pretended I did. As I walked I heard a voice shout out behind me. It was his friend, "hey! Remember this?" he'd called and I became aware he was some way behind us looking at the footpath. My brother laughed and nodded. He'd written my name in the cement 7 and a bit years ago, the day I was born. I felt for the first time in my life that maybe he liked me. It was a strange thing for a 7 year old to think, kids normally implicitly assume everyone loves them, or don't really understand what exactly love is, but I always felt nothing but resentment and jealousy from my brother, interspersed with a fleeting interest whenever he wanted to impress me. That day shook my belief that he simply didn't like me. It was a far cry from the previous time I walked with him and his friend; back then I was 6 and they left me at a park to go and get McDonalds without me. I have no recollection of how I got home. I just remember the annoyance of being left out as it slowly faded into terror and panic.

I realized the day had become a perfect encapsulation of our lives together: a shaky start, a brewing ominous storm lingering overhead, more absence than presence, constant frustration with or without close proximity, always being the third or fourth wheel, and finally where I was with him now: indifference. It dawned on me that I no longer cared. I had broken through the pain barrier and found a formless void of nothingness on the other side. He stood up and made a speech full of crap and lies. I no longer got annoyed. He created his own cult. I didn't get mad. His wife sent me death threats. I pretended to care and cut him off. Just so I wouldn't have to deal with him ever again. People can only take so much out of you before there's nothing left to give. They expect more, even after punching holes through you and letting it all drain out, but it's gone for good. You can't sticky tape it all back together and wait for it to refill. You can't force yourself to love someone any more than you can force someone to love you. My brother died the day he wrote my name in the pavement. His zombie corpse has shambled off to Bali to con tourists out of money, good luck to it. Or bad luck. Or no luck. Who cares?


Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Convo Interruptus

It's always bad when they don't reply. Like they're hoping you'll just disappear or die. Can you imagine it in real life? Stopping a conversation mid

Pump

I gave you my heart and you attached leeches. Hollowed it out and smashed it to pieces. I asked you again if you wanted to stay. You sighed, and then you looked away.

The Ellipsis Eclipses My Heart

I finally did it. I sent her a text. For a brief second I saw the "..." in the speech bubble indicating typing. Then nothing.

Maybe she's dead?



Saturday, 14 March 2015

Being Otouto


And what am I to do, when I look into the mirror and sometimes I see you? Am I capable of the same mistakes, based solely on coup d'oeil glances of my face? I can never hope to forget, when my own reflection reminds me daily of my regrets.

When I was a kid I never wanted to be you. I never looked up to you. You were never my hero. My wish is for you to go away, but as long as I have this face, you will stay, and haunt me to my grave.


Thursday, 12 March 2015

Lacuna


The sky blears red. Another nail in the coffin as each day passes. A slow descent into alcoholism disguised by an appreciation of hops and different glasses. A wretched thing, flaunting it's effete irrelevancy like a badge of honour. It languidly drapes itself over a chair, letting you look but not touch. Excising regrets and amputating grime with wads of hundred dollar bills. Life is easy for some. Others cry hopeless tears and barely know what food is.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

The Patch of Rust Grows Bigger Year by Year


To know what's coming: the emptiness, the desperation, the heart rending loneliness - and yet to push on. To make the most of what we can with what we have and what little time we've got. To harbour our regrets, to ignore them, to push them down where they can't make us wander down a path of further regret. They feed upon themselves. Make us hesitate. Make us miss the things we shouldn't. So we do our best. Which is never good enough. Which will never be good enough. But always we forget. Time heals all wounds, but only because our memories are faulty.


Let Down the Spinnaker

My older brother had just bought a brand new kite. It was a glossy red and white, the red parts being a Coca-Cola insignia. I didn't really know one brand of cola from another back then, being only 5, but somehow I knew it was cool. And somehow I knew it was coke, despite not even being able to read cursive writing. I was so excited. I begged him to take me along. I hung onto his leg as he walked out the front door to fly it. He kept saying no and trying to shake me off, so I appealed to a higher power - "oh mum, let me go! I want to fly the kite!"

"Take your little brother," she shouted from the kitchen. He sighed and stopped still, waiting for me to get up. I dusted myself off and stood straight and proud. My brother was 12 years older, so rarely had much time for me. It felt like I had made it. I loved it when he included me. It made me feel older, cooler and respected. "It's going to go so high! It's going to touch the clouds!"

I cantered beside him to keep up with his longer strides as he made his way to the school up the road. It had a perfect oval for flying a kite; no trees or goal posts or telegraph poles nearby.

We stopped in the centre of the oval. "Okay" he said, "you hold the kite like this, and when I tell you, throw it straight up in the air." I nodded as he backed up and let some string out. The breeze was slight, but the kite was already feeling like it would go. He'd backed up several meters when he shouted "Okay, go!" I launched it into the air. It flew beautifully but there were no clouds in the sky for it to touch. Just the green grass and the whole blue sky for it to play in. I ran around below it laughing and chasing it's shadow. After a few minutes I asked, "Is it my turn yet?"

"No, not yet," he replied. A few more minutes went by. "Can I have a go now?" I asked again.

Suddenly something awful happened - the string snapped, or my brother let go, and the kite went flying into the bushes at the side of the school. "Wait here," he said. "I'll go get it."

Anxious for the kite's safety I stood and watched him disappear into the distance. I paced as I waited for him to return, but the minutes went by and he still wasn't back. I sat on one of the plank seats and waited for him to return. The minutes dragged on and the sun began setting.

It was twilight by the time my father found me, still sitting on the plank waiting for my brother to return. He never came back for me. He went home or took the kite off somewhere else to fly it.

Dad said, as we walked home together, that I could fly it another time with him, but we never did.


Saturday, 7 March 2015

Being Forgotten 2

Nothing's as free as being forgotten. Nothing feels quite so liberating as being ignored. When you live and love selectively, and leave your manners at the door. When you listen to other's ramblings as they explain their woes, they list the reasons they're depressed, and you stare blankly at your toes. When they claim that you're a good friend and that they'll invite you places. You secretly love it later when they forget, and you get to stay at home in stasis. There's a great big wide world around you, and you don't give a shit. Because speaking to people is the worst, and being productive: it's the pits.


Being Forgotten

Nothing's as cold as being forgotten. Nothing stings quite so much as being ignored. When you live and love and try your best to treat others with kindness. When you listen intently to all their ramblings without so much as an interruption. Then, when it's your turn to speak, they interject, change the subject, check their phone. They shunt you out into the cold and hold you down in the snow. They don't respect you. They don't wait for you. They don't value your opinion. They only speak for the sake of hearing themselves talking. It makes them feel good about themselves when they let someone else listen to them. They gift some poor pleb like you the opportunity to bask in their glories. They claim to be your friend and then don't speak to you unless you initiate the conversation. Don't invite you places and don't include you. So you sit at home living off old milk straight from the bottle; all your cups and utensils having been piled stinking in the sink. You sit on the part of the couch not covered in rubbish and laundry and wonder how long it would take anyone to find you if you just slit your wrists. They itch because you think of it so often.


Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Being Despondent

I looked inside myself and I found nothing. My fighting spirit had slipped away unseen sometime in the past. No one had ever updated me. There was no message, no forwarding address. I lay on my bed barely conscious, unwilling to get up. There was nothing left to draw upon, he'd taken all my energy with him, he'd raided the larder of my last couple of fucks that could possibly be given.

I'll wash myself under this drip falling from the ceiling. And, I'll drink from it too. When I need food I'll eat my socks. And when I need to go to the loo... well I'll just do what I have to do. 


Sunday, 1 March 2015

Being on the Stage of Life and Fumbling Every Line; Unpracticed, Unassisted and Unprompted

Even when I had all the time and freedom in the world I chose to do nothing. Even with all the money that I'd require to do anything I wanted, still I chose nothing. Hating myself and desperately wanting to die is easier than trying. Easier than putting on airs and socializing. Easier than doing the laundry and the dishes that need drying. There was nothing I wanted more than nothing. Except... except for something.


Being Human


What was it like when you took human skin? When you stalked through the night pretending to be him? He killed himself and no one else cared. Now his figure forms silently in the air, collecting itself from the darkened void at the end of the pier. No one ever prayed for him. Now it's teeth shine mistily beneath an esurient grin. It calls to me at night when I'm alone, by dragging along that rope tied to a stone.