April 28, 2017

Tap That

The young guy goes to pay with his Eftpos card.
"How should I do it?"
"Whatever way tickles your fancy," the store owner says, and the guy's girlfriend giggles.
"Some like to wiggle it around, some like to stick it in."
His pause is filled with the couple's laughter.
"The card that is," the owner adds, a sparkle in his well-twinkled eyes.


'Obey the rules'
The rear window sticker says.
I laugh and wonder
Which ones? They're all so contradictory.


Sometimes a girl sits next to her boyfriend, and gives you a manic grin that says, "Shall we swing?"
She has the dusty rose version of my fake fur coat, limbs of flourish and dancing eyes. Pretty but too bombastic.

It's a wintery, indoor night and I'm rugged up and toned down, so she can't see I'm usually a show-pony like her.
I got a relaxed daddy vibe by comparison under my cascades of beanie'd blonde, and maybe she digs that.

Her body language is overt - without words she cannot eat her sorbet silently.
One leg hanging over the other, pointed toe, exaggeration of feminine traits.
She turns to look at me and I look back.

She is sharing a small mountain of frozen yellow confection with her baseball-capped beau, and I get the feeling I'm on an unwritten menu as their shareable after-dessert dessert.
I won't be going with home with her - this possible blonded doppelganger - but I would go home with that jacket, even if it means peeling it slowly from her lean white arms and tasting her sorbet-sweetened lips.
I'm a whore for a good fake fur.

April 26, 2017

Old News

It's so funny to me that at age 14 or so I wanted to be a newsreader. I don't watch the news now. I actively avoid it. I was like this antenna picking up 50 stations at once while the battery was already low, and when it all melted down, I turned down volumes, tuned things out, and now I try to create as much silence possible - a place of calm and unbias on which to add sound.
There is not a single thing more I can do about North Korea than worry, and because I'm so good at that I'm bad at it, it's better I don't know, and instead I can listen to Richard Fidler read his book on the Byzantine Empire. All history repeats anyway. Although Emperor Constantine ordered his son and wife executed by horrible means, so might be a few more years before we see those kinda madcap antics come swinging back.

April 25, 2017

Sparkling Water

He smiled, mouth twisting to a crooked side. Excited and endearing.
My ingredients for Tuesday night placed on the counter - two bottles of sparkling water and too many blocks of chocolate.
No judgement on his end.
"Would you like a bag?" he asks, all chirp and that crooked smile, eye contact at every turn. A dance.
"Yes please," I reply much cooler than he. I'm just there to buy groceries, but to him... he looks at me the way a kid looks at a pogo stick, or, to clarify, he looks at me the way I look at a pogo stick.
Every yes in response to one of my replies is too high pitched, nothing remotely casual. I think I remember feeling like that once upon a time - so enthused and lit up by other people. I look like I still feel that more than anyone on Earth. I think I feel it less. Maybe I used it all up early. But he is still young and enchanted with people, and so I am lovely and return. He's made my scrambled evening better. 

I don't know what story he told himself in his head about me - I think we all do when we serve somebody we're attracted to at a shop. I used to work slowly at fast food and give away extra nuggets or taller soft serve cone just because of a thrilling face, so if anyone tells you that attractive people doing get special treatment, that's a KFC and Hungry Jacks tested lie. 

I took my bag and wished him a good night, and there was that sidled smile under glittering blue eyes.
I hope he can be this excited over things forever. 

April 22, 2017

Coke Handler

Faced away in the loading dock, 3 minutes later he pushes past the queue to walk out with the 2 litres of Coca-Cola, before the formerly cute checkout guy until his most recent choice of eyeglass grabs the bottle from his hands. 
The creature shuffles out to lurk by the entrance and eat chips. May as well throw that Coke out. Who wants to drink from a bottle handled by freshly grubbed dick hands?

April 21, 2017

Friday Night Delights

Camouflage jumper, one & a half stomachs, receding spikes and a vague look of determination as he steps out of his car and walks in front of me.
He's going somewhere - not in a hurry, but he knows where. I have this feeling that he's going to the massage parlour, but he's walking in the opposite direction of it.
I'd just strolled past in my usual custom of peeking through the window at the drab wood-panel walls and off-white curtains - so fitting and able to hide the stains of, shall we call it, 'massage fluids'. 

I'm looking at the back of his head and wondering where he is going, and then as if remembering something or realising he has confused the location, he turns around and walks back past me, looking me in the eyes. 
I keep walking in my direction, just walking, walking, obliviously walking, knowing that he will be looking around to see if I am watching him.

And at just the time I know he will, I turn, and there he is stepping through the door of the down-hearted wank palace - his face turning pink and green in the permanent flashing Christmas lights, off to get a Friday night release. I walk on, laughing and keeping my mirthful, judgy disgust to myself and all of you.

April 19, 2017

Up, Down, In, Out

Would anyone bomb the earth
Lying, looking at the sky  
Or with a magnifying glass  
To a patch of grass  
Watching the ants go by?

April 17, 2017

New Walker

I'm a listener.
This statement would be confusing to anyone who knows me - an intense mammal prone to fidgeting, touching available textures, interjecting and talking without breath at times.

I listen to something else a lot more than people.
It's like a voice in my head.
It doesn't tell me to set fire to laundromats that didn't give change or bestow any deity-derived powah.

It's always been there, and it's smart. I used to not think it was smart, assuming I was smarter, but I watched it, and I tested it. And over many years, I learned that I was dumb and it was right, but I would be smart if I listened to it.
I'd test it by ignoring it.
It'd tell me 'Don't go that way,' and I'd inwardly retort, 'Fuck you, you're not the boss of me,' and charge down that path only to be met by an aggressive unattended dog or a no-through road.
Sometimes it would be more stern, over bigger things and I'd silence it. It would say 'If your friends go out with their speed on them, the cops will pull them up'. Boom. Happened. I'd tell my friends later and they'd burn me with laser eyes. Why didn't I tell them?!! Well, how could I? Come on, like anyone is gonna buy into another person's intuition. Blind faith is stupidity. 

The voice has been right more times than I could count, but as my anxiety has grown over the years it's gotten increasingly hard to discern the sky-is-falling prognostications from the 'oi, Betty, legit shit is going down' instinct. I got real good at recognising The voice as different than my own chattering mind over the years but it's all now a bit of a soup.
I trust the voice mainly because it's saved my life. I think it's three times now, that I know of. Many other times I've listened to Mr. Voice without knowing my alternate ending would have been, but having a frightening sense it's better I not know what would have happened if I'd walked through that shadowy park that night instead of taking the long way around.

One time the voice stopped me getting killed by a crashing car, another it prevented a massive, falling gumtree branch connecting with my skull and turning my spine into a closed accordion. So close, but it started yelling in my head and sounded so serious both times I wanted to see what would go down if I took its orders.

Well, I'm typing this.

Nothing so dramatic today. I like to use the voice often like a cootie catcher - a magic 8-ball - a roll of the dice. Which street should I turn down? I ask it, and it tells me.
Today I did this and passed down a street I walk maybe once a month.
As I strolled along, aware of the swooping time and where I'd be late to, but awing at the gardens and windows and porches of the panorama of the street, and avoiding the zoom of errant, excited young children rattling along on their 3-wheel scooters, I noticed a few small items of hard rubbish outside a terrace house. The sink/tray caught my eye - the retro blue shade so appealing. Some poster behind it, and some cricket paraphernalia, nothing of interest. I kept walking with eyes on the small assortment, when I saw the magic words.


My new favourite words.

The magazine of fresh obsession, my delicious reboot back into literary weaving and biting off nibbles of the world I'd been too exhausted previously to taste. My feelers to a bigger, thinking world. A magazine I knew I couldn't afford to keep buying - a publication I'd have been happy with old copies of. Just like Colbert, it never truly ages even when it loses all currency.
Here was a New Yorker. Leaning against the foot of a fence. Under the fringe of a bush. On a side street. On a dry day.

But not one.

Ten. Ten magazines. Over $150 spent. By someone else. Someone else inspired to read and learn and laugh and feel to the same flavour. Two years of holding onto them, and the day they released them into the wild, I came suddenly foraging. It's like they left them for me. A symbiotic relationship. 'Here you go, stranger, may these words and comics and worlds move through you too'.
They could have thrown them in the bin. But they recognised their value. Past the over-inflated Mag Nation price-tag. They knew.

I picked them up and carried them on my hip, held to my chest, below an unstoppable grin.
The voice had won again.

Warlock 'n' Roll

The singer/guitarist asked me if my top was purple. 
I showed him, yes. 
He said that with the starry scarf I was in a wizard theme. 
I humbly agreed - only I don't do anything humbly. 
He asked where my wand was. 
I told him to wait and I unzipped my fly, stuck my hand down my pants and poked out a warlock finger dick. 
This is how you know magic is real.

April 14, 2017

Easy Rider

I haven't ridden my bike in a year and I thought that if I didn't look at it it would just go away.
But every time I open the bike room door, there it is - guilting me, begging to be ridden with puppy dog eyes and dust all over its cold white neck. 

It stands alongside all the other bikes neglected by their 20/30-something someones who can't be fucked riding them either. It's not a good area for it, people drive crazy escapees in bumper cars around here.

The only solution in this situation is to lock the bike room door and just forget about it. It's gone, like a brown houseplant or a poorly bred child. Goodbye, bicycle. We have some good memory. 

Sometimes I walk through the bike room and someone has knocked my bike over. It's not even in the fucking way - it's more like someone is taking a stand by kicking up my kickstand, but for what, I don't know that. Probably the same people who leave the half-eaten burgers in the staircase, and I do mean literally half-eaten - teeth marks intact one year later on a white, dusty concrete step, where there are no rats to rescue it. It's true, all that propaganda about how fast food is so preservatived it doesn't age. It looks as sterile and youthful as the day it slid out of its paper nappy. 

One day I'll ride my bike again, unless the next lovely person who breaks into my building takes it away from me, my hard-earned rubbish with the wonkily wheel. Maybe they should, perhaps they'd ride it more.

Okay Friday

A grey and heavy, cooling sky, whispering of winter.
Go away. I need more of that perfect climate kind - 't-shirt weather'.
Good Friday is at least quieter, without construction wake-up calls and V8s refusing to stop for trams.
I don't remember which is the chocolate day, but every day is for me. As is my every day no doubt spent courting blasphemy.
The hills are swallowed into the clouds and Melbourne is alone. It's a big entity even in isolation, so maybe it can never be alone, but so many who live in it are. If there are 3 million permanent residents in Melbourne and rising, how many, at some point over this weekend - a weekend stretched out like skin over an aging woman's rich skull - will find themselves desperately skimming a digital feed or swiping left and right in desperation while the world around them is clustered into warm little families?
The dogs howled just now. They must be new. Every day something sets them off and their choir's lopsided melodies fill the concrete streets. They're probably not lonely. 

April 13, 2017

Collins Street Strut

On Collins Street, workers earn more money, but they have all around them pricier temptations. Windows glisten with status's promise, with quality, beauty and opulence. 
Is this a cycle to keep them trapped? 
They can't work for 12 years then get out and go live within more slender means, happier and less pressured. 
They live a 'more' life. 'Better.' Always in upgrade, ebbed to the flow of the surrounding trendsetters and white picket teeth Joneses.
How glamorously tiring and empty that must be.

Maiden or the Beast?

It came charging out of the mouth of the shop and lurched towards the heels of the pedestrians, not watching where it roamed and not caring. Its wheels were grey, lower body black, and the rest of it cascaded in tangles of blonde. A decrepid, motionless waterfall that shone with all the illusions of youth and health it did not possess.
This thing, in its entirety, was some sort of part-human concoction, but even removed from the mechanised vehicle, the person would, no doubt, still be classed part-human.

I could not see its face as it lumbered brusquely onto the footpath and barreled through the fair-paced stream of humanity - exposed with Achilles heels and skin and utilised body frames. It managed not to maim or mangle any ahead of it, and it surely would have been an irony for one so unaidedly immobile to immobilize someone else. 

Soon the sparkle of its miscongruent goldilocks was lost to the footpath ahead, and I was left not knowing if it was man, woman, one of the rare few that ticks the 'Other' box, or the kind that would just eat the pen instead. But Dave had seen the beast before, so I knew this wouldn't be my last chance, to glimpse, and try and understand, something that can't be understood.

April 12, 2017


Tonight was the first time in years I've come close to buying cigarettes. 

I missed the feeling of smoking. 

The comfortable nothing of it, a thing to do, a strong plume pulling through tightened airways.

But I know what I'm like, how I addict to things. It wouldn't be a couple. I'd hate the feel and taste and smell and be hooked 3 days in, decimating my fought-for singing voice, inducing old asthma attacks and bringing back The Scary Cough.

I hate smoking. Almost everything about it is vile and cruel. But tonight I wanted to feel it again.

April 8, 2017

Late-Night Stopping

The agitated Aborginal woman hurls the green plastic shopping basket across the footpath and continues to fussock through a grocery bag or perhaps woodchips, who knows. 
A mother goes to walk by, pram-first, and I worry for her and the child. 
The mother stops to pull a pack out of the pram and lights a fag. 
Oh, that kid has more to worry about.
"I'll fuckin' shiv you!" the Aboriginal woman shouts to no-one we can see, no-one who is there.
Keep walking keep walking keep walking.

Porcelain Moby

I enjoyed Moby's autobiography, which I listened to, read by the man himself, for free on Borrow Box. His turns of phrase and cadence were a little addictive and infectious for me. He's this honest, lost, pathetic, loving, hopeful creature who crawled out of poverty and into vices and festival circuits. Something/nothing/something. You could smell the vomit in his stories, see the rats, get an awkward feel of New York and 'cracked' neighbourhoods.
I didn't listen because I'm a fan, but because he had a story I liked hearing, and gave me some hope for my own creative endeavours, and my own fragile, hopeful self.

April 4, 2017

Closing Time Serenade

The local supermarket owner, with his better than better prices and cheery misdemeanor, was singing at closing tonight. 
The staff smiled. I praised him. He may have been born in Spain but he was acting Italian.
On the way out I joined in with him, and he serenaded me as I span around and around, and we were in a spontaneous musical.
"People... who need people...." Streissand? 
He sang it better, if only because he sang it while I danced, in spite of feeling ugly, feeling like shit, feeling self-conscious; we made life a musical for a brief moment, and the street lights never shone so bright.