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.

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