Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Minute by minute I will do this

I just wrote an email to Gemma and told her that I want to walk around without my context on.

This is how I present (not on purpose), stupid, vapid, forgetful, sloppy, slightly unkempt with excellent hair but generally unattractive to men with good mental health. I think I need my context because what's left isn't pretty.

Oh good lord I think I just said its makeover time. This is very bad. I'm just going to go to sleep.

Fuck you Jetstar

Jetstar can get fucked. I had booked flights to go to Melbourne for the Melbourne Cup seeing as I scored a free ticket and a spot in a corporate tent, food and drink included. I don't normally like to go to the races, in fact it was only when The Spatula accidentally shoplifted* me a fascinator that I started to take the plan seriously.

Of course going to Melbourne on Saturday is completely out of the question now but because I booked a cheap flight with fucking Jetstar they are saying the ticket is non-refundable. I can change the date of my flight but there is a 'change fee' whatever the fuck that means. I can't find where it says how much that will be. I am very cross, I don't want to change the date of my flight. I don't want to fly anywhere. Walking to the station under my own power is an impossible dream let alone flying to some other city and walking around over there.

My return flight is with Virgin. I'm not even going to look them up until I have sat here yelling fuck weakly for a while longer. Maybe someone needs to fly to Melbourne this Saturday afternoon and wants to pretend to be me. I've done that before, taken someone else's flight, I spent ages memorising her personal details in case questioned. They didn't give a fuck they just looked the print out thing then let me on the plane and charged me five times the normal rate for a packet of twisties. I hate you Jetstar, I'm going to write a letter to Magda Szubanski.

* It was an accident, she had clipped it to her handbag with best intentions of paying for it but forgot that it was there, she paid for other shopping then had a mini heart attack after she had left the shop and realised she was a thief.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Breaking news in Slammatown

The house next door to the Enmore petrol station is on fire. The Spatula and Grizelda were just there and were nearly trapped in the service station by firetrucks. There was a man in the house on fire trying to put on his pants. The servo guy ran out of the servo and started yelling at the man Your house is on fire to which the man replied I know I am trying to put on my pants. The Spatula then insisted that servo man serve her, she said "I just really need this toilet paper" she then managed to navigate around the chaos and return home.

I was woken up by the world's largest amount of sirens ever and the smell of smoke. I had thought of going around the house to check that it was not The Peach that was on fire but rolled over and thought better of the operation. The Peachettes arrived home shortly after this decision was made and now I am definitely awake. They are excited by witnessing a fire, a man with no pants and firemen. This is all perfectly understandable but I need to go to sleep, I might just keep an ear out for a large bang indicating that the petrol station had exploded.

Russia's greatest love machine

The middle option. It is the middle option. Primary infection of the lymph nodes, I'm pretty sure that's what she said. All the weird things tested for in the blood tests came back negative, except for glandular fever which I apparently have had in the past, I did not realise this had happened. I wonder when it was?

The doctor said that the she can not be sure what caused the infection, she said I have had a significant illness. This means that all the bed rest and doctor visiting was necessary. I still feel slightly at sea, gentle undulations and invisible waves only I can perceive but its getting better. I have another course of giant tablets to swallow, this is the third prescription of giant tablets. I find their size and plain white colour comforting. The fingerprintitis was triggered by the illness but should soon go away so any crime related activities should be undertaken with haste.

Alarmingly my iron is number 12. I think this is alarming, the doctor seemed to find it alarming, she said that I am not eating enough red meat. I need to up my steak consumption and take iron supplements. I wish she had given me a jellybean, there was a jar with one red one left in the bottom of it and I wanted it so.

Precautionary determinations

Right well, its half an hour before I need to change out of my horrid floral pyjamas and go to the doctor's office. I am making precautionary determinations, a contingency plan you understand.

If it is nothing, a mere trifling you'll be fine now dear back to work with you then I will be quite happy yet creepingly resentful that I had to repeatedly visit the doctor. This will turn into doubt and furious wondering as to just why then did I need to spend an entire week in bed if it is nothing followed by a mild reluctance to let go the dream of becoming The Newtown Patient. The mystery of my missing fingerprints will remain. I will consider a life of crime.

If it is mildly serious and I need to take further precautions or medications whilst slowly taking back my former busy life I will be satisfied that doctor visiting and sitting in bed was necessary, eager to redevelop a busy melancholy preventing schedule followed by a mild reluctance to let go the dream of becoming The Newtown Patient. The mystery of my missing fingerprints may be partially solved.

If it is very serious I will be pale and brave. A team of nurses will be assigned, they will be cheery and prevent all woe is me thoughts, they will make cups of tea for the never ending stream of well wishing friends who are constant companions at my bedside. The fingerprint mystery will be solved and I will become The Newtown Patient, which is very different from The English Patient mostly because I have not seen The English Patient. All of my friends who have so far failed to telephone and enquire after my health will now feel very bad, as they should.

I really should stop being surprised that whenever anything happens to me, no matter how bad or how trivial that my friends do not care and do not make any effort whatsoever. The only one who has made any bother at all is Elliot and that was very mild and not very taxing. My mother of course continues with messaging and telephoning. Disturbingly my father telephoned and already knew that I was sick, I asked him how he knew and he said my brother told him but in fact my brother tells me that it was the other way around. This is indeed a mystery, just like my missing fingerprints.

Monday, 29 October 2007

Hello

Is anybody out there?

I find it difficult to believe that there is. I have lost my imagination. I am hoping this is temporary.

It was a foolish hope, my imagination is back with a vengeance. I go to the doctor's for my test results in the morning. Elliot sent a message saying "Fortune favours the Rock", which is nice because he thinks that I am Rock! but I don't know about that, he used to be very Rock and now he lives in rehab. Still he's much better off being unRock but I digress, in the last half an hour I have discovered that I have lost most feeling in the tip of my left ring finger, the fingerprintitis seems to be spreading to the middle finger and horrifyingly the nail feels like it is coming loose from one finger. The lump in my neck is shrinking but is still there.

Today I sat all day and wept whilst watching movies. That was not ideal. I tried several times to do something but failed miserably. I don't know if its after-Elliot-shock or the mystery illness or both. I am exhausted, not a bored I didn't do anything all day exhausted but the kind of tired that climbs from bone to bone.

I don't know what's wrong with me. I'm no doctor, to my shame, but I don't think this fingerprintitis is as trivial as I first thought, I don't know if its connected to the lump. I don't know if I have made a terrible mistake. I tried to talk to myself, I tried to say that I knew that staying at home by myself day after day would start to get to me but that I could handle it but it didn't work. I feel like parts of me have been replaced with replicas made of cardboard and paint. I'm sitting here colouring in a new heart with my textas. Its only prudent to keep spare parts, just in case.

Ah ha

I am developing a more complex plan, I think. I seem to have lost ways of saying things apart from this happened and next that. I am quiet and boring.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

A simple plan

Well once again I have temporarily (I hope temporarily) shattered my independence bubble. The bubble that has allowed me to float happily alone. Happily enough to go and see a concert by myself with the greatest of ease but that was last week. Now I feel that burning band of tightness just under my ribcage, the slight shortening of breath that means I am alone and not entirely happy about it.

I slept all day because yesterday I accidentally exerted myself past the point of exhaustion. It didn't take much, firstly I stayed awake all day. I washed the dishes and helped The Spatula set up for our ladies afternoon tea. I then drank tea and cupcakes with ladies. Elliot arrived towards the end of the tea party with a present for me, a teapot with cup, for one.

Elliot helped me tidy up after the ladies left, he ate the last of the cucumber sandwiches then washed all the dishes. He was wearing sandals and carefully placing my elegant teacups on the bench. We walked up the street to have some dinner. I thought we might get the bus because where we were going was at the other end of King St but I stupidly walked the whole way. After dinner at the sorbet shop I realised what I had done. I was having difficulty sitting on my stool. I thought I might melt onto the floor and be absorbed into the tiles. Elliot suggested a taxi home.

Elliot told me to go and have a shower. He said go and have a shower and I will change the sheets for you. I was so grateful that I showed him where I keep my botanical shower foam. I had a very solid plan, I'd been thinking it through and making determinations, I ran through the plan once more while I was in the shower. My very solid plan was to not have sex. Here are the reasons. 1 I do not know what my illness is or if it is contagious. 2 I am not supposed to exert myself. 3 Last time I did not cope, the sudden giving then taking away of a person left me bereft. 4 Last time it wasn't really that good.

I have never been very good at following plans. He came up behind me while I was fusing over some thing or other, he wrapped his arms around me then lowered his face onto the back of my neck and smelled me. The plan wobbled a little. When he came back from the shower he smelt like botanical foam, he very calmly took off his clothes and climbed into bed. I thought fine all normal and running according to plan so far. Obviously hugging is allowed but very slowly finger by finger the plan went out the window and reason 4 no longer stands as a reason.

Just before I fell asleep I noticed a spider. A giant spider. Under threat of me going to fetch The Spatula to deal with it Elliot pulled on some clothes and I snuck out the door to find a container and sheet of cardboard. I met The Spatula in the hallway and soon enough there was a three person spider removal operation underway. My role was to bravely hide in the hallway while Elliot stood on a stool with his shirt on backwards and his hair on end, The Spatula cheered him on. The spider was released outside where hopefully it will run free and never bother me again.

Sleep was delayed for some time because Elliot oddly developed a bad case of the giggles. In the morning I thought I felt fine, fine enough to go along with further plan busting then cook bacon and eggs. Unfortunately the morning came to an abrupt conclusion when Elliot's brother phoned and asked where he was. The whole family was waiting for him in a cafe in Leichhardt. We forgot about daylight savings. I drove him to the cafe and god knows how I made it home again. I felt like my infrastructure had collapsed. I slept all day. Now that I am awake I have noticed the absence of the bubble, the tightening of that infernal band of sorrow and once again I am sitting cross legged and alone wondering how I managed to fool myself into believing that I can do this all by myself.

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Result

Well partial results, I parted with more blood than I was happy to at doctor's this morning. She did very well considering there were no veins to be seen. None at all. I had a good look, she sipped a coffee whilst poking at my arm saying this is very curious. Then she did something fancy with tupperware style vials and a piece of cotton wool and out came the blood.

Partial results include; probably not lymphoma, possibly toxoplasmosis but she is just testing as a precaution, I am not in the habit of eating cat poo. Glandular fever is still in the running but she thinks it is unlikely to be my mystery disease. I am slightly alarmed that a GP working in the Newtown area does not know why I am sick. You see almost every possible thing walking down the streets around here so I thought that the doctors would somehow be super doctors adept at identifying mystery ailments in a matter of moments whilst muttering elementary my dear Watson and pocketing a cigar end. It is very sad when the world refuses to conform to my excellent idea of it.

I have another giant box of giant tablets to take, stern orders to not attempt to do anything at all and this includes going to work. I am not to go to work until she sees me again next Tuesday. I am hoping the mystery will be solved on that Tuesday morn, a miracle drug prescribed after which I will be required to have a cup of tea and lie down before rising fully recovered and able to eat dairy products with the greatest of ease. I am sure it will work out perfectly. A side effect of the miracle drug is that I will look astonishingly fetching and will bump into my future husband just outside the supermarket where he will immediately purchase flowers and run down the street after me. We will never again part after that first meeting. He is very kind and has many jackets, he despises baseball hats and he loves me. He will be very rich but I won't care and will marry him anyway. Oh dear I think the delirium is coming back.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Hotbed of intrigue

I preferred the delirium, to this. I preferred feeling drugged and psychedelic. I preferred it when I could not stay awake for more than an hour at a time without feeling like I was dying.

I am beginning to think again and starting wonder what is wrong with me. Some moments I do feel as though I could die, if I closed my eyes and drifted away that I might not have the strength to come back. I have a stupid romantic notion that this would rather suit me, I wouldn't mind shedding this life one idea at a time. I feel that if that was an option that I would bravely smile and shrug my shoulders. Such is life, I might say but this is all a little unnecessary at this point.

I attempted to walk up the street and buy some dinner tonight. If Grizelda had not been with me I would have fallen into the gutter and waited for rescue. I can't remember ever feeling that walking two blocks was beyond my powers. This is a new and intriguing way to exist. I nearly passed out in the shower getting ready to walk up the street, I stretched to grab my botanical foam and as I turned back towards the water it went dark, I kept turning and my mind slipped loose of its moorings and went into a flat spin, I slammed into the tiled wall at a tilted broken angle clutching my botanical foam. I should have taken this as a warning sign but I didn't. I pulled on clean clothes and carefully, making sure both feet were on each step before stepping down again I went out into the street.

Grizelda chose somewhere to eat and I ordered chicken wonton soup, my mother has been periodically sending messages such as, Eat chicken soup or Are you dead yet? and the endearing If you die can I have that ring? Not today though, no messages today. I have never felt less like eating in my life with the exception of actually being in the act of vomiting I don't think it could have been any harder to eat the fucking soup but eat it I did. I am determined sometimes.

I wish this was a wasting illness where I was both fetchingly pale and delicately skeletal but this is not the case. My hair looks flat and dull, I am quiet and stupid, this is the only indication of illness. Last night on the telephone Elliot ran conversational rings around me until he said "This is no fun. Get better", then he played me a song on his guitar and said he was afraid I might die. Its important to note that I indicated to him that he should say that. He said he aims to please and so is in fear of my mortality.

My understanding of my medical condition is that my immune system has shat itself temporarily. Apart from the lumps and the tidal exhaustion there are few symptoms and I find this disturbing. There is something serious afoot but I cannot lay my hands on it. The street was full of bright beings in their concert going best this evening and I shrank from them wishing heartily for the magical power of making the streets dark and deserted. I felt like a shell shuffling along trying my best first to make it there and then to make it home again. It is possible that this the beginning of a new beginning, it is also possible that is the beginning of the end. I find that I am too ill to mind either way.

I am not capable of fixing on thoughts or ideas. I can't change the sheets, its literally too hard, I can not lift the doona to drag it off the bed. I know that I have an office with work in it across town, a handful of friends, an unfinished manuscript on my desk but these are abstract, arbitrary phantasmagorias. All that exists in this moment is me in my hot bed of blankets with my major malfunction and the dirty pretty sheets.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Alarming but true

I cried when Jonah was expelled from Summer Heights High.

Head

Head very painful. Typing too hard, fingers hurt through lack of fingerprints, head sore like skull stickytaped together. Right eye crazy feeling. Had cup of tea with excellent Petie-O who came to visit today and as result am utterly exhausted. Bad show when having a cup of tea is like climbing a mountain. Delirium all but gone, able to turn neck in all directions, improving slowly as long as I stay perfectly still and covered in blankets. I have until Saturday to feel a hell of a lot better because my afternoon tea party for ladies is on Saturday afternoon and Elliot is coming to stay the night after the tea party finishes, he cannot attend the tea party as he is not a lady.

Gemma I need to telephone you but this is proving difficult due to illness. I will try tomorrow.

The dog ate my serial

The last episode ever.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Nevermind

I know what's happening. Its the miracle of life in reverse. Its the winding back of cells into blocks, I am returning automaton to empty human state. Graceless.

My fingerprints are vanishing and its not the mysteries of time travel its a divorce of self. I have no desire to read. There are piles of books everywhere but they are ugly brick shaped objects. I don't want them. I can't write. I don't want to write. Without the desire to read and write I am empty, thoughts float through in fog form and never properly reveal their pointed edges. My face is losing shape, I am shrinking and changing and growing my flesh becoming coming flesh and fleshlike and flesh coloured. A human frame on the road to nirvana in loose shoes.

Self-soothe

Well. I am not well and now its official. I was delighted when the doctor did not think I was crazy when I showed her my hand and said and I am sick, the skin is falling off my fingertips because I am sick. She held my hand and carefully inspected each finger "Yes, the skin is coming off your fingertips because you have had a fever for some time now. You are dehydrated from having a fever, this is why the skin is coming off your fingertips". I wanted to jump up and high five the woman. It might be important to point out that I am slightly delirious.

I feel drugged. I feel drunk. I feel like I've got my own personal invisible supply of happy gas, that might be the fever talking. I can't walk two blocks without nearly passing out, the lump in my neck is painful, my face is swollen, my fingers are shredding themselves, I am unable to digest food in a sensible way, there is only brown liquid yucky not normal poo and yet I feel wonderful. The doctor recommended that I stay in bed for the rest of the week so I've bribed myself with Vogue Living, a bag of books and a packet of biscuits, which I will eat if I get hungry.

I don't want to sit still I want to walk up King St and enjoy my new psychedelic vision. Everything is beautiful, buildings come in and out of focus, roads snake down and away in slow motion and I am sure that every passing bus is the magic bus.

I'm not too fussed about what is actually wrong with me, I'm just going to enjoy the ride. The doctor said something about lymph nodes and white cell counts or some shit. I just nodded and thought ooh that's a great chart on the wall over there. I have to stay in bed for the rest of the week and visit the doctor again on Friday. She will most likely poke her pointy doctor fingers painfully into me once more. They must teach this at doctor school, every doctor does it, even Creamboy once poke the back of my skull with his pointy doctor fingers and left a big old bruise. It was sore for a week so well done there Creamboy, your doctor training must be coming along nicely. The doctor said something with the word significant in it, I have a significant something, I wish I could remember what though. I might have to have some kind of scans or something on Friday. Until then I will sit in my bed castle and enjoy being vague.

Monday, 22 October 2007

ILL 001

Once in a letter to a friend of mine I declared myself to be wonderfully ill. I believe that time has come again. There's a painful lump in my neck, I have leprosy in my left fingers, something swollen and heavy crouches in my throat, I am off balance, exhausted and unable to walk for more then two minutes without nearly passing out. I feel great.

This illness has silenced my thoughts. I am inside every moment, the world is wrapped in cotton wool. I can't even think about thinking and I'm loving every second. Is this what it is like to be someone else? Someone who can come home, cook dinner, watch television and then go to bed. I've always wanted to be that person. I long to be uncomplicated and settled. I want shopping lists on the fridge and a cheap shiny magazine to read, I want only one kind of tea and an absence of ideas, experiments and manuscripts. Is this what its like? Is this the way to live?

Inject me with your poisons. I don't want this to end.

And I'm not afraid to die

You can only do that if you're a front man with years of experience. Nick Cave rode that stage like it was some kind of wild horse, he was all legs and arms and hands. He is a tall walking stick of rock and finally I understand how groupies could happen.

There were two sets, I was most looking forward to the first set, the Grinderman set but I fear I was in the minority. Sometimes there was a failure to launch. The drummer, come on the drummer, was clearly both aged and able. He was wearing a pink suit but in the Grinderman set he failed to build it. Rhythm when its working can free your soul. Now everyone knows that there is a progression that releases the soul. There is a famous piece that most conductors will only do once in their lives, so powerful is the music that it can destroy you. It is a symphony of death. Lesser known but more often felt is the rhythmic equivalent.

When you drum, when you are in the rhythm section it is your duty to build the cage. You can't technically define the cage. It is something that surrounds you in safety and then freedom. It conjurs into being bars to rattle. You know you're there when you can fall off the beat, go behind it, dance around it, set your elbows on fire with fills and accents and its still there. It doesn't matter now what you do because the cage of rhythm is solid. You have to build it with years of thud thud paradiddle, you can't just go out and buy standard number five rock sticks and expect the cage to appear. It is inside reverie.

Now Jim, the drummer, he was building the cage, you can tell its somewhere that he has lived but in the first set it wasn't quite there. Not quite there and god knows you need a cage in which to keep both Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. They must transport Warren Ellis between gigs in some kind of reinforced box. He's hellfire on legs and I'm sure it takes a man like Nick to tame him.

The second set, now that was a different game. The crowd was wrong, they were not my people. I went alone, prepared to throw myself into the abyss, all around me people were dancing and screaming throwing reverent arms into the sky but it was somehow wrong and I kept my harness attached for safety.

I went alone. I got dressed alone, walked there alone, stood outside smoking a cigarette alone, filed in alone and stood like an atoll in a sea of locked arms and hands in each other's pockets. Now I am sick. I've been ill for weeks now, a murderous elusive kind of ill that comes and goes with different signs and symptoms. Last night in a noodle place I burst into flame and nearly passed out. Tonight in the Enmore my mouth went dry, the world turned, I felt the blood rush down away from my face and my skin took to setting on fire. This happened more than once. During the Ship Song I grabbed my bag and turned to make my way out into the lobby to fall onto the red carpet and wait for medical help but at the last second changed my mind. I took to leaning on drunk strangers or locking my legs together to hold myself up. There is a hard rock of pure evil stretching out the skin on the side of my neck. I don't know what the fuck it is, some kind of gland I'm guessing.

So I failed to let loose my whirling demons to dance with Nick Cave but I made it through the night under my own steam. Not once did I wish for rescue, not once did I falter. I walked out at the end, alone, my feet cushioned by that rolled out rubber mat that unfurls just for me when I open the clanking doors in my chest.

Digging for fire has an excellent photo and an account of his Melbourne Nick Cave experience.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Raise your voice of hope

Newtown. My town. Better than any old town.

Only in Newtown could I walk down the street having sms sex in my new summer dress. No other town opens me to let the world rush in like Newtown does. I went to the movies with the Peachettes, we saw Once and it raised my voice of hope. I sent Elliot a message that just said "Raise your voice of hope" and he knew what I meant. He sent another message back saying his roommate had moved out of the rehab and so tonight he had a room to himself. He said he was naked and thinking about wanking and thinking about thinking about me while he was doing it. Me and a cake to be precise. He said "Do I need permission? Does this text count as sex?"

I told him to do it twice, told him I would join in, I told him this as I was walking past the bus stop on Enmore Rd just where it splits from King St. I said go ahead, wank away, do it twice expecting him to go off and um, do the business but as I approached the Enmore Theatre I received a detailed description of just exactly what business he was doing and the question "Are you naked yet?". I let out such a noise that Grizelda grabbed my phone and read the message, holding it up for The Spatula to see, that was not ideal.

At first I started writing a message telling the truth, that I was outside the Enmore sneaking a listen to Nick Cave and wearing my new blue dress but than I remembered the time I told Rupert I was wearing eyeore pyjamas and thought better of it so I said Yes. Yes I am naked and made up some stuff that a naked woman might do in the privacy of her own bedroom, with the door locked and the curtains drawn.

The reply I received was unbelievable, Elliot should write porn novels. I made sure to keep the phone well out of reach of the Peachettes this time. I think I was blushing and holding a hand up to my face. The combination of Nick Cave live floating out in the balmy air, the ticket to see Nick tomorrow night snugly in my purse and Elliot's increasingly erotic messages nearly sent me into a parallel universe.

By the time Nick Cave finished and I was almost home things were getting out of control. By the time I'd cleaned my teeth and checked the cat's water bowl I'd been tied up, flipped over, bitten, bruised, licked, fucked in five different positions and he was no showing no signs of stopping. By the time I was sitting on the bed in my socks and underpants there was honey and wax and a ten inch studded dildo. By the time I turned on my computer and rolled a cigarette he was shaking and soaked in sweat.

The last message I received said Good Night Miss D. Sleep long and deep. I think I might just do that, maybe I'll dream of Elliot and a cake...

Drug me or fuck off

I am going to the Melbourne Cup. I don't want to go to The Melbourne Cup. I want to put it in the too hard basket. It is making me anxious, its not for a few weeks but right now if you walked in here I would launch at you and rip your head off because its flight or fight and I've nowhere to run. At least I would look fetching in my new sun dress as I dropped from the ceiling screaming like a banshee and smashing your head through the floor.

I am going with The Spatula, her work has a tent for the cup and I even have a free ticket for the lovely Gemma if she would like to come but I can't organise it today. I don't know what's wrong with me. It feels like if I go to the Melbourne Cup my foot will get caught in the stirrup and I will be dragged to my screaming death by my snapped and broken leg, my skin being scraped from my body.

I need to be sedated. I need drugs. I need money for drugs. I need drugs. Its time like this I wish I was some kind of junkie. I guess a cup of tea will just have to do. I wish I had a biscuit to go with it.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Alert & alarmed

Creamboy does not know what cracker night is. How is this possible? It is the night when everyone buys firecrackers, has bonfires and lets them off at great risk to themselves and others, this is possibly why it was banned. It was the best night of the year.

There was unbelievable general merriment. Whole streets and families would join forces to try and have the biggest bonfire. There were fires everywhere, you could see them for miles. Everyone had a go at letting off crackers unless you were very small and restricted to running around with sparklers. Catherine wheels were a great favourite of mine, they made a loud whizzz screech sort of a noise and threw flames and colours alarmingly close to you no matter how quickly you ran away after lighting them. I still love sparklers, sometimes I carry a packet around in my handbag, this has come in handy on more than one occasion. Sparklers are amazing whizzy sparkly fun and should be used more often in day to day situations.

I have fond memories of racing around in paddocks trying to catch the parachute men and collecting the funny plastic shapes that were left after the cracker exploded. My brother and I used to hoard and compare the plastic shapes for weeks afterwards.

In more recent years my brother went on a trip to Canberra and bought fireworks. We set them off in the bush near our house one night when we were having a party (it was not bushfire season). To make proceedings more interesting we all dressed up in camouflage and went in single file running along bending over, to avoid being visible like roadies do at concerts, and dodging from tree to tree. One of my friends did a spectular dive roll at one point. You can imagine our great disappointment when the fireworks failed to explode.

At a different party we once lit a helicopter style of cracker, it went off with an incredible enormous bang that flexed the kitchen windows and lit up the sky, it went straight up into the air and landed in the neighbour's pool where it exploded whilst making simultaneous screeching and splashing banging noises. All the dogs everywhere went mental howling and barking, lights went on up and down the street and all of us at the party made a mad dash into the house, drew the curtains and turned the lights off. A marvelous time was had by all.

Marcus marcus everywhere plus The Dog Ate My Serial

Nice one Dr Fisher.

The Dog Ate My Serial: Episode 11.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

I'm in love I'm in love I'm in love with botanical foam

Organic botanical shower foam to be exact.

In other exciting news you can download "Not Quite Art" to watch at your leisure, go on, have a gander and see if you also would like to punch Marcus Westbury in the face.

Odd thing to have rattling round in head whilst busily typing in office

He was despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.

Handel! You've got a lot to answer for.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

The other shoe

One year
One day
One hour

I think I get it now.

He's not coming back.

And that's ok.

Meta Rupert

Whilst reading a comment on this blog, about kitchen whisks and hammocks, from Rupert Grizelda was heard to exclaim "That's a bit Rupert!".

I'm not too sure about this but it seems to me that if anyone was to seem 'a bit Rupert' it would in fact be Rupert...

I just want to punch Marcus Westbury in the face

In a simple walking "This is Modern Art" kind of a way Marcus Westbury eloquently turns my whirling thoughts into sentences. This is not the first time he has done this. Once in Newcastle at TINA I was chairing a panel and I was starting to run into trouble, one of my panelists didn't show up, another turned out to be shy. It was looking like trouble until Marcus popped in and started asking wonderful discussion generating questions. That time I wanted to hug him, not punch him in the face.

Tonight was a different story. There was Marcus on the telly with his very own show "Not Quite Art', walking around making sense of things. I am intensely interested in this show and where it is leading. He started where I had my own personal cultural revolution, Newcastle city of dreams and disasters. In the one day I sat on a step across the from the Town Hall and realised it was ok to want to be a writer, three hours later some locals were throwing eggs at me from a speeding car. One egg hit the footpath next to my foot and splatted, the runny egg went inside my shoe and soaked into my sock. I spent my last five dollars on a new pair of socks.

Marcus then travelled to Glasgow and showed the tremendous success artists are having in disused spaces across the city. He has a way of funneling complex ideas into a still moment. He said "Culture should be exciting, it should be something that you are part of." He's right. He reminded me of all the things I have run away from when Artboy when mental and fucked off. I have turned my back on what's under my nose and once again because of Marcus Westbury my life is about to take another left turn. It shouldn't be up to Marcus Westbury to direct my life. I shouldn't need some man I've spoken to on the phone once or twice, exchanged a few emails with and occasionally bumped into to remind me of the beautiful vibrating soul of this city. I want to be The Captain of my creative self. Sometimes I just want to punch Marcus Westbury in the face.

How can you sleep while human geographers are burning?

Some of my excellent friends were recounting stories from Trash Sydney the other day and one of them recounted a particularly horrifying tale of setting alight a mattress in Benito Di Fonzo's house. This is not fabulous. I do not like that my friends set alight a mattress in Benito Di Fonzo's house. I hope nobody was hurt.

I have been very busy with Operational Planning Day at my place of employment, fortunately they paid for my lunch in a nice pub in Surry Hills, it has a clock on the wall showing the time in Reykjavic which is very handy.

Listening to my new Radiohead album on the way home I began thinking about my Radiohead scale of people. It is not a linear scale but it does have ends. At one end are people who did not know that Radiohead had a new album, these sorts of people might say aloud in a record shop in Newtown "I only listen to mainstream and R&B". This may cause some panic and distress in Dale who might reply "Shhhh you're in Newtown now".

At the other end of the Radiohead scale are people who might in a car in Surry Hills whilst taking Dale back to Newtown after playing guitar excellently at The Hopetoun "I am not fussed with Radiohead. I think how they are releasing this album is interesting but I don't think that they acknowledge their influences enough. I think they take credit for originality that is not necessarily theirs to take".

I am in the middle of the Radiohead scale. I like Radiohead but I do not own all of their albums. I pre-ordered my copy of In Rainbows and was curious as to how it would sound. I was very interested in how they circumnavigated traditional distribution methods and contractual obligations, slightly alarmed at the mass potential for breach of copyright and generally very pleased to be a part of it, in a small way.

At either end of the Radiohead scale are people I could never be. One because I am incapable of happily diving into the pool of mainstream then swimming lap after lap finger to toe with the ones in front and behind. The other because I have not the skill, the knowledge nor the sheer fucking style to dig all the way to the bottom of the well and see what the rocks are made of.

I will be content to walk around with my tiny headphones, take my measured doses of musical understanding, my wide open capacity to feel, press play and just walk where I'm going.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Come on now help me out a little

My excellent friends from Tasmania are environmental activists, one of them once had the shit beaten out of him by the police, which is bad. They are planning one action per week until the election is called. This is fabulous, the only problem being that that is a lot of actions to think of so I volunteered to help come up with some ideas which leads to the further problem of me not having any ideas apart from making giant paper mache flamingos and lining the streets with them.

Do you have any ideas?

For info on current issues in the map of Tas click here.
PS show us your map of tassie.

Human geographer

I am developing a new scale of moving people around the map in the war room of my mind. I call it the Radiohead scale. Beaker, fetch the exploding gas.

Infrastructure will collapse

Now in my digital space I can pause and replay and pause and replay this small moment when Thom Yorke sings "infrastructure will collapse" in House of Cards on In Rainbows.

In a deliberate attempt of purposed nonsense I am living and living in that moment of digital noise. It is my cave.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Riddle me this

These were the clues two of my colleagues gave me when I failed to immediately discover the nine letter word in the Sydney Morning Herald's target word the other day.

F: It is something you could almost wear.
J: No it isn't.
F: I said you could almost wear it not actually wear it.
J: I suppose it is almost something a lady or Rupert might wear.
F: For a good night in.
J: You Dale of all people should know this.

The word was negligent, which is similar enough to the word negligee to be called something that you could almost wear if you were a lady or Rupert and wanted a fun night at home. I should have known the word because I went to law school and not because I am a lady, this was explained after I finally figured out the word. I wanted to try and explain the surreal nature of this office lunchtime but I don't think its possible.

PS Rupert your fame grows every day even if it is an odd word puzzle clue sort of fame.

Replaced and replaced

If indeed it is not heart but stars that beat in my body, as MTC Cronin suggests, fallen there by not falling then there is no hope.

It is another day on the Light Continent, a Sydney day where the light is clear and white. There is no atmospheric interference. There is no reason why the sea cannot rise beyond the horizon and come back at us as air. Eternal blue in the whitewash of light but I have drawn the curtains, I have hauled up the heavy wool doona, I have covered my head and laid bare my feet. I am flattened and once again typing and typing ringed by personal smoke and clouded futures.

I cannot explain my fear of this clear light. It is a wide land that blurs into endless ocean, this continent is the white void. Wherever I tread points straight into infinity and I have forgotten my shoes. Every edge here is the edge of the world. This clear light frightens me. I want to be in a yellow bubble of low English light or captured in some damned American west coast smog. I want a tupperware bounded existence with no hanging rocks.

This day without purpose has come as no surprise. I was determined to push back the exhaustion that has hung blankets on my corners for the past month. I was going to find a wide clear carpeted space to stretch out and remember ways beyond survival but I had forgotten the speed of ghosts in clear light. It is not heart that beats in my body but stars and they are white hot imploding failures of creation. It is impossible to hold up imaginings in this white void continent of only light. I will rattle in my cage until I drop. I will vomit emptiness and craving while you walk past me and I am being replaced and replaced and replaced by others with a monkey grip on love.

Talk to me Goose.

Elliotitis

Fuck that fucker he is over-complicating my brain and has me thinking how much is enough? I think I might have had enough. It is very plain that I adore him despite his almost infinite flaws. It is very plain that he possesses the unique ability to pull me inside out and scatter my innards across the Sydney basin any time he chooses and the problem is he chose today.

I telephoned him in a happy moment thinking to say hello and see how he is. He is with Mr X doing some sort of stupid cricket thing but he was walking as he was talking to me and waxing silly and I had to keep yelling What! because I could not understand what he was saying. Soon after that failed conversation I was listening to Lou Reed and and sent him some silly Lou Reed lyrics about honey bears shaving their hairs. His reply was odd at best and downright fucked at worst and as an aside at the very end included "I don't think I can do next weekend either, will let you know."

I don't know what he is doing to me but I don't like it. I don't like the way he pushes my buttons. I don't like the way he is always in my head. I don't like the way his message punctured my carefully constructed gas cylinder of emotion. I don't like the way I am throwing things and raging around The Peach yelling without reason. I don't know what to do.

Devil in a box

The Holy Soul reek of Sydney is one comment I overheard at The Hopetoun tonight after Spencer's gig. Someone else, some young beautiful boy described Spencer's borrowed guitar pedal as a devil in a box. I've never heard them play like that before, they set my fucking head on fire. I don't know what's going on with the guitarist but he's got some fine kind of pain that breaks strings and rearranges atmosphere. If there's only one good band left in Sydney then its them.

The Hopetoun was dead tonight when I walked in, dead enough to walk straight through to the bar and not have to steer around one person and I thought oh shit, I dragged my ill self over to Surry Hills for nothing. Sure they would have played but I don't think they would have taken it too serisously. I needn't have worried. By the end of the first song there was a fine jostle going on and someone yelled Fuck that was good and I pulled my chin down and gave a small smile.

After Spencer some boring band played and was mostly ignored. I sat in the tiny courtyard and encountered an unusual man. He had purple sneakers on which was appropriate considering that fine aging rocker Mr Tim Rogers once made a hell of a splendid noise using those same words on those same floorboards. Purple sneakers. The unusual man is called Andy Depressant, Spencer pointed him out as a potential experiment man and at first I vehemently declined and I resorted to using various rude finger gestures which Spencer returned with equal force in an ungentlemanly fashion. Andy Depressant was flippant and other, I have a strange feeling that if I was a man I would be just like him. I greatly admired his glasses, secretly. He told an excellent story about defaecating whilst experiencing the effects of methylenedioxymethamphetamine (spell check anyone?). I have asked Andy Depressant if he would like to be interviewed. He said yes so now I will have to interview him. I will write his portrait and never show it to him. I might pay for his coffee.

Most people were wearing boots, some pointy, some not so pointy, none pointier than Spencer's. I was wearing orange sneakers.

image: We Buy Your Kids

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Caitlin Harnett deserves an excellent review

But I am lazy and the small important details have slipped from my mind. She makes me angry with her small hands and large talent yet I always go back for more. I will always want to hear her sing live.

I like her song Bring Me Down and I am generally excited to hear her recent recordings, where are they Caitlin? Where?

The bandana of activity will save us all

The dog ate my serial

Episode 10.

Aim for the apple on my head

Robert suggested that in order to boost my reader statistics I should not blog for a few days in a treat them mean keep them keen sort of campaign so I didn't blog for a day and then I thought to hell with it. I don't care a fig for statistics.

Lately I have been thinking about something I call my Death List. This is a list of people that I would like someone to telephone and inform them of my death, when I die and not right now, I am not planning to do an Elvis (the other Elvis, Elvis Presley).

The first problem is who to give the Death List to. Should it be The Spatula? She would probably be one of the first people to notice that I am dead because she is my housemate and because we have been friends for nearly twenty years she knows almost everybody in my life or at least knows all about them. However The Spatula might be upset if I died and not like to be left with a big list of people to telephone, she would also be busy advertising for a new housemate.

Perhaps Boli would be a good Death List person. He is generally very calm, he is very good at talking to people about the recently deceased, an occupational hazard of his, and he is extremely personable. However he has already agreed to take The Cat in the event of my demise and I am wondering if two items of responsibility is too much to ask from one friend.

My brother has a tiny tendency to not cope with things and so he is ruled out, he would also be very busy with my mother because she has also has a tiny non-coping streak and I can imagine them both in her kitchen being made to sit down and drink cups of tea. Other people would be making the tea.

My Father would not like this task. When his mother died he woke my brother and I up and then he went and sat in front of the television and ate chocolate ice cream straight from the container, not a bowl in sight. He stayed this way for some time, he was wearing black cotton pyjamas, leather slippers and his cotton dressing gown. I can't remember where my mother was.

Ron would be ideal because he loves telephoning people and talking about things, particularly recent events. However Ron is very busy and actually, maybe Ron would be ideal. I have known Ron almost as long as I have known The Spatula, he is good friends with my brother and my even be able to make my mother and my brother sit down and drink tea. Rita would also be good at this. I will give this some thought.

The second problem is who to put on the list. I don't want to be presumptuous and assume that people would want to know if I died, that would be embarrassing. What if they didn't care at all and it was inconvenient for them to have had the conversation and quite annoying for whoever was working their way down the list. For example what about Creamboy? I don't know him very well but I am considering beginning to think about counting him as a potential friend. Would he want to know if I died? I don't think it would matter terribly to him terribly much at this point.

I'm going to need to think about this some more, perhaps the Death List should be a who's who in the life of Dale Slamma. An exclusive inner circle of people of thought, friendship and substance. I will use a large sheet of cardboard and my best metallic crayons, it will be something to behold.

Friday, 12 October 2007

Action Man calls action to action stations, he did this whilst wearing both underpants and trousers.

My excellent friends from Tasmania are environmental activists, one of them once had the shit beaten out of him by the police, which is bad. They are planning one action per week until the election is called. This is fabulous, the only problem being that that is a lot of actions to think of so I volunteered to help come up with some ideas which leads to the further problem of me not having any ideas apart from making giant paper mache flamingos and lining the streets with them.

Do you have any ideas?

For info on current issues in the map of Tas click here.
PS show us your map of tassie.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

I do not like mysterious ways.
I need open and straight forward palms up meaning.
I need a guide book and a reassuring smile, I need both lock and key, I need plain words with straight arrows running true through the horizon.
I shrink from intrigue.
I am tired of the eternal red herring.
It leaves bones in my teeth.

Sing me a rainbow

Its 11:31pm in London. I am waiting for In Rainbows, it could be a while yet.

4:32 am in London. Still waiting.

5:50 am in London. Becoming anxious.

6:47 am

6:53 am in London, it has begun. It is streaming but not yet to my inbox. I will resume the waiting position.

7:29 am in London. I am in rainbows.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Its raining again

So I found my way there with unexpected ease, I reverse parked in one go while a car waited behind me, I walked two blocks in the cold wind smoking a cigarette and wishing I'd stayed at home, in the shower. I haven't seen these people for a while, not since I moved to the city and found that I could navigate new steps in new shoes.

I went for one reason, I went for the music and I wasn't disappointed, angered and made bitter yes but disappointed no. Caitlin Harnett was standing on stage with guitar slung high and her right shoulder raised towards her ear. Her sound is simple and earnest. Sometimes if you are not listening you might think she is just like all the other singer songwriters but that's only because you are not listening. When she lifts you follow.

This review was interrupted by legal and HR questions by The Spatula. My main advice is to get a good HR person thus eliminating the need to interrupt Dale Slamma who is peacably smoking and typing in her fortress of solitude. I will finish this tomorrow.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Zipped

I have zipped the last zipper, everything is packed, I am leaving and I'm not coming back.

Oh that's not true. I have difficulty telling a lie. Nothing is zipped, not even my pants. I have been feeling that same feeling that used to make me slam my bedroom door then open it and take any decorations or signs off it then slam it again, make a sign that says NO ENTRY GO AWAY, open the door stick the sign on it and then slam it again. In my defence this was about twenty years ago. Things got more sophisticated for a while there but now I just want to slam all the doors then open them a crack and see if anybody noticed.

I put words in the manuscript, new words that weren't there before. 75 new words. It is something. I will write this book or I will die and if I die the book's going down first, I will make it pay. Until tomorrow it is wrapped in foil, someone recently brought to my attention the fact that it is foil and not gladwrap that has psychic protective powers. I have moved it from under my bed just in case I was right the first time.

All I need is a remedy

I woke up this morning with my brain taking poisons and remedies on autopilot. All morning I watched the tiny vials of coloured liquid go down with no way of predicting their effect. There was a small storm inside me tearing down buildings and burning villages. This is the after shock of seeing Elliot. This is why there will come a day when I need to walk away and never think of him again, it will be the very same day that he falls in love with someone I could never be.

I should be cooking or eating or placing things on shelves. I should be unwrapping the manuscript and doing what a writer should. A writer writes so I guess that makes me something else, a loner, an observer, a flaneur, a rattled woman with infinite hollows and desert glare but not a writer. Not today.

Let's face it:

Lou Reed should be dead. If you know who I'm quoting then you know why I was afraid when she was rattling the bars in my skull at 7:26am.

Boo!

Looks like I have spooked everyone into silence with yesterday's post. Come on now, don't fret dearies, have a nice cup of tea, a little sit down and everything will be lovely.

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Dead vs Alive update

I am halfway through the dead vs alive challenge**. There are three possible outcomes of this challenge. If dead wins then I will die, method yet to be determined, if alive wins I will have some sort of party with hats but if unsure wins I think I will need to get experimental. If unsure wins I will drink a bottle of vodka, swallow a bunch of pills and see if I wake up in the morning. This is all sounding a little crazy but I can assure you it is perfectly logical.

I am quantifying whether or not the good actually outweighs the bad. This constant state of existential crisis, this shocked trauma and searching sense of overwhelming imagined loss is a new problem and it needs a new solution. Let's see if it turns into my own personal final solution.

**The running tally of dead vs alive is handily visible at all times in the sidebar. Alive is currently out in front by several lengths.

There are mulberries on my tree

and in my mouth, on the soles of my feet and on my purple lips. With my bare feet, scoop neck cotton blouse and tattered old jeans it seems only right to eat mulberries and dance a silent waltz.

I am slow and befuddled, wanting only sunlight and to pick and eat growing things. It has been good to be still and silent after the chaotic communal joy at Ron & Rita's. Ron's brother and his partner are visiting from Tasmania and I watched them closely, peering for scars and traces of brutality. He is a good man Ron's brother, like Ron, and I almost can't bear to think about him surrounded and beaten.

I have harmed my brain with Friday's merriment. I might have died if Rita had not cooked us all the breakfast of dreams yesterday morning. Today I had tea and toast with mulberries. Today I devised a new test for future crushes. Any man that does not make me feel the way Elliot makes me feel is not worth thinking about. I shall call it the Elliot test and if no man ever passes then I will know that it is better to dance a silent and solitary waltz than waste my heart on another.

I still need to tidy my room. I cannot walk from one side to the other, there are piles of books, vintage suitcases full of things from the old house. The suitcases are duck egg blue and I dare not open them in case they are full of Artboy's things and not mine. They have been in my car since I moved here and there they would have remained if I did not have to collect my brother and his luggage from the airport. I will sit here and stare at them until my courage rises.

Its a slow day

and I am floating in its inertia.

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Afternoon delight

I woke up on the floor of Ron & Rita's lounge room with a weight on my stomach and something hitting me repeatedly in the head. It was the munchkin firmly holding a toy monkey in her mouth and wielding a foam pirate's sword and a mad glint in her eye. She was using the sword to hit me in the face. It was far and away the oddest way I have ever been woken up in the morning.

The night before there was champagne, rose, wine, chilli schnapps, 30 year old port, more champagne oh and nitrous oxide. I am a terrible trashbag and I ought to be punished.

On the way home, in the afternoon, I phoned Elliot and wonder of wonders he was five minutes up the road from where I was driving in my car. I had forgotten how I feel in his presence. We finished his grocery shopping, had coffee and chocolates and I drove him home to the rehab house. We had more coffee, he played and sang for me, I demanded a hug every three to five minutes. Now I am watching Korean movies alone in The Peach marvelling at the speed with which my ridiculous unwanted crush on Rusty is retreating. All is meaningless when I am in a room with Elliot. He stops my clock.

Friday, 5 October 2007

Transport me

I caught the bus from Alexandria to Redfern via Waterloo, exciting times. A man with a long goatee tied up in a hair tie and wearing a leather vest stepped aside to let me on the bus first. I had my $2 ready so I was feeling quite confident about buying a ticket with minimum fuss. The bus driver was a diminishing man, tall and gaunt with every damn year of his life still open and bleeding.

I asked for a ticket to Redfern St and as I spoke he turned his head away and held out his left hand. I dropped my $2 into his palm, he flinched and let the coin roll into the cashbox. He pushed the button for the ticket and collected my change. He put it on the little ledge on top of the partition and turned away from me again. I bowed my head and walked down the aisle. I sat in the last empty seat.

Woot!

Delightfully clangy. Go Spencer! Shame about the craptacular sound quality oh and I should mention the band is called The Holy Soul, Kate Wilson on drums, Jon Hunter on guitar, Sam Worrad on bass and of course Spencer up the front there, he dyed his hair black now though. My friends rock, literally.

Mmmmmmm

Robert just gave me eight squares of pirate chocolate. Eight squares! All of my very own! Robert is a good man to share an office with.

Sentences to put in manuscript when get home

It diminishes. It diminishes until the nuances flatten like glass and I turn my back to the evening news and bend forward and down to test for salt.

The Australian Society of Authors

A fabulous organisation that everyone should join. Clickity click.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Tastes like a raindrop

Lately I have been worried that I have spilled something down my shirt or my pants are undone or my head is on fire. People are looking at me and I don't know why. Its beginning to freak me out.

There are too many moths. The cat is bravely attempting to capture and eat all of them. I 'm a bit worried that she will become ill. How many moths can a cat eat without ill effect? I suspect I am going to find out.

I had coffee with Spencer this evening, it seems he has also been unaccountably angry. He said " I was at this place on Oxford St and I got mad. I got real mad. So I walked home (to Marrickville)". Goodness. He must have been angry, that's a really long way.

I am tired, after ocean tired. If I lie still I might feel the swell in my blood but I don't want to go to sleep just yet. I am waiting to find out from Creamboy why he changed his Fspazbook status update thing to say "is not a revenge narrative either". Why? What does it mean? Why is he using my line? I suppose I could phone him but that wouldn't be nearly as exciting so I will wait and see what the internet delivers.

Meanwhile I will see what brain is saying about it.... maybe he is mad at me, have I done something wrong? I don't think so, certainly not on purpose. Perhaps it has nothing to do with me at all and he does not realise that line is the sub-title of my blog. Maybe I am paranoid. Oh what oh what have I done wrong this time. I am always inadvertently doing something to someone...

Oh I give up. Its late, I'm rocking in my own personal ocean and I don't want to be an odd person that stares at computers waiting for something to happen. I will go and look in my wardrobe and see if I can find a cup of water, I think there was one there yesterday.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Unaccountably angry

My unwanted crush that I thought I had crushed has made a valiant comeback. The more I discover about this person the more curious I become and its making me angry. He is kindness and a balance of thoughts, his feet stand solidly on his well spent years, there are no monsters in his corners.

The more I learn about him the more I want to smack him on the head until he disappears forever. I want to pick a fight with him and make him do or say something horrible. I want to sneak into his life and smash delicate objects. I want to diminish him until he is flat enough to roll into a ball and throw away.

I am frightened.

Return of the Slamma

My little brother hopped off the plane looking fresh as a dairy. I had expected to meet a stinky grumpy sort of bastard but he was quite cheerful and didn't even complain about the heat, heat being the natural enemy of Slammas.

The fierce hot wind left me a little jet lagged but I managed to drop one person off in Springwood before returning to Penno and my brother's house, formerly known as my squalid sanctuary. We stopped at Penrith Plaza food court for a spot of lunch, fancy, where I thought I saw David from the movie show on telly, Margaret was nowhere to be seen.

My brother immediately started emptying his suitcases all over the floor and what came out of those cases was astonishing. He'd been shopping that boy, shopping in markets all over China between gigs. I am currently wearing Anna Sui perfume (fake), a mint green Gucci watch (fake), Chanel sunglasses (fake), jade earrings and matching pendant (real!). I also have a packet of communist cigarettes, a Shanghai keyring, a tiny silk bag, a jade snake tablet thingy from a temple and I suspect from the haste with which he sneakily pushed some items out sight one or two things to look forward to for Christmas.

I spent hours surrounded by exotic trinkets, swathes of silks, no less than seven fake watches, perfumes, enamel boxes, jade jewellery, shiny weird cigarette packets and other nameless gorgeous things.

He was full of tales and photographs, he said the duality of China was astonishing and explained pit toilets with scrolling l.e.d walls. He talked about architecture and the feel of shining booming futures. He told me about the old city where our family lived and the POW camp were some of them died. He said Chinese McDonalds is excellent. He said when he stood on top of the pointy tower in Shanghai to photograph the city that he could not comprehend what he saw, the city stretches all the way to the horizon. When he said that I could see the memory of the dropping feeling in his stomach. A city that stretches all the way to the horizon is certainly beyond my comprehension. You can walk out of Sydney in an hour if you're quick. You can start at the Opera House or the Harbour Bridge and walk yourself right out of the place without even raising a sweat. I don't know what I'd do in an endless city.

There were photos of festivals and concert halls, theme parks, bars, universities and town squares. They played at every kind of venue imaginable. I wonder what people thought of them. I wonder if people unfamiliar with that kind of music can slip as easily into their liquid sound. I'm wondering if flugelhorns require translators.

Alarming

I'm worried that my new haircut is better than me. I'm worried that I'm going to have to dress up for it and maybe get some makeup. I'm worried that its going to figure out that it could do better and leave, than what I am going to do?

Slept in!

Alarm failed to go off because the other day I set it for pm instead of am and last night when The Spatula got home it was going off. The Spatula naturally turned my alarm off, I stupidly forgot. So what am I doing typing? Quick! All hands to the underwear drawer. I have to get to the airport.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

The Vogel Boatman (boatperson is a preferable word to boatman but is not as readily understood as I intend it to be understood)

The people at work have been hassling me to get my manuscript ready to enter The Vogel Award, this is because they are all too old to enter. Next year the prize is going to be $25 000 with a further $25 000 advance from Allen & Unwin, people attending the award ceremony traditionally get to take home a bag of vogel products such as bread. Free bread is good.

This morning after another barrage of "just enter" I thought by George I'll do it but tonight its a different story. I am very busy and important. I have telly to watch and facebook to watch and blog to watch. I have cigarettes to smoke, cakes to regret and cat to look at. I don't have time to be messing about with manuscripts. This is the official story but the truth is slightly more disturbing.

My manuscript, the printed out version, is currently wrapped in gladwrap and stuffed in an envelope and hidden under a saddle under my bed, so that it can't hurt me. That just about sums up my relationship with my manuscript at the moment. I'm not sure what to do, I keep thinking that it would help to set it on fire. Writing can be difficult and sometimes requires being able to squash yourself flat and crawl right under the bed, right to the back near the wall. Maybe I should try painting?

Recombobulate

I don't how to get to the airport. How can I not know how to drive to the airport? I'm going to look it up now. I'm The Captain of picking up my brother from the airport because my mother was hit by a truck. My mother is fine, she is insisting on saying that she was hit by a truck even though it was her car and not her person that was hit by a truck. My mother has a tiny dramatic streak, I myself am always entirely sensible and never melodramatic at all. I can hear the sniggering, please stop.

The map thing tells me I live 7.66km from the airport, this might explain why the planes are sometimes loud. The roads look like gladwrap marks on cake icing. I have been to the airport many times but I have never been the one driving. Tomorrow morning I will not have a copilot, just me and the broomer. I have no idea what this map is trying to tell me. They have it upside down from how it is in my brain. I don't know the names of any of the roads. I am starting to panic.

I might just telephone China and say please keep my brother for another 24hrs while I learn where the airport is.

1:51 am

Can't sleep.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Evening primrose oil is less effective than promised

I want to fight, I don't care who with. I want to put my gloves on and punch until their face cracks and they sway in the wake of my fury. I want to knock them down and kick until my feet burst. I want to punch until my muscles burn and I am the monster you were taught to fear. I want to see the red glint spark fear in your eyes. I want to get dragged out of here with cold handcuffs shredding my flesh. I want to throw myself at concrete walls and moving trains. I want to stomp my hatred across your face. I want to see the whole world cry.

The right thing

Sometimes doing the right thing is a just another way to make yourself feel better about yourself. A friend of mine is planning on meeting up with a man she went on a date with to inform him, over lunch, that its not going to work for her. She's going to give him the let's be friends speech. Whilst I admire her for being straight forward and shooing away any anxiety or expectations I have some issues with her methods.

The man is most likely under the impression that this is another date. The man was very keen to meet her for lunch and told her this. Imagine yourself sitting in a public place right across from the person you have been hoping would invite you somewhere, one on one. You might have picked out a special outfit and checked the train timetable twice to make sure you'd arrive on time. You might be letting loose wild imaginings over garlic bread, this is only going to make things worse when you have to pack your heart away with the tea spoon over coffee.

I should have said this to my friend when I had the chance. When you go to somebody and you have something to say make sure that they are going to be comfortable. Don't do it in a public place, sometimes it is kinder to do it over the phone so they can run from the bedroom to the kitchen and leak tears into teacups. Make sure you consider it from their point of view as well as your own. When you move to your moral high ground take care where you cast your shadow.

Two days in

I wonder what it feels like two days after you are married when you are washing dishes and wandering around thinking about dinner and bin night and whether you could be bothered cleaning the toilet.

I wonder if security rises like a fog to change the aspect on everything you see or if your foundations are making clicks into place and no matter how far you lean you feel you won't topple. I'm wondering what it feels like to stand across from someone on the edge of a gully in a circle of everyone you love best and know that you'll never again sit like me on the bed with dirty hair and a cat and the black hole eternity laughing empty futures in your face. I'm wondering if you notice or if you just walk a little taller.

Chocolate tapas

I leant back in the booth and quietly said "call me an ambulance" but nobody did.