Monday, 31 December 2007

Right then

It is time to both clean and ponder.

Tits ahoy

Its after midnight in The Peach. Its quiet out, light breeze, night air, slow waft of lavender from the windows. I think things are settling down. After an excellent conversation, during which I yelled fuck repeatedly, about the dastardly men ill treating my Peachettes. Grizelda produced two new tops she purchased today, one green, one blue. I held one up and yelled fuck. They are summery cotton swingy singlet style tops with a designated band for breasts. I was wondering how on earth Grizelda's tits were going to fit in the designated area so naturally I tried one on. The result was particularly hilarious. The Spatula tried the other one on and I used my handy dandy Dancing with the Tarsds style score cards to rate how well her tits fitted into the designated area. I initially gave her a 5 but then she moved the elastic down to where it is meant to be, under the breasts, and I had to revise the score to a 3. I gave myself a 1 but I only have score card from 3 to 9 so I ended up with a 3 as well. I don't know what I did before those score cards came into my life.

I was trying to work out what my least retarded outfit is so that I can wear it to a party. I suggested the "These are my bitches" shirt but The Spatula kindly commented that this is my most retarded outfit because only a retarded person would wear that top in public. She suggested my green party dress as being least retarded, Grizelda added that any tall men would be able to be distracted by looking down my top thus looking slightly retarded themselves and allowing me time to think of something unretarded to say. The Spatula then banned the word retard but added that the looking down the top strategy might be a good one. I think that all I would be able to think of to say is "Stop looking at my tits you retard". Its been a bit tits ahoy in The Peach this evening.

Sunday, 30 December 2007

On pondering the past year

I decided instead to give things a good clean. Better, much better than falling into the memory pit and counting and recounting bruises.

Remarkable

My brother required an emergency colour consultation after setting off to buy jade green paint for his laundry and downstairs toilet only to return with a very large tin of lavender low sheen. In the end we decided that it was a clean sort of colour and started painting the laundry anyway. He had the idea of painting the lounge room light olive green on one wall and wood panelling the other wall, thankfully I think he has gone off that idea.

After staring at walls and small cardboard squares of colour we collected Creamboy from his house and went to Penrith RSL. Yes, Penrith RSL. What an odd place that is. We went to see Ed Wilson's trombone quartet. I will just type that again in case anyone's mind is boggling. I went to Penrith RSL to see a trombone quartet. They had a sax, rhythm and keys as well as a wall of trombones. They were rather good really. It might be helpful to point out that my brother is a trombone player.

All day I have been thinking that tomorrow is NYE but fortunately I miscalculated. The Peach is looking disheveled in a holiday sort of way and most of my clothes are dirty. Gemma is coming to spend new year's eve with me and I glad to have an extra day to undertake some tidying.

There was some difficulty in obtaining access to Penrith RSL. I was wearing my "These are me bitches" shirt with arrows that point to my breasts and a zebra print bandanna. The bandanna turned out to be the issue, disrespectful apparently. The man then took my licence and scanned it, I objected to this and yelled fuck but soon settled down when both Creamboy and my brother gave me stern looks.

After an excellent cup of tea at Creamboy's house I went further West and slightly elevated until I wound up at Ron & Rita's mountain abode. We played an excellent new board game and ate christmas cake. I did not yell very much which is nice. I think I need to have my very own board game, the same one as Ron & Rita. I am addicted and was sitting staring at them saying please just one more game when they had clearly had enough and just wanted to go to bed.

All in all I had a fairly good day, I was only moderately distracted by the Benito Effect problem, I did forget to have dinner but handily the christmas cake I ate was eaten out of a bowl with a fork so can happily count as dinner.

I am rambling but I don't really mind. The Spatula has new hair so we are sitting in The Peach smoking a celebratory funny cigarette and listening to Nina Simone. We are planning a bbq for The Spatula's 31st birthday party. She is very old, almost three weeks older than me. I will have three whole weeks in which to tease her before I turn 31. This is possibly behaviour unbecoming someone about to turn 31. Never mind, I'll just pop my disrespectful zebra print headwear back on and dance a little dance while Nina Simone tunnels underneath me until I lift, ever so slightly, then throw my head back and smile.

Saturday, 29 December 2007

Wang shaped pudding is odd

I've had a long overdue date with vegetables in the form of vegetable and bean curd noodle soup. Those faithless masses have returned to Newtown in force, they elbowed me between the shoulder blades and informed me they liked balls.

I am developing a rock solid anti Benito Effect plan. The Spatula and Grizelda doubt the excellence of my plan but I feel sure that it is a good one. I am in drastic need of a plan. Last week I ran into Benito in the street. I walked straight past him then thought that might be rude so I turned around and said hello. He said "How are you?" to which I replied "shopping" then stood like a fucktard. This has got to stop. I will fix this once and for all.

I am going to write a note, in large print so I don't need to find my glasses, I will place this note in my wallet and if I run into Benito again I will simply read from the note. The note will be an explanatory note apologising for being a fucktard and explaining the mystery of the Benito Effect. After I have read the note Benito will burst into flames, return to the dimension from which he came and I will never turn into a silent fucktard ever again. It is a very good plan.

The flames are not indicative of hell, they are merely flames indicating an instant change of dimension.

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Goodness

The internet is marvelous, I believe this to be true. After only ten minutes of searching I found a job I wouldn't mind applying for.

I am newly determined to search for excellent jobs and then apply for them. Thanks to the internet I can do this sitting in my bed with a lovely cup of tea. It is a great shame that I am terrible at writing job applications. They make me feel odd, I do not like and am often tempted to write things such as, "I mostly try and do all of my work but to be honest some days are just crap and I'm likely to be easily distracted and write notes for my novel on all available pieces of paper. My brain is occasionally completely occupied with a mad idea, I will share this mad idea with whomever is nearest regardless of whether or not it is appropriate. This is why everyone in my office, including the executive director, knows about my invention of a stapler that has an alarm telling you when it is running out of staples and also potentially doubles as a vibrator, handy for handbags."

Today I have not eaten one vegetable, I had a glass of juice when I realised, this was not a Christmas miracle.

Toe some line or other

Now what? I've managed most of the year, had Christmas, turned thirty, recovered sufficiently to start giving a shit about things and my job. Well done there but now what?

If I was one of those excellent driven people I could simply consult my three year plan and embark on the next step but I am not one of those excellent people. I have a job that has no possibility for advancement within the same organisation, it is mildly interesting, pays appallingly and sits oddly even within the Arts industry. The Arts industry in Australia is terribly small, terribly horribly small and the pay is almost always appalling. Here is where Jane Austen is handy.

I am very thankful that I am able to earn my own money and keep myself without having to contemplate horrible things like marrying so that I don't end up a slave/governess. What I am not thankful for is the complete blank I am drawing whilst attempting to contemplate my next move. If the universe would kindly offer some suggestions I would be very grateful.

Coward

Such a day. An onslaught of people in decorative hats. An American Professor, one of three at my Mother's house, asked me some questions and I think I've figured it out. I have been a coward.

Monday, 24 December 2007

Eve

They wear this town like a party dress, walk the streets radar echoing where reverence should be. You can feel the cracks in her if you step slow with thin soles. You can feel the undulations and the centuries pushing up through her concrete. I walked with her tonight, my Newtown, when she was empty of her people, pausing a while on corners in the absence of crowds I could still feel it, Newtown.

Tomorrow I head West and succumb to the annual turning of the tide. I'll hit that horizon and ascend to the peaks where my Mother in her crazy aprons and open-mouthed ovens waits, paper hats all in a row.

I'll set with the sun and tumble down the mountains back into The Peach where I will sit in silent isolation for a day and a night with ribbons at my feet longing my annual longing for the others to return with the turning of the tide.

What a day for a daydream


I have always wanted to have a go at making a ransom style note using glue, scissors and the newspaper but I had to wrap my presents. A compromise was reached and I labeled the presents with letters cut out of the newspaper.

I sat at the kitchen table with Grizelda, agreeable lass, we spent an afternoon wrapping and decorating presents. Grizelda went with a more traditional printed style of paper and tied her parcels round with ribbons then attached tags. I selected puce as the must have wrapping colour of the season and was content hunting through headlines for the perfect letters then becoming sticky and black with glue and newsprint.

There is something immense in sitting feet flat around a table with busy hands and peaceable chatter. It crosses ages and generations, this kind of work, it is a way of threading time through needles and setting and resetting myself with place, age and identity. The product is almost insignificant. Once again I find myself in process.

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Have yourself a merry little

Christmas in the city is excellent indeed. There are stars and tinsel everywhere. There were millions of people and many excellent bargains. I bought an astonishingly ugly candle to plonk on my Mother's table, three Australia shaped fly swats for visiting American Professors and several books for myself. Too weary and overwhelmed with the mad reindeer shaped sparkling rush of it all to continue.

David Jones Chanel lady I am very sorry that I made you squirt me with so much Chanel, I fear my behaviour was unbecoming. Likewise small children wishing to see the display windows. Also the cafe people in The Strand and possibly the newsagent man in the QVB that I smacked in the head with hot pink wrapping paper. Very sorry about all that. The woman on the train, I apologise for yelling fuck but it really was an astonishing thing I was looking at in my magazine, people at the sorbet shop in Newtown I assure you I meant no harm and of course Grizelda, I did warn you that I go slightly peculiar in certain situations. Once again very sorry.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

All in a dream

Waking from a dream sobbing I trapped my left leg inside the doona cover and was unable to move, this was not an ideal way to start the day. It was Artboy flashing forward into false memory and I woke saying out loud " I want to go home". I stared around the room, temporarily trapped and saw all my horrible possessions arranged as if on purpose. This is when I realised that I was home, my new home. Already the perfect sensation of slate underfoot and the changing air in the long hallway of the old house is fading. The longing is not.

I will make the best of this day. Yesterday's paper has the weekend supplements, this is good, I have coffee, this is good, I have cake for breakfast, also good. I am accompanying Grizelda on a shopping trip in the city this afternoon. I have never been to the city the weekend before Christmas. I am looking forward to laying down thinking and concentrating on navigating through crowds. I would like to see the David Jones Christmas decorations. I will make a list of good things about my new life in The Peach:
1. Convenient for looking at the David Jones Christmas decorations.

Friday, 21 December 2007

Brilliant idea: Large print fantales

No need for wearing glasses, excellent large print fantales solve all your lolly wrapper reading needs. I haven't had fantales since I spent three days in a film festival eating nothing but fantales because that is all the food I had in my bag, except for once when there was a peanut butter sandwich.

I drank some terrible wine, I left the bottle in the sun for a while, about a week or so and then I put it in the fridge. This is the way to make wine terrible. I've been sitting on The Peach Deck in the moonlight drinking terrible wine and talking with The Peachettes. Grizelda has a boy that did not show up, The Spatula's one was sick. They got them from the internet. I personally prefer the library.

I don't like the idea of ordering an internet man. I'd much prefer to run around and look at things and stop and think about the things than to worry about stinky boys. If my mother was not already a lesbian I might consider a less stinky girl but it would just be a bit like copying really.

I am thinking about buying myself presents tomorrow. All this buying of presents for other people is no good. I want presents. I am also considering purchasing a terrible Christmas candle for placing on the table at my Mother's house. I like the idea of insisting on burning some foul smelling tacky neon bright reindeer contraption in amongst the silver and crystal.

Just a small word of advice about dishwashers. You cannot place bone handled silver knives in the dishwasher and then make the dishwasher go without your mother yelling. It is better to vaguely stack plates and then race out to bags the hammock in the chestnut tree. The other thing is about toilets. It is not an excellent idea to have a large picture window in your toilet, without curtains, that directly faces the bocce court. These are things you need to know if you are going either visiting my Mother or have gone back in time as my Mother and are talking to the architect about placing large curtainless windows into the house.

The other thing you might like to do is wear socks with little grippy rubber bits on the bottom. When you are walking between rugs on the floor of my Mother's house you would do well to take care as the floorboards are rather slippery. Horatio the Great Dane takes full advantage of this and runs very fast and then slides. He is a large dog and can quite easily knock over both Dale and her brother without noticing, if he is sliding. He never seems to break anything which is nice.

It is better not to eat seven fantales very quickly and then go to bed. You should eat them one at a time, chewing and swallowing each one before unwrapping the next then have a glass of water and go and brush your teeth, even if drunk.

I have moved my birthday by one month and one day, instead of January it will be in February and my party is going to be excellent. It is guaranteed. Even if I am the only person who goes it will be excellent because it is at Spencer's gig with Damo Suzuki and Tex Perkins. Spencer will be there, and the others in the band and Tex Perkins will be there too. Spencer said that Tex Perkins is a bit mean so I will stare at him from a distance instead of racing up to him and telling him that he is on my list of aging rockers.

I do not want to have a glass of water. I would rather hydrate alternatively but I don't think that's been invented yet, except for in hospitals where they can drill a hole in you and pipe the stuff straight in. If you are ever in hospital it is better to ask for extra blankets straight away or else you might get cold and nurses are mean and won't bring you more blankets. This happened to me once. I vomited for three whole days. I would go to sleep and wake up in a different outfit. I like to be The Captain of which outift I wake up in. To be fair this was in 1981 and things may have improved in hospitals since then.

I am suspicious of nurses. Why would you be a nurse when you could just be a doctor? Same thing with legal secretaries. Why would you be a legal secretary and not a lawyer? Its just not sensible. Anyone can be a lawyer, you simply need to enrol in the university of your choice, complete the course and huzzah six years later instant lawyer. Perhaps I will buy a cardigan in the morning.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Bah Newton, who needs you

Some days in Newtown everyone stares, some days I glide invisible and free, today people turned their heads away. Arriving home at the empty Peach I was tempted to crumble with back against the front door and just stay there for the night but my stubborn streak came in handy. I ditched things out of my bag and walked out into the street.

Madam Squeeze was squeezin' at the station cause some kid with a flute was playing carols in her usual spot. I finished my Christmas shopping in a book shop and settled down in some dim cafe with cracked purple bench seats for dinner. It was foul and unfamiliar, there are certain tastes I've come to expect from a hamburger and what I ate tonight was something else. Something sour and tasting of dirt.

Fatigue is interesting. If I had stopped to catch a bus towards home I would have stood and watched bus after bus roll past, completely unable to lift a foot and climb on board. I tried phoning some friends but the only one who answered has her own problems right now.

There is a stench in here this hour and I am beginning to suspect that its my rotting sense of self. I've no one to sit with on Christmas night and this one small empty evening is poking holes in everything else.

Well now

Its getting towards 6 pm, I have decided to take another little break from work and ponder the new and alarming prospect of having to drive home from Katoomba on Christmas day then spending the evening alone in The Peach.

Everyone is scattering and leaving the city. The Peachettes, being sisters, are spending a few days together over the break at their parents' house. I don't fancy the idea of spending the evening alone. In fact its rapidly creating a void of dread. Ordinarily I don't mind having The Peach to myself but it just feels different at Christmas.

7:47 am

And I am taking a break at work. I feel like one of those super people who rise at dawn and punch the shit out of things, run a marathon and then arrive in the office first. The main difference being that I didn't have enough money for the train so I drove my car, no marathons here. If I get a parking ticket I am going to cry.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Oh what would I do without the broken and the damned

Some fucking philosopher bored me into a migraine and called forth the acid from my stomach. Dorothy Porter finished and I fled Sappho's and hit Glebe Point Rd in full flight. I cranked the volume on some shit french dub and stood like a silo waiting to cross City Rd counting the money in my wallet, not even enough for dinner at the Lansdowne in that crap echo chamber of a mess hall. The pain in my head pushed through the gilt edged bubbles of the passengers on the 428 so I ditched that fucking bus just down from the Vanguard on King St.

Some nights Newtown glows refulgent, all you need is a soft rain and the time shifting imitation of a migraine. My neck was having trouble holding onto my head and the need for food went feral so I took my last $3 and bought the biggest thing I could, some kind of pizza bread, rectangular and big as my head. I was walking and chewing, the paper bag turning to grease in my right hand, my left hand leaving trails of cigarette smoke. I stoked the engines and took King St in fury of walking and chomping down that shit sour last dollar dinner.

Crossing the empty square the sourness worked its way down and I bent my head against the rain, bite for bite I took that fucker on until the crowds thinned and I swallowed the last of it outside the first funeral parlour. I was shaking off words like dandruff, a nicotine powered human machine each stride longer than the last. I was pushing air and thought and words through this veseled thing.

Across the road from the Enmore Theatre the pain in my head went supersonic so I cranked the volume on Lou Reed and lit another cigarette, double time. I swung right at the Sultan's Table downhill upright opening my chest pushing my palms down and out, thinking only by slaps on the soles of my feet.

By the time I crossed Liberty St time lifted upwards and I was breathing strong machine breaths straight through my diaphragm into my hips, breathing smoke out through an open mouth. Charging up the hill smoking and running through the rain I cranked the klezmer and pushed against all this gravity. Smashing into The Peach with the acid and the pain and the sour taste of the footsteps of Newtown I thought, I am well enough to walk again.

Now I'm sitting in the yellow chair in front the cupboard full of fuck knows what from the old house. I'm thinking about something a friend once said and wishing it was a lie.

I don't recommend writing a blog post whilst feeling like a steam train engine is inside your head, results may disappoint no matter how many excellent words you carelessly shed into the street.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Well that didn't last very long

My shiny new I've just had a little holiday feeling has fucked off. Its the end of year plus end of financial year (yes it is odd that my work has end of financial year in December) scramble time. While it was excellent that I had a week off it was not excellent to come back to an office full of people freaking out in many varied and subtle ways. A lawyer has managed to save a word file as a movie making it impossible to open, others have gone into an odd festive mode and others are constantly interrupting everything and imagining complications and despite my best efforts and long days I seem to be scrabbling under an unliftable fog of confusion.

My annual performance review is tomorrow, or as I like to think of it, meeting with boss and Chair of Board to discuss all the ways in which I fuck up meeting. This is useless and boring information brought to you in an easy to access format. This is a way to type, with feet and hands and a raft of stringing unsaid things. This is the most interesting thing somebody wrote on my staff performance/fuck up sheet "Pleasant in so many respects but disorganised in delivery".

I'm not disorganised, I'm alive. This year, this endless shred of a year has been one of the most difficult to survive. I had to laugh when I read the comment about being pleasant and disorganised. I'm not fucking pleasant but I'll cop the disorganised. In the scheme of things, to me, it doesn't seem like it matters a hell of a lot. Sure I'll listen to what they say and try to do things differently but its not rocking my boat.

Some months this year I was sitting in front of my computer chanting breathe in, breathe out because if I didn't I would have stopped. In my own personal performance review I am listing excellent things; did not kill self, has stopped vomiting every morning, has no plans to die, able to have some moments of happy. I'm walking around by myself, a single and independent woman and that's just the way I want to keep it. I know that the only way I'm going to make it from here to happy town is if I just keep walking and occasionally, just for the hell of it, add a hop and a skip into my step. You never know, maybe some croutons of happiness will tumble into the shit soup of my life.

Monday, 17 December 2007

Cherry poppin' Superman

Superman is popping my scrabulous cherry. My one secret shame is my very small vocabulary so my chances of smashing him in a stunning victory are, well, small.

I met Superman at Creamboy's "I'm a doctor" bbq on Saturday. If I recall correctly I nearly spiked Superman in the head with my large black umbrella, I was attempting to use it as a parasol, while he was cooking large prawns on the bbq and trying not to cringe as their eyes caved in. Fortunately I did not spike Superman in the head although maybe I should have.

It was wall to wall doctors in there and I have to admit that all day I was half hoping for a spectacular medical emergency to take place so that I could see them in action. Preferably an emergency that involved spurting blood, stethoscopes and a lot of words, long medical words, being shouted followed by a period of slow motion and spooky music. Alas the thing went off without a hitch and the only emergency to be had was that someone splashed pool water into my shoes and I had to borrow a pair socks from Creamboy.

I'm having a kind of emergency now, smeg does not appear to be a real word, no matter how many times I have wished that it was.

1:38 am

Its 1:38 am and that beast addiction is crawling under my skin. My mind is turning from sleep as calm and sure as the outgoing tide. I'm thinking Dorothy Porter lines and ranging across the memories of everywhere. I'm smoking and craving nicotine even as it hits my lungs and the smoke furls back into the dark corners of here. I'm stinging from sunburn and the absence of heartache. What a piece of your life it fills, heartache.

When its gone, heartache, when its gone, there's only open doors and red lipstick and possibilities and the mad dashing of dreams. When its gone you'll miss it for the anchor and the reason. I'm pushing across possibilities. I'm racing into supersonic. This is a new level of shedding and being. Madam Squeeze sat down on the low windowsill of the Hopetoun and spoke to me a line or two and she didn't hear it over that old band and the thick Sydney night bouncing heat off the harbour and that fuck ugly bridge but all those fractals snapped. Fuck me if I'm not sitting here all shiny and new.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Small corners

The last 48 hours have been a mad whirlwind, a laying out of the different ways of being. I want to isolate the small corners and use a slow way of showing how all of this is building and rebuilding me into something carrying a light but there are too many. It is people with meaning and heads full of heart that slap my bricks down one on top of another. I keep coming back to Madam Squeeze, she is all delight. She sits like a pixie and opens her heart to take in my happy tales of hair on fire, waltzing, lipstick and the rolling backdrop of this life I call Slamma Town.

Amy Witting had it right, faces and voices will haul you into a capsule of yourself that you can swallow, to feel better.

I went to a marvelous party, I should have bought red lipstick years ago, are there two 'l's in marvellous or one?

I ran into The Cowboy at The Hopetoun standing against the bar listening to Spencer's band. Andy Depressant was gumshoe dancing out all of my emotions with his rubber limbs and solo abandon while Spencer prowled on stage in his knitted tie and big black hat. The Hopetoun was a cauldron tonight and if it wasn't for the ringing of the excellent 'You're Never Too Tired To Rock Dale" show tune that three doctors improvised on Creamboy's front lawn earlier this afternoon I would have laid my head down on the cold tiles of the toilet floor and dreamed of a life aquatic.

This morning my mother phoned as I was zipping up my 50's style jungle print party dress to say that she would pick me up in an hour. "For what?" I said. It seems I had double booked myself, I had a moment of doubt where I thought I would ditch Creamboy's bbq for a family Christmas gathering but then I thought better of it and I donned my big hat and red shoes and packed my bag for West.

I had a filthy hangover so I downed two glasses of water and applied red lipstick and ran out the door. Driving on the highway I could feel the lack of fuel in body, I inadvertently skipped the last three meals, so I concentrated on staying in my lane and urged my body to use the stored fat, like a bear.

Creamboy's bbq was marvelous. I swanned around in my hat drinking pink lemonade and eating vegan cheesecake. I spent a while or two chatting with Creamboy's excellent brother Superman who is very interesting and rather tall. I wandered into conversation with a flock of doctors and silently vowed to stop all my doctor hating immediately. I found myself sitting happily in a circle of clear-eyed intellect. They had straight backs and open minds.

In the diminishing hour Creamboy played the piano while a doctor sang, yet another doctor taught me to waltz and I found myself mirrored into the opposite of last night where I sat in a backyard drinking and singing with my feet in the dirt while the guitars called out for bohemia. This changing of hats and dresses and voices, this peopled crowding of being, this is a reason why.

I didn't make to the end of Crow's set at the Hopetoun tonight. I tried fanning myself with Spencer's big black hat but the heat, oh Sydney your heat, pushed me out into the night where I sat and leaned my back against the pulsing windows. I jumped into a taxi with The Cowboy and we wound up at the Iron Duke where The Cowboy's friend drooped into a lament and The Cowboy spoke of his life. The Cowboy is a sketch from a different book.

Walking home I told The Cowboy that he seemed to have a tendency to fall in love. The Cowboy said " Oh I'll tell you what I'm like, you got to listen to what Steve Earle said:
Now when I was young I took me a wife
But she never took to the high country life
So now I'm alone and I don't really mind
But her name echoes down from the canyon sometimes"

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Yaarrgh for the drinken blooger

I set my hair on fire in Tug Dumbly's house and now my head hurts. I blame Benito Di Fonzo, that's rtight. You heard me. I blame Benito. I went a thing and Benito was there and somehow somewhere I ended up at a party in Chippendale singing Tangled Up In Blue and then setting my hair on fire in Tug Dumbly's bathroom. A Romanian poet gave me licorice papers to roll my cigarettes with.

My head really does hurt. I think I have burnt my head. There were at least seven conversations about my hair this evening and that was before the fire and Gary the Groper who valiantly tried to pick up The Spatula whilst simultaneously sticking his hands all over my person. As long as he kept above the clothes I refrained from punching him in the head quite hard.

Benito offerd me a xanax and I was slightly surprised. I don't think anyone has ever offered me a xanax before, perhaps I should have taken it. When I first saw Benito the usual Benito effect took place and words flew everywhere except out of mouth then Benito said "Are you wearing a wig?". That was the first conversation about my hair. Most of the other conversations I overheard rather than participated in, it was very odd and then there was the whole fire thing but nobody saw it.

Oh god I had two glasses of water and I feel terrible, my head is pounding from terrible wine and I don't even know what's happening I think my bedroom is traveling through time. Its time I went to sleep.

Friday, 14 December 2007

Winding things

Today is the last weekday of my holidays. Its lunch time and I am sitting in The Peach in my pyjamas. I slept til midday and since then have wandered about feeling sick and making toast from my diminishing loaf of spelt. I am feeding my addictions and curling my toes against the pain in my abdomen. It is a small pain, centrally located and tolerable. I suspect that Indian two nights in a row followed by Mexican might be the culprit. My stomach prefers simple.

Today is delightfully blank and I feel whole as a pie. Knowing that on Monday I will be busy and paid for my purpose I can allow, for now, some floating. I had intended to do my tax return, visit the optometrist and catch the ferry around this blue harbour city this week but the thunder storms and the lure of The Peach held me captive.

Yesterday I caught the bus into the city. I navigated my way through the ironed and powdered people into Kinokuniya for the first time and I believe that I experienced a religious moment. My usual bookshop experience is small and measured. I will walk into Better Read Then Dead or another small independent shop like Gleebooks and search for what I want, be unable to find it and then wait for weeks while the book is ordered in. Kinokuniya nearly brought me to my knees. I fairly hovered around the shop from literary, to poetry, to Australian literary, picture books, graphic novels, English magazines, literary criticism, indie comics, stationery, literary travel and more. I walked with clasped hands and a tight face pulsing with alternate shock and awe.

This afternoon I will move to the Peach Deck, not to be confused with the poop deck. I will wear red lipstick, a fifties style party dress, my most expensive perfume, pearl earrings and my Annie Hall hat. I will make up a tray with cigarettes in a silver case, a teapot and cucumber sandwiches. I will read Hunter S Thompson as though it was my own diary.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Three dresses

A whole pot of peppermint tea was an insufficient amount of tea. I am skittish. I am likely to bolt. I'll pull this ring out of the wall and drag my anchor across your reef.

When I think about you

If you came to The Peach for a cup of tea and some vegan cupcakes you might not expect to end up stoned and surprised inside the Enmore watching the Divinyls but this is exactly what happened to Creamboy. A man in a suit smoking a cigarette saw us peering through the door of The Enmore waiting for them to come back out for an encore. He said do you want to go in?

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Murmur

Transporting the cat to the vet was easier than I expected, she happily walked straight into her travel cage, turned around and then waited for me to lock her in. There was a moment when I put the cat's cage down on the floor and I saw in one picture the cat cage, my wallet, the good break on my black trousers and the square toes of my red shoes. I felt sure and capable and like a memory of my mother.

The vet was short, intense, all elbows, angles and deft hands. The cat has a heart murmur in addition to fleas. I wanted to grab the stethoscope and listen for myself but it would be wrong to doubt so publicly.

The vet is not very concerned about the cat, she says it could be the stress of being at the vet's in the first place that caused the cat's little heart to race and rattle out the wrong noises. I could not remember how old the cat is, I did not change her microchip information when I moved to the city, I can not convince the cat to eat chicken necks no matter how hard I try. The vet pulled her chin up to look at me and asked which brand of cat biscuits do I buy? The silver one I said, not remembering the name. She asked why I did not change the cat's microchip information, I forgot, I said because I could tell her the real reason. The real reason was my own heart and its murmurs, the vomiting, the ice hard metallic cage that shot out of the ground and pushed me into a new space.

I felt ashamed of my lack of responsible cat ownership. I do try and do the right things but she will not eat the chicken necks no matter what. Once I had a four day stand off with the cat. Twice a day I presented her with chicken necks, twice a day she rejected them, this went on for four days and I had taken to following the cat around to see if she was going to die of starvation.

The vet said that the amazing all in one back of the neck worm, flea everything treatment does not do tapeworms, she looked very stern then shoved a tapeworm tablet down the cat's throat. The cat raised a paw in protest but said nothing, I looked down at my red shoes.

I have asked Creamboy to bring his stethoscope with him tomorrow so that I can have a go at listening to the cat's heart. I need to listen, she is just a cat but she is my cat and I am fond of her.

I keep remembering the horse. The horse died of a broken heart or he would have if I had not signed the paper to let the vet do his terrible kindly deed. I stood holding the end of the rope while the vet injected him.

The horse would have let anything happen to him if I'd been there at the end of a rope. I'd had him more years than seemed possible, I used to lie on his back with a lazy hand over my eyes while he grazed in the valley or sit underneath him if caught in a sudden shower of rain. The horse kindly obliged me with all my mad Dale from Snowy River fantasies and bravely galloped down any hillside I pointed him at. He drank orange juice out of poppers by piercing the package with his teeth then holding his head up vertically while the juice ran down his throat and I jumped about trying to get my juice back. He did not object when I tied ribbons in his tail and galloped around yelling about green knights in my bad Middle English. He was huge and strong, he'd jump anything at top speed and the only thing he was ever frightened of was a camel unlike the pony who was petrified of wheely bins and nearly chucked me under a truck on the way to pony club.

But on the last day the horse staggered and lurched, his legs curled under him and he fell, first onto his chest then settling onto his haunches while his eyes rolled white in his huge head. If anything is the opposite of hallelujah its the sight of a dying horse collapsing inwards with spidered legs. The vet took the rope out of my hands then he knelt and unbuckled the headstall and eased it out from under the horse's head, he coiled the rope slowly hand over practiced hand and laid it at at my feet, I don't remember him driving away.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Tell my why

What I want to say is nothing at all but inevitably there are words. I have been busy writing and reading. I wanted to write more today but its all pieces and no puzzle. What I need is a detective to come here and read things and tell me what should go where and why. What is the point of writing a novel? I can't seem to find one.

The whole thing is too dense and circular, there is no story. I started with one intention and found it too hard to continue with, I lost the purpose in it. Its too thick, too muddy. Peter Bishop said I must allow the reader to breathe, I need more air in my mixture more paragraphs of nothing so that a reader can continue reading while the dense stuff makes sense in their heads. I used to think but what is a novel if it is not the pointed tip of your arrow? That was before I started reading "To the Lighthouse" by Virginia Woolf. The blurb on the back says that "her genius is at once more difficult and more original than that of any other novelist of today" and now I tend to agree. I used to fall into a Virginia Woolf lightly and easily but today I found it too much and I longed for one or two of Peter Bishop's air paragraphs. Of course my work is no way comparable to Virginia Woolf's (der), it is sometimes thick like hers but without the flash of genius.

What I need is a printer. I feel convinced that if I could print things and lay out the pages one after another across the bed and the floor that I could make sense of it all but that won't do. I must press on without making imaginary difficulties.

This afternoon when I tired of writing I read Stefan Laszczuk's "the Goddamn Bus of Happiness". I was able to dispatch it without difficulty, it has pace, plot and air. It seems so simple to do something like that when you are reading it but I do not work like him, not at all, I must be content to be a person without plot, I will type without reason and to hell with the consequences.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

It wasn't Casablanca but I drank a tall drink

That sudden blue burst of horizon eluded me today, instead the mountains crawled into soft focus with a slow force. There is a sudden release I long for whenever I head for the hills but it only comes with the flow of tall grasses and that endless sky. I drove faster to induce wasteland Western Sydney and the rush of home and horror but it didn't come and I arrived in Katoomba sweating and fending off the same old flies.

My Mother wandered about in her house forgetting things and picking things up in armloads and putting them down again, my brother chopped through conversations with a raised wrist and a casual stare, tea cup hanging from a finger. We went out to the garage to Mum's enormous car to see the new Gleebooks at Blackheath but Mother asked me, three steps from her car, keys in hand, which side does the driver sit on? My brother drove.

Aiming straight down the hill I stopped half way for Rita, Ron and the respite found only in the home of good friends. We ate food and sat about in pools of individual exhaustion, companionably, companionably.

The car turned sweeping from the rock face steadily west at the bottom of the big hill and finally that horizon was there all run through with stars and helicopters and dreams but it was the wrong horizon so I veered left into Emu Plains for water.

Walking into Creamboy's video shop I wondered, momentarily, what the hell I was doing there but I was greeted with a smile and a line or two from Casablanca. I asked for a cup of water thinking thirstily of holding an old white mug full of tap water in both hands but he bought me a bottle of water from the fridge and I forgot in my thanks that I had decided not to use anymore bottles of bought water, the damage they do.

When I got home I felt I'd been abroad. I am my own luggage with tassles and invisible tags and straps and always the long trail of where I've been.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Tea of the week

I have introduced a new programme inside The Peach. I call it Tea of The Week. Its very simple, once a week I will select a kind of tea from the cupboard and put it in a bowl on the bench, if at the end of the week there is still tea in the bowl it gets binned. Very simple.

I have declared myself Captain of the Tea Shelf. There is too much fucking tea in this house, there is too much of everything in this house but I fear The Spatula and Grizelda would not be very pleased if I tried to be The Captain of Everyone's Stuff. I will have to be content with being The Captain of The Tea Shelf.

Good lord that was odd

Instead of dressing then walking I fell asleep and slept for almost three hours. It seems I would rather dream in the afternoon than sleep all night at the moment. I had a dream that Creamboy was a cowboy, he had a cowboy hat and many horses, he smoked cigarettes and yelled at other cowboys to go and do their cowboy work, it was very odd.

Out stupid spot

It seems that today I must imagine a purpose. Earlier the Cowboy walked past The Peach with his shirt ironed and buttoned, umbrella clasped firmly under his left arm. I stared out the window suddenly conscious of my faded pyjamas and the general disarrangement of my hair. I have been wandering in the hallway clutching a book.

I will dress in my cleanest clothes, I will brush my hair. I will walk with a long stride and a large umbrella to fetch the papers and have a coffee, I am imagining that this is my purpose.

Friday, 7 December 2007

From the phone of Madam Squeeze springs more than I ever imagined

I bring you The Two Spencers. Spencer and Spencer P Jones (guest appearance by Madam Squeeze's thumb).

Spencer requested that this photo be made public in order to commemorate a Spencetastic moment in the life of Spencer. Spencer and Madam Squeeze walked into a bar in Melbourne, Spencer P Jones was halfway through a song when he spied Spencer in his Television t-shirt walk in holding a guitar. He stopped playing and said "That's the best t-shirt I've seen in ages, you've got a guitar do you want to come and play?". Spencer could not have been more pleased. Afterwards they went to a tequila bar but they could not afford any of the tequila.

Last night I spent an evening in The Townie with Spencer and Madam Squeeze. They are the opposite of hollow people, they are the antidote. Sometimes an evening can fall into philosophy and the necessary torture of artistic pursuits in such a way that you wake up and feel your locked and narrow path is exactly the right one. You can wake up with the intention of spending a whole day typing and typing your manuscript and feel, for once, surrounded in your isolation. Its ok to be a person that pays attention.

The ocean made me feel stupid, its the oppostie of hallelujah

I dranks dirnks and listened to Rolf Harris on Spencer's mp3 thingy in the pub but a man with enormously oversized jewellery wanted to listen also. Spencer made a face at him.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

I should mention

I have been made deliriously happy by the announcement of two new major prizes for Australian authors. $100 000 each, tax free, one for fiction, one for non-fiction. Thank you Misters Rudd & Garrett.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Holidays

I am on holidays. I don't have to try and stay awake all day for the next eleven days. I'm going to start by going to sleep very soon. I nearly fell asleep at the work Christmas party, to be fair it was while one author was reading out the contents page of his new book and describing each chapter as he went along. I was talking to Ron on the phone but then I don't know what happened, maybe his phone dropped out, I hope I didn't fall asleep while he was talking.

Oh hang one, I have an email from Ron, phone battery died. He is trying to simultaneously talk me into filming my reaction to '2 girls 1 cup' and telling me not to watch it. Intriguing. Should I watch it?

TimT has brought to my attention an excellent handy dandy explanation song to assist with the polling process.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Zapped

Sometimes the best cure for exhaustion is to throw yourself into the heartbeat of Newtown. I snuck into a back alley to spy on The Spatula in Kulettos, she was there on a date. I sat on a high stool at Guzman Y Gomez and stared relentlessly at passers by whilst eating a burrito and shouting things such as "Good lord look at that man's trousers" to Grizelda who is suddenly and inexplicably deaf.

Spencer and Madam Squeeze were digging around in a bookshop looking disgustingly happy holding bags of muesli and air tight containers. Spencer showed me photos of himself playing with Spencer P Jones in Melbourne. Two Spencers at once, imagine that. Figs are still not being made into sorbet in Newtown, something must be done about this. I really can't be expected to like raspberry for much longer.

I stopped outside the Enmore to listen to Dweezle Zappa in the rain. Marvellous and made even better by Dr Karl arriving wearing lime green trousers and a fluro vomit patterned shirt, I hope he isn't alarming Dweezle with his outfit.

I am going to dream of being Moon Unit Zappa playing funk on Steve Vai's guitar in Africa. This is my short term plan.

Voodoo funk me

Voodo Funk.

Monday, 3 December 2007

Aqua hammer

The absence of things to say is remarkable. I'm wondering if I'm turning into a hollow person of little opinion or if its just the fucking manuscript.

My mind has turned its back on all but this one thing. Every step is pounding out syllables. I am casting paragraphs wide and high, netting light posts and telegraph poles pulling them firmly behind me into a single scripted idea. I've caught this narrow world and I'm pushing it stick by stick through my toothed lacerating funnel. I am giant and separate and other while things turn white behind me and my mad plastic machines. This writing. This writing thing is an ascending descent.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Fresh from the psychiatry dairy

Cupcakes! Grizelda made cupcakes and I have had much fun ducking into the kitchen and nicking them. I was caught red handed but still managed to scoff about three of them. At one point I smeared a cooked with raw batter and ate it but it made me feel like a cannibal.

Everything else is uneventful. I spent the day swatting things away and wandering about doing as I pleased. I spied a man from the poetry thing I attend in the cafe. Its the third time I've seen him there. Maybe next time I'll say hello instead of ignoring him and going back to my research materials.

I fished the manuscript out from under my bed and added words to it, I think the key to being a writer is to wear only underpants and glasses. I used up all my excellent words in my manuscript so now I am boring. So be it. Boring is a small price to pay. When I finish the fucking thing I am going to set it on fire then pour brandy down my throat whilst running about in the house in my underpants smoking two cigarettes at once. This is my long term plan.

Ms

Sometimes I carry a fear so long that it becomes a hard knotted thing weaving shapes into my reflection. Imagine my surprise when this morning I looked down and saw that the fear had worked its way out til it was hovering with its imaginary wings to the left of my head. I fear this fear has manoeuvered itself into a vulnerable position.

Dale and the giant peach

I have roamed this hallway twenty seven times whilst longing for instant death in my pants. Two hired DVDs have refused to play further than three quarters of they way through. I am exceedingly frustrated and in dire need of distraction. The Peachettes have gone out, one went west and the other is dancing to some Mr van Helmet man or some such in the Hordern Pavilion and as such for once in my life are not providing any distractions.

I want to gather all the local chemists and doctors in one room and hit them with giant hammers until they are as sore, sick and sorry as I am. Antibiotics are clearly a man's solution for men. I don't care how sick I get in the future I will die a horrible death on the footpath outside my house while the cat yowls for dinner rather than suffer weeks of horrible side effects from stupid man medicines.

The very next doctor I see, medical doctor not literary doctor, I am going to violently yell at until I either drop dead from exertion or they crumble into a bloody heap before going kapow poof blam and simultaneously melting and going up in smoke. You are supposed to fucking heal me not make me feel horrible in twelve separate ways you fucktards. I hereby withdraw all personal faith in the medical sciences, all of them, that includes you stinky pseudo scientific naturopaths with stinking ineffective herbs of doom.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Worse

Now the cat is ailing. She has fleas despite her anti flea poison drops. The Spatula noticed, after the cat had had a refreshing nap in the bathroom sink, flea droppings and specks of blood in the sink.

I captured the cat and dosed her again with the revolutionary poisonous drops for cats. I hope this works or the cat and I will need to book into the vet for group euthanasia. Its as though I have been cursed with plagues of discomfort. Peripheral failings and their horrid cures are filling my minutes and hours. I need creams and drops and potions, poisons, smoke balls and pessaries. If there was a scale of disparate ailments working together towards doom then the needle has moved rapidly from shit to fuck.

It is important to note that my fabulous new hair failed to cure anything at all.

Deep in the jungle

I know what will cure me. It is a reliable cure for what ails you. Spectacular results can be seen almost instantly. I made the appointment two days ago, last night I was thinking that I would wake up this morning, cancel the appointment and go to the doctor instead but I have had a brainwave. New hair fixes everything. I will go and get my hair cut into something spectacular, if I am still ill then I will consider the doctor but I really don't think that will be necessary. Bring on the new hair.