Thursday, 19 April 2012

Death by raindrop

One moment somewhere between determination and anger, with my elbows sticking in to my own waist and one foot slipping a little sideways on the wet path, I suddenly and completely surrendered to the rain and the water revealed itself as beautiful.

Knee deep in a cold puddle, witnessing sheets of water pouring down the ordinary front steps of a house, I fell deeper into the thought of submersion and surrender. First I thought about the obvious things, daily landscapes transformed offering a clean perspective, cleansing and redemption through deluge, fluvial geomorphology and rills, concrete, concreteness and the literal and figurative concrete nature of the paths I walk.

Submersion returned as an idea and my thoughts fell first to floating and the sensation of being held by an ocean then drowning and dying and there my thoughts locked. This must be like dying. The wild oscillations between anger, determination and despair, an entire life's landscape transformed and then the surrender and revelation of beauty.

Slamming through The Peach front door in a haze halfway to convinced that I had this dying process pegged Grizelda announced that she 'got heaps wet in the rain!'. And ordered me to stop dripping on the carpet and go and have a hot shower.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012


I have decided I do not want to punch Spencer in the face.

Dividing rages and a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours or both more tender and more violent

It's been about a week since I started answering the question 'how are you going?' with the blunt answer 'I feel like shit, the world tastes like sawdust', or an entire Hamlet soliloquy (III) communicating more elegantly the world-is-sawdust feeling. 

My friends now seem to have divided into three distinct categories:

1. The disbelievers 

(not the band) but people who see me and hear what I am saying and then dismiss it as flippant word-vomit and carry on talking about their shoes, dog, band, ex-girlfriend or housemate.

2. The ignorers 

They seem to listen to what I am saying and receive the information as truth but then decide it is irrelevant  and carry on as normal. Spencer is leading the charge in this group (I) with Mr X a close but different kind of second. Mr X may in fact not be an ignorer but just a close-card-holder, it can be difficult to tell with him but then at other times he is jumping around all floppy and winsome like a four-year-old child. He is an odd mixture of warm and aloof.(II)

3. The warm lights in a dark world: 

Two of my friends have been cheering me up and making me feel loved and welcome, for some reason this seems to make Spencer angry(I). These are the best kinds of friends, the ones who listen and then respond. I'm fortunate they have chosen a kind response but really any response is better than none.


(I) How do you solve a problem like Spencer? 

He's not a complicated man. He thinks a lot, acts inappropriately a lot, occasionally deigns to write a song, plays in a band, drinks too much, deliberately says the wrong things and stays up too late. He's just like everyone else in the Inner West  except that he is my friend and I might want to punch him in the face. Just once. Maybe.

You see last Friday night Spencer, R and I were sitting together at an after-party for a record launch. R was being deliberately kind to me but every time she said something Spencer would raise an eyebrow and suppress a smirk. I've known him too long to miss signals like that, to me it was the fair equivalent of a flashing neon sign. Ordinarily I might have just let it go, like the thousand other arch expressions, wry grins and outright sneers that Spencer produces in the course of any conversation, but not this time.

The combination of exhaustion and world-is-sawdust had me feeling vulnerable and raw enough to actually feel all of Spencer's slings and arrows. I am used to him being the first illustrate my shortcomings with an anecdote from his arsenal of my failings. He has a story about me for everything from bad dancing, interpersonal ineptitude, ignorance, bad taste in music, absence of fashion sense, being afraid of things, giving terrible speeches to general hard-hearted and fuckwittedness. I usually endure these stories with humour as most of the time they are not meant to sting.

This time Spencer's raised eyebrow seemed to indicate that R had no idea who she was talking about, that I was much more of a fuckwit than she suspected and that perhaps I wasn't worthy of being taken under her kind wing. This made me want to punch Spencer in the face for R's sake if not mine. R has seen me act appallingly often enough to have made an informed decision.

I wanted to perform a fluid ninjaesque leap across the table and punch him in the face whilst emitting loud volumes of violent yelling but all I did was leave the party. Since then I've been trying to talk with Spencer so I can work out if I do want to punch him or if he was just having one of those moments. I want to explain to him that he must have missed something in all those years of talking with me because I feel both more tender and more violent than he seems to understand. But you know, he's busy...

(II) A beginner's guide to impersonating Mr X.

First make yourself very tall, make your hair very tall, wear black-rimmed glasses and a Rolling Stones t-shirt. 

1. Sit down quickly. Cross your long legs haughtily.
2. Ignore DS and stare at your telephone for at least three full minutes.
3.Turn suddenly and fully back to the conversation.
4.Smile disarmingly, reveal something personal, say something generous and kind.
5. Re-cross legs haughtily. Steal cigarette directly out of DS's hand without asking (smile disarmingly or act as though this is normal and everyone does it all the time).
6. Give cigarette back. Re-cross legs haughtily.
7. Ignore DS for at least three full minutes.

Repeat ad infinitum.

(III) An Entire Soliloquy from Hamlet

I will tell you why; so shall my anticipation
preuent your discouery of your secricie to the King and
Queene: moult no feather, I haue of late, but wherefore
I know not, lost all my mirth, forgone all custome of exercise;
and indeed, it goes so heauenly with my disposition;
that this goodly frame the Earth, seemes to me a sterrill
Promontory; this most excellent Canopy the Ayre,
look you, this braue ore-hanging firmament, this Maiesticall Roofe,
fretted with golden fire: why, it appeares no other thing
to mee, then a foule and pestilent congregation of vapours.
What a piece of work is a man, How noble in
Reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving
how express and admirable, In action how like an Angel!
in apprehension how like a god, the beauty of the
world, the paragon of animals. and yet to me, what is
this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me; no,
nor Woman neither; though by your smiling you seeme
to say so.

—The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (Act II, Scene ii, 285-300)

Additonal notes to be yelled out loud







HUG ME YOU FUCKWITS! (because I can not shake of this feeling of doom and I have become afraid)


Additional viewing to be watched and also listened to (because I said so)

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Desk-bound and drowning

I'm thinking now about the time Geoff Lemon stayed in The Peach, in the library, before it was properly organised and still housed the old floral stink source of a sofa bed I dragged in off the street. He was fresh back from both overseas and Newcastle and had in his possession only one bag and a tiny laptop computer. It was really minuscule and I wondered how on earth he managed to get anything done on such a tiny screen. But work he did.

He sat there nearly all day and worked on his tiny computer. Today I have been moving from room to room, working variously on paper or in notebooks or my relatively large laptop. I haven't been able to find one good place to sit and work. Every half hour I move again and try once more to settle into the work. Thinking about the solid concentration and work of Geoff that day in The Peach Library I feel a little ashamed and awkwardly unprofessional.

I suppose there is only one thing to be done. I shall go back in time and start this day again.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

And the desk clerk's dressed in black

If there was something I could do then I'd do it. But there isn't. So I won't.

Low level procrastination from bed fortress of used tissues and cold cups of tea

A diversionary exercise for brain. Characters I am not yet sick of despite immersing myself in all their incarnations since I first discovered them:

Sherlock Holmes
Mr Darcy
Hank Moody (yes I know)
Timmy The Dog
Emma Woodhouse
Ted Hughes (counts as character because is dead)
Elizabeth Bennett
Mrs Dalloway (waiting for other incarnation to appear)
Sarah Lund

There were more to add to the list but a particularly powerful sneeze has cleared them from living memory. I am hoping further sneezes will also remove all sense of obligation and the need to earn money in order to pay bills and also fashion, all of it.


I didn't know the feed was broken. Looks like it hasn't worked properly for ages. Because I am at least mildly stupid I couldn't fix the old feed but I have made a new one.

Click on the "Subscibe in a reader" orange RSS button at the top right if you would like to resubscribe with the new feed address. It works I promise.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012


I haven't felt so sheltered in a long time. At first I sat in the driver's seat with my eyes closed while the wind rocked and buffeted the car. I moved to the back seat to search through my bag for money but the wind blew the door shut and once again I felt cocooned.

Nothing else feels weatherproof around here. I don't ordinarily have a car so I walk through wind or sun or rain to work and back again. The Peach sighs and breathes while rain breaches roof and windows and cracks in the walls. Even my office is ancient and allows fingers of air under doorways and window sills. But not this car.

This car belongs to my father and like all his possessions has art in its design. My neighbour thought I'd won the lottery when I parked it outside his house. It is large and sleek and every convenience has been thought of but best of all is how it feels to shut the door and turn the key in the ignition. All weekend I have had this car and the accompanying possibility of going anywhere at any moment without physical effort or even the need for shoes.

I opted for practicality and drove myself to the supermarket and then home again with two bags full of heavy cans. I made a long list of places I might like to drive. I thought a little and crossed them out one by one. I didn't really have anywhere to go.

I didn't really have anywhere to go until today. I drove to work, there was nowhere to park. I intended to circle the block and try a different backstreet when I seemed to suddenly arrive on the roof of a supermarket three suburbs away. It was fifteen minutes before I was due at the office. I could have made it to work, maybe even been on time but instead I picked up my phone and said I was feeling sick.

The wind buffeted the car and there I sat with my eyes closed while the car rocked and the clear light stayed steady. After I'd been motionless and without thought in the back seat for half an hour I started to realise something was probably wrong. I felt fine, motionless and empty-headed but fine yet not quite right either. Why was I here? When did I make the decision to drive here? Why did I call in sick for work at the last possible moment when I woke myself sneezing five hours ago? And the larger more important question of what the fuck was I doing sitting motionless in a car on top of a supermarket half an hour after I figured it probably wasn't a normal thing to be doing?

I need to be at the airport to meet my father tomorrow afternoon when he flies back into town. He'll drop me at The Peach and then drive four hours home. After that I suppose I'll be back to normal, shoving tea towels in cracks in the walls to keep the wind out and life limited to walking distance.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Reversing down Maslow's chart

Everybody thinks he is their black marauder, he's not. He maraudes himself mostly but I want to express my dislike of the word hierarchy and think a little about the notion of being proud by surprise.

Sunday, 1 April 2012


Obviously today is strange. I dislike the altering of time. I ordinarily feel at least partially adrift in the world and today, and on the other day when time is governmentally altered, my grip on when and where is now loosens. For decades I have known what quarter past two on Sunday afternoon feels like, whether I am alone or in company, at home or out, joyful or sad, the familiarity of the hour provides a small pin in my maps.

Yet more evidence that there is a fundamental problem with my brain. Probably should get a lobotomy or similar but I might go and play soccer in the park instead. Chances are a rogue kick will put me out of my misery.