* It’s a beautiful morning, contrasting viciously with my exhausted mental state.
* The shadows are very high on the walls – a cantilever to the sun’s position in the sky.
* There was no coffee in the house this morning.
* People are bustling energetically.
* Birds are chattering.
* A bottle of Coke is no substitute.
* Blades of grass are glistening, shining.
* The air is still, the temperature perfectly mild.
* Is that fucking dew I smell?
* A bird flew down and sat next to me as though we were friends.
* I’m going home to bed. It’s far too fucking pleasant out here.

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Three green, one white, two green, one white, three green again, one white, one green, one white, three green. This is the seemingly random sequence of colours in the tiles, on the floor, in the toilet, in the bathroom, in the pub that I drank too much in. It took only a couple of minutes to empty my stomach of sushi and beer, but it seems to be taking much longer to gather the strength to get up off the floor. Concentrating on small details seems to help me not dry-reach.
“Luke”, whispers a voice from outside of the stall.
I recognize it as belonging to Dave, this guy I vaguely know, who I’ve been half-heartedly avoiding all night. He’s a nice guy, but he’s one of those dudes that likes to get all deep and meaningful about his band, which often ends with him raging about how shitty “The Industry” is and how hard working bands never get a fucking break, etc.
“Dave?” I mumble, “How did you know I was in here?”
“Your legs are coming out under the door.”
He is right. Fucker.
“It’s ok,” I say, getting up and trying to sound sober all at once. “I just had to be sick a little bit.”
I open the door and roll out, trying to politely walk past him.
“Hey, I’m heading home in a minute, if you want a lift.”
It sounded fine to me. After all, getting a taxi when you’re a drunk male who’s by himself is a bit like getting the DJ to go out with you. Not impossible, but you’d better be pretty well dressed. Getting into his car turned out to be the biggest mistake of my life. When we were halfway home, he told me he wanted to take me past his house first, to listen to his band’s newest demo.
“I don’t know, man, I think I’m about to pass out. Probably won’t be much of a good critic.”
“Nah, bullshit,” he said, “When you’ve had a few is the only time to listen to music.”
My mind had begun to threaten me with automatic shutdown, if I didn’t get immediately to a bed. I closed my eyes, hoping to ease the pressure building on my eyes, but trying so hard to stay awake, lest this man drive me into a dark alley and sodomize me relentlessly. Yes, I knew him, but not all that well. He already seemed a little unstable. Rest the eyes, but stay awake. That’s all I have to do. Have strength.
I woke up just as we pulled into Dave’s driveway. Fuck, I thought. My resolve really is quite piss-poor. We went inside and before I had even wiped my feet, his band’s demo was in the CD player and blaring loud enough to cause tinnitus. I slowly shambled in and fell into the vinyl couch, which complained at me with a loud squeaking moan. The next twenty minutes are a blur of “Check out this bit”’s and “Here comes the bass part”‘s.
It sounded as though Dave and his band were still a little too emotionally connected to Metallica, a problem that a lot of guitar players in their late twenties seemed to have. Then he hit me with the extreme nature of his lyrics.
He said, “Have you ever read H.P. Lovecraft?”
I felt sure I must be imagining things. He didn’t really just say that, did he? I erupted into a coughing fit, just to mask the riotous laughter that had nearly rampaged from my mouth.
“Heh, cigarettes will kill you.” I joked.
“Lovecraft’s wrote about parallel dimensions.” he said, not even noticing me. Then he pulled out a crack pipe. “Lovecraft believed that other dimensions existed side by side with our own and that there were weak spots in the fabric of space and time that could let demons into our dimension from some other, hellish existence.” He begun torching the pipe with a lighter, drawing in his own hellfire.
It had become way too surreal in here for me. In Dave’s CD I noticed the lyric “Demon of time, why do you haunt me?” I was going to throw up. I excused myself and made for the toilet. Once in there, I sat on the bowl and tried to sober myself, so I could make a convincing argument about how I can just walk home from here. The fact that I had no idea where we were didn’t matter. I couldn’t handle this any more. I got up, flushed the clean water, so as to make him think I had actually used it, then went about the task of finding the bathroom so I could splash some water on my face.
I opened the door to the left of the toilet and found myself staring into a bedroom. A bedroom plastered with posters of Pearl Jam and Nirvana. A bedroom which was beginning to fill with morning light. A bedroom in which a young blonde boy, no more than twelve years old was lying on the bed, bound with dull silver electrical tape, completely naked and smudged with dirt. Judging by the smell, it was feces.
“Holy shit.” I squeaked, suddenly far too sober to be able to handle this, yet too shocked to be able to process it. I heard Dave move in his squeaky vinyl couch.
“Oh, hey,” he said, rising very quickly. “Don’t go in there yet!”
“What the fuck is this?” I stammered.
“Okay,” he said, “You know I was telling you about dimensions?”
“What the fuck is this?” I repeated, my voice rising in pitch.
“I found that. It was trying to kill me.” Dave’s voice was far too calm, too rational. Almost jokey.
“It’s a kid!” I half screamed.
“No, man. That’s what it wants you to see. It blinds you, you know? Blinds you to the truth. That thing’s a fuckin’ demon.”
“Dave,” I said. “You gotta let him loose. What if someone finds him? You’ll go to gaol.”
Dave’s legal status was not truthfully what I was concerned about, but I thought if I reasoned with him, maybe I could get him to let the kid and, more importantly me, go without gutting us and trying to turn us into clothing.
“We can’t let it go,” he said. “It’ll kill us. Man, I thought you’d get it. I thought you’d be able to see that little fucker for what it is.”
Panicking, I struck out. My fists missed their targets (Dave’s head), but I had put so much weight behind them that I fell forward onto him, knocking both of us to the ground like drunken lovers.
When I looked up I saw that Dave’s head had landed dead on the edge of the skirting board at the point where it folded rather sharply around a corner. Blood pooled out from behind his head and I jumped up faster then I knew I could move.
I went into the bedroom and looked around for something to cut the tape with. The boy looked at me blankly. There was nothing sharp around, so I leaned over and bit at the tape, the stench of shit flaming up my nostrils and making me heave.
The tape gave way easily and his hands fell free, dropping to the bed, before stretching out, impossibly long and rising, grabbing me by the shoulders, pulling me down into the kid’s expanding mouth, which had already grown large enough to engulf my entire head. I noticed its teeth were a dull silver, just like electrical tape that bound him and before I knew it, they were closing down over my neck.

Male Feminism

19/03/2009

There was a reason that he didn’t hold the door open for me. He assured me that his not pulling my chair out for me was for a good reason. He told me of the old days in which women were repressed, mentally and physically. Husbands would play psychological games with their wives, hiding some of their possessions, pretending they had said things that they hadn’t, in an attempt to fool these women into thinking they were losing their minds. “It happens to all women after a certain age”, they would say. This form of abuse served to keep women weak, because men were afraid of them. Men were afraid that women could overpower them and take control of their patriarchal society.

The men thought it also important to keep women physically weak. This was achieved in a number of ways. Corsets were drawn tight, so as to disable the women’s ability to draw a full breath. Women were warned not to eat too much, lest they get fat and become unappealing to their husbands. But above all, women were never to exercise. They weren’t to take manual jobs. Lifting heavy objects was entirely unacceptable. Out of this need to keep women physically weak, was born chivalry. Men would open doors and pull back chairs out of a fear that their wives would grow muscles and rise up against them, usurping their thrones of dominance and forcing them to bondage.

For a first date, I felt as though he had confided more than necessary about his desires.

Three green, one white, two green, one white, three green again, on white, one green, one white, three green. This is the seemingly random sequence of colours in the tiles, on the floor, in the toilet, in the bathroom, in the pub that I drank too much in. It took only a couple of minutes to empty my stomach of sushi and beer, but it seems to be taking much longer to gather the strength to get up off the floor. Concentrating on small details seems to help me not dry-reach. I count one year, three months and 4 days since the last time I drink-vomited, knowing that it was only four days after my last birthday. I remember that I was already on my way home and, whilst walking through a public park I stepped in something. When I lifted my foot up to look at it, the smell of fresh dog turd hit me square in the face and I threw up directly onto the shit and the shoe. Then I put my foot back on the ground and continued walking, unabated. When I got home, I laid on the bed, entirely clothed and with the shoe still on my foot. I took great care in resting my leg with my foot dangling over the side of the bed. Good times.

Uh well, hello there and thank you all for coming. Uh, yes I am a homeless man. I actually haven’t eaten in three days and the fact that you all turned up means I’m gonna get paid, which means I’m gonna eat, long story short, I wont be dead by tomorrow morning. So other comedians say “Thank you for coming”, they don’t mean it anywhere near as much as I do. I fuckin’ mean that shit. But I’ve been homeless now for about 3 years and it’s tough, uh I don’t quite fit in with all the other homeless guys, I’m kind of an outsider, reason being I don’t speak the official language of the homeless. That’s right, we actually have our own language. Well, you all know it as tourette’s. Yeah. Uh, but see you all think it’s some kind of disease or syndrome or whatever, but I’m here tonight to let you all know the truth. Fact is, those guys that you see walking the street muttering to themselves, they’re actually speaking in code. That’s right they’re relaying important information back to the government via tiny little microphones that you can’t see because they work for the government… as spies. Yeah. So you hear “Fuckin’ shit son of a cocksucker”, but what they’re actually saying is “Echo Charlie Delta. The woodpecker has left the menagerie.” Which actually makes less sense, but anyway. “Daddy, why is that man saying swears at himself?”, “That’s code Honey, pay him no mind”. Pay him no mind. Pay him no spare change either. “Hey mate, can I borrow a dollar for the train?”, “Well, for a start, no you can’t borrow a dollar, that would imply that you’re gonna pay me back. I think we both know that ain’t gonna happen. Secondly, I’ll bet that you actually want that dollar to buy cigarettes so hell no, I’m not gonna lend you a dollar.” You don’t understand though. The cigarettes allow the government to trace their positions. It’s a special chemical only found in “White Ox”. Or cask wine as a substitute.

Jeff walked down the toiletries aisle with a cautious gait.His senses were sparking as if something was wrong, but he couldn’t quite grasp what it was. He reached the disposable razors. As he did, a packet on the shelf began to vibrate. The vibrations got more intense as he got closer and closer. Busy trying to figure out why he felt so strange, he did not notice the lone package on the shelf, visibly shaking and beginning to glow as he neared it.

Jeff stepped in front of the package. He now turned and looked at it. It was a razor. No, it was more than that. It was a work of art. It was beautiful. He could not take his eyes off of it. It was 10 blades of pure, beautiful horror, strapped to a powered handle.

Suddenly, cuts started appearing on his face. Splotches of blood started to appear, and then drip down his chin and on to the floor. He put his hands to his face, then pulled them back to look at them. The shock of what he was seeing caused him to let out a ferocious, terrible scream.

“AAAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!” he said.

Then, the packet in front of him burst open and the razor,the beautiful man-made steel construction leapt forward, it’s blades twisting and forming small limbs, which it used to grab hold of Jeff’s face and slice and slice and slice!

The other razors behind it also burst from their packets, in a horrible, blasphemous parody of birth. They rattled and tapped along the supermarket floor, under shelving and over displays, finding oblivious victims and grabbing hold of them, hacking at their necks and faces.

The manager of the store, Marc, made it to the cigarette counter and picked up the phone. He had just managed to scream something down the line to the emergency services operator, before a razor jumped at him from behind the Bic lighters and unceremoniously cut his throat.

Ten minutes later, the police arrived. Nobody in the shop had survived and the razors were hacking up the faces of the corpses in some kind of bizarre, workman-like ritual. As though they had been born to do this very task.

Police shotguns raged and one by one turned the micro-maniacs into splintered, mangled versions of their former selves. Finally, there was only one left still moving.

“Man created us,” it said in a tiny, raspy voice, “and now, man destroys us. But know that we were only doing the task we were built for. We were never meant to beeeeeeeeee…” It trailed off and the little being ceased to move. What had mankind done?

1: “So, you can melt metal down into any shape?”
2: “Yeah, as long as I have something to make a cast from.”
1: “That’s a strange hobby.”
2: “A friend of mine and his friends get together on weekends, dress up as medieval soldiers and re-enact battles, with swords.”
1: “Well yes, that’s stranger. So, do you think you could do me a favour?”
2: “What’s that?”
1: “I’d like you to melt this down into a bullet.”
2: “Is that your wedding band?”
1: “Yes, a .38, please.”
2: “Uh, I’m not sure I feel comfortable with that.”
1: “Why not?”
2: “How is Carole?”
1: “Fine. I have a real .38 slug here for you to work with…”
2: “Things are ok between the two of you?”
1: “Yes.”
2: “Ok.”
1: “Well maybe you can melt this into some form of knife?”
2: “I gave you that watch.”
1: “Yes, I know.”
2: “Let me see the ring again.”

How To Beat It

19/03/2009

Yeah, I used to masturbate. A lot. I was a three-times-a-day man, but eventually I had to give it up. I’m not a Morman or anything, it’s just… well, I started therapy and it made me realise a few things. You see, it turns out that I have very low self-esteem. It was a confusing time for me, because I didn’t want to be having sex with someone who didn’t love me. I felt used. Like all I wanted was to get off and I didn’t give a fuck about the way I felt about me.

Then I started finding glasses around the house with lipstick marks on them. Yeah. I’d confront myself. Stand in front of the mirror and ask, “What the fuck’s going on?”. I’d tell myself that
everything was fine, that nothing was wrong, but deep down I knew I was sleeping with that slut from the accounts department. Well, I was jealous as hell, but there was something in my brain making me turn the other cheek. Protecting me. I didn’t want to think I could hurt myself like that.

So one night I come home drunk. Roll into bed, start touching myself. I leapt up and started screaming. “You don’t really love me, you’re just using me, you’re a prick, etc etc”, then I left,
spent the night crying in the carpark of the local IGA. After that, I never spoke to myself again.

Tell you what though, the sex was fantastic.

How To Fit In

19/03/2009

The other night I went to a party. I didn’t know anyone there and I wasn’t technically invited, but since it was at my next door neighbour’s house, I thought it would be rude not to make an appearance.

The party was bustling and some kind of electro music was playing and I moved towards an esky full of punch, thinking that by holding a small plastic cup, I would fit in better.

Before I could get there, a man wearing a Metallica T-shirt similar to my own and a cigarette
drooping from the corner of his mouth stopped me and asked for a light, breathing hot bourbon all over my face.

The Metallica T-shirt is part of a set of supplies I have for when I go to parties. I don’t like the band too much, but people seem to like you when you’re wearing a Metallica T-shirt. I also carry a lighter, because when someone asks you for a light, it’s nice to be able to oblige them.

After I lit his cigarette, he said, quite loudly and directly into my ear “Wicked T-shirt man.”

I panicked, thinking I should repay his compliment. Quickly, so it seems genuine.

“I like your hair” I said.

He paused for a second and looked at me.

“Are you a poofter or something?” He shouted.

“No!” I said quickly. “A friend of mine threw himself into a woodchipper yesterday, so I’m a little emotional right now.”

This was an outright lie, but it seemed to work. I guess the idea of someone committing suicide by jumping into a woodchipper is so far-fetched that he had to believe it.

“Shit, sorry dude” he said.

I didn’t say anything. I just walked towards the punch with an angry look on my face. How dare he be so insensitive to a person who’d just lost someone close to him in a terrible woodchipper suicide? The police had ruled out accidental death, due to the fact that there were no defensive wounds. If he had fallen or been pushed, he would have put his arms out to stop himself, but there were no cuts on his arms. It was only his head that had been… chipped.

I made it to the punch and started drinking and this girl turns to me and says “Hi”

“Hullo” was my reply.

I noticed that she was mostly dressed in black and her fringe had been cut a little bit too high. She was wearing black, plastic -framed glasses. Thinking quickly, I asked her “Did you see that movie on SBS the other night?”

“Oh yes” she said, “Wasn’t it wonderful?”

I actually had no opinion on the film, since I hadn’t actually seen it. I wasn’t even sure if there was a film on SBS the other night and if there was, I wouldn’t have watched it anyway because I don’t watch films. I noticed, however, that a couple behind me were having a similar conversation about a film they had recently seen, so I started splicing elements of their conversation into my own.

“I thought the imagery was fantastic, but the characters were a little one-dimensional.”

“That’s a fair point, but the chemistry between the leads seemed to go far in overcoming that” she said.

It’s difficult to disagree with someone who’s being completely vague. We talked about this movie that may or may not have existed for a good twenty minutes and I had become very opinionated about it, even though I was just recycling lines from the man standing behind me.

I heard him say “Well, Kurosawa died in 1998.”

“Kurosawa is dead” I exclaimed.

“Hmm, I don’t know, I think his influence can be seen in many…”

“Kurosawa is dead!” I repeated, slightly louder.

“Maybe you’re right” etc. etc.

Things seemed to be going well and I had grown to like the sickly fake pineapple flavour of the punch, to the point where I had drunken a few cups of it. Then she asked me “Do you like Dancer In The Dark?”

At this point I got a little confused and started singing that Bruce Springsteen song. She looked at me in an odd way. Sensing that I was beginning to lose her, I tried to encourage her to join in. She didn’t seem to share my passion for “The Boss”, but a few other people at the party did and just before I hit the chorus, I was surrounded by about seven other guys, all singing along and swaying drunkenly. Before I knew it, we had moved on to “Thunder Road”.

We were half way through “Born In The USA”, when I noticed that the girl I was talking to had moved off and was talking quite happily to a tall, thin man with longish black hair, who was wearing eyeliner. I stumbled in her direction and said loudly “Hey! Why’d you go away? And who’s this? You like him b’cause he’s got makeup on? Huh?”

“This is my friend, Trisha” she said, flatly.

I could sense a little tension in the air, so I pretended to pass out. I let my knees buckle and fell to the floor, my face about two inches from her black leather shoes. The carpet was a thick shag-pile and remarkably comfortable. I lay there not moving for a few minutes, listening to the choral interpretation of “I’m On Fire” that was going on over the other side of the room.

Maybe it was the comfortable shag. Maybe it was the choir. Maybe it was the pineapple lolly punch that caused me to fall asleep on the floor.

When I woke up, I had been moved into a bedroom and thrown onto a heavily cushioned queen bed. The only light was coming from a dim lamp on the bedside table.

And sitting next to me, damping my forehead with a cold, wet cloth. A girl with a short fringe and black, plastic framed glasses.

“I heard about your friend” she whispered.