Wednesday, June 28, 2006

He gets to beating his wings while he sleeps it off

To the incessant whirring of the clang bang printer, my arms straining to keep up, I grabbed bundles of newspaper, fluffed them between my arms and stacked them on the palette. 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. Ink stained and numb brained I would walk home to where the cold beer sat silently in the the icebox and drink with the thirst of a condemned man. There was no future, no past, just this moment and another lifetime of it to follow dawn the next day. I was broken, my only outlet was to concentrate on the industrial percussion of the machinery around me. Bang whirr click click bang click whirr. Bang whirr click click bang click whirr. I would write melodies in my head to keep myself sane. I would tap my toes as my arms begged for mercy and always, always, more newspapers would slide down the conveyor belt towards me. LOCAL COUNCIL VOTE FOR CHANGE. LOCAL COUNCIL VOTE FOR CHANGE. LOCAL COUNCIL VOTE FOR CHANGE. I never knew the nature of the change, for there was no time to immerse myself in the journalism, just the headlines. I was with the local council. I was desperately voting for change.

Sundays would arrive after what seemed a lifetime, and fly past with the whimsy of a hummingbird on the wing. I would wake and drink and soak and swear and try to find the passion the drive to use that one day to make a difference. Not to the world, but to me. I started playing acoustic guitar. I would write songs with such lacklustre titles as, What a nice place to be, and, Coming Home. I had nothing to inject, no passion, no voice, too numb for pain and too drunk to suck. The money I earned kept me alive. The job that I worked, kept me undead.

The cycle stretched on and on and on and on...


They sent me to school. Me. They sent me to a school and I was taught not to touch girl's bottoms in the workplace before being sat in front of a computer, having to pretend I knew less than they did. But I didn't, in the end I taught them and they did not appreciate it. Grew afraid of the ripped jean boy and his flashing, biting words and too fast hands. Secretly, over coffees, they would speak in hushed voices and bitter tones. And in public, try their damndest to humiliate me. So I began to be truant, at 27. In the back seat of a car with the hot vapid smoke of marijuana feeding my insecure ideas and creative passion. One time, I disappeared for three weeks and on return, not one question was asked. I simply took my seat at the back of the class and finished three weeks of work in three hours. I was tempted to start smoking cigarettes in class, I was tempted to run my hand gently down the bare leg of the girl beside me. I was tempted to take her to the toilets and take her in the mouth. I was tempted by a lot of things, but in the end, I simply sat and stared out the window and imagined possessing the power of flight. I laughed out loud as I imagined floating out of my seat, acting, pretending I knew not what was happening, screaming HELP ME HELP ME as the roof drew closer and out the window and into the sky I flew, higher and higher until out of sight of the gaping mouths I turned, somersaulted, and pointed my finger and body homeward. Flying and free.

Then when the time arrived and the bell rang and I was still glued to my High School plastic seat, I would walk silently down the corridor and toward the Irish Pub on the corner.


When we started together, the four of us, everything was different. We were in charge. Our destinies were our own and here comes the coke and fancy another beer and tomorrow let's do it tomorrow and oh shit it needs to be done by 5 o'clock this afternoon so let's score some speed.

I was in love. I still miss it. Some days anyway.


Now the horizon stretches out in front of me.

And it lies in wait and something; somewhere out there is a chair with my name on it.

1 comment:

  1. a date next week, a date for three. i'll make cake and miss makes three...