Monday, December 11, 2006

Youth and Young Manhood (Hemingway, not Kings of Leon)

Helga was the mother of a girl I went to High School with. I don't remember how I met her, for the girl was never a friend of mine though I did lust after her, Justine - all long legs and strawberry blonde hair with a thousand boys chasing her. I kissed her on a beach the last night of year eleven, but she was the sort of kisser who was too preoccupied with herself to return any sort of spark. Vanity is not a passionate bed companion. I remember watching her pee behind a bush, and seeing her human at that moment for the first time.

But it was her mother I connected with. All of a sudden, I found myself at their house night after night, smoking reefers with Helga and writing each other poetry. I had forgotten about this time. I was a writer then, years and years before I returned to it, here on the internerd. She was a round, fifty something German woman with harsh hair but gentle eyes. I have no idea, almost twenty years on, what I wrote to her on those scrap pieces of paper, but she always vowed to keep them. I hope she has. Sometimes I remember that house, and a few months ago I drove past it and almost knocked on the door. But I knew that she would have moved, moved on, drifting through time, flux and chaos, my two worst enemies and my two constant companions.


I will forever remember this year. This is the year I have learned not to rely on dreams, though to always keep them close. This is the year that I have sat and pouted and wrung my fists at the Universe, and then days later thanked it for its compassion and mercy. These 365 days have been a constant lesson in humility and growth and discovering what I was made of, and then discovering the need to be made of far stronger stuff.

Hemingway said he always felt happy and sad after he finished writing a story, as though he had just made love. I can't imagine ever finishing this story. All I know is, if I leave Melbourne, I may be able to begin writing about it. As though distance will bring clarity, and clarity will bring release and in release, I may yet find an unknown future.


Outside it's bright and sun and here in my studio I can hear piano practise and laughter. The good thing about cliches is they often ring true, and when Life Goes On, it's a nice reminder that it's quite possible to hitch a lift and cruise further down the road. And maybe, down there, you'll find a place to rest your soul and eat some good food, and you won't have to hide, and you won't have to lie to protect the people you love. You can just be. I can just B.

Giddy up.


Oh, and Happy Fucking Birthday Fry. Life was clearer when your wonderous brain was nearby. I miss you terribly. xxxxx

1 comment:

  1. it's times like this that I really like your writing.