Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ladder.

I had a house I used to run to.

A long time ago now.

Be about fifteen years since I was there.

It sat on the side of a mountain.

From the house you couldn't always see the peak.

In winter anyway.

Just an upward slope.

Coverered in trees.

Leading into the clouds which hung low and thick.

The first time I went to that house I figured that must've been the way to Heaven.

One winter I woke up and the whole place was covered in snow.

I stood on the front step and smiled and laughed.

I didn't notice that my feet were wet and numb.

The sky was blue.

I'm always confused by that.

The snow sitting happily under the sun.

It must sneak in at night while everyone's asleep.

I had a motorbike there.

It was just a postie's bike.

125cc.

But it could run the bush tracks that ran from the edge of the back paddock up the side of the mountain.

I had a gun there too.

A .303.

The .303 was an infantry rifle from Vietnam.

I would sling it over my shoulder and ride up the mountain.

Then I would sit there.

Watching the bush.

Sometimes I shot a tree that looked dangerous.

I'd sit up there for hours.

Listening, thinking, being.

Just before it got dark I'd head back.

I'd navigate home using the lights of the house as stars.

It felt like when the sun went to sleep, the house would come alive.

The chimney would be smoking.

There would be music.

A couple of cars.

Smells of roast potato and fire and cigarettes.

Sometimes people would smoke joints and tell the same stories they told yesterday.

It didn't matter.

The best was when the fire was outside.

Everyone sat around in thick jumpers with cold beers.

We'd get a good one burning and then what we'd do is throw copper on it.

And the copper would burn all sorts of colours.

Orange sunsets and bruised purples and the green was life in that fire, and the fire was life in us, and we would sit all night, under the stars and sometimes, you know, I'm afraid of the darkness that lives in between them, but up there on that mountain, up there the whole damn sky was a diamond and I was never afraid, not once.

They sold that house.

Now someone else owns that mountain.

Sometimes I think I'd like to go back there.

Knock on the door and ask if I can't walk up the back paddock one more time.

But I don't.

Besides,

I figure there's more than one way to get to Heaven.

No comments:

Post a Comment