Sunday, May 31, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Four Corners.

I'm floating on the ocean. I've got plenty of time to think. If I can let myself relax, if I can step back and see that against all the odds, with no sight of land, that I am still afloat, then I am able to let my heart expand over this vast emptiness and feel not think, breathe not beat, understand not see. Time, you see, is only the moment, never the dream. And understanding that, I can be present. The boat we held has been lost and now it is hard to remember if it was a boat at all. Hold on to something long enough and you can make it anything you desire. But let it go, let it go, frightened and alone, no more wishes, or expectations, no more needing, no more humanity to weigh you down, you are now liberated to sink or swim of your own volition. Isn't that the ultimate freedom? Being in a position to choose whether or not society, or economy, or relationships, or insanity are to be taken as reality? Can you not choose which is real for you? So I lie on the ocean, at any rate, and the Universe grows smaller yet closer with every reality I shed. I think, why was it my sense of humour that had to go first? I would have liked to share a joke with myself before it left. And as the moon pies its way across the sky I sense an altogether different joke. One I am yet to understand.

********

I am in a Bus Shelter. It's cold. I have no jacket, though I have new shoes. A charitable gift, so my feet will no longer suffer the damp embarrassment I have subjected them to for a week now. I'm sitting in a bus stop smoking and looking as though I have somewhere to go, the bus you see, an interview, an embrace, a meal, but really it's the shelter and this cigarette which I cherish. This present stretches out for eternity and I miss the calm of the sea. The bus comes. People look at me as though I am first in line but I remain seated in the shelter and watch as they scuffle and grunt their way on board. A young school girl stares blankly at me through the window and I smile at her. But the bus flatulates and moans and carries her away and we stare a slow goodbye until it has gone. This is the winter I had feared.

********

I'm in a bar. The man opposite me is tired and nervous and smokes my cigarettes and I smile at him and we talk of all the things that have been and the status of our friends. It seems there are more down than up. I order two more beers and in this moment I am strong. Strong for this man, I can listen, I can be present, I can empathise and strategise and the only thing my broken soul can't do is actualise. I am hoping this is enough. I am hoping when a man, this man is not the first man, says, if I make it that far, or, it's not looking good, that he is merely verbalising the helplessness that can be found in the bottom of a glass of beer. I try and forget that I am looking for a man to listen to me. I try and be a friend and that way, I know, I will cure myself of my own worries, if only for a moment. I will be a Giver. And I have clearly understood in my life, that Givers are far happier than Takers. Though Takers always believe if they take enough, they will find happiness. So I am a Giver, in this moment, though my heart cries out for all it can take, though it can take no more.

********

I'm in a lounge room. Through necessity I am a Taker. Though I try and hide my taking through apologies and manners and any odd job that presents itself. I say, excuse me, and please allow me, and I try to make my body so small that I am almost a pet, a stray in from the cold, who is tolerated so long as it doesn't break the rules. And there is a bowl of food and a blanket and a kind word, and it's okay to be a pet if you are in a house of Pet Lovers. So I lie by the heater and pretend to sleep, like all pets do, and my ears twitch every time I hear a familiar word, but I keep my eyes closed and I let my mind envision the surprises that tomorrow might bring. Will it be a cage, or against all the odds, might I even be returned to the wild?

********

I am nowhere and nothing and secretly,
I never wanted anything more.

But I will try to learn to want more.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

One Step, Two Step.

The day I meet with my Step Father will be a glorious day. I will stand on the street, in front of the restaurant, smoking a cigarette to pass the time which is my lot as I am ten minutes early. I will see a car pull up and I will smile as he appears. Ten years! Ten years in his skin which gravity has made her lover, ten years in his eyes, still sharp and cunning as a hungry bulldog, ten years in his short cropped hair, the porcupine spikes now more silver than gold and ten years in our embrace in which our lives are reflected; his hold on me strong, almost violent, as my hungry arms wrap around him tight in defeated hope.

Here is my father, of sorts. A real life person who tells me to order anything I want, his magnanimous charity warming the awkward silences which are punctuated by rapid fire chatter as we both seek an ending to this new beginning and both wonder at this bloodless bond which has brought us together again. Pizza for entree, spaghetti for main and the promise of dessert, a father's true prerogative, to come. And wine, bottles of wine to drown the years, lubricate the emotions and buffer the admission of our failures which sit beside us at the table.

And I will accidentally glance at his gold watch as he reaches for his glass, and he will catch my eye and my hunger will be as apparent as the shame I feel for noticing such ostentation. And he will awkwardly hold his hand beneath the table as it all comes out. The unemployment, the bankrupt business, the car which used to be, the broken hearts, and it will almost be as though we are drunk on the cheap liquor distilled from years of fermented grief and wasted potential.

This is family, I will think. A place to lay bare your shattered dreams, so that they may be dissected and returned from whence they came. That time you broke the window. That time you stole the money. That time you almost drowned. The beginnings of threads which have wound through your life ever since. And it will be apparent that decisions made by a ten year old boy are the consequences felt by a thirty six year old man. A prison built by childish hands, an adult doomed to dream of liberation.

During the main course the tears will flow on both sides of the table as we remember the woman who brought us together. And my Step Father will dismiss his own guilt by saying, we fought a lot, but damn I loved that woman, and I will remember the way he dragged her across broken glass, by the hair, but I will say nothing to disturb this moment of reconciliation, for this emotional junkie needs his fix of family life, no matter the quality or the danger inherent. She was the love of my life, he will say, and like a fool I will try to make my eyes as hers, so that he will see her in me, and take pity on me, and protect me, and promise me the world, but instead I will watch as he drifts backwards into semi-fictional memories, a place in which all past relationships are draped in perfection.

He will prove his worth, my Step Father. Walking with me down the never ending staircase of my plight after plight after plight. A hard luck story, he'll name me, can't catch a break, I'll reply, but willing to work, and he'll take a long look at me, before he nods, as though sizing up my intentions, and I'll be glad I had a haircut before this lunch, and wore a tie. But he will prove his worth. He'll say, well, the first thing we need to do is, and, why don't I make a couple of calls, which he does, but they don't answer, but it's good enough to have someone in my corner, I'll think. Good enough for today to warm myself by his can do attitude, and misguided belief that all the shame, the guilt and pain can be cured before dessert.

What about your father, he'll ask. I'm not sure, I'll say, same old, I don't know how to contact him, which is a lie but not. I mean, I know how I could find him, but I don't know _how_ I could _contact_ him. But I won't say this and my Step Father will shake his head and tell me of his sons who I know have now formed the true direction of his life. How smart they are. How he lives for them. How their mother took him for everything he had. And as he talks of his new family, I will shrink smaller and smaller, further and further away, and the darkness will threaten to take me right there in the restaurant, but I will fight to keep my facade, if only for another hour.

Dessert will be a happy affair. The chocolate pudding dripping with optimism and promise. I will listen to the words of my Step Father and begin to believe that a new life awaits. A secure life, a normal life, a life based on smart decisions which owe nothing to chance, an independence not only from other people, but from the Universe itself. I will begin to feel in my slender hands, the strength to build my own fortress, the power to carve my own cave from the rock and dirt of life itself. Protection will be the catch phrase, the theme of tomorrow, and as we undo our belts at the end of the meal, the simple lesson of never giving up, of working not hoping, acting not dreaming, will sit comfortably in my stomach, for now I have a family and Jesus, with that I can conquer myself and the world I create.

He will take his leave after only an hour, my Step Father. For I know he is a busy man. His brain forever calculating the risks, the challenges ahead, the numbers crunching beneath his fatherly feet. He will check his watch, and talk again of his sons, and his commitments, and he will not promise, but state his intentions to aid me. And I will feel his nervousness as my face betrays my true state, a cracked shell barely containing the yellow cowardice I feel when confronted with far too many challenges. And the only thing laid on the table will be the bill, as my pride retards my ability to scream for help, and disappointed, The Truth will slink back into subconscious ghostliness.

Well buddy, he will say, it's been good to see you. You too, I will say. And we will hug a Step Relation hug before he climbs into the car. And I will wave as he drives away. But he will not turn. And reaching for a cigarette I will realise that they too are gone.

So I will turn to face the beginning of the night, hunch myself into my flimsy jacket and walk away, to face the elements alone.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Untitled.

You died the other day
on the 40th anniversary
of your birth
you selfishly passed away
and left me alone.

I lay on the ground
on the carpet
clutching my heart
and wailed
I was terrified
sure
I knew
something
Jesus
no
now
I'm
all
alone.

My love
was afraid
and brought me
sandwiches
and cigarettes
and saw how
little
anyone else cared
when we called friends
and hospitals
and police stations
and shelters
and I asked her,
is this really happening?

We cried together
for you.

I tried to be strong
to think positive
but

I died the other day
do you know that?

And then you rang me

in the night

and
that
was

that.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Intermission.



Might be
the time
to simply stop
and enjoy
what we have
is
when we think
we have so little.


Back soon.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Dear.

Hi Mum,
did you hear
Jodi's got a new
place, up in The Hills
where you used to
take us
there's a photo
or was
of you kissing me
on the nose
beneath the ferns
beside the river
Sherbrooke Forest
I think it was
and now Jodi's up there
that's pretty good
huh,
not that she's
um
out of the woods
but I think it's a pretty
great start.

Me?
Hell, you know
how alike you and I
are
don't you
in some ways anyway
in those ways
so yes
I have been drinking
again, mum
the summer was a struggle
I almost...
but never mind
because it looks
like
I'm out of the woods
too, well...
almost.

I wrote you a song.

I hope you heard it.

Soon I'll be singing it
in public and I'll think
of you so I have the strength
and courage to sing it
honestly.

I miss you
Mum,
I think a lot still
of you and Simon
and what I was supposed
to do, and how I walked
away and should I have killed him
or should I have called the police in
and how I wasn't in the
hospital, but most of the time
I think about how I don't think
of it much, and I wonder
whether I'm a sociopath, or a normal
person with a normal life, or I wonder
why I still think about it -
but then again, I tend to think of
lots of things, ALL THE TIME,
so you know.

I'll call your mum today
if I can.

I love you.

matty.