Sunday, August 30, 2009

Basic.

In the shower I stand and it all comes off. I turn the heat up so I can feel it burning the back of my neck, running over my shoulder blades and cascading down the valley of my spine and on to the tiled floor. With my head pressed against the glass I watch it spiral away and disappear. Down the drain and into the distance. With any luck I'll walk passed it one day as it flows along the gutter where it belongs, and I'll make a sail boat from a leaf and enjoy myself at its expense.
Towel from the towel rack. Shave. Mouthwash and a long look in the eyes, a Harden the Fuck up, a Let it all go, and then turn away, quick, before the questions start reflecting back to you. Before the spark that flashes in my left eye sets this whole picture aflame.
At least I deleted that movie.
Well, one of them anyway.
There it is.
Now move away.
The next phase of this familiar operation is to stock up on cigarettes. Cigarettes are important. Cigarettes are the portable sedative. With a cigarette you can frown dark and cloudy, or walk free and easy, captured in your own tiny bubble, and for those three minutes you have the power. I have a full packet of cigarettes. I have a lot of things I need at the moment, and if you've got a lot of things you need, it's easier to not have the thing you want. Trust me. This I fucking know. I pick up the packet of cigarettes, and some money from beside my bed. I take my iPod from its charger and place the earbuds in my ears. I've lost the proper earbuds. I have replacements. I always lose the earbuds. And then I open the door at exactly the moment the song starts and I walk out in to the rain.

I first learned I could control the weather on August 24, 2005.

The rain comes thick now, and the sky is grey but silver and gold too, and there are breaks and shivers of colour and life between me and The Universe and I do what I always do down here, I smile back at it, though it continues to break me.
I smile back at it, friends, and with my arms out and the fresh rain on my face, and Arcade Fire breaking my heart with the Joy of being Alive, I scream a loud fucking scream and laugh my fucking tits off as I am getting drenched and the words I scream are of Love and Passion and Choice.

This Universe is my choice, I scream. This feeling, breathing thing. One chance, all or nothing, are we in or out, I'm all about...I'm all about everything...that's my Universe, my World, My Love.

And shit.

My Love.

These colours are mad, so mad today.

Three Mobile.

There's a spider in my room but I am not afraid. He's telling me things, bad things, things I don't want to hear. He's weaving images in my head, silver strands and masochistic moments, dead beliefs and lies which stick and shiver and shake as they trap themselves in this familiar pattern. He's crawling down the wall to me as I lie in my bed, unable to sleep, unable to sleep now for three days, just lying on my back, listening to the whispers of the spider.
But I am not afraid.
He's lying beside her. He's telling her things, good things, things she wants to hear. He's cooking images in her head. Silver hands and city moments, red hankerchiefs and at night they lick and shiver and shake as they trap themselves in that familiar kitchen. They're calling me, from the bar, on the E, as I lie in my bed, unable to sleep, unable to sleep now for three days, just crying on my back, knowing that he's lying beside her.
But I am not afraid.
I'm flying to see her. She'll tell me to sing, song things, songs she wants to hear. We'll take pictures of the red, golden lands and THIS will be our finest moment. She's more than a friend she's the look in my eye when I start to cry, shivering and shaking and trapped in that familiar giggle. She's calling from across the sea, oh mon ami, as I get out of my bed, unable to sleep now for three days, just dying to call back, knowing that I can fly to see her.
And I am not afraid.

********

Monday, August 24, 2009

Reality Show.

The first thing happened in the kitchen. Eight, maybe nine, months ago. I was sitting at the table. The morning sun was pushing its way through the window, keen on keeping me company. I drank a hot coffee from a cracked mug. My fingers were dripping with butter from the toast I had eaten, and I was smearing butter all over the keys as I typed. But I didn't care. The machine never mattered to me so much. It was just what I needed to do what I had to do.
That morning what I had to do was write a script, and I was flying. The week before I'd been drinking with a friend of mine who was in the movie business and we'd spoken about the way things were and what we wanted to do and now I was writing a script and who knows. Maybe all that. Anyway, it was the morning and that's what I was doing.
I'd been going for half an hour or so when she came in to the kitchen. I looked up because I had to look up, because when a girl like that walks into the kitchen, you'd look up too. I look up and she's all cat and sleep and skin and stretch and those curves and I'm an instant boil and it's all I can do to think back to the script. Because the script is important, see? Because I'm thinking if a guy like me can finish a script, then maybe a girl who looks like that...
I'm thinking things like that, you know? So I go back to writing the script.
"What are you doing?" she asks, and there's something in her voice. I recognise it. It usually means, I've been asleep so you must be on the internet writing to other women.
"I'm starting on the script, baby" I say.
"Can I read it?"
"Well, I guess, I mean, I've only got a couple of pages, you know"
"I'd really like to read it"
"Well, okay, go right ahead."
I don't really want her to read it. I don't want to break my flow. I've got a good rhythm going and the characters are there with me and I want to write all fucking day. Or fuck all day if I'm not going to write. But I got that icy tone in her voice, and I'll be lucky if there's any more writing, let alone fucking.
"WOW" she says. "This is fucking amazing. I'm blown away. When did you think of this?"
She catches me by surprise. I blush.
"I don't know...this morning, I guess..."
"Is there a part for me?" she asks.
"Sorry?"
"I said, is there a part for me?"
"Um, I don't know sexy, I've literally only written two pages, I haven't even thought that far..."
"YOU PRICK", she screams and pouts and a storm gathers on her forehead. "You know I'm going for auditions and now you've written this, and you're going to be famous and you're going to leave me, when you know all I ever wanted to do was act. You fucking prick, I hate you, I fucking hate you."
She stomps out of the kitchen, slamming the door behind her. I sit back at the keyboard and let my fingers rest for a moment. I try and get back in to the flow, but nothing will come. So I roll a cigarette and walk outside. Sit on the back step and smoke. And I stare at the morning sky and catch the last of the fading stars as they disappear into the light.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Don't be afraid to care.

Everything's white. The light, the uniforms, the gloves, the walls. Even the labels on the wall are white. White with faded black letters, fading into white. I can hear someone crying in the bed next to mine. I let myself listen for a moment, and then I close my eyes and everything is how it always was.

Black.

I used to think you were so smart, she's saying. I used to think you actually had something to say. The way you wrote, so child like, I used to believe in it. That bullshit you spin about naiviety being true beauty. Jesus, she laughs and smokes and her eyes are so much harder now than when we first met, you sure had me fooled.

And those songs! Ha! You honestly thought I believed you, all that softness and light, eternal Hope, you and me or her or whoever the Hell you wanted to sing about, whoever the Hell you were really thinking about, jesus, and I wanted to be you. I actually wanted your words, your chords, your songs, your art, I wanted your everything, your empty thing, your pathetic and broke little world. There was a time, when I actually wanted that.

Her cigarette tumbles sad and helpless to the ground and is crushed beneath her boots. And I can feel the Shadow Man call her from the darkness.

Well, she says, with gravel and grate, that's all I've got to say to you. I just wanted you to know. You're nothing. NOTHING.
And she turns and fades
into
Black.

I open my eyes and I'm back in the White. Two of my friends sit at the end of the bed.
Hallo! They smile and touch my feet, and I smile back and the masochistic phantasm recedes somewhere...I don't know...just somewhere.

We brought you the paper, my friends say, and....GUITAR MAGAZINE! Wooo! Keith Urban feature! Craptastic! Woo!

And I can't help but laugh, though the laughter sets the machines to beeping, and a Nurse sticks her head in and smiles and I smile back and my friends smile too, and sure, this ain't such a great Saturday morning, and the medication is making me grumpy, but I've got time to just lie still, and I've got time to exorcise the weirdness that comes when I close my eyes, the past I keep running from, or telling myself I HAVE to run from, when really, I have long since healed.
The laughter of my friends breaks my train of thought and paints the white walls colour and I skip through time to the Eternal City, where You and I will meet, soon enough, and all this will be forgotten.

Until then -

best to always use a Preventer.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Alchemist.


I never really knew his work
a few pieces here and there
the opera house
the water
his wife
that house
that garden...

But oh boy
I stood in his studio
on Saturday morning
and
I got EDUCATED.

I got educated
so hard
(how hard?)
so hard
I had to walk outside
and smoke
because my heart was beating
a kaboom connection
and I was giggling
drinking in
the deft humour
and samurai surrealism
the Zen eye
warrior
the independent
heart

oh boy

oh boy
outside Matty
take a breath
you just found
(years later than everyone else,
on your own time,
as with music
the best way to do it)

you just found

a soul brother.

And from then on in
the sun it shone
on Sydney town.

And I haven't stopped
smiling
since.