Walking anti-clockwise, black coffee passing my lips, one hand in pocket sleeves undecidedly rolled down. What choices have I made to be here, in this mood. Lips cracked, blistered heel. The pain. Yes, I am alive, pain, yes alive, pain. I think it’s infected, good, that’s a macro, a shortcut, a cheat to let me know, I’m alive. Not perverse – good and bad are both equally rich. Pleasure & pain both good and bad. Moderation and wanting. Health and sickness all helpful for the grander points of being. Narratives collide like vomit and toilet bowl. Surprise at the accuracy of backward, missended design. No faults, just surprise. Liquid, change and a failure. Schematic of my heart, blue prints. As eyes have colour, as hearts do beat. The swollen illness precedes, proceeds and prevails. Always wanting: pleasure, pain, sickness and health. I’ll wash my face, but the sick mask sticks. Dabbing the sides. Hopeless, faithful, lost and tarnished. Sick inside and out. Tarnished shoes covered. Ill from head to foot. Blemish of pain, this silence, disconnect, withdrawal. You will get from me only shrugs and a white flat flag. Hard pressed for more, let me shake my head and tell you the economics of my love. Breeze on my ripples, rakish and ruined. Patches appear, moths contort, ragged I feel, raging an blown.
The scene was was flat. A static display of exposition. I’d turned off the screen moments ago and stared uncontent knitted brows at the black television. Light beamed into the room, reflecting off the mirror in the bedroom, through two doorways and lighting a perfect rectangular blemish of eternity in the middle right of the blank emptiness.
She used to stand in that mirror and look at herself. Clutch parts of herself, wishing to be fuller. My own ‘little narcissus’ I would call her. She’d prickle at that and react, disproving my jest. She cared about me and what I said, she did.
The sun was at a perfect angle to bounce off one surface, onto the next and blind me. It was a small joy, an uncomfortable and unique moment which I looked for whenever I was on a hill with the sun shining brightly above. I was the child that reflected sunlight into friends eyes in class on summer days. I would later put the high beams on, while driving drunk one night and cause a family accident as they came down the mountain. It was a part of the Australian identity of youth. Sportsman, larakin, hero, legend. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Each time I would turn the high beams on, 50 meters and closing. Then switch them off completely. The roads were always wet at that altitude, I was drinking whiskey or rum with a friend because of his unrequited love. I remember his bad teeth, ‘the closest artery to the heart run by the teeth’ I was once told.
Now I know to watch out for those with bad teeth, they are the crippled and decrepet lovers that hold back feelings, flare with false emotions and intervene into the lives of others. I think he’d grabbed the wheel as a joke. We butted them enough to send them down the bank, bull-bar, dashboard, glass and a scream. We drove on, not speaking. He’s happy these days, those memories are more colour than anything pure. The wind blew the trees out the front of the house. Leave flitted across the path of the sun and the mirror tickled with darkness and then choked like it was trying to send an SOS. I broke from my trance, the screen was black again. I chewed the inside of my cheek, a tiny piece of skin had some loose and now teased by teeth to bite it, like the long ends of a sea anemone. Salt ran down my face by my mouth. The fireplace groaned and sighed with the breeze. I bit down on the tiny piece of myself that had come loose and swallowed it.
You know black holes aren’t real, right? They’re not a fake- they might “exist”, but they aren’t real. Never has one pressed down upon me or anyone I know- until it happened to me recently.
I’d bungled together dinner, mostly rice and pasta sauce, and walked, with a cautious hand out towards the back door towards the out-house. I thought to myself ‘there’s going to be a black hole in the doorway’. And there it was, a perfectly clear mirror of black. No infantesimal sucking vacuum of gravity, no crushing void, it was a lake top at midnight on a cloudy night time evening. A deep pool. I turned around quickly soon realising. I had anticipated the black whole, like a soothsayer, fortune teller clairvoyant, I anticipated- projecting into the moments from now future. Back peddling, I walked back to the kitchen and decided to doodle on my phone. I took a picture a minute later and sent it to my brother and sister through shared group chat. They didn’t respond, but I figured they were both ok after I saw that they had seen it too. I hesitated going out to the out-house. My bladder was terrible and my toes were squirming. I’ve noticed that my brain changes when I eat sugar or need to go to the bathroom or skip breakfast and have a black coffee. Psychotic. Clear in mind, seemingly, bug scrambled in action. It all competes; I walk into the laundry that links the buildings somewhat, I see the clear pool, like an opal, surprising, final and in my way. I tap my foot and rock on my heels and go back to my phone. “Black holes”, I look them up. Nothing. Only theory, nothing to work with or use. I consider climbing out the kitchen window, strange because the lounge window is lower to the ground and bigger- the front door is an obvious option which comes to me last. I walk to the door, past the lounge room, past the t.v. I stop. I back peddle and go to turn it on, the screen gently mirrors my setting if it was monochrome and covered in dust. ABC turns on, the channel it was on when I last turned it off, RAGE maybe, followed by a high pitched squealing that nobody complains about, black holes are everywhere the reporter is saying. I knew this, feeling that somehow they were always there, if you look around and feel enough they are there, staring right back at you. One in each eye, rents of uncanny peace. Hitler had one extracted from his heart after his mother died. They are made up of atoms, the same as you and me but pressed in such a way that they can never open. That’s why they most commonly appear in your eyes, your heart and the doorways between the kitchen and the out-house.
I walked out again, knowing that by the time I had explained it, taken a photo and checked on the news, that it would have moved on. The whole idea, once pointed out tends to wink from existence. Are they real? Absolutely not, that’s why I see them everywhere. Each doorway, candles (looked at from above), the handkerchief cupped in the hand of a coughing tuberculosis patient, the Chertsey Inkpot of Shakespeare and TNT. There is no explosion with dynamite, it’s a reaction between two neighbours open their doors into one-abother’s path. Parity disruptions, and boom. Hard to explain outside of comic book strips. But that’s black holes. I knew it would be gone, I explained to myself, the more I thought about it and shared how it was, the more it waned- clear as fresh laid tar. Fabric knitting in on itself, closing over on itself, wrapping and shrinking, soaking up and fading like the love child of a broken television and a dusty raisin. Wishless as the first star, and tragic as the last- gone until forgotten, only to be remembered.
A clap on the back was all her got as the Barman passed him on the way to the bar. Kelly’s was a beer garden, the regular haunt for the regulars of inner city Hobart. Not that it was or wasn’t a city. The locals called it town, they called the Barman ‘Barman’ even if they didn’t know that it was his last name. The Batman’s’ were a large percentage of the township just outside Cambridge. A large family with a happy father that worked as an engineering consultant at the Zinc Works. “A terrific occupation” he’d said right up until the day he passed, falling through some old grating, 72feet above one of the main smelting tanks. He’d fallen, broken his arm in the way down, bouncing off the lip of the tank comically and landing heaving like a dropped candle. Crumpling into his yellow hard hat with an ‘oof’.
The noise we all end with? Oof, or something as similar. Nonsense.
The fire went out in his eyes and that was it. The Barman family? Still there-
Tables full, kind hearted mother with a broken visage, remarried a single colleague of his she met at the funeral. Barman never forgave the corcumstance, he worked in bars now, seeing the works, “the worst of people really” he’d say.
Moments in time. All passing, free of reflection. Done and decompressed, thhht. His tired eyes, skeptics thoughts, cold called for his honest perspective on life. Communicated in eyes, hands and clicks. All vibrations: voice, glinting eyes and heat. The lightness in Barman came from his back. Strong minded, but a back ‘like a tin’ or an alloy, his fathers hands he had, his mothers lean face. The holes, the gaps of a removed child. Out on his own, cold waste, old dinners and cast iron 2nd had equipments. Friday was his night to cut loose and cause chaos. Pluming people with alcohol then mopping up. Step 1, alcohol, step 2 profit was his undiscovered motto. He was a crafty conceited apple in the eye of most. A nut, resistant to the cracking. The Craik. Even sauced, slapping, with thenneighbours going at it. He was always unassailable. Free from the plight of rude and polite. No transactions, no receipts. Scrunching moments and throwing them back, like the fruit before it’s juices. Tequila!
That’s not writing, that’s just typing. Get all the pieces, string them
Together in the longest
Line you can.
My collection is not me. The pressure thought, freezes me. Don’t come in. Don’t come close. Look away- sucking my life away. Crie crie. Communicate respect integrity excellence. Uniqueness. They came in- alone again now, plus a watch and a book and a tear to each eye. Power policy, still stirs, shoes and hurt. Plans? None. Kill me I’m boring, droll drab and half dear, poor imbalance of heartless indifference. Alive or dead, a crumbling in of life. Diffuse terror, trembling eruptions of mind, bright light and spears of pain career into my every moment. Sequel to nothing. Fighting the beat, unenjoyment, fearful fellowship on my own flight. Benevolence in freindlessness. Silence over this radio zone. Specks over the bridge of time. Flecks of spit, drooling time. Sick and spittle, creative brilliance alone in the moment- everlasting as nothing is. Or is not, the knot undoing. The line or rope hanging, sticking in my throat. Poised. Ready, fickle finance, the fools hold. Pick me up, the gravity of my ills, mis-pretension of apprehending endings. Bed bound and wound around the sound of my neighbours, abuse and gall. Of all olds, the manifold soul of those sold, touching nerves, swerves add race like mace in a space or place is ace for traction attraction interbreeding and weeding, seeding is feeding and freeing states of being my lightness. Sit sit sit all day sleep all night, burn-out. Switch off. Make it work for you. This shoe: shoot your self in the head. Blast plaster with your plastered soul. Live or grow old. Crab crab cram. Crab arms and degeneration. No nation, disgust. The food in me lulls me into fits of anxious tidal waves of sick. Chunks of digestion, sensitive to the moon? Torn and tired and spilling it all out.
I look at my bank balance. It justifies me. Rendering it all. I bail my feelings.
Wouldn’t that be great.
If, just if.
I drove for miles and miles. Longer than kilometres I suppose, the syllables throw you off the scent there. I drove for 16 hours, straight. Not once doubting my direction. Straight to the coast, a cliff. I didn’t even get my toes wet, all that way for a view and the threat of falling over the edge, false turns and dead-ends. All that way, straight. Only to turn my back on the breeze and the view, a lookout moment. And then I drove home. Same line, opposite way, parallel overlapping, ajascent, constant intersection. No axis, the same way. Like a yawn and a breath. All the same channel but the face of it. Changed, turned, swapped, sad normally, maniacle abd sabretoothed the next. That’s how I returned. Turned and returned- all that way, for a look.