regional – marginal – comical
I am, I think it s me, am lying in a drift of consciousness.
I think I’m either 86 years old or just turned 60.
For some reason I don’t know
am i 86 and looking back on my 60 year old self
or am I about to turn 60 and am thinking forward to my 86 year old self.
today the wheel fell off my mind.
i was steering towards the stopping lane when it happened.
id asked the office girl if she had any plans for the weekend and she left the room and came back with a manager and said I’d sexually harassed her.
said that I’d propositioned her.
and I’m not sure. In my head I’d imagined how good it would be to be with her naked in a blue lagoon.
but, had that come out of my mouth?
my boss looked at me and said it was company policy and that I should just leave the building and think about what I’d done.
concider my options he said
there before me a contented rug was pulled beneath my feet,
the rug all complicated and stained and deep with stains and rough bits and food remnants.
im walking down my street and a dog barks at me. One I see every day.
a woman comes out and asked what my problem is
why upset a dog. It’s done nothing to you.
i keep walking but I feel the dog and the woman judging me all the way home.
i feel for my keys and can’t find them. Deep inside my pants a find a hole in the far corner I never knew my pants pocket went that far.
i pull my wallet out and drop some change on the concrete footpath and the coins roll, bounce and chase one another to a grate in the road and disappear.
i watch on like an audience member of a magic show.
there is no point trying to get them back they are gone.
i go back to searching the ends of my pocket.
deeper I go until my finger break through to the other side.
no keys, um who has my spare.
my ex girl friend, is a week to soon to ask for them back.
that letter she sent detailing her new lover.
to contact her now would be pathetic. Stalking.
but no keys.
i stand at my door like a salesman getting ready to knock and get knocked back.
i feel for my keys again.
i imagine the girl at the office swimming naked in the blue lagoon.
swimming, diving, her white ass surfacing like the bold head of a dolfin.
her black hair falling off he face like dark ink.
her swimming over to me and brushing past my body close enough for the water to swirl past my body. She laughs teasingly.
you ok mate?
a neighbour inquires.
just can’t find my keys. Hole in my pocket.
got a spare set?
well use them
it starts to rain. Drips then drops.
my neighbour closers his door briskly
opens again, looks at me then without any sence of irony says.
use your spare set. And closes the door again.
The rain blows cool and sharp across my face.
My shirt is wet and my pants are getting wetter as my extended finger plays with its new found burrow.
as I stand in solemn silence to my predicament a motor bike drives up the road and into my driveway
a woman gets off the bike and opens her helmet up to reveal a dark haired lady with a familiar looking face.
Are you going inside? I’ve got to….I can’t be on the street, they’re looking for me.
ive got no keys. They fell through my..
check the letterbox.
i don’t keep…
have you checked the letterbox.
i walk over to the letterbox just to prove my point and look under the flap.
i look and look, the rain blurring my glasses.
blurring what I’m seeing into not believing what I see.
there in the darkness of the letterbox is a shinny set of house keys.
“I never keep my …how did you know they were there.”
open the door and let me in.
i pull the keys out and look at them slowly like I’d been witness of a magic trick.
And walk slowly to the door as if I’m dreaming. The key fits perfectly and the door
the woman brushes past.
i don’t have much time. I need to stash the bike. I think they’re tracking me.
I scratch my head
have you got a garage?
through there I point
she disappears down the hall and into the garage and pops the garage door open and wheels her bike inside.
there safer now. You don’t remember me do you.
yes yes of course I remember you. I lie
you haven’t changed a bit she laughs patting my tummy.
ive put a bit of weight on as well.
then it comes back to me helen.
a friend from forty years ago. Friend, lover.
experimenter, discoverer, scared me a little.
tried things that had me afraid to walk past a church.
i remember you as a thoughtful lover.
i need your help.
well yes of course.
the cops are after me. Can I tell you I never hurt anyone but something went wrong. They’re looking for someone to blame. A worker was killed, at a drilling site.
id been helping to sabartarge drilling sites, but the thing is I , we, never touched that site. But they are saying we did.
drilling site? I ask.
yeah coal seam gas they are everywhere, I’m with a group monitoring and slowing them down when we can.
but someone got killed.
yeah a blowback, when they hit a pocket of unexpected pressure and the pipes all get pushed up out of the well. 500 metres of pipe blown into the air like a long thin bullet.
She reached over and held my hand, they have gone through all my contacts and a watching and waiting. They’re calling it manslaughter. I didn’t have anyone else to turn to but you.
my mind is racing like a train across a flat clear landscape, at the horizon is a drop off into a deep ravine. Closer and closer. She squeezes my hand.
i am at a party.
on a cake in the centre of the table is the numbers 8 and 6
a single candle burns dimly in the middle.
i have a foggy mind.
around the edge of the table stand women in white dresses singing and looking at me.
my eyesight is not so good to recognise any of them.
happy birthday one of them calls out.
i am aware that today is the same as yesterday.
i can remember that the day before was the same as yesterday.
i can remember that sometime ago a fire happened and the fire brigade came with hoses.
that was many days age.
Every day since has been the same.
i remember once sitting on a veranda watching the cars turn into the street on the corner.
hearing from time to time the brakes scream and sometimes the the crash.
Mostly, the cars would just turn. Stop and turn, stop and turn. One after another stop and turn. Into the street on the corner. Form a que, stop and turn. One at a time stop and turn.
a woman pushing a pram up the street, a man walking his dog, a jogger running fast sweat on his red face, school kids pushing at each other, up the street to the corner, and later back again.
late at night couples, hold tight like a slow motion three legged race.
well blow the candle out.
blow it out.
like this a woman leans forward.
let him do it, it’s his cake
i lean toward the timid single flame.
i blow like a big bad wolf.
the flame bends like a Turkish belly dancer but stands firm at her feet.
come on Carl. One good blow were hungry.
i bend closer and blow again.
my false teeth move in my mouth.
i remember catching a bus to work in the city.
getting into a lift and going to the twenty second floor.
I had a desk by the window and could see the day move from dull to bright back to dull.
I remember writing numbers into columns and words but I can’t remember what was the reason.
blow blow blow
i blow again
but it’s more like a huff than a blow.
he can’t do it
someone just blow it out for him we’ve got work to do.
come on Carl give it one more go I’ll help
she leans down beside my head makes a lippy face.
i breath in an blow, the candle lays sideways until a short gust of air from the woman beside me sends the flame across the room with no way back.
yeah the crowd cheers.
Now carl cut the cake
dont touch the bottom of the plate, it’s bad luck.
a giant knife is placed in my hand and soft long fingers wrap around and guide me toward the trembling target.
steady Carl. You got this.
a long steady cut prevents any further escape.
yeah the crowd yells again.
im shuffled backwards into a chair.
well dome mr Williams.