Friday, September 25, 2009

Elevator Blues

Place I'm working at at the moment has this talking elevator. Female voice with a really snooty attitude. All I hear her saying as the doors close is "Going up!" She says it just like that too. Little stab of an exclamation mark at the end.

But what it sounds like is her telling the occupants of the lift in that superior tone to "Growup!" Like she's talking to a bunch of petulant kids.

What I really don't like about this superior elevator bitch though is that we're on the ground floor. She wins the prize for stating the fucking obvious. The elevator can't go down. And it's not likely to go sideways or backwards, is it. And if it doesn't go up it's not an elevator at all, it's just a room.

Got half a mind to go into the elevator and give the bitch a goood talking to.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Kyle Sandilands And The Suicide Bombers

Dear Cosmos,

It's come to my attention that it's been a full ten years since I won a a national writing competition with this story. Ten years is rather a long time, and if it's not terribly much trouble I'd like to put in a request to win another one please. After ten years and only one win, you start to feel like it wasn't actually a win so much as a clerical blunder. Maybe the winning entry was called Forgetting Argos and the judge was a bit dyslexic or pissed or something.

Anyway, I'm entering another competition in the next couple of weeks and it would be really nice if you could look favourably on my entry. Hell - another clerical blunder is cool with me. Totally cool cool and cool.

Keep up the good work. Maybe think about doing something about Kyle Sandilands and the suicide bombers... wait on - that sounds like an excellent name for a boy band. Kyle Sandilands And The Suicide Bombers. Live on stage! One show only! Brilliant!

Hmm. Maybe, Cosmos, you and I can swap jobs for a while. You can be the fuck-about that is me and I can take care of all the really big stuff.

Cheers mate,


Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Place For Everything, Nothing In Its Place

Us, in my room.

Me, looking around at the clothing explosion.

Me, scooping armsful of clothing from the bed.

Her, smirking.

Me, what the fuck is going on here? I could have sworn I put all my clothes away at least two weeks ago.

Her, smirking loudly.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lady In Red Panties

Just then at the local supermarket, the woman in front of me walks briskly through the turnstile. I catch a flash of bright red and notice that there's a bit of a clash going on with her skirt and her shoulder bag. Bag's hitched the skirt up hight so that she's flashing her red panties for everyone in the supermarket to see.

I'm about to catch up and say someting to her but she's really on a mission. She's heading straight for whatever it is she needs. Moisturiser or frozen pizza or whatever. She's too quick and suddenly I've missed my moment.

And then I think fuck it. Not my problem, because I've been burned by this exact kind of thing before.

I was waiting for The Dreaded One while she tried stuff on in a changeroom. A woman walked out, back in her own gear after trying other outfits on. She walked across the room and I couldn't help noticing that her skirt was tucked very neatly into her panties. They were very nice panties and it was a very nice arse, but I was pretty sure she wasn't intending to display the whole package quite so proudly.

"Excuse me," I said, "but I think you have a bit of unintentional backdoor action going on there."


In hindsight, not the best choice of wordage, especially as she didn't know I was waiting for a partner to emerge from the changeroom.

"Your thing is tucked into your wotsits. Thought you should know." Accompanied with a bit of a whistle, finger point and glance in the opposite direction like I hadn't seen a thing.

She did that thing where you try to look at your own arse, realised what was going on and rectified the wardobe malfunction. Then shot ME the most evil look you could wither under before storming off in a huff. Death beam eyes like I had tucked the hem of her skirt into her panties for my own amusement.

So, woman sprinting for the frozen pizza in Coles tonight, sorry I didn't tell you about your thing being tucked into your wotsits. Not my problem. Besides, if you happened to be that same woman all those years ago...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I Be Smilin'

Not much into family but I have occasionally wondered about my father. The guy in this clip, he and I share the family name I was born and grew up with. Wonder if Clarence is my Dad.

Heard this song again today and it made me smile on an otherwise gloomy morning... I be strokin'...

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


Too much thinking lately. Too much to think about. I don't know how I get involved with other humans but I kind of wish I didn't. There's much more peace down that road. I guess maybe the trick is, if I really feel this way, the lesson to be learned and to remember is that when you feel yourself being pulled into their world, pull out early because if I don't get out early it'll become this thing I take on board and I'll think and think and think. And sometimes I don't want to think about other humans and their troubles.

I'm getting this thinky shit from all angles. Examples? Try this one: I got facebooked from someone from my childhood. Met this kid way back in primary school. We were mates. Then I move away to other schools in other shitty parts of other cities before returning to my home suburb during highschool years. Met the same mate and we were friends again. I didn't like school at all, couldn't wait for it to be over. I was a really quiet kid, felt like a loner but managed to have some kind of group of friends. Ha - just remembered one kid telling another kid something about "Bemrose's group". I do remember we were always getting into some kind of trouble. I do recall usually being the ideas guy. I think this was why the teachers regarded me so strangely; couldn't figure out why this shy boy was always where something was going on. Thing they never knew is the stuff they caught us for was a fraction of what we did.

I lose touch with this guy and he reapperas years later. Same deal as it ever was only we're adults, still carrying on like kids.

Guy appears, then fades out. Reappears yet again years later. By now we're fully grown up. Things have changed now though. There are partners and he's got kids and a career although I couldn't tell you what he does. Last time I saw him it was a typical wife and kids encounter. Mainly it was about the kids or kid, can't remember. I just remember accepting that something was lost. No drama because this is what happens. Worst thing you can do is try to recapture the past. Saddest thing is dredging memories to fill in a stilted silence.

Out of the blue I get facebooked by the same guy. Fuck, it's been years and I just don't know what to make of it. He doesn't sound happy and I'm strangely moved by this. I'm moved that he keeps making the effort to get in touch. It's been ten years this time since I've had any contact with this guy I've known since I was a scabby-kneed boy, and a lot has happened in that ten years. Lost a catering company. Got into dance music. Started writing a humour column. Became music editor of a dance music mag. Short story award. Short stories published in litmags and anthologies and a crime mag. Features in magazines all over the place. Interviewed famous people. Opened a clothing store. Cheffed at The Sydney Opera House. I've DJ'd and travelled to Turkey for a dance festival and to experience a total solar eclipse. I write all this down and send it to him, knowing that I'm not successful, but I've done some stuff.

And yeah, he's not happy. He's got a good job and a good car in a nice place but he's not happy because of the things he doesn't have or the things he hasn't done, and I feel for him, even though he doesn't know that I don't have things either, that I regret the things I haven't done too. He seems impressed with my stuff.

So I'm thinking and I'm thinking, wondering what the point of it all is. I think in the firt post I wrote on this blog, I was in a similar mood. Will have to check on that. Think I was a bit concerned about the fact that we're all going to die. Now, though, it's not the fact of dying but the looking back. It's a head-fuck because what's the point of anything.

It's the experience, I know. It's the stuff. It's the dancing and the laughing and the being there for people you love. It's doing something because you cared. Everything you do, you should care about it. If you don't care, don't do it.

Then again, I don't know. What's the point even when you care?

Another example: place I work at, this old guy comes in to deliver his fruit and vegetables. He's in his 70s and doesn't take a day off. When asked about why he doesn't take a day off he says with a bemused laugh, "Why would I do that? I wouldn't know what to do with myself." Shakes his head as he walks away, thinking it's the most stupid thing he's ever heard. My boss thinks it's great - guy that old just wants to keep working.

I think it's the saddest fucking thing I've heard all day. Stupid old prick. Do you really look back on your life and think you were put here to deliver fruit and veg? Bet the fucker spends hours stuck in city traffic listening to his favourite shock jock and thinks life doesn't get any sweeter. Way to miss the point, old guy.

But what do I know? Maybe he grows the produce himself and sees the good that is there in getting his goods to the customer. Suddenly I'm thinking about that Raymond Carver short story, A Small, Good Thing. The baker in that story, he just loved baking. Loved the early mornings, loved the purity of the process of baking, loved making people happy.

So what do I know? I know shit. I don't want to think about people and their problems or the past because it just gets me down. You can't do a damn thing about any of it so why waste your time thinking about it? Do your own stuff in there here and now. Make someone laugh. Tell someone you love that you love them. Tell them at a random moment that you're one lucky fucker to have them in your life. Dance like a fool with some friends. Roll down a grassy hill. Feel - really feel - the strength in a lingering hug and appreciate that as a really beautiful thing because the person giving you that hug wants to give it to you, and once they were a stranger. How cool is that? And the smile. When a person's face lights up simply because they've seen you, drink that in because living just doesn't get any better. And give it back. Be frugal with your smiles because they mean more then, but mean it when you do give them out. Make 'em mean something.

I don't know. I don't even know what I'm writing here. It's just brainspill. I haven't been writing enough and for all the good stuff there is other stuff. Things being taken away. I don't know. I think I need to write more. Can't get my stories published and I really said fuck them this time, but I don't think that's the answer. I think I need to be like the old delivery guy. I need to get that thing back where I can't imagine taking a day off from writing. Was a time when I would have laughed at the very idea - Why would I take a day off? I wouldn't know what to do with myself.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Interview with Rhys Muldoon, Gethsemane

Recent story on a current production of David Hare's Gethsemane.

It's a small thing, but the small things niggle. I started the story by saying that Gethsemane is a "firsty work". Meaning it had a couple of firsts working for it. Dumb play on thirsty work. Don't know why, it just amused me the same way calling the story There's A Blair In There amused me.

Anyway, the sub didn't get it or didn't approve and changed the wording to "fiesty work". I don't even know what "fiesty" is. Again and again and again I hate it when they put words in there that I would never use. They do that and it makes me... feisty.

Then there's the genuine typo later in the piece they didn't catch It's subtle but they really should have caught it and not written in a stupid typo. But as the cool kids are saying, wevs.

Think I'm seeing this play this weekend. Review coming up. Or the sub-editor's version of 'this writer's' review.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

they never change

They don't change, she tells him, they never change. Says it like she knows such things. Says it like she's talking about others but her tone has shifted and he knows who she is really talking about.

Sometimes they do, he says as the hint of a hopeful smile plays with his lips. Sometimes they change. Sometimes?

She looks at him then and shakes her head, looking back into the distance, perhaps into the past or a future never lived. That shake of her head, he's seen it countless times. He's seen it in the good times when her face is squinted shut with laughter, and he's seen it in the grey times when there didn't seem to be any way out.

He wants to believe she is wrong, but as they sit in the fading light of another dying day he suspects she might be right. They promise change, swear they'll change, beg for one more chance because they know they can change.


And again.

And again.

But then he thinks of a small boy he once knew. The quietest boy, he grew into a quiet young man, his confidence a crippling burden. The others didn't know about the humour. The thoughts and quirky observations formed in his mind but were trapped there because he was afraid. What if they didn't unberstand? What if they didn't laugh or laughed in the wrong way? What if he made a fool of himself? So he remained silent, like a fool.

He thinks about that quiet young boy and the quiet young man. He thinks about now, and he knows she is wrong: sometimes they do change. He turns to her to tell her this, but faintly, ever so faintly, she is shaking her head.

His gentle smile of hope softly dies as he sits beside her and gazes into the distance, into the past or a future never lived. He doesn't say anything.

Perhaps she is right after all.