Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Cool Little Love Thing

When it's late at night
And it's late in life,
And you still want to be
In each others arms,
You probably have
A cool little love thing
A cool little love thing
A cool little love thing going on.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

And Then They Were Gone

Today in our banged up little cafe... a family walks in. Light's kind of funny from my end and light sometimes plays with my eyes. I notice that the guy has dreadlocks or the beginnings of them. Dreadlocks in the cafe always make me feel happy. I know dreadlocks are not a guarantee of integrity, but in my circle I've been lucky, and dreads = good.

I said hello to the guy, probably kind of blankly because it was nearing the end of the day. He said hello back, equally as blankly. I looked past him and recognised his beautiful wife. Looked back at him and recognised his rough head too, now smiling.

It was our friends The Hepworths. Haven't seen them in years. And now they are here in our banged up little cafe.

Hugs. Of course there are hugs.

We talk as much as we can. We've always been in touch online, but seeing them in real life is a different experience. Voices. Seeing the changes in their faces. Their boys now, so much bigger - quite cool young human beings, the result of good parenting. Expected nothing less.

We talk as much as we can, which is not very much because we are working and even when the cafe is quiet at the end of a busy day, there is stuff to be done.

Seeing these people, these friends we met in the doof scene, I wish we could have them over to ours for a meal. A dinner would be nice. But you need to plan these things. And we are all so busy and everything is so transient and we are all so far away.

And there were hugs and a photo and goodbyes.

And then they were gone.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I Would I do, In Sagrada Familia

Conversation just went a little like this... I still never want to get married. I still never want to get married either. But if I did want to get married, and if it was to you, I'd want to get married on Santorini. Santorini? Pfft. If I'm getting married - not that I'm ever getting married but if I am - I'm getting married in Sagrada Familia. Do they let you do that? I don't fucking care. We'll just go to some secret part of this most beautiful building in the whole world with our secret group of friends, and we'll do a secret ceremony of matrimony in whispers and giggles, and in the ever-changing light of this wonderful cathedral of creativity, and with Gaudi resting in his crypt just over there, this will be the most perfect moment in my life.

Tell Them

Tell them
That you like their eyes,
Tell them
That you like their ideas,
Tell them
That you like their style,
Tell them
That their laugh is like music,
Tell them
That you can't wait to see them again,
Tell them
That old joke, it never gets old,
Tell them
That they are your favourite memory,
Tell them you are sorry
And tell them
They are forgiven.
Tell them you love them,
And tell them why you love them,
Tell them these things now,
While you still have the chance
To tell them.

Sunday, January 17, 2016


Me now. Cleanly shaved. Tired and quietly broken. But shh... don't tell anyone.

The humans lately have been wonderful. I am one lucky mofo. Thanks is given to whatever gave all of this to me. I wish the peace and good fortune I have been blessed with could just ripple out there throughout the world, and stop the hate and the violence and the ignorance. Sending out ripples of love and gratitude.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Grumpy's Facehack Fail

Facehack Fail

Goddamn my computer ineptitude. The Dreaded One left her laptop for a while and I wanted to do that stupid thing where you get on someone else's Facebook page and say nice things about yourself, like "I really like that Grumpy has shaved off his facial hair. It has taken years off his age. My God - who knew what a sexy beast was lurking under that facial hair all these years? He's kind of Thor-like... all youthful and strong and athletic but with way better dance moves than Thor would have."

I was cooking dinner and washing the dishes as I went when The Dreaded One left the computer game she had been playing to have a shower, and that's when I came up with my devious plan. I sat down at her laptop and stared blankly at the screen. I don't play computer games, not even these puzzle-solving ones The Dreaded One is so fond of, and as tranquil and mysterious as it looked, it was just totally unfamiliar to me. (Also, did you notice how I mentioned back there that I was cooking and washing up at the same time? This was not simply injected just to make you the reader think oh my God – he's Thor-like AND cooks and washes up, in case you were wondering. It's just what was going on at the time. I was just setting the domestic scene, that's all. Honestly.).

All I had to do was collapse the game and open Facebook, which was probably on in the background anyway. Oh God, this was going to be so funny. Why hadn't anyone ever thought of this before? It's comical genius.

The game seemed to be in resting mode, but things in the scenery were kind of pulsing, waiting. I moved the cursor around a bit. I'm not sure what I thought was going to happen when I did that, but nothing happened. I couldn't see the minimise icon that was usually in the top right corner. I moved the cursor around a bit more and a menu box appeared. I right clicked.

I expected a drop-box of options to appear. What happened was, I launched some kind of massive fireball that whizzed off into the distance and destroyed a part of the scenery.

I stared in silence for a very, very, very, very, very, very long time. I stroked the part of my chin that until very recently had hair on it. Then I had a conversation with myself...

Erm... what just happened? Like, what did you just do? Because it looked a LOT like you just fired a great big fireball at something and totally destroyed it. Why did you do that? I didn't meant to launch a big fireball – that was actually a bit astonishing. Last thing I expected to happen, actually. Fucking hell. What was that thing you just destroyed?
Fucked if I know what it was. What if it was something really important that wasn't meant to be destroyed? What if... what if it was something crucially important for The Dreaded One to advance to the next level? Maybe she won't notice that the thing isn't there any more. But then again, what if she finishes her shower, then sits back down to the game and says “Hey – where's that crucially important thing that I need to get to the next level? I'm sure it was there when I went to have a shower.” What if she's taken days or even weeks to get to this point and she was savouring the moment... maybe she planned to have a shower, pour a glass of wine, settle in and triumphantly win the game? What the fuck have you done? In the name of a stupid little joke. More importantly, what are you going to do about it? Fuck fuck fuckity fuck. Maybe if I left click it will reverse... DON'T CLICK ANYTHING! Okay okay, take it easy, calm down. What to do? What would Thor do in a situation like this? Thor wouldn't
get himself into a situation like this. Thor wouldn't sneak over to his girlfriend's computer to get on her Facebook page and pretend that she thinks Thor looks as sexy as Grumpy but with better dance moves – you think he's some kind of idiot? Of course not. And agreed, Thor totally wouldn't do something like that, I'm just saying if he did accidentally launch a great big fireball thing and destroy a thing that is potentially crucial to his girlfriend moving up to the next level of the game, what do you think he would do about it? I dunno – use his hammer to destroy the evidence? You think I should smash the computer? Maybe something more subtle, like “accidentally” spill wine all over it, then she'll never suspect anything. That's a brilliant idea... no it's actually a little bit less than brilliant, isn't it. Oh God she's just turned the shower off. She's going to be back any minute now. Okay – stop running around in circles because that doesn't help. Let's just act natural and we'll see what happens. She's coming up the stairs. When she gets here, give her a glass of wine and strike up a conversation about, say, Donald Trump and the woeful state of American politics. Or better still, tell her that upon reflection, Tony Abbott really was the best Prime Minister Australia ever had. Just start an argument about something. Anything. Just make her so outrageously angry that she won't be in the mood for finding the crucial thing she needs to get to the next level of the game, and whatever you do, never let her know what you did or that we had this conversation, deal? Deal.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Vale David Bowie

This is not necessarily the best Bowie song ever. My God, he created so much awesome music. But I had just been doing an eighties retrospective as part of a Facebook thing and this song popped up in my head. It is a classic. It was the last in my selection of great eighties songs in eight days, and I posted the a-cappella version as well, and a day later David Bowie was dead.

And it is actually a great song. Hadn't heard it in years. Played and replayed it many times over on Sunday night. Can't believe both singers are dead now.

I've never been as sad about an artist dying as I am about David Bowie. Gaudi, maybe. Dora Maar. When I heard the news today, oh boy. He was always there. He was ever changing. He showed us that it was okay to do your own thing. He showed us how to push boundaries. He was 100% original.

This collaboration with Freddy is pretty perfect.

I would have enjoyed hanging out with both of these guys. Always kind of felt that it might happen with David Bowie. Alas...

Thanks for the music guys.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

A Smile Doesn't Cost Anything

"Today in the cafe... It's busy. Really fucking busy. All is going well but you kind of have to focus on not fucking up. There is food prep and delivery and coffee and delivery and teamwork under duress and shit goes wrong and there are fuckwit customers like zombies with their phones when what is wrong with the real world? Gaze out a window sometimes. Look at the world going on around you. Make eye-contact or heaven forbid, conversation. Do you even remember how wonderful the clouds are since since your phone hijacked your mind? No, don't bother - put your head back into that fucking phone because all the wisdom of the world is in that phone, you dulloid, as I call out your takeaway order again, and again, and again.
And then I get this customer. I have taken their drinks to them, and I ask who has the skinny cap and who has the pot of Earl Grey? And they both stare at me for long seconds, blankly. This happens so often.

So who has the skinny cap?
Second round of blank stare.

Then finally, Oh I am the skinny cap. Thank you.

Later, Earl Grey Granny comes over to pay her bill. There is a silly gaff on my part, and I laugh it off.
"You know - that's the first time I've seen you smile."
"Yes, I get that quite often."
She leans in to share a secret. "It doesn't cost anything, you know," she whispers, like she's shared some great fucking wisdom.

It doesn't cost anything.

Like this pearl of enlightenment is going to help me through the rest of my life. Like she knows why I am not smiling at that moment in my life. Like she has a fucking clue about what is going on in my life. Like the fact that "It doesn't cost anything" means a person hasn't been born with severe facial features and for whom smiling doesn't come naturally. I'm really sorry I have an ugly, frowny head that displeases you so much... but please understand that the frowniness is just a result of me trying to do things to please other people. There is quite a lot going on besides your pot of Earl Grey.

I should have told her that my smiles are to be earned. I'm not a smiling idiot. And nothing in my exchange with you and your idiot cliches has given me reason to smile"

I posted this on Facebook and basically everyone who knows me has been supportive. My friends know I am not as severe as I appear to be. My friends know that I care.

The comment that has affected me most is this one, from my beautiful friend Annye (immediately to my right in the photo, and on her right my beautiful friend Nadia, and on her right my beautiful friend Ann, and in the foreground my friend Danny, us in Arles in Southern France circa 2010... or was it 2012?): 

"Funny, but the one person I shared one, if not THE best ever laugh with was YOU.... talking hedgehogs and tiny little street sweepers!"

I remember this moment so clearly, this laughter we both shared about hedgehogs and tiny street sweepers. Truly one of the best laughs I've had in my life.

So nice to be reminded that you - accused non-smiler -  share a beautiful memory of hysterical silliness with someone, even if it does make you wish they were not so far away.

Miss you, Annye.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Small And Unexpected Gifts To Strangers

In the cafe today... lady comes in with a head-damaged friend she is taking to the hospital for an MRI scan. He goes into the bathroom and is there for quite a long time. (Later, both The Dreaded One and I notice that someone has unwrapped several toilet paper rolls and put them on the handle of the toilet brush, probably because they think this is the way things should be. We think we know who it was).

But back outside in the cafe, this customer starts reading my writing in the back of the menu while she drinks her coffee. I am satisfied with the smile my words bring to her solitude. Eventually she looks up and asks me whose writing entries these are. I tell her they are mine. She tells me how much she is enjoying reading them. Tells me she is here with her brain damaged friend and that they just needed a walk and she needed a coffee, and that she likes the way I structure the writing. She comes across as a former English teacher or something, or maybe just a lifelong reader, someone who appreciates the rhythm and flow of a story.
And she thanks me for making this chance encounter such a delightful experience.

Small and unexpected gift to a stranger with troubles I can't comprehend... highlight of the day.