Saturday, June 26, 2010
Let the children sleep for now, may the darkness keep them warm. With the sun will rise the truth; their world will crack at dawn. No father now, their mother now weeping in her bed. Let the children sleep tonight, the devil's name unsaid. Star Wars sheets and pillows soft, these dreams cannot be torn. But the bastard of death he waits not long before he must be born. So let the children sleep for now, calm before the storm.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
I know Larry from work but also because he went to high school with my wife. Sometimes he'll say "How's Sheryl?" or "How's your wife?" and I'll tell him something funny like "still slutty." Small talk from a small man as my wife would say. But this morning, well first off Larry went way around the back way through the copy room and he never goes that way because he drinks coffee in the morning and the coffee machine is right across from my cubicle but this morning I saw him double back that other way so that's strange for starters and then at lunch when I saw him in the cafeteria he started fumbling with his phone like he was willing it to ring but it didn't. Then when I say "hey Larry, how they swinging?" his face gets flush like I just asked him to squeeze my balls and he says "yeah" and I says "yeah, what?" and then that's when it happens.
"How's your wife?" he says but not normal like every other day it's all in slow motion like "how ...'s .... you....r....wi....fe?" and the corner of his mouth turns inside out then starts flicking up and down like some kinda weird tick and I can see panic in his eyes and he stumbles backward like I just socked him in the guts but I didn't even touch him.
Then all of a sudden there's no blood in my head. My hands and feet are tingling like how when you sit on them for too long and my stomach is warm, so warm like gross warm, and this is what people feel like when they get stabbed or more like when their throats get slit. Next thing I know I'm on the floor and Hector and Karen are touching my face and saying things but where's Larry? He's gone home they say, wasn't feeling well.
Then the end of the day comes around like it does every other day and I start back to thinking about what happened earlier in the morning and at lunch time and it hits me in the brain what my body somehow caught on to hours ago. And I always said I would never be mad at the other guy because I ain't married to him but the rage was coming and I was grabbing stuff like things that could maybe do some damage and Larry's fucking tick face was the only thing I could see through the mist of anger. Lucky he went home early I guess although a stapler was about the worst of it and that's the kind of thing that ends up on YouTube, some middle aged arsehole stapling some other middle aged arsehole in the neck or in the earhole or something.
Then I drive home yelling at some lady who didn't use her blinker and I call her a cunt and think about bashing her face in with a cricket bat and then when I pull up into the driveway I notice that the lights are off. Not one light on in the house and the dog is out back barking, high pitched like someone just ruined his life.
The only thing I can think to do is put my pyjamas on, crawl into bed, and watch a few episodes of the Gilmore Girls. Because that's what we always do on Monday nights.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
I read books all the time about things, about girls, about men. Death, and yes, about love. Destruction, redemption, the depths, the darkness, and the light inside. Hearts closed or open wide. Despicable things. Connections, actions, burning bridges, mending fences. Consequences. Conflicted thinking, floating, sinking. Righting wrong. Standing up, being strong, fighting on. But here I am in bed where I read about these things, about girls, about men, and here you are, sharing this bed where I read about death, and yes about love, but you are a person, not pages or ink and I'm starting to think I'm not prepared for this or for you. What should I say, what should I do?
Saturday, June 19, 2010
There's nothing you can do, she said. Don't buy a suit or kill a bear. Don't paint me flowers or stroke my hair. Don't get all weepy, it's creepy and don't write a song about footprints in the sand. Just accept that you cannot understand. It's not about you. Don't buy a ticket. Don't save the whales. I don't need any more Alpha males in my life. Don't make a mix tape that's all Billy Ocean. Don't set sail across the sea to be with me and please do not buy a knife or a gun. Don't punch a wall or curse at the sun or book a romantic getaway to the south of France. Don't buy me sexy underpants or read me poems over the phone. Don't discuss any of this with my friends or with my mum and don't come around when I tell you I'm not home. Don't say sorry or ask me if I'm okay. Just leave me alone for today. I'll give you a call tomorrow.
Friday, June 18, 2010
This story is now featured in Up. Check it out.
She is smaller than him. Not child-like, but short. Slim. She stands on her toes and clutches his sleeves. She looks up at him, into his eyes. Her hair is tied back, her tiny face is bright, alive with wonder and love. It is hard not to think of a girl adoring her father but she is a woman. Fully a woman. And although he towers above her, he is not her father. Not anybody's father. She wants him to pick her up, to hold her tight, to carry her to the bedroom. She likes being smaller than him.
But he looks away, to the side, the TV is on. A game. Football. Cricket. She whispers, something she wouldn't dare say out loud. But he cannot hear her. "How was your day?" he asks.
She's growing now. Taller. The tenderness in her face fades. Her body stretches. It bends. She is a monkey. A gorilla. Her hands, her nails are sharp. A werewolf perhaps. She grabs him by the neck and forces his head around. She looks down, into his eyes again, deeper now. She can see inside of him and he is not a big man anymore. He is folding in two. The thing inside of him is eating his guts out and he is crying. He is shrinking. He is smaller than her. Fully a man still, but weak and sad. She does not like being bigger than him.
Now she packs her bags. She is leaving. Her reflection in the mirror whispers to her. "You will always be small," it says, "but you won't ever be smaller again."
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Mount Everest is littered with dead bodies. Climbers who succumbed to the elements. Crack faced porcelain dolls. One armed mannequins. That big ol' hill is a gigantic cryocompressor, freezing bodies and brains and people who, I am quite convinced, will one day thaw out and return to their everyday lives. Things for them will be different in the future. Better. Or not worse, at least. How could they be worse? They will wake up one day and ride the melting icecaps down to the bottom of the mountain. They will get into their cars. They will go home and ask their families what is happening on "Friends." Their families will hug them and tell them it is okay that their faces are kind of smashed up and that they only have one arm. They will be happy and loved and they will go to work and chat about how nice it is to be alive.
I envy that.
I'm frozen, too, wedged between rock shards, halfway up a particularly challenging alpine couloir. But I'm not ever going to thaw out. I don't want to. If anything I want to freeze harder. Feel less. Let the mountaineers climb over me. Let them shatter my head with their ice axes. Let them remark about how courageous I was to make it this far. How sad it is that I am dead. Let them come back for me on a future expedition, wrap my body in an Australian flag, say a prayer, and dump me into a mountain bowl on top of all those other climbers who don't want to thaw out.
Then let more bodies fall on top of me. My future the same as my present as my past. Concealed and frozen. Never really knowing how nice it must be to be alive.