i'm sorry. i didn't set out planning to shit on you. please don't think that. it wasn't a hate crime. i'm not a hater.
you hafta understand that i'm back in australia after a few months away, staring at chains: chains of tasks. it's like untangling ropes: trace back and back and back and the end seems always to be in the middle of a snarl. to do A i need to have done B, for which i'll need C. where is C? somewhere in the shed. the shed is the snarl whereof i spoke.
ropes snarl when you chuck them all in the same place without regard for their ropy identities. they get maudlin and ferocious and curl around each other for comfort. the stuff of my life is like this just now because three months ago i was tired and heartsick and packing up my house and i packed it up good for awhile and then i was too too tired and grievous, listening to 'back in black' loud over and over and over, cleaning up angrily and then sadly and then happily and then angrily again. and at the end i just started throwing things in boxes, uncaring what they were.
now they are snarled together in a snarl. it snarls at me when i go close. 'nice snarl!' i say but it can smell my fear as i approach looking for a screwdriver or a birth certificate or an overdue library book.
it's like in the life of pi where piscine patel is fourteen or so and is sharing a lifeboat with a tiger. the lifeboat is the boat of my life and i am fourteen and the snarl is the tiger. poetic, no? very fucking poetic but the trouble is the snarl would like to eat me. i can hear the voice behind its eyes and i know what it's thinking: it's thinking 'you left us here all tangled together and now we are tangled and you went away for months! for months and we are hungry and why don't you come just a lil closer lil boy? because the screwdriver you seek is just here, come just a lil closer, that's it, cloooser, come to papa, come to papa, OH FOR FUCK'S SAKE HE'S PISSED OFF AGAIN!'
it sings to me when i go away. it sings a bit of that tim buckley song called song to the siren but it sings the bit when the siren sings back: sail to me, sail to me, let me enfold you. and the thing is, it knows that it has what i most want and need, tangled and snarled in its tiger heart and ropy arteries. screwdrivers. birth certificates. clean clothes. i plug my ears with wax therefore and i get the tiger to lash me like odysseus to the mast of the lifeboat.. wait.. something is very wrong.. the tiger and the snarl and the siren are all metaphors for each other! i've just commanded the snarl to tie me up! i can see it salivating like the alien in alien as all three sets of nested jaws open up and reach for my liver! fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!
after a while of living with a tiger you get to wanting a lil fresh air, that's been my experence anyways. it took me a while to leave the house though because i had so much stuff i thought i should be doing but eventually i made it out.
fuck it was a nice day! everything had shape and colour, just like it should. there was air and sunlight and no-one had stolen my shoes: i was very happy. i saw what looked like a ring on the ground and i picked it up and it was a ring: howabout that. i laid it atop a pile of bricks and remembered being younger and walking through parklands and arranging stones in concentric circles for fun. thirty paces later i saw a single square of chocolate sitting in the middle of the footpath, sunning itself. it couldn't have been there for long because the day was warm and the chocolate hadn't melted. next to it was a tree. the tree had done something funny with its hair, a bit like when princess leia was jabba the hut's bitch for awhile and she did that funny bun/ringlet thing. the tree pretended it didn't know i was checking it out.
i'd been walking downhill. i figured if i walked downhill i'd get to water eventually. fortunately it only took about ten minutes and i found a river in a park. the park was dry because there are water restrictions in melbourne. melbourne after a couple of years of water restrictions looks remarkably like adelaide, the city of my birth, so that was nice. a kind of home away from home, kind of.
i turned left and walked and there were some horses. cool. i kept walking and then the road ended and there were little paths like ropes leading into a snarl of bush. i walked in. it all reminded me of something.. what? this:
one time i went for a drive with alaska to an art gallery in the hills. she refused to get out of the car when we got there, so i didn't stay for long. bitch. on the way back we bought pasties with sauce and went to this nice park to eat them. we ate our pasties and then went for a walk. it was a cool park! there were little paths leading like ropes into a snarl of bush and they twisted and turned and met up in surprising places. a great place to walk. quite possibly a great place to get fucked up the arse, too: we kept running into people walking along the twisty paths and smiling and saying hello to them. none of them looked that pleased to see us and in fact some of them looked a lil shocked and dismayed.
after awhile i said to alaska 'there aren't a lot of women in this park, are there?'
'no' she said. 'none, in fact.'
'hmmm.' i said.
'it's a pretty gay park, dad' she said and i was forced to agree.
the path i was walking in now was remarkably similar and i wondered if i was going to arrive in the gay park. i didn't want anyone to fuck me up the arse though because i was starting to realise that i really needed to shit. i came to a sign which said 'don't come any further unless you're looking forward to a golf-ball-shaped indentation in your head. and by the way you're being watched on a security camera right now.'
'bullshit.' i said. 'there are no cameras here.' i couldn't see any, anyway, but just in case there were i kept walking for a little while just to annoy anyone who might be watching. it did look like a golf course though, so i turned and walked the other way.
now the thing about the parkland by the river in this bit of fairfield is that it's private land. you're allowed to walk through it as long as you're nice about it and you watch out for the tiger snakes and you don't expect too much, like say a public toilet every now and then. i kept walking, though. hope springs eternal in an arseful of shit, that's been my experience anyways. the problem was.. actually there were a few problems, viz:
1. needing to shit.
2. no toilets.
3. a distinct lack of cover for a stealth-shit.
4. a distinct lack of anything to wipe my arse with.
i kept walking. i figured it'd get better after a little while. strangely, it got worse instead. the landscape opened out and there was nothing to hide behind. i was hanging on by a thread. i knew there was no way i could make it home in time. i contemplated knocking on the door of one of the palatial houses by the river and asking if i could shit there. i contemplated myself. i was unshaven and wearing dark sunglasses and thongs with skulls on them and a t-shirt with a snake crawling through a skull's eyesockets. 'hmm.' i thought. 'maybe not.'
finally the landscape opened out completely. back from the river there were broad flat houses, modernist houses with lots of glass and horizontal planes. between the houses and the river were trees, mostly scattered and straggly but a few were arranged in lil copses. i looked at the copses. i looked at the path. there was no-one around. the problem was that the copses would shield me either from the houses or from the path, but not both. who was i less worried would be watching me shit? i tried to work it out. it was too hard.
there was another problem which is that if i lived in one of these houses and walked down to the river and stepped in a human shit on the way i might feel like there was something personal in it. it's just one of those things. shit is kind of charged, like infidelity is.. you know, even if you know it's not really anything to do with you, it can still encourage you to feel pretty crap. i didn't want anyone to feel bad. i left, walking sadly.. well, as sadly as you can while trying not to shit yourself. i looked longingly at the copses. maybe if i left a note next to my shit: 'dear fairfield i am sorry i shat in you on the ground. it's not personal. i was just caught short'. (could i say 'it just happened'? people say that for infidelity.. does it ever work? maybe it does, i dunno. i think it wouldn't work for shit though. another problem: i had nothing to write with, except shit.)
i started walking back the way i'd come. my reasoning was that if everything had gotten worse by walking south, it'd hafta get better if i walked north. then this guy started following me. fuck! how was i going to shit now?
eventually he turned off the path and i found a spot and shat. that's how it happened. so you see, fairfield, there was nothing personal in it.. it wasn't about you, it was just what i needed to do.. and i'm sorry if you got hurt and i hope we can still be friends.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007