Monday, June 25, 2007

hell, centrelink, bozack, bricklayer

my, how time flies when you're a sentient being.

what were we talking about again? i think it was hell. hell! hell! hell!

so much for hell. i'm changing the subject, like so:

1. I LIVE WITH my daughter's mother, georgia, as of about a little while ago when i returned to this fine and wide brown land girt by sea. we're living together and we had a child together 11 years ago but apart from that we're just housemates. we don't shag each other and we have no shared possessions. i understand this is a lil unusual. i understood even better when i tried to explain it to centrelink.

(centrelink, for those of you who aren't australian, is a social security service. i get a parenting pension from them. this is nice and means i can afford to go to university.)

'so..' they said, 'you're living with the mother of your child but you're telling us you're not in a relationship?'

'uh.. yeah' i said.

'nope.' they said. 'we don't buy it.'

we went back and forth for a while. result: they'll give me 6 months leeway. after that if i'm still there it must be because we're in a relationship, far as they're concerned.

driving home, it occurred to me that at some point i might hafta explain the same situation to a lady, and i wondered how it'd go. as luck would have it, i found out that night, riding along on my bike.

'so..' she said, 'you're taking me back to where you live with your kid and her mother.. and that's all cool?'

'uh.. yeah' i said.

'cool.' she said.

if only centrelink was run by the kinds of ladies you meet at parties. how much easier would things be then?

* * *

2. WHEN I GOT back to australia i quit smoking, and thank fucking christ for that. i replaced it with swimming. i swim most days now. it suits my body and personality somehow: my body in that i have long arms and big hands and my personality in that i like to pay attention to technique.

i used to try and do yoga at home, but i'd vague out and start thinking about other stuff. good thing about swimming is if i start to vague out i start to sink.

i've gone to most of the pools around here now. usually i go to the fitzroy pool: it's 50 metres long, outdoors, and heated. i went one morning when it was still dark and swam beneath the brightening sky, the sky filling slowly with birds and light and hot-air balloons like inverted tears, tears falling away from the earth like the earth's own grief, grief falling into space all brightly coloured, hanging in the sky all silent, grief interrupted by gravity.

today that wasn't gonna work so i went to the northcote pool instead. they have a 50 metre outdoor pool but it's not heated. as a matter of fact it was pretty fucking cold. my hands were purple when i wriggled under the lane-dividers to the pool's edge and climbed out.

one thing about swimming is you get to see a lot of penises before and after you swim. it's like a kind of aperitif. today i was drying myself in the change room and so was a man who looked both forlorn and chinese. he had no arse. his penis was nothing unusual but he had the biggest scrotum i believe i have ever seen, hanging mighty and pendulous between his skinny legs. he looked kind of tired, actually. maybe all the nutrients in his body are consumed by his bozack.. like carrying a fetus or a tapeworm, and he gets what's left after his cojones have drunk their fill.. maybe he has to eat for three, like an expectant mother of twins or a host to two homonculi. and maybe, just maybe, maybe his bozack ate his arse, too.

* * *

3. THE OTHER DAY i walked over to the 7-11 on the corner. two men were shouting at each other out the front.

'NO. NO NO NO. I'D DO IT LIKE THIS!' said one of them, pacing on the concrete and waving his arms like peter garrett back in the day.

'BUT-' said the other.

'NAH! NAH! LIKE THIS!' said the first, violently.

i went in and did whatever i had to do. i could hear them from within: such was their force and ardour, gentle reader. i walked out. they were still shouting at each other and waving their arms and staring at the concrete. i felt a sudden surge of affection for them, such as you might drunkenly feel on seeing your pubic hair waving cheerfully out at the world from over the waist of your jeans. i smiled and walked along.

they noticed me smiling and became silent and watched me as i approached. when i got close, the first guy said 'ARE YOU A BRICKLAYER, MATE?'

'nope.' i said, and smiled more and walked off into the rest of my life without them and they started shouting again behind me.



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