this morning i got up. it was cold. i packed my bag. i was coming home. i'd lied to my friends about what time the bus came and so i got there on time. i ate three hard-boiled eggs for breakfast and some toast with peanut butter on it.
i got to the bus early but i didn't have time to shit. waiting for the bus i realised i really needed to shit. my friends were waiting with me. they were happy at first and then i told them about my lie and they realised just how long they'd be waiting for. they looked less pleased.
as for me, by this time, i'd decided i really really needed to shit. i looked to the left and to the right and to the left again but nowhere was open. good thing interstate buses have toilets on them.
the bus came. it was the same driver who'd ferried me out to the country a few days before. i got on.
i scampered up the back of the bus as fast as i could. there was a light on near the toilet door. the little disc that had once said 'engaged' in red or 'vacant' in green had been gouged with a compass or something til it was blind white plastic and mute too and told me nothing. i pushed on the door. it wouldn't open.
i walked up to the front of the bus.
'does the light on by the toilet mean someone's in there?' i asked the driver. his name was eddie. still is, i imagine.
'nah mate,' said eddie, 'that light's always on, it's on as soon as i put the key in the ignition.' he threw the bus from side to side as he said this. i hung on to something and looked at him til he said this:
'anyway, the toilet's stuffed. you can't use it.'
ah, i thought.
'and anyway, it's only a local bus. you don't really need a toilet on a local bus,' said eddie.
reader: eddie's first sentence is strictly true but this bus journey goes for ten hours. ten hours is a long time.
'ah,' i said. the shit, meanwhile, was trying to crawl out my arse. it was keen to be born out into the world and borne to the mother ocean. it was tired of being separate. it wanted union with the mother ocean. my guts griped. it was as though my shit was many-tentacled like cthulhu and as though, like cthulhu, it tired of slumbering in my depths and wanted to seize control of the daylit world.
'are we stopping anywhere where i can use a toilet?' i said.
'merimbula,' he said. 'not long now.'
reader: merimbula was 77 kilometres away.
we got to merimbula. i stood up to get off the bus and immediately vomited. i had to swallow my vomit, though, cos there was nowhere for it to go. trust me, i'd looked around a little bit for something innocuous to vomit into. i got off the bus and immediately vomited on the footpath, right next to a young couple in conversation. they moved away discreetly as i did this. for some reason i tried to vomit into my hand so it wouldn't go everywhere but it went everywhere anyway, including my hand.
'god,' i said. 'that's disgusting.'
i had vomit dripping from my lips and fingers and tiny specks of it on my clothes. over the road was an umbrella palm and a blue wooden bench. there was a metal plaque attached to the blue bench but no-one was sitting on it.
i went to the toilet to wash up and evacuate cthulhu from my arse. he journeys underground now.
it was a men's toilet so of course there was no soap. in men's toilets there's never any soap. there's usually graffiti telling you who to call to get your cock sucked, but no soap. sometimes if you're lucky there's a few yellow cubes in the urinal, fighting valiantly with the smell of piss. but: no soap. anyway, i emerged from the toilet much as i was when i entered it, at least as far as my vomited-on state was concerned. goody, i thought. only nine hours to go.
we stopped in cann river for lunch. i bought a hamburger and went outside to eat it. i sat on plastic furniture, still redolent with vomit.
'ahem!' proclaimed a squeaky voice from behind me. i turned around. i saw two perfect yellow circles, each with a perfect black circle in its centre, each animated by the same intelligence. it was a magpie. it seemed to want food so i gave it some. instantly another magpie came to try and take food from the first. i looked up. when i looked down there were ten magpies, panhandling like gulls and all aiming their perfect discs at me. the economy of scavenger birds relies on the tourist dollar.
i looked over at the bus. it was parked next to a massive cylinder full of liquified petroleum gas under pressure. between the cylinder and the bus a woman stood, smoking.
Monday, July 16, 2007
this morning i got up. i was in the country. i was camped atop a ridge in thin forest. last night i looked through the trees up at the stars. there were a lot of stars. i tried to decide if there were unnecessarily many stars. i decided that there weren't: they all needed to be there or the orbits of things would be different.
an hour passed.
somehow, amazingly, my shit retracted. instead i started feeling like i needed to vomit. i tried to look out the front window of the bus as much as possible. i've seen my sister do this. she gets travel sick all the time but i don't really so i'm always surprised when it happens.
i sat on the bus. no-one sat next to me. out the window i saw muscular trees and triangular dams.
i walked back to the bus. eddie was holding a packet of holidays: possibly the worst cigarettes in the world. smoke was coming out of him too.