Monday, September 3, 2007

a shaft going down into the earth's mantle

i wrote the other day about a hole baterz and some other people dug. i got some of the details wrong and benjow wrote to correct me:

in regards to the hole, i think it was actually IN the room we weren't supposed to go into. its planned destination was dml's [dml = david martin lewis.. ed] shack out the back.

it was begun by baterz and andy and some other people maybe me and dml but we got down about 5 feet and then vagued out because it was, after all, hard work. then one day the guy me and baterz were trying to write a computer game for came over and he was walking around going 'wow you guys are really BUMS' and when we told him about the hole he got extremely excited and went down to the shop to buy some proper digging implements, came back and went beserk in that hole. he was a strange man. very neat and he used to be in the army and thin and white and when he ate the wrong food (he was on some full on pritiken diet or something) he would get really hyperactive. he used to lend me and baterz his car and let us hangout at his weird flat on anzac highway while we played his computer games as 'research'. his girlfriend always shook her head wearily when she saw us coming along, or when we'd ring her up and say '___ (I can't remember his name--we just used to call him monkey boy) has gone a bit strange' and she'd say 'you haven't given him sultanas or alcohol have you?' then she'd drive over and pick him up. anyway, the point of introducing him is that it was he who i credit with getting the hole past the awkward uninspiring period that is the curse of all grand schemes. he got it deep enough so when you stood in the hole, it was over your head. after that, there was no goddam well stopping us. we were at it day and night because suddenly it was no longer a hole, it was a SHAFT. until the candles started going out in at the bend at the bottom. then we got scared and stopped.

years later when it was just me and dml and sharon and maybe marky mark living there, my sister came to visit from newcastle and she wanted to see this legendary hole so we went into baterz's room, or at least what used to be baterz's room--i think he was at Marion street by then, and showed her the hole. there was no light in the room with the hole in it, which kind of abutted baterz's room, and the light from his room didn't really show off the hole to its greatest glory, so i lit a piece of paper and threw it down so she could see how impressively deep it was. the paper went right down to the bottom, briefly illuminating some old bits of carpet and clothes baterz must have thrown down there before he left, and then went out. it looked very impressively far indeed. wow, said my sister and we left, locking baterz's door behind us and went to the pub.

meanwhile, dml and sharon came home and started making dinner and sitting around doing whatever they normally do when they noticed smoke near the ceiling. the went all around the house looking for whatever was on fire, then up into the roof where there seemed to be a lot of smoke but no fire. they stood around chewing their lips and frowning, but of course they didn't think of going into baterz's room because no one had been in their for months. The smoke got thicker and thicker. they started to freak out and called the firemen (or maybe they arrived on their own accord), but anyway they turned up with some police, to help look for the fire. and they were all wandering around our house in their gear going 'wow you guys are really BUMS'. at the time we were all vaguely moving out and most of the rooms were full of piles of must have been a bit like one of those tenants from hell ACA exposes. anyway, eventually they kicked down the door to baterz's old room (or maybe they just unlocked it, who knows) and discovered the source of the smoke--the hole, which was now billowing blissfully. the carpet and clothes and caught on fire from my shred of paper i thought had gone out. dave freaked out because he had had this kind of recurring nightmare about having to explain what the hole was it got there, etc. to figures of authority (landlords, landagents, etc.) and suddenly here he was, standing around said hole with a bunch of policemen and firemen watching it inexplicably belch forth smoke with the police going 'why is there a hole here and why is it on fire?' pure nightmare. i almost didn't have the heart later that night to tell him it was all my fault. even when i did he didn't seem to fully appreciate the surreal moment of existential angst my actions had allowed him to endure. some people are
never happy.

one time i was living with dave wiffler at orsmond street and it was right near the time when we were about to be evicted again and we had no furniture because we were going through a hard-core opium eating minimalist eat only what we can steal from the servo kind of lifestyle and i came home from some ridiculous tour of melbourne with my death metal band to discover dave in the loungeroom. actually it didn't realy qualify as a loungeroom, because we had no lounges or chairs, more a heater room because that's what was all that was in there. and a big piece of parachute material that was slung up under the ceiling. anyway, when i left said heater room had been completely empty, but when i returned, a long weekend later, it wasn't. dave had been paid or something so he had plenty of pot and lots of junk food. his ritual was to sit in front of his bong and smoke it (making all the requisite little piles of screwed up tissue paper with lumps of foul smelling tar on the tips, burnt matchsticks, little carved bits of carrots (dave didn't believe in metal cones, so had to carve them out of carrots), etc), stare at the floor in front of him and eat junk food. when the clutter became too much, he simply shuffled back on his bum a few feet and started anew. by the time i got home, he had spiralled backwards around the room several times, leaving an unbelievable trail of rubbish behind him like a snail and had come to a rest right in front of the heater, at which point the parachute came down, creating a little tent around him and the heater, so he was trapped in there and couldn't do any of the backwards shuffling around the room, so all the rubbish just kind of piled up around him inside the tent. when i lifted the edge of the parachute to look in, it actually tumbled out, like it wanted to get out of there. i should have taken a photo. there is nothing quite like the meticulous mess a hard-core pot smoker makes. its not a random's very systematic and empty packet of tim tams, one screwed up packet of peter stuyvesent, several cigarettes emptied of tobacco with their ends screwed up and lined neatly on the floor, some screwed up cones of tissue paper balanced carefully, an orchy bottle with a little bit of juice in the bottom, an ashtray made out of the lid of the orchy juice bottle that has hence melted, an empty packet of tim tams--you get the drift...Richard Serra eat your heart out.


© New Blogger Templates | Webtalks