Lisa

For Mum

Breakfast TV. Toast. Okay toast for the dogs. No. No more. Toast. Toast for the dogs. Workweeks. Old people. Knowing Mum – probably more toast.
And pillows, surely.
We need lots of pillows.
Some for the couch.
Some for Squall.
Some so Floyd can pretend he’s a small human with paws – and a lot of toast.
Tea. Tea after work. Tea during work. Tea after tea.
Because Mum is suspiciously good at being a Mum.
It’s not like Floyd, or squall – learning to be little humans.
It’s like the Mum that nurtures them enough.
That they would even consider.
They weren’t dogs.
Life is better.
Because we have toast. We have tea. And we have pillows.
To nourish. To cherish. To rest.
What’s it like to have a Mum like mine?
Life. Life with toast.

And that’s important to me.

Sometimes There is No Static

Sometimes there is no static

And if everyone knew that you weren’t talking of your own volition instead the words they bleed from the cascade – Rivers – flow towards the path of least resistance they wouldn’t want to hurt you because they know – they know
surely
they know that if you said something silly then you didn’t mean it you just didn’t have a choice because I didn’t know. I didn’t know. I swear I didn’t know or I
couldn’t help it because I just had this feeling you know and I was angry
either that or you didn’t let me finish or I just didn’t have the fucking words I wish
that you cared – specifically that you don’t
so I’d be set free to disappear but not and try again the next day or maybe even the next minute because sometimes.

There isn’t static–

–on the TV

As Felt Hayle welcomed his mind back. The channel was playing on reminiscence, back in 2012 when we all pretended to understand streetwear as if it were smart casual. Sinking into the beanbag just a little too gluttonously I humored myself with the broken sole of my foot. Broken shoes – blistered feet – oversized varsity with black jeans. I’m unsure if this level of detail is to be considered roll-playing or just a refusal to age past man-baby – I am in a college dorm room – on a fucking beanbag.

Studying Linguistics
Rhetoric:
–Art of discourse – based in realm of logic – addresses either the other, the self, or the form.
–Graphology seems reasonable but never parallels reality
–Form required to articulate thought – detrimental for entertainment
–Pure form therefore detrimental to communication as boredom quickly begets dismissal
–Sentence order influence on thought pattern? Societal Importance?
–Plosives are passive – implies language meaning is influenced by sound – context?
– P͎ͥ͛̍̿͒̅̊̋͂ù̳̲̬̮͎̎̐̃͠͡l̝̤͚͈̘̘̺͍̥̎ͣ͆̉̌̾̇͐͗͢͝m̼͉̭͐͊̆̒o̳̬̫͖͚̽ͮͥ͡ͅn̶̡͚͈͓̫̼̻̰͆͌̓a̷̳͕̯̠̺̫ͥ̾̽ͧ̔ͩr̯̲̻̃̓̅͡ỹ̹̬ͭͥͨ̆̇ͦ̑ ̝̣͚̤̻̭ͭ̿̅E̸̛̲̜̲̪͍̪̤͙͍ͯ̀̿̽ͬ̈̀d̷͎ͫe̡̺̯̼̜̺͙̬̰͛̍́̒͛̐ͧ͘m̡̬̣͎̐̓̃͟a̹͍̻̋ͭ̚͟ͅ ̴̛̞̮̼̜̭̼̋ͣ͛̉̀̎ͦͅd̷̗̫͍̩̦̀̂̕r̡̜͇̙͈̜̦̲̲͐͢o̅ͭ͟͏̶̫̱̬͎͕̫ẉ̺̮̠̼͉̼̱͔̍͗̀n̸̼̼̤͈̭͈̖͇͆ͭͫ͊̎̍̑̚͞͡s̡̤̯̫͍̠̦̮ͯͅ ̷ͮ̇͏̫̳̹s̩̥̱̦̓ͨ̓̉ͨͣ͒̚m̵̧͚̝̼͚͓̃͑̊̇͂̚a̶̳͉̯͋̾̌̌̇̐̀ͅļ̛̪̘̇̆l̸͎̗͚̮͔͈̪̮̈̂̽ͥ ͈̩͋̾̋c̶̘̼̈h̺̙̯̜͚̻̎ͦͮ͐ͣ̈́̚͟͡i̺̦͖̱̘̹̮̺ͧ̇̾͊́͘l̸̡͚̭̥͗͋̾͌͗͂͋͠d̢̖͇͔̲̭̄͊͒ͥ̍ͬͭ͂̕͞ȓ͚̬̤͍͚̑͐͝͡ȅ̤͈̍͞ṉ̩̫̱̽́́͞ ̋ͦ̽͌͋ͪ̿̿҉̪̬̗ī̢͖͇̟͍̫̣̻̜ͣ̑̈́̆̅ͮ͌̚͟n̷̥̙̬͈̰̼̖͗͊ͪ̐͗̈ͪͦͅ ̖̜̖͈̪͈͇ͩ̓͐̓ͣ͟͞t̶̯̟̦̼̤̖͖̲̬̀̽͘͠h̺͔̟̓̊̂̊ͨ̆ͪ̑͐́͝e̴̛̠͖̝̼̞͗͋̇̄͌i̵̻̯͉̳ͬ͆̎͌͛̑ͨr̦̙͍̟ͫͤ̀ͫ̌̂̕ ̙̰̺̣͓͉ͬ͑̆̑ͣ̏̾ͤ̎͟õ̸̳̺̠̰̗͚ͮ͋w̛̛̖͓ͭͮ̌ͧ͌͐̐̆n̉̕͠҉͖ͅͅ ̛̜̖͙̩̖̻̃̈́̈́ͩ̊̒ͮ̒̔̀̕b̰̹̰̣͆̅̐̎ͩ͑͋̔ļ̻̰̜̮̱͎͆̍ͮ̆ͥ͗oͧ͆͏̵̻͇̘̝͇͔o̵̷̹̱͇̫̗̤͕̲ͯͅd͊͌̽̇̍̀ͩͥ͏̡̲͖.̫̀ͭ̂̕

Melbourne comforts me with its dank misery; she prefers not to condescend only to reciprocate. Cold air numbs the lungs burning from the smoke I spend far too much money – that I don’t have – on.
And the odes to life without man – everywhere – parks of reverence and beauty necessary to tangent mans’ litter as it scuffs and molds to the pavement made bedroom for probably a little too many people.
Okay, far too many people.

But you can scarf a neck and glove hands black atop a white button down because nothing hugs a male frame quite like a Calvin Cline.
Yeah not to mention it’s the only clean shirt you own. Because you don’t wear it. Because you only have one.
For the first time in five days I’m not wearing my varsity.
I should wear my varsity.
I’m wearing my varsity.
So the Calvin Cline remains clean because I still can’t muster up the courage to wear anything else.
Enclosed shoes is about as far as a bars required decency extends – anyway.
Where? Oh – ho have I got a treat for you!

Island Somewhere attacks the retina like a gigantic ball of flame –
You mean the sun?
Overtones of flirtatious lights blink and flutter off the corner of every well, uh, corner. Sensational. Sense –
Lights! Colors appear to have discarded their notion of humility with newfound encouragement from the onset of photons – as if the light had a contagious vivaciousness the colors heed – I noted, no longer am I searching, instead the colors embrace.

Setting down by the bar I ordered one of many and watched the channel change.

Yeah it’s the same issue people have with elevators; eternally anxious about the possibility that it might – I mean how many times’ve you heard it? “I hope it doesn’t… break!”
But that’s not the case surely!
No-one really thinks the elevator will crash and burn or halt and stale until the air is no more and the flesh has gone cold. No-one really worries about sentient murderous malevolent up and down boxes do they?
It’s the deliverance of ever really needing to find a way to talk about being trapped or perishing or simply knowing that nothing you do or say changes the fact that you are not in control.
Because everybody is scared of elevators.
Right?
Because you can never choose the last words you say to someone.
Ỳou ̸o͘nl͜y ̛ge̛t ̧t͢o ̀kn̨o͞w ͞that̀ t̛her͟e̕ ar̕e.̡
B͏̧̛é͞f̡́̀o͞r̕͝e̡̧͡ ͞t̡̕͘͟h͟͏͘͏e̷̛͡҉ ̶̡s̢̢͢t͝҉̛͟à̴̧̀͜t̷̶̷͘į̧̛͟c̷͟͡–̵́̀̕

–on the television waned as Felt Hale adjusted the dials.

He was up-stairs in the hidden retro game bar – behind the bookshelf – drinking the fifth

As I plugged in the power cord for the seventh time I’d decided turning it off and on again wouldn’t save me from burnt out technology. Crash team racing taunted me with its presence. Right there. Right fucking there; but a public ps1 is indeed public. I settled for the N64 and played Mario Kart Classic. Settling into the burlesque lights in a bar full of people who could probably do with a burlesque show.

Everything feels like a script, or, like a bunch of scripts and whether or not they act out is dependent upon whether or not you entertain the possibility that they might. Pretend like they all do! I call it “reverse engineering the future”. Like changing the channel bef͠ore ҉y̶oú ̶h̨e̡ar t̸h̨e͏ ̕ştat̛i͜–̀

Felt reverses the dial six full rotations; abandoning the motion at the start of the seventh.
You can hear the city of Perth, I swear
like you can smell the food of an age
or see, fucking see. You can see New Year’s fire-works – they are specifically more vibrant more vibrant like a summary yes of all the times you’ve seen the boom shells light up alone but sometimes sometimes like really really rarely you aren’t and you can see – you can see – yes I can s͡e͏e͘͠ hę̷r͢ ͟͞͡s̶c̢ơ̴͘l̷͟ḑ͜i͟ng̷̀ ̧̨m͟

“Felt. Do we really have to do this? Like, I mean, there’s bumper cars or the clown thing or like any of the stalls actually. You can. You can like try win me a teddy bear or something. This is dumb. Like I. I mean we’ll just go up then down then that’s it. Dumb”
Lowering my height I wrap my right arm the entire way around her waist line. Rocking back I rest her hind comfortably atop my hip bone. Exactly the same way you would hip throw someone; just minus the throw. She might have voiced her concerns where she not entirely clouded with embarrassment, confusion and probably I sensed, just a drop of happiness. Hands stuttering – she looks the way I feel wearing a pocket-less jumper –
“Are you comfortable”
“Wh-what the actual fu-“
Switching her tone from irritation to humor – laughing subtly –
“What are you doing Felt?”
“Right now, if you were to close your eyes there would be no way to tell you aren’t all the way up there”
Using my free left hand I gestured towards the Ferris wheel.
“Yeah except some idiot, wait, are you going to put me down? Put me down?”
“Fuck no, I’m making a point”
Resetting her higher on my waist I continued.
“Your feet are off the ground, you have a seat-belt, and you have a seat. You can feel the breeze in the air and whether you like it or not, you can hear me”
“Make sense Felt”
“I’m about to. If you want to lie you can just answer to yourself silently. But think. Right now. Do you feel safe?”
“Fuck no, I’m being ma…”
.
“Okay fine. Like, I suppose so”
“Between me and you, I’m pretty strong, but not as strong as a hundred tonnes of steel”
.
“I don’t really want to put you down”
“well. You kind of have too”
“Nope, nu–uh.”
.
“are you really gonna ju-“
“yep”
“argh”
Leaning back into my chest Trisha wrapped her arm around my neck and found an unusual amount of comfort. Jesus Christ, she’s light. Stupid light. Are people supposed to be this light?

I suppose she’s short enough to be a

“you’re not a dwarf are you?”

In response she turned her head sharply to whip me with her plait. And it fucking hurt, actually.

I put her down so abruptly I basically dropped her. Well, I did. I dropped her, realized I dropped her, re-caught her, and then placed her on the ground.

She bounced. Led me by the wrist and took us both onto the platform. Sizing the metropolis in front of us she warned.
“Oh this is so not going to be fun”
“It will be, I promise”
Ì͍͍̗̻̰̜̟ͧ͠t̥̩̟͇̱ ̭̱̹͆͊͛͂͑͌w̡ͦͬaͨͫ͋ͦ́͆̚s̱͕͍̖̪̞̊̌ͯ ͉̬̣̙̃͊̚a͛̓ͮͥ͢ ͇̝̲̌p̘͆͑͝r̿ͪͩͯ̆̇o̥̹̞͚̜̱ͣ͊ͪ̎̾ͧm͍̲̻͙ͥͩi̪͚͉̫ͪ͑͂͒́͆ͤ͟s͕̮̹̻̹̎̏͂͛̚e ̨̅I̘̬̩̼̭͗̋ͬ̆ ̜͖̫͕̩͓̲ͥ́i̍͆̓͒ͪ̍ň̝͉̫t͈̲̳̼̠̥e͚͇̘̮̗͕̳̒͂́n̙̮̣̹ͬ͑̈ḓ̳̣̯̫̿e̯͓̱͕͓̯̖̓́d̪̾̃͞ ̛ͦͅt̝̝͉ͧ̌́̂o̘͎̟̝͕͇̓̌̊ͥ̍ͯ ͚͐k̺̙̜̳͍͎̽ͦͮ͒ͬͅè͔͚ͥ͊e̩̩͓͈͖̔ͭͅp̼̪̜͙͓̰͝.̨͚͔̙̘̦̒ͬ̎̽̾

You ever actually play those single player time trials on Mario Kart 64? Who are these people who set the records? Who are these every day heroes?

One day I’d love to sit down and have a beer with “t̬̜̩̳͋ͩͨͨͩ͌r͇̘͔̈́͊i͉͙̋ͫṣ̭̺͚͓̱̃̾̒́̄ͧh̫̻͇̣̤ͥ̒͐͐͌ͤa͔͉̺̜̳̥̠͚̎̐͒̐͗ͮ” who by day manages tax files, oh but by night! By night she’s the Mario Kart world champio–

Felt.

What?

You need to address this.

And for the moment I considered keeling – maybe I was, slowly melting from the stool. Focused on the dial. Focused on the dial. Fo̢c̡u͜s͢e̕d̸ ̵̕on̨ ̵t̕h̕͞é̢̡ ͏di̶͢a̡̧͞l̵

I almost didn’t turn it, two full rotations. I almost didn’t find this exact spot. I almost didn’t f̸̴̕͟͝o̴̧̡r̴̸҉̵g̷͟è̛̀t̶̶́ ̴͘T͘҉̛͞r̶̸i̸̶s̕͜h͘͏a̧͟͟͠ ̸̢̛͢I̧͟s̸̀́n̶̛͝͞’̷͡͏̸̧t̷̡̀͢ ̷̧̡͠҉h̡̛̕e̸͜͠r͜e҉̴͡͡.́͞͏̷

Harmlessly holding my hands in the air – smiling idiotically – I gesture. To which she replied with a not so quick kiss. I’m still shocked to have become the kind of man that would say –
“Welcome home baby”
Re-imagining herself she placed lengths of her red hair in a stream down her cheeks, calmly pulled the bobby pins from her bun and let the fiery mess fall behind her neck. I placed a soft hand around her waist and encouraged her to get comfortable entangled in my lap.
“What did you two get up to today”
“Early preschool education!”
“Teaching Eve to be an accountant?”
“Teaching she who is yet to be named by her mother, yes.”
“Teaching she who is already named Evelyn how to hate numbers, yes?”
“It’s not that bad!”
“You’re right. Sometimes on public holidays you even get to dress casual on your way to work!”

In response she offered no vocals, instead appearing as the cynical self.
Before she could sigh I caught her breath with a quick kiss. Which probably wasn’t too friendly on her diaphragm – Hiccup – She reminded me that I was an idiot and I reminded her that she was my constant source of amusement. – Hiccup –
“This is so not funny”
It feels criminal to be this absurdly happy.

A couch. No TV. Breakfast in the morning. Two clocks in the hall. Cleaning dishes. Going to work. Coming home. Buying new pillows. Having a reason to buy new pillows. Daily chores. Morning sex. Picking up far too many pillows. Life. Life with pillows.

Life with pillows.
“Shit”
“What now?”
“Felt it’s like seven o’clock”
“Yeah? Time tends to do its thing”
“We have a date ni..”
“What”
“Nothing. Nothing. We have nothing on. Nothing at all. Nope. Not a single thing”
“Then… what are you”
Urgency flowed from voice to hand as I’m promptly – ushered – into the shower
“Hurry up!”
“What am I hurrying for? Trish? What have you got us caught up in this time?”
“Nothing!”
“You know we can save time if we shower together”
“hey good ide… wait no, no time. No it’s not”
“It’s a brilliant Idea! Now come on!”
“No, no. nope. Not happening. Not at all. No way”
As she was caught up in her own nonsense half panic I prepared two towels, removed her jewelry, shoes and most of her clothes. She was still talking about the time – a concept – as we entered the shower. I opened the shower faucet and burst; catching her witness noticing that we are now doing the exact thing she was saying we didn’t have the time to do.
“I hate you. You did the thing again”
“I did the thing”
“how do you. How do you even do that?”
“It’s my thing”
“You’re no good”
“I’m no good”
“you’re seriously no good”
“I’m seriously no good”
“You’re really seriously not at all any damn good”
Her voice softened and her head nestled into my shoulder. Calmly reaching for her shampoo with one hand I gently rock and with the other I start running my fingers through her hair.
“Definitely not Maybelline”
“But maybe it is”
“Definitely not”
“What if it is though”
“I’m certain it’s not”
“Could be”
“Conditioner?”
“Don’t change the subject”
I shut the faucet ever so slightly.
“Conditioner! Conditioner!”
.
“Definitely not though”
“Girls can be tricky you know”
“No way. Not a chance”
“How do you know?”
“Floral or soap?”
“Floral”
“Eyes”
“Shoulders knees and toes knees and toes”
“Do you literally just say whatever you think?”
“Do you?”
“Only in the shower”
“Only in the shower”

F̼̆ͫͨ̄͂ͦͅe̟̳͎͍̍l͓̮͓̭͓ͩͩ̾ͦ͗̒̐ͧͅt͔̐ͣ̆̃͐͗ͦ̊.̥̱̠͖̮͎̱͙ͭ̾ͪ̐̐͋̚
̝̦̰͈̬͖̱̦̺͊͌̍͗
̙̭͕̞̉͛ͮ͌ͨ͑ͪ̿Y͕͍̫̗̤̱̽͂ỏ̳̩̹̌ͫͦ͌ủ͓͉̦͙̝̖͂͗̅͋̀ͯ̋̃ ̱͔͇̝̹̩͖͈ͯ̌͊͆ͧ̚k͎̰̗͇̘̤̠̮̼͑̓̉̋̏n̟͖̦̮̍̒̈́ͦ͒̇ͭͨo̫͔̯̾ͮͮͤ̍ẅ̥͉̱̫͔̙͍͛ͯ̒́̃͆̂́ͅ.̲̙̓ͦ ͉͚̺ͣ͋T̗͉ͥ̂̿r͙̤ͨͤ̍̓u͕̪̻̽͋̾̄ͥ͂͋͛t̝͍̝̹͌̿h̟̮͙͍̳̋͛ͧͨ̍́̂͛ͤ ̮̠̞̼͋̓̅̅̒ͅi͇͓̯̯̱̐ͧͦ̄ͯͅs̻̦̫̐̉̓̑̍̚ ̣̌͂̋ͪ́h̤̻̖͍̻̤̦̘ͨ̑͂̾ͨͮ̑ả͇̺͕͇̜͉̠̣ͣ͛̈̉̈́̒̓r̞ͭͤ̆̄ͩd̗̫̗̂̔͛̋ ̫̘͉̩̽ͩͣ̂t͉̟̻̝̹ͤ̄ͧ̆̔ǒ̟̼̗̝̣̹̪ͦ̑ͥ͛ ̤̖̺̬͕̤̹͖̑̒ͮ̃́j̰̱̗͎ͬ̑u̙ͣͪͬ́̆ṡ̞̦ͬ̎͒ͨt͔͇̺̝̦̬͊̿̋i̤̼̻̰̒̐̍͊͐̚f̭͇̼͚̜̗̺͉̲̉ͮ̇͗̒͗͊̊̚y͕̲̜ͣͨͫ͑̎.͈̋ͦͧ̇̊͂ͭ̇̚
̰̞̮̩̤͉ͨ̎ͦ͛
o̖͚̬͉̼̻͗̌̑f̦̲̌ ̭͖͔̭̩͍̳̂͋͑a̫ͦ̄ͩͫͤn̖̮̬̱̻̗ͤ̍ͤ̆ŷ͍̥̝̞̃ͤ ͎̘̟͍ͦ͌ͫ̔ć̬͙͚̑̍ͤͩo̝̮̳̣̰̲͇͆̈ͮ͑ͥ̈́̽̚n̼͈̫͙̪̿̀̊̑̋̂ͥt̩͙͐̒̒i͈͇̯͙̪̝̦ͤ͐̔̿ͫͯ̈́n̤̘͋̈̆̊ͮͮ̋̀͆ͅu̘̬̟̣͚̹̱̦̯̎̀̍ͭ̆̆i͕̞͍̣̼͎̤̪̺ͥͦ̊̌t̩͑̔̔́y̞̲̭̬͍̙̦̖̔͌.͕̠͖̖̼̝̾ͬͮ̓̐͐̑ ̯͔̯ͥ̄̍ͭ͑̃̋̈́ͭỸ̬͈̹̥̤ͥ̏͌̋̒ͫ̏͒o̯͌ͦu̗̤̽ͦ̏͛ͣͮ̒̊ ͔͓̦̞̲̹̞ͭͮͮ̏ͫd̥͙ͦͩ̾ͥͨ̽̐ͥȏ̺̻̲͓̭̩͖ͤ̔n̲ͥ̅́’̱̘͗ͧͣt͙̩͈͍̻̦͔̝ͭ̌̉͒ͣͅ ͙̖͇̮͛ͣͮͯͤ͊ͧ͛n̥̟͇̹͔̟̜͈ͭͯͬe͚̺̮͇̝͎͓̳ͦ̐̔ͭ͋͆e̻͗d̫̪̝̻̤͍͇͍̓ͧ̍ ̻̫̠̳͕̪͙̲̐͒ͦ̃̎ͥ̓i̤̼̫̝ͪ̀̏ͦ̄t̼̗͚̥̺̘̼̪̊ͣ̂̊ͯͩ.̤̼̗̦̟ͯ̀ͮ̆̆ͯͬͬ͛ ͎̝ͥ͑ͧ́T̺̤̪̘̳̬͖͇̯̎̀̈́͒h̠̗͈̜̟̙́̑͊̋̋ͩ̉̃ͅe̻̤͈͚͒̑́͒̄͋ͪͦͯͅr̖͓̘͈͙̬ͮ̈́̀͆̏̈́ȇ͉̤̥͔͎ͮ,̦͈̅̓̈̅͑́ ͔͈̪̙̣̊ͭ̄͐͌̋̅̓̒s̭̘̫̓ͧ́ͮ̚t̖̯̖͈̫͙̾͑̀͑ͫů̜̳̩̖͇f͓̖̝̖̪͍͇̌̇̋͆̉̔̏f̖̩͛ͭͫ̎ͯ̏͊

Satisfied with yet another Mario Kart time trial r-r-record! I’m gon’ get another beer – tune the TV

.

I admire the space in between a woman’s hip-crease and the top of her waist line curve – that space of belly – to me represents the meaning of life.
That space constitutes purpose and represents an exact perspective of love. From this space comes life, comes beauty – meaning.
This space can be a priority of ours for such a long time. Perhaps even all the time.
This space can achieve something science cannot, something even God cannot.
This space is soft and warm, perfect for resting a head after a long time in-between siestas. A woman’s belly constitutes nurture, the concept of giving – life – of rest and love.
This space has power, real power.
For violence and money, conflict and value barely have control over me, barely influence any aspect of my mind.
But that space on a woman’s body I will forever feel in awe of. The natural beauty is enough to motivate me for any challenge in life.
People can carelessly destroy. In many, many ways.
But from a woman’s belly comes creation.
Nothing is powerful like a mothers love. It is absolute.
To me, nothing is more purposeful, more beautiful – embodies life, love, morose than the space and function that is, a woman’s belly.
As I grow and learn as a man, every day I recognize my strength, my accomplishments, my own personal achievement – purpose
But no matter how much I learn to love myself, I’ll love that space of life even more.
Because as much as I am as a man, I feel as though my purpose for growing, for learning, for getting stronger, is simply to serve and protect that small space on the human body.
As merely a human, that space reminds me we are not alone.
B͇͇̼̱̹̩́̃ͬ̓̈́ͥ̌e̘̱̣̦̱͛̓̏c̮͈̞̪̼̲ͥ͒a̦͚̺̜u͖͛̃ṣ͉̭͉e͔̳̔ͪͨ̈ ̙͛͒́̋ͪͥif͍͍̹̱̼̻̬ͧͯ ̪̙̱̯̭̰͕̃w͕̮̖̳̼ě̓ ̙̰̩̭ͦ͌̍ͭ̚w̤̥̺̔̎ė͇̟͍r͚͈̼̬͑e̩̓,̙̖̬ ̖̟͕͖͓ͫw͎̦̫̥̭͖̖͑̐ͪͨ͒̂eͣͥͫͭͣ̚ ̮͗̆̑w̱̺̻̞̤ͤo̭̝͖̠̳͖ů̹̣͉͍̍ͦͣͪͯl̗̰̹̽̂d̠̻͔̘͚͙̃n̳̥̺̉̆̍ͨ̐’̥̪̣̘̟̜̼ͮ̔̓t͕͙̯̣̗ ͭͩ͗̀ͧ̈b͎̳̩̰̣͎̍ͨͭͯͭ̉e͉̻̻͙̠̖̟͌͑̃̄̀̂ͧ,̯̣ͬ̎ͨ͐ͥ̈͛ ̳̬̘̮̘͉̌̾ͯ͐̑ͯ̂aͭͭͯ̉̃ț̜̬̮̜̌ ̲̟̟̜͚̹̌̀̎̍͒ͫͤa̗̖̟͔̘l͎̘̘̼̺̹̄̚l̰͕̳̞̥̠̒ͥ͗̅.̟̥́̎ͦ̌͒̌

–Felt–

As merely a human, that space reminds me we are not alone.

Because if we were, we wouldn’t be, at all.

–̪Fe̖l̳͖̥͔̣͖̳t̴̞̳͚̝̖̱–͖̻͚̞͝

You’re never as drunk as you are when you drag the foul home and surrender to the shower hoping to god you remembered to take your clothes off this time this time you hope it’s the last time because
I don’t want to keep doing this. Felt.

I don’t.

I don’t want to keep dying in the shower. Every night. A҉n͞d ̵f̕ragm̛e͢ńt ̨y̛our ̸f́u̶çk̶e͏d̕ ̢u̶p ̨m̴ęss o̧f̴ ̢a ͘tím͏e- l̨̛inȩ̧ ̵͢b̨a̛͢ck̷ t̶̷̨o͟͏g̵̴e͢͠͏t̴h̕͞er̛ ̀͢b͟͡͞e҉cá̸͡u҉́s͢͞è̵ ̢͢o̸҉nc̢͟͠è͞ ̡a̢̨ǵ͘͠ai̕͠͞n̨͡ y҉o̷u’̛͏v̴͝e t̕͞o͟͏̨r̴̛͟n̷̷ ̵̵͠҉̷į̛́̕͘t̨͠ ̕͜a҉̴̀p̴̶͜͢͞a͡r͞t̵̸̀ ͝͏͏̶͟l̢͏̴͟o̵̕͝ó̢͘̕͞k̴̢͘͠i̷̕͟҉n̷͘͞͠͏g̵̛͘ ̴̡̧͜͡f̕͘͡o̷͞r̕͠ ̨T̴͘͜͠r͏̢i̵̢s̸͟͟҉̴h҉̶a̶̸͟

“Every fake name in the world and you had to pick Trish”
“There’s nothing fake about the name Trish Hayle”
“can we. can you pick a different one?”
“no.”
“I knew a girl named trish”
“Knew?”
“She’s gone”
“What happened?”
“DD”
“I’m so so-“
“Yeah.”
.
“She’d have liked you”
“why do you say that?”
“She said she used to dream about a stray dog”
“could have been a nightmare”
“She said the dog would come to her room and she’d say it looked hungry; try feed it apple pie. And then it would always run away. No matter how many times she tried to make it stay”
“If the dream keeps happening, the dog never really left”
“That’s what she said”
“Does she like apple pie?”
“No, because you only ever want more”

.

“I wouldn’t change the past, even if I could. That only leads to madness”
“Can you change the future?”
Before I could answer the still new years sky lit up with fireworks and hued the panicked surrounds with a warm red glow.
.

Sometimes there is no static.

Sometimes there is no beer.

Sometimes Felt Hayle cannot change the channel.

Sometimes there is static.

Sometimes he remembers how they teach you to sing staying alive
while performing CPR
Because
the beat
just so
happens
to be
the right
perfect
fitting
rhythm for-
manually
re-starting
the heart
of your wife
as she bleeds
as she bleeds
as she bleeds
as she bleeds
as she bleeds
as she bleeds
as she bleeds
as she bleeds
as she bleeds
as she bleeds
as she bleeds
as she bleeds from the cascade – Rivers – flow towards the path of least resistance they wouldn’t want to hurt you because they know they know
surely
they know that if you said something silly to them then you didn’t mean it you just didn’t have a choice because I didn’t know. I didn’t know. I swear I didn’t know or I
couldn’t help it because I just had this feeling you know and I was angry I didn’t know
either that or you didn’t let me finish or I just didn’t have the fucking words I wish
that you cared – specifically that you don’t
so I’d be set free to disappear but not and try again the next day or maybe even the next minute because sometimes.

There isn’t static–

–on the TV.

Start

        I

think felt needs to read this for himself
he
has problems
that he’s dealing with
I suppose a problem isn’t a problem until it is
granted
but
surely that isn’t sensible because if it was then he wouldn’t be
doing so much about it
but the doing is inverted because it’s the stuff that isn’t stuff yet
he can catch a thought and run away with it and try and try to be heard but actually
writing it down
usually
he’s just wasting ink

if not for the waste he wouldn’t be writing anything at all
I mean
he can’t see what something is until it is
if it never were there would be a problem
you see
he writes
because you can always clean a home so long as it’s dirty
and order a mind so long as it thinks
you learn
quickly
that waste isn’t
instead it’s a context thing

40

I went to school today 1
I drew a picture of mamma and sweet tea because she really likes sweet tea 2
I went home and put it on my wall 3
I went to school today 4
I got my hair cut by the older girls so now its short again and everyone likes it I think 5
I went home and fell asleep 6
I went to school today 7
I gave my lunch to my best friend because she needed it to feed the little birdies I think 8
I went home and fell asleep 9
I went to school today 10
I got so many compliments about my hair because the older girls are so nice I think 11
I went to school today 12
Daddy has come home again 13
I went home and fell asleep 14
I didn’t go to school today 15
Daddy has gone away again so I made cake with mama 16
I didn’t go to school today 17
I had cake with mamma and she made me some sweet tea because it was my birthday so I am old enough now I think I really like sweet tea because mamma likes sweet tea too 18
I went to school today 19
School went for so long today because I couldn’t wait to eat my cake but my best friend said the little birdies need some again and she is so smart and considerate I think 20
I went home and fell asleep 21
I went to school today 22
I got more compliments about my hair I wish it was longer but I am glad the older girls like it because they are so pretty I think 23
I asked mamma what slut means and I was told off so maybe I shouldn’t say that word 24
I went to school today 25
I told the older girls that mamma said that the compliments were bad words because maybe they didn’t know and it made them really happy I think because they were laughing 26
I went home and went to sleep 27
I went to school today 28
I am not very good at hiding 29
I went home and went to bed 30
I went to school today 31
I don’t have school tomorrow and I am excited and that really helps I think 32
I didn’t go to school today 33
Me and mamma drew pictures all day and had sweet tea and I made her a drawing of our home with me and mamma and daddy and she said it was really good but I don’t know because she was crying but she put it on the fridge 34
I didn’t go to school today 35
Daddy has come home again so I went to bed early because I have school tomorrow 36
I ran home early today because I was hurting I think 37
Daddy has gone away again 38
All of my drawings were gone 39
I am so scared 40

Circles

I Can Write This Because You Said You Were Proud of Me

Here’s some non-fiction
the Manuel’s are a family of five
my sister is older than I by four years
my brother was younger by four too
my father wears a blue collar
and
this is a story about my mother
because I always wondered how she handled it.

Here’s some non-fiction
my earliest memory is on a two person bike
and
the only memory I have
on a two person bike.
I don’t know where exactly – we moved around a lot.
Early on in the story from lease to lease
later on in the story from state to state
as Dad moved around
from job to job.
Each home distinctly cement-like
as I would chase the pavements
and bother the neighbors
to form a new band of street kids
and war with each other – harmlessly
with Styrofoam swords.
Because street kids aren’t what you think they are.
This process I’d repeat, over and over
it’s a blurry thought
when asked where I come from
where is home
who my childhood friends are
the question seems alien.
Instead I wonder.
How did Mum handle this?

Here’s some non-fiction
I’ve always loved school.
I never considered myself a loner
what a nonsense thought
perhaps it was the constant moving
encouraging me to view peers as fellow movie-goers
rather than people
you go to the movies with.
Here’s some non-fiction.
The school is concerned
yes
very concerned
quite
–Mrs Manuel it has come to our attention that your son, Jordon. In our very very, extremely non-fallible scientific and definitely correct opinion needs specialized help–
So.
Here’s some non-fiction.
I’d meet mum during lunchtime at school
and get really excited
because there’s this hotdog stand in the city
that makes really good hotdogs
and I’d always get one
on our way to therapy.

Here’s some non-fiction.
Therapy was actually a lot of fun
it is exactly a haven
for the ADHD self
and I got to spend time with Mum.
It was a wonderful getaway
from a school that lacks patience
and psychiatrists
who are way too keen to drug children.

Here’s some non-fiction
I don’t quite remember the rest of primary school.
I only remember therapy
and the Dojo.
I started Karate when I was seven
I adored the art
so mum would take me almost every day
to three separate Dojos
along with the therapy sessions
three days a week
and walk me home from school
and feed two other children.
It’s at this point in the story
I realize
everyone ate toast and noodle sandwiches
so that I could have hotdogs
and punch the air.
How was Mum handling this?

Here’s some non-fiction
my brother was joy
if joy was allowed a human form.
He’d collect coins
in a metal cookie tin
and shake it around with a smile
allowing the rattle to state
how wealthy he was.

Here’s some non-fiction.
I don’t have many more memories
of my brother
except
dad
trying to restart his five year old heart
and the neighborhood retired to the curb
because everyone knew the street kids
and for the first time
I wondered how Mum was handling this.

Here’s some non-fiction
we all went to therapy.
And it is confusing
feeling so much nothing
for years
and trying to tell someone
about that nothing.
It takes a decade
before the concept of losing someone
makes even the slightest sense.
Before it softens into a malleable thought
that can be entertained.
My father has a motto
“one foot in front of the other”
I remember hearing him
amble down the stairs
almost tripping
and saying
“what’s the worst that can happen? I can only fall and break my neck”
And I start to wonder
how is Mum handling this?

Because none of us were.

Here’s some non-fiction
somehow me made it out alive.
We moved again
to a new place
to try again
in Geraldton.

Here’s some non-fiction.
I stopped being a street kid
at least openly.
And I had many quarrels with my mother
about the case of freedom.

Here’s some non-fiction.
My episodic memory of early high school
is mostly
learning how to be a fucking human.
And it went well
through no fault of my own
and entirely due to Mum.

Eventually Mum grew tired of grounding me for sneaking out of the house:
to skate
or drink
play with explosives
or other volatile chemicals
roam
trespass
and loiter
to generally exist
as the apathetic self.
So we came to an agreement
one of honesty
one of counsel.
And I don’t think I’ve ever argued with Mum since then.
I’m in awe of how well she handled this.

Here’s some non-fiction
I was caught in a gas explosion
when I was sixteen
because I got my hands on some canisters
and couldn’t wait to see how they flare.
I have never been in more pain
nor do I think I ever will be again
the feeling of hot shrapnel
embedded in your face
is disturbing
and sickening to the soul.
I remember begging the doctors
to render me unconscious
I only stopped
when I saw my mother
squeezing my hand.
She drove me to Perth
so that I would have a face.
I was discharged from the hospital
and placed on the first flight to Melbourne
because I had begged and begged
to still be allowed to compete
in the national championships.
Standing on the podium, I had to wonder.
How was she handling this?

Here’s some non-fiction
Breakfast
Mums specialty – toast
and I mean that sincerely
I could never make it quite the same myself.

Here’s some non-fiction
I woke up on the curb
outside of Target Geraldton
because a passerby
had seen a high-school boy
having a seizure.
I was told I was hit
by a car on the corner
which is disturbingly forthcoming
when you think about it.
I remember being on a plane
which plane? I’m not so sure.
My brain was swollen.
I just remember landing
and being rushed to emergency Perth

and seeing my Mum.