Friday, April 24, 2009

The only thing that can save a wounded cat is a vat full of paraffin



Someone must have got a hold of the Worksafe people today - they were bounding around like an energetic Aerobics display, they had multi coloured and obviously compliant drinking flasks and the man with the bald spot had been replaced by two perky tweens, who were standing alert on their heels - surely not worksafe - handing out leaflets. If they had The Presets blaring in the background everything would have made a lot more sense. Their energy was exhausting, and I found myself gravitating to the cute girl selling roller doors from a table with a flipbook on it. She wasn't energetic - she was flipping thoroughly through a copy of the Womans Day and was lost entirely in a story about Cathy Freemans wedding. It felt impolite to disturb. Everyone was weary today apart from the festival of safety dances, lead by the tweens without hats, and the lady in the foilament shop looked ready to throw in her lot, rocking back with a cup of tea and looking out blankly at the latest as, somewhat ironically, my IPOD kicked in with the Buffy the Vampire Slayer theme. Nothing says rocking danger and scary times like walking past a washbasin cat with no one within 200 metres. It's probably my age, but I hate people who mis-use the word irony. Linguistics are very important to me. I can't explain to people how tired I felt today, there's no one awake enough to listen to me. There's a fitful stampede outside Big W though - the lucky few who got their free cash from the government, those who lord it over us all, sometimes stampede in a sensational stimulus spending spree, crowding around the top of the escalators in a gravitational pull towards the cheaply priced packets of Samboys, and if you get caught up in the maelstrom, you can end up in Big W without even realising it, since you can't change direction. Today though, there was no stimulation, no real no motivation to move it, or indeed move it move it, and as Melissa Mars filled in the time on my IPOD, I realised it was just Friday under the flickering flourescent lights, and none of us could really be bothered putting on our weekend best just yet. Shutter girl was still there an hour later, and since I have a rudimentary knowledge of Womens Day, I noticed she had moved forward one page, the foilament lady appeared to have just put down the cup of tea, and I felt like I hadn't moved a muscle. There was an old man with his pants pulled up to his nipples and crazy hair like Doc from Back to the Future milling around the fringes of Boost Juice. He looked completely bewildered as to why his juice wasn't being boosted, and I felt bad for him because his faculties were a bit scrambled and he looked panicked and desperately sad. I had just turned up If You Seek Amy on the IPOD a bit, and I'd have latched onto for some Samitarining, but to my discredit I guess, I didn't have the time to help the old boy. If you seek service though old boy, don't go to Boost Juice, the promotions models will stare right through you, no matter how often you pull your pants up and have a cheeky scratch of your arse...poor guy...lucky he wasn't standing outside Big W, he'd have no hope...

As I walked today, there were a group of kids behind me - the girl in the middle was about 4our foot 2wo, built nuggety like Tony Shaw with a swirl of pink through her hair like a motor racing circuit blueprint, all chicanes and impossible loops. At first glance I thought she was perhaps the accompanying friend of 2wo gay guys because they were ignoring her and were engaged in a very personal whispered conversation, and they also appeared to be sharing frosted tips tips, but not to be ignored, Nugget began to boom a very personal anecdote about Mr Frosty #1s girlfriend, and what she had said about their first kiss. She wouldn't be deterred by the fact that the Frost boys were oblivious to everything she was saying and were poking and prodding at each others, er, Iphones. She began to weave a story about girlfriends last boyfriend, a hapless innocent called Brad, and how he was a terrible kisser who used to drown the poor lass in saliva. I did consider being a bit down with the kids and making a reference to the band Saliva, but to be honest it would have been like being one of those crusty old men that get thrown in the sea in a Frankie Avalon film. Poor Brad wasn't around to defend himself against such slobbery charges, and the revelation past without incident, although a woman in a lemon coloured Millers jumper was so disgusted she looked at me for some sort of joint moral young people are going to hell exchange of glances, but I wasn't game to exchange glances and scuttled off leaving her to write a letter to the Mercury in disgusted green pen. Although for a second, Frosty #1 looked up from his Iphone to at least acknowledge to Nugget that he was a good kisser - well, comparitively, although following Brad in that department was like acting in the same film as Natalie Imbruglia - but it was just a fleeting moment of recognition and Nugget went back into her conversational cave, taking a gigantic sandwich from her backpack and chomping on it with resignation. I suspect that she fancied one of the Frost boys, as the way she said the girlfriends name was, and maybe only I noticed, laced with a rather elongated second syllable, spat out into the cold air in annoyance. However, she couldn't compete with the power of the kiss, nor the homoerotic power of 2wo boys and their toys - and their hair care products. With rueful resignation and rye bread from a rucksack, she trudges forward, dreaming of her day in the sun, white horses, and probably a better quality of bread...that sandwich looked manky...

Outside of Lily Allen, my favourite ever line in any song is in Kisses by Tracey Bonham, the one about she kisses harder than me, I guess I'm not that hungry. Maybe you just had to have a girlfriend who kissed as hard as Vicki, my early 90s pash buddy in Penguin, did, she was positively voracious, and I thought for a while everyone was like that. Maybe that's where our relationship really floundered, not because I moved to Burnie to begin summer camp for awkward adolescents, which lasted all year round for 9ine years, but because she kissed harder than me. Still, even with such pash based violence, those early 90s days were a sort of cultural high point for me, as cool as I was ever going to get without a talent, say, playing a guitar or kicking a ball around. You can only get so far making a lime spider and knowing that Lemmings don't really throw themselves off cliffs. Try using that one in Syrup. The hapless tale of Brad was a reminder of course that girls talk about these things, ability to pash and further consequences of the pash. The girl selling the shutter doors for whatever reason seems to have a sparkle in her eyes even when she sits still while the Tweens working safely don't seem to have a single glint anywhere even as they beam outwardly and clasp their flasks like they are prop bearing extras in a massive dance number. Vicki was probably the last happy person I got on with, and I mean American happy, that beaming smile and belief in a better world. For the sake of my own sanity I walk around today trying to see if anyone looks genuinely happy, anyone who doesn't think nothing is ever as good as it was. The newsagent isn't going to be a source of enthusiasm in that regard - he's got his eye entirely on 2wo magazine flipper but not buyer boys with such an uncompromising glare I think he's going to jump the counter and chin them. Such is the ridiculous nature of her glare, from behind one of christendoms worst flimsy piratery bearded faces, that it makes me laugh all the way home, and the flippers are quite happy to sit and flip through the magazine rack to their hearts content. It's that kind of day you know - movement is so limited, as limited as my own thoughts. Outside of a vague hazy few days remembering 1992, I can't get myself into gear at all. There's a star in my dreams, a personal sunbeam, but the memory is far too perfect, too idealised, and it fades in a haze of pointlessness, just as the old man with the high pants stumbles past me, heading to god knows where, not a hair in place...

The old man, I hope, got served eventually, or someone cared enough to make sure he was OK and got him on the road to somewhere. Such was his dismayed and confused air, I'm not sure he knew what he was doing. I know the feeling, although in my case the confusion is metaphorical, not literal. I at least know tomorrow I'm literally going to Melbourne, on a plane that hopefully will take off. I hope Nugget one day finds her prince, on a pony with frosted tips, I hope no one ever disturbs the girl selling the shutter doors and makes her talk about the thing she's supposed to be selling. If she spent an hour reading about a wedding, she's probably getting married herself and looking for an idea - from Cathy Freeman though? I hope the foilament lady sells some of her washbasin cats, and I hope for myself a turn in fortune. Not even that things are bad, but I still question where I'm going, and what I'm doing. I'm far too hard on myself I decide after a day where I've had about 3hree thoughts by the end of it and one was about Bill Werbeniuk and the other 2wo were about events from 1992, and everything just added up to nothing. I even found myself queueing in McDonalds being served by a blank eyed gimlet, and I don't really know what I was doing there, I mean with all the options in life you pick McDonalds, but there was a man in there protesting when I came to somewhere around the healthy options line that I had cut in front of him in the queue. He was angry, and I said in a voice that wasn't my own for him to fuck off. It really didn't sound like me, but he backed down immediately. Luckily it wasn't a London supermarket. I've been so grumpy lately, so fidgety and confused and tired, maybe it all spilled out into one phrase, one acid laced phrase taken out on some dickhead in a Pantera T-shirt. It's the onset of a personal winter, the struggle when it gets dark, and after the outburst, all I can do is laugh, laugh pointlessly at how frustrated Friday has made me, collect my tepidly cooked meal from the blank eyed gimlet, and bounce back tomorrow, hopefully with a bigger and better attitude...Vicki, I'll do my best for you, I promise...

For today at least, it'll do...it'll have to...

5 comments:

Baino said...

You write your best when you're a little down in the dumps. Have a blast in Melbourne,I'm going down there on the 22nd. And if you're looking for something different, try Madame Brussels | Level 3, 59-63 Bourke St, Melbourne, Victoria | (03) 9662 2775 - my niece works there - tell her Auntie Nellie sent you and you might score a free cup cake!

sparsely kate said...

Is it naughty of me to say I'm a bit turned on in the part where you told the man to fuck off?
Wow Miles!

Anyway, have fun in Melbourne and yeah, hope the plane doesn't crash! Enjoy your trip and hope things are a little bit happier for you when you get back.

p.s I laughed about the hard kissing because I think I was one of those girls back in my younger days..I thought you had to kiss like those girls out of Motley Crue videos, or Bon Jovi, you know, kind of sexy slutty with lots of little sounds under your breath.
For shame!

Kath Lockett said...

Hmmm. I hope you made it to Melbourne and your mood improved?

Kettle said...

I'm all for personal winters at the moment. Did you bounce back on Saturday?

What do you think about escapism, Miles?

Miles McClagan said...

I would have got there if it wasn't for other commitments! Next time definitely - everyone is so upbeat in Melbourne at the moment with the overservicing...it's creepy!

That would explain Vicki then - she was an eater, ha ha...I can't remember if she liked Motley Crue...hmmm...I have a cousin who swears she learned to kiss watching Rachel Stevens from S Club - not the same!

Yes, I did, Rachel STevens cheered me up!

I'm all for it, as long as it doesn't involve a murder mystery weekend! I don't think I'd fancy it...