Thursday, September 16, 2010

Monday 2 Thursday - Byzantine Labyrinth Of Suburbia



Monday morning - I have the same recurring real life nightmare, and it always starts with me thumping my own steering wheel as the splash of rain water goes over my car. Inevitably, a 4our wheel drive will have just cut me off in traffic, and as I sit in my impotently furious state of middle class futility, a bus will push to a grinding halt somewhere in the middle distance. This will be adorned with a carefully managed publicity shot of 2wo radio Djs, both looking pleased with themselves for transporting jocularity into the ears of the nation. 1ne of them is dating a supermodel. I don't know a supermodel. I barely know a model let alone 1ne adorned with an affixation at the start of her profession. I pashed a Queens Quest contestant 1nce outside the Penguin football ground. Well, try saying that in southern Tasmania. No 1ne knows what the NWFU is, never mind the Queens Quest competition, and in the age of sexual freedom that is early 2tyteens Hobart, simply saying you pashed some1ne is a yawn extracting story. The radio DJs are thus able to in a single carefully staged publicity shot on the back of a Metro bus rub into me that my Mondays aren't filled with supermodel relationships or carefully stage managed pranks. They are filled with sharp left turns and showers that never seem to end however. My work installed a form of instant messenger to the computer last week, but that won't impress many at Vienna fashion week. Someone has scribbled under their moniker and logo on this particular bus the words ARE DICKHEADS in a sort of Verdana font style of graffiti, which is such a small victory against the forces of celebrity, it must be celebrated. The bus will pull off into the distance, I'll slam my brakes angrily because I've been held up at a red light, and there I will sit in the mid morning traffic helplessly unable to do anything about it. I think at these moments of some sort of overly dramatic u-turn that results in me heading to spend a day at the beach, but I never have, and I probably never will. There's a guy next to me at the lights with the same sense of futility, and some horn rimmed glasses only ever worn by nerds about to have a milkshake poured over their heads in an American teen comedy, and in a hopelessly pointless moment of maledom, we have a race at the lights. It's not a deliberate race, merely time killing engine roaring, and in a summation of our futile middle class position in life, a blonde girl with pink lippy roars past us in Daddy’s car, in a plume of smoke and youthful swagger. The metaphor is blinding, and the fact that she nearly ploughs straight into the back of another DJ infected bus and has to brake sharply is, as they say, a mere detail...

Tuesday morning - Same red light, although the light dusting of rain onto the dirt ground and absence of rosy cheeked urchins off to school to get on their computers and post Facebook updates that so and so is a skank, I've decided to place my entire happiness on the ability of my sports team to move a piece of leather around a piece of greenery once owned by Aboriginal elders better than 22wo other randomly assorted strangers who have inverted values to my own team. It might be unromantic to describe an AFL Preliminary final in such terms, but I've just been speaking to my unromantic auntie in Scotland. She lives in a street where a romantic gesture is sending a txt msg that doesn't contain a swear word or an insult, so explaining the beauty of an alien Australian based sport down a phone line isn't going to be easy. I say this because 1ne of my teams elder statesmen is on the cover of the newspaper making 1ne of those old persons determined fists photographers have them make when they are close to death or unlikely to be in a physical condition to pose for an action shot. A woman at work walks past later in the day eating 1ne of the morning muffins so generously provided by corporate pseudo generosity, and says 1ne of those strange glib work phrases people feel obliged to say to pass the time. Something like makes you think. I don't know what makes me think these days, but the posed machinations of an elderly gent probably don't do it for me. I drove past a homeless guy on the way home last night - he was propped up in the rain against an ATM machine, his tattered rags the kind of tattered rags other tattered rag wearers would point to and say damn those rags are tattered, his eyes shut, his silhouette a despairing shadow of venom, despair and cheap wine in a cask. Did that make me think? I don't know - maybe. Maybe for as long as it took for the lights to change. That's the usual pattern of attention for the meandering suburban driver. Attention spans last only as long as 1ne colour of light stays constant, or as long as the patter of the radio isn't too inane or bland to make you press the off button...complex social issues? I can't even work my CD changer...

Wednesday morning - I've tried to suppress my Road Rage by biting down really hard on my finger every time I feel frustrated. I hate that every time I drive past my ex girlfriends old netball court it's so early morning empty, always sodden with rain and lots and clods of rubbish generally swirl around in the breeze. It's a little bit strange to see it so dilapidated, like seeing your childhood home have a garden covered in weeds, or seeing a favourite beloved auntie without teeth, but with stubble, so you have to suffer a rash inducing kiss. There's a red light that I always get stuck at, and today it's almost broken down, so I'm stuck there, alone, with my thoughts and a staticy radio hissing in my brain. For some reason at work, I've acquired an ironic girlfriend. I should explain - I engaged with this girl what I thought was a series of ironic and sardonic flirtations on the routines of work. I didn't know that they don't do sardonic in Margate. Now she sends me txt msgs about the alienation and despair that marriages where 1ne partner can't wash socks can bring. So I don't know if that means were in some sort of tense future relationship, if she's going to pitch up on my lawn with a bag full of stuff but it means...something? Maybe - I have a crush on a girl who works at an appallingly named hair salon, but I don't think that means anything at all. Irony is a dangerous thing. I don't know why everything got so complex - mind you, I had a relationship with Debbie back in Scotland which was a consistent battle between the emotional maturity of an 11even year old and a 12elve year old. Apparently if you can't understand the emotional complexity of an Orange Juice record, or preferred a Twix to a Galaxy Truffle, you aren't worth knowing. I preferred Sinitta. I had no hope. So I just sat swinging my legs on the circular brick wall that was my relationship bachelor pad trying to decipher the riddle that was Cosmopolitan approved relationship chat. By the time I get out of my car, my finger has chewed through and is covered in bite marks. I suspect that I need to acquire a new anger halting habit...maybe some mellow music. I hear some of Sinittas B-sides are particularly melancholy...

Thursday evening - I'm in some rapidly emptying car park, standing in the rain, not just any rain - Tassie rain that kicks and punches in the face like a drunk outside Syrup trying to nail a bouncer. Cars pass my feet, splash water over my shoes, and head home to eat some crispy fried food from plates and engage in amiable or otherwise conversation about socks or some such things. My "other" car I'm driving today (don't get too excited, it's like a 6th toe my other car - a defective abnormality of fate rather than some sort of Jay Leno style collection) has broken down in a miserable battery induced sigh of despair. The RACT man is explaining to me the nuances of a split battery while I hop from foot to foot awkwardly, not understanding a single word he's talking about. I don't know how many times I've stood in Tasmanian downpours listening to words I don't understand, sentences that don't make any sense. Break ups, bouncer edicts, friends fighting with other friends, car care tips....all received with the same bewildered expression on my face, the same hunched shoulders. I get back inside my car, stuck in suburbia, while the RACT man glues...things to things. I am left to stare over the fence into a nearby house. The occupants are a woman who is coarse in face and vulgar of finger point, and a man who is a slave to hair gel who I bet has never ironed a shirt because his beard needs trimmed. They are arguing in fluent bogan, with exaggerated hand gestures and swear words that end in N. I suspect later he'll send her a txt msg that proclaims love + vulgarity. I move my eyeline from their disparate points of view to a quite glorious beanbag, a bright orange illumination of radiance, a bean filled wonder from the era where every Australian owned an ABBA album and something that was orange only if the thing they wanted wasn't available in brown. It's probably a reflection of my attention span - mature issues, social complexities, they go by the wayside. Ironic girlfriends who could become real girlfriends if you aren't careful? Not even worried...but show me a beanbag, and I'm there. Explains a lot, my dog from up (squirrel!) attention span...I can't change...I won't change....my car starts after much tedious discussion, and I'm away again, swaggering through puddles, cursing red lights, fiddling with my CD player, and letting happiness come in fleeting cynical waves...

Friday, it may yet spawn something glorious. Must keep hoping. Something richer than an Instant Message installation...

3 comments:

Kris said...

Get on the bus dude. It's always party time on the Metro express.

There hasn't been a beheading in two years!

Kath Lockett said...

'My work installed a form of instant messenger to the computer last week, but that won't impress many at Vienna fashion week.' GOLD!

Miles that elder footballer you mentioned would be LOUie on the 'Sun, would it? Unfortunately didn't the enormous headline above him (unrelated to him of course) scream out something like "LOCK HIM UP AND THROW AWAY THE KEY?" Well it gave me a chuckle at the time.....

Miles McClagan said...

Yeah, I can imagine it's a laugh riot. Girls singing Kesha songs all day. That beheading still worries me. What a way to go..

It was the great Lou Richards, punching the air. I know 1ne of his favourite stories is about how he knocked a drunk unconscious in his pub. Maybe he needed to be locked up - or at least given a good dose of national service...