NO LIES - just bullshit.

Three and a half books of substance and then some.

Libraries

Im scared of libraries. I have been, ever since I was a kid. 

It’s not the silence that scares me, though. Rather, it’s what I can hear in the silence - the suction of my rubber-soled shoes as they grip the floor, the loose change begging to be used, the tickle in my throat crying to become a cough - that has me on guard from glancing eyes. 

I’m sorry, I want to say to them as they look up at me. But I know that if I do I can only imitate the shape my tongue and lips would make so that no sound escapes from the prison gates that my mouth has become. And what if they do not understand, cannot read my lips or my mind? My efforts futile and further distracting. 

I’m sorry, I repeat, lips slowly peeling apart as I try to enunciate each syllable in silence. Hoping that this second attempt has reached them clearly. 

I pull out a chair from an empty table which is in a room of empty tables. And it wobbles. And somebody else, this time from the cubicles, glares at me before returning to the Anthology he has open.

Im scared of libraries. I have been, ever since I was a kid. 

An Invitation.

She called and invited me over to see her; the phone call surprised me. I’d been reading the The Age on my phone when her name appeared — mid-sentence, mid-paragraph, mid-article. I didn’t want to answer straight away.

Let it ring, I thought. 

And when I did, I didn’t answer with Hi or Hello, how are you; I answered with, Do you know how lucky you are to get onto me right now?

No. Why?

Well, I’m on my break at work and if I wasn’t, I’d have had a missed call. 

Oh, aren’t I lucky then. 

Yeah. Anyway, what’s up? How you doing?

Good, good….

So what you calling for?

No reason…

Sure, lies. 

Well, I wanted to see if you wanted to come around for dinner… and a movie. It’s just leftovers, she added. 

What are the leftovers of?

Soup from last night. And I’m not promising sex. i just had to say that, you know. Just in case you were thinking it.

It’s his awkward hands on hips, elbows pointing back, shoulders hunched in which makes his chest look bigger that give it away - it’s obvious they’ve slept with each other. Recently, too.

She tells me to not be scared in the morning; there will be marks on her breasts. She bruises easily.

I roll over. She’s still asleep. I see my bite mark on her shoulder. It’s raw.

I touch my fingers to my lips and touch them lightly to her new mark. She doesn’t wake.

I want to see her before I leave. To see if she will be alright (of course she will). I close the bedroom door on my way out.

I call her a few hours later. To see how she is. Her first words are spoken to me. Her voice is groggy. It’s a short conversation.

Goodbye, my beautiful, she says.

Women or Men; OR neither. Late DEC/11.

Women bore me. Not at first, but eventually they do: their entertainment has a time limit; Some longer than others and others none at all. Just because they’ll continue to talk or open up does not signify that they’re interesting. Or I’m interested. 

And just because I write this doesn’t make it my opinion - it could just be something that I write. I might not actually believe in this or think it all the time. Not everything has to have a meaning or something or other. 

What if I now say only some women bore me? Or none bore me. What will you think now? Think of me? Has your opinion changed? Do you even have an opinion on me and if so why? Do you judge me by the first thing I have said? But now that there is a line through it, what now? You can still read it, obviously, but perhaps it was a mistake. Perhaps I just wanted to see how those three words would link together on a page. Perhaps I just wanted to write something I didn’t believe and see how that made me feel. 

Or do you believe what I wrote because it was the first thing I wrote on this page? Or it was offensive? Was it? 

How about ‘men can’t bore me’ because they’re not interesting enough to even garner my attention in the first place? Or men are predictable and all men think with their dick; Men speak shit all day and if you actually listen you can hear one word say to the other words that it doesn’t even know what it means anymore; Men don’t even have a cunt to trick me into thinking they’re interesting. 

Ok, anybody offended? Does all this even mean anything? No, not really. Words can sometimes just be words. Other times they can lift up a people or fight injustice. Not today, though. But why write it? Why not? Sometimes I just need to write to explore an idea. Or a thought. Or explore exploring the depths of my mind or that of others.

But what if I was famous? And unleashed 140 characters of diatribe against somebody, anybody, something? Who’d not follow me? Would the news make comment on some bullshit I said and ask to interview me on behalf of all those I offended? I’d hope so because then I could tell them I don’t think that on camera and tell them the opposite off camera.

Anyway, this hasn’t been a waste of your time. You could’ve been reading/watching (insert shitty popular novel or tv show here).

The Glass of Water. 23/12/12.

Someone’s making noise.

Shannon.

His friend has just arrived - must be early. My phone tells me it’s seven am. 

……

Light has streamed through the blinds we had purposefully left open. My hand blindly searches for my phone again, feeling the carpet beneath the mattress I had been sleeping on. My arm is straight, reaching behind, fingers creeping and then bouncing around hoping to cover more area.

I give up and turn around. There it is - beside the glass of water. I take a sip.

It’s five to nine; five minutes before my alarm is supposed to sound; five minutes before I told myself I’d be getting up out of bed. I go into the alarm settings and change the alarm - half hour more won’t waste my morning. Alright, it’s done, I tell myself. I flick my wrist so that my phone drops onto the carpet beside me. 

It doesnt. Fuck. What the fuck. Oh shit. Fuck. Ok.

……

The phone display flickers. I toss the phone into the air and let it thud against the floor; If only it had made that sound earlier. The thud doesn’t achieve anything - as if it would have. I take the battery out of the phone and the screen goes blank. Black. I move over to the fire and and open the cast iron door. I hold it in front of the fire, my hand burning up.

I hold it there. Contemplate taking it apart. I can’t. There’s still hope: It’s sitting in a bag of rice.

A Distraction. 20/12/11.

The turn of her page distracts me; the sound we have all heard. The pen I had been holding lays motionless on the page in front of me; only a few words have so far been written. Unlike me she is transfixed on what is in front of her - she is to my side. Her eyes scurrying across the page, down line by line. Half a coffee gone cold by her right hand; its job now to turn pages that keep her going. 

Her reading has become a social thing; no apartment or closed off space: a cafe on the corner of my street. Her street? Is this the place we share for wanting to be socially alone? Our books, a barrier we put up. I imagine us peering over our books, once every so often, and seeing what it is that we are being a part of…contributing to. We both add to the dimensions of this space - opposite sides of the short side of the room with nobody in-between.

Again she turns the page. One more turn down before she comes to an end. Never The End. There will be another. But as for us, it will end soon: Her book closed, put back into her bag, she stands collecting her things on the table and her jacket slipped on one arm at a time. She bunches her hair from beneath the collar and flicks it up and out. She takes her bag and puts it over her right shoulder. She’s ready.

She leaves. 

A burst of cold wintry air slices through the place. I am alone. Without distraction. But with a page that would be better off without any ink.

Her cold coffee remains.

Empires. 20/12/11.

This is the city that people come to make it. And more than many break it. They’re out there, everyday, applying their trade and talent but life just doesn’t have this planned for them.

Fate, huh? We make it; or does it make us? The journey is the destination. It’s all these things, you tell yourself. Or others tell you. Others who may have failed themselves? 

Is that the advice that we want to hear? No, probably not. But what do we want to hear? Words; empty or not? Praise or criticism? To hear our own above those of others? 

It doesn’t matter: 

Our mind - it is our playground; our conference room; our own hell and paradise. It is what we make it and if we make it there we don’t need to make it anywhere.

This physicality is passing: A minute, a day, a year or ten; It goes. And what next? Nothing or Something?

Our mind - it is our own empire. Build it. Make it strong. Gather within it what you like, want. But improve on its wealth. Take from the world what it offers you. Take from others what they offer you. And offer something in return; something that they too can use.

Build empires of the mind. They will exist forever: Inscribed, nowhere certain; But inscribed, nonetheless. 

As for this city… What is it? Nothing without the minds that were born or came here.

New York, New York. 15/12/11

'Can you take me to the corner of Flushing and Vanderbilt?' I ask the cab driver.

He asks me for directions.

'Dude, I'm not from here.' I don't know where the fuck I am.

I’m not entirely sure where we’re heading, what direction, where I’m at. I touch the map-button on the screen in front of me; It’s not reassuring in the slightest. 

By the time I had made it through the two-hour-long-line at Passport Control (fucking Americans) it had become dark (it was already cold) and I was too tired to catch public transport in a city I knew little of; Fuck that, I thought. 

He pulls up in front of number seventeen. Fifteen should be here somewhere. I can’t see it. I pay him anyway and get out. He doesn’t so I get my own bags from the trunk. A door swings open and I let go of my luggage - the suitcase, I imagine, is rolling down the hill; It doesn’t matter. 

The embrace is long. It stops but only to start again. Over six months has passed since we’ve last seen each other and now we are on the other side of the world together; Some shit just doesn’t change.