I don’t know how to take the mattress that’s been dumped in our driveway.
Admittedly it’s not as bad as the dead cat that was dumped in our rubbish bin.
But it’s harder to get rid of.
It’s an affront.
You eye yr neighbors suspiciously.
Suspect the crotchety old bloke across the road.
And then you do something nutty.
You drag it up the driveway and dump it on the street.
You don’t think. You react.
That little guy inside yr head.
Someone in the middle of the night drags it back.
So you ….
It’s like a tug-of-war.
So what’s yr next move?
One thing’s for certain.
Yr not going to take this lying down.
We’d just got back from the beach.
I pulled out a book, she put on a CD.
Peaceful, floaty music.
Music to paddle-board to.
But then it changed.
The tempo picked up, the violinists
Like The Two Cellos playing AC/DC.
It was ‘Winter’ by Vivaldi.
I thought, what’s there to get worked up about
Spring, yes, but Winter?
Sluggish, soporific Winter.
But those violins were working up a storm.
You do get storms in winter —gusts, gales, blizzards.
I wanted to get up and fight someone.
One minute I was paddle boarding, the next
I was tumbling in the wild surf.
You just can’t trust classical music.
have you ever come across a piece of music, rock or classical, that changes stride suddenly and drastically?
Once I was stuck in the moment.
It was like being stuck in a lift.
I was going nowhere.
Not even up and down.
There was no way out.
No alarm button to press.
I tried not to panic.
Tried smoking a cig.
Humming a tune
Studying a fly on the wall
Reciting my nine times tables
And then suddenly SNAP
I was out of it.
I don’t know how long I was in it.
It did have its moments
I must admit.
But you wondered if you’d ever
Get out and join
The flow of life again.
Unstable Cliffs, the sign read. Extreme Danger. Stay Clear.
And I thought of the unstable Cliffs I had known:
The deputy that barked at me when I called in sick,
My cousin’s boyfriend who punched holes in the wall
Whenever he was denied,
And the glue-sniffing Cliff I taught in Year 11 who fell asleep
On the tracks and was run over by a train.
They should have come with warnings too.
Like water trickling
down a sink I find myself
I used to think I’d like to be thick-skinned
Like a pachyderm
Then it wouldn’t hurt when your dreams
when people turned nasty and your heart
wants to explode
and it’s hard to walk defiant on that
long. lonely road.
But being thick-skinned essentially means
that you’re numb
And for an artist of any kind that’d be