“Sorry, you have to move.”
“You don’t belong here. You’ll have to move.”
“But I was here first. You saw me walking up and down with my multitudinous strands of hair incarnadine.”
“You can’t have ‘multitudinous strands of hair incarnadine’ in a poem about waiting for a poem to pull up like a bus.”
“It’s too heavy, too overwritten. Too Shakespearean. It changes the tone of the poem totally. It’s like two colors that clash.”
“I’m sorry. You’ll have to move. I can’t fit you in.”
“Okay”, she says, shaking her multitudinous strands in a flurry of petulance, “I’ll write a poem of my own and guess what?”
“You won’t be in it.”
And with that she gets out her notebook from her backpack and begins writing, furiously as Lady Macbeth cleansing her blood-soaked hands in the basin.
I can paint by numbers.
I can paint a picture for you in one thousand words.
I can even play ‘Paint it Black’ on air guitar for you
But every time I paint myself in a corner
I need you to pull me out.
I worry about you like you worried about Chloe;
Would she be happy in Heaven?
Would someone throw the ball for her?
Take her for walks along the blue pastures
Of the sky?
But I can’t rescue you from adulthood.
All I can do is like I used to do when you played
in the Nationals,
Cheer from the sidelines
Wish you fangs and claws to fight off the trolls,
The sting of the scorpion
A heart as fierce as Balerion, the dragon
From Game of Thrones,
But peaceful and playful as Puff, that magic dragon
It all began a few years ago while waiting in a long queue at the ANZ Bank.
A well-dressed employee would come up to us randomly and thank us for our patience.
I’d say, at the flick of a switch, “I’m a patient man. Just ask my three ex-wives”.
I don’t know where that came from but he chuckled and I chuckled. It was a good line.
Then one day there was a bit of a queue at the library — a glitch in the system or something — and I thought as a spot of entertainment I’d add to the line. I had it all worked out.
I ended up with a relatively new staff member, a sour-faced woman who I’d only met once before, but I wasn’t going to be put off. It was my time.
“Thanks for your patience,” she said blankly’
“That’s okay,” I said. I think she knew what was coming. “I’m a patient man. Just ask my three ex-wives” then I added the new bit, “But you don’t want to listen to them, They’re biased.”
Then she looked me in the face. “Don’t you think, “ she said, “if all three said it independently, there may be some truth in it? You should go away and have a ponder”.
She saw to my request and I went off to have a ponder, unsure who was having who on.”
It is time to bring out the woman in the glove box again.
There are no gloves in there.
But there is Olive,
Quirky , off-kilter as this blog which is perhaps why I like her.
I like her feistiness too,
How she tells her husband,
“Stop shouting! Do you think that makes you a man?”
“All men need to be told this,” my partner tells me
Who likes Olive too.
She is getting the new book, the sequel, when it comes out.
But she is not like Olive.
Olive has a big personality and is not backward in coming forward,
As my mother used to say.
She is curious but curiously vulnerable.
She is the engine of the novel, the fuel, the vehicle
That takes you there.
She waits in the glove box like a car in a garage.
* have you a favourite fictional character?
* what do you admire in them?
I’m staying in with a friend today.
Like me he doesn’t look for other company.
We’ll probably lounge around, watch Netflix, maybe go out the back for a spot of sun if it’s shining then back inside.
Telly, sleep, periodic caffeine hits.
Don’t answer the door if someone knocks.
Maybe check out this post to see if it’s got any likes or comments.
Think about food a little later.
More caffeine so we can stay awake long enough to eat it.
Not enough to bust any moves. No, No, No dancing today.
Oh and more meds to fight off this fucking cold — sorry, buddy —
which as the Kinks say, ‘has really got a hold on me.’
Cue Dave Davies. And The Two Ronnies.
So it’s goodnight from me, and goodnight from him.
Whenever my mother got in a state, she’d declare, “I feel like the wreck of the Hesperus, the Titanic and the Lusitania all rolled into one,” careful to keep things chronological. The old people they sure knew how to lay things on thick. But least they taught us the art of melodrama and not a little history.
* do you recall any sayings your parents or grandparents had?