I’ve come to mistrust the little guy who lives inside my head. He used to be such a nice guy but over the years he’s become a little loopy, his thinking transgressive. Now I hardly know him. He’s a loose cannon, an IED waiting to be stepped on. Look, I say, let’s be reasonable. You can’t say that! And you definitely can’t do that! You want to end up in prison with me? Sometimes I give him drugs to quieten him, talk him down, try to get him to see reason. I love the little guy. I just wish he was more like me.
do you find yourself warring with yourself sometimes? how do you resolve differences? is there such a thing as a fully unified being?
Would you bring my boxer shorts, mate?
You mean the ones with ‘The Most Perfect Man in the World’ emblazoned on the butt?
Yes, those, he chuckles.
I go into his room.
A half eaten meal, a stubbie with some beer in it, the radio still on.
A damp towel on the bed.
Signs of a quick exit.
A bit like the Marie Celeste.
Ahhh, I say as I fumble through his drawers.
A few minutes later I head off to The Remand Centre
Where TMPM has just been charged
For a cold case murder
18 years ago.
Beside me are the boxer shorts, neatly folded,
Irony side up.
Summer-times I grow feral
Shed my suit of civility
& head into the backyard
Where I pee like an animal
But that saccadic screech
From the crab apple tree
& razor-winged birds flashing by
Threatening life and limb
& certain other appendages
Send me scurrying back
Where I l lift the lid & pee inside
Like polite people do.
Perhaps I’m missing out, I thought, but the more he banged on about his lathes, routers and table saws, whipping out his mobile snaps of bench tops, bread boards, dodgy cricket bats and the blocky blokes around him in the Men’s Shed, I thought not and when he finally asked me what I did and I said chirpily, I write poetry, conversation shut down like a roller door.
Yesterday was really something.
A race to the top after five grueling days.
It was like a marathon.
The bureau reported, almost gleefully,
we had done it! we had broken the previous record.
It almost made it worthwhile.
The hottest day in the State’s history!
Yet people kept their cool
Even when the grid crashed.
Emergency Services stayed on top of things.
No one died.
We phoned each other.
Are you okay? We asked.
Yes! I’m okay, I barked after the tenth inquiry.
I was losing my cool.
Other states get floods, fires.
We get heatwaves.
By morning the cool had come.
We waved the heat goodbye.
have you experienced similar conditions?
what’s the worst weather conditions you experienced?
I was worried about whether the passageway would take too long to dry as visitors were coming later so the cleaner suggested opening the back door to let the breeze in.
– Good idea, I said, as I went back into my study and left him to it.
It was then I could hear him struggling, groaning.
– What’s wrong? I said.
– Darn door won’t open.
I went to have a look. He was putting his whole weight into it — and he’s a big man — and still not getting a result.
– Here, I said, demonstrating. There’s a trick to it. You pull the handle up not push it down.
– Well, I never, he said. I didn’t know they still made doors like this. It should be in a door museum.
– It’s an IQ test, I smiled. I wouldn’t worry though. It took me two days to work it out and I live here.
We both chuckled. You’ve got to give people a way out.
It was not a black cat
But a red rooster
That crossed my path this morning
On my way to gym.
As it waddled past the car
Oblivious to the honour
I had accorded it.
Why the rooster crossed the road
I do not know
Though it waddled
It had the whole day
In front of it
Provided it did not cross
Too many roads.