That Man Looks Like You

That man looks like you, she says, as we pull up near a block of shops.

So he does, I say, having a good squiz.

Only he’s got more hair, she smiles, and less of a paunch.

Go easy, I say.

And look he’s going into the same shop you plan to go into.

Saves me going in, I chuckle. Hope he buys what I want to buy.

Only a minute passes and he comes out carrying a shopping bag.

Let’s see where he lives, she says. Could be fun.

So we follow his car down Pridham and Plymouth past the long Covid Testing queues.

Hello, I say, he’s pulled up outside your place. And he’s marching to the front door. Like he owns the place.

Saves you coming in, she says.

So I let her out and drive away in my little blue Subaru, scratching my cerebrals.

Ugg Boots

I like your ugg boots, I say to the jetty.

Thank you, it says.

They look sort of … clumpy though, I say.

Well they are heavy duty.

I reckon I wouldn’t mind trying on a pair. For the beach only, of course. Where do you get them?

Well, you have to become a pylon first. You just stand around. They sort of grow on you.

Whoa, I say, don’t reckon I’m ready for that.

Suit yourself , it says.

So off I go to the store on the esplanade to get a pair, off white to match the pylons.

Two Moons

.

Look, she says. There are two moons tonight. Do you think that means anything?

Like end times, you mean?

I don’t know, she says. It can’t be good.

We move closer. There they are above the rooftops, one higher and to the right of the other.

Someone in the ranch-style house across the road switches the porch light on and joins us.

My ex phoned, he says. She saw it too. She’s bit of a sky watcher.

So we stand there out the front as one disc, then the other veer off in a north-easterly direction, silent as full moons.

Mustafa and the Makeover

Mustafa who knew me well was a refugee too: he from Syria, me from the realm of common sense.

How would you like it cut? he asked.

Like yours, I said.

Like mine?

Yes.

He didn’t chuckle. He didn’t comment on the outrageousness of my request.

Apart from the difference in hair color, there was also the disparity in volume though he admitted, even at 27, he was losing his hair.

He cut, he swooped, he shaved, he teased and cajoled but when finished he wrought a little miracle.

How did it look?  Shaved at the sides , but on top what hair I had was swept to the other side of my head and held down by gel. It looked amazing.

Askew, I said, It looks amazingly askew.

Like your writing, he said.

Yes, like my writing.

Why Do You Do it?

Why do you do it? she asked.

Why do you copy other people’s poems and passages into your notebooks?

Why don’t you write your own stuff?

But I do, I answered. You know I do.

Then why this?

How do you explain the notion of a commonplace book to a non-writer?

For inspiration, I say, For enjoyment, the way people flicker through old photo albums

or their smart phone galleries.

But it wasn’t quite like that.

It was modeling too,

getting the feel for writing at the top of its game, to remind you how it’s done,

for quotes like this: ‘I don’t believe in writer’s block … plumbers don’t get plumber’s block,

doctors don’t get doctor’s block.

Why should writers be any different and then expect sympathy for it?’

[ Philip Pullman]

But she didn’t get it.

You’ve got heaps of these notebooks in your cupboard, she said. What is wrong with you?

Have you no faith in yourself?

There was no point in arguing.

But when she came upon me ‘copying’ I would flinch as if caught in some shameful act.

Wilt

She’s not coming, mate.

Sure she is. If not today, then tomorrow.

Your flowers are beginning to wilt.

I can get new ones.

There’s a party under the bridge tonight. You coming?

You go. Have a good time. I’ll be here. You never know, she might ….

Nah, mate. She won’t. Don’t wilt, you hear. Just don’t wilt.

The Difference Between

I was talking to our Hobbo the other day about scratching posts and whether his black Labrador, Dauphy had one and Hobbo retorted, no, but he has a snoring spot.

And I thought: that’s the difference between cats and dogs. Cats have scratching posts, dogs don’t. It seems a little discriminatory.

Cats can work off their frustrations on a post. What’s a dog supposed to do? Max, my granddaughter’s dog, had the answer. Whenever he got frustrated, he would hump his mattress. Not an edifying sight, but it worked for Max.

He was placid as a puddle after that.

Maybe that’s the answer for human beans too. Instead of walloping walls,  pummeling pillows or brawling with our besties, we could simply hump our mattress. Or find a snoring spot.

No More No-No’s !

No more flannelette shirts now it’s November.

No more slippers, dressing gowns, they’re old men’s clothes.

No more ‘Married At First Sight’ or ‘Farmer Wants a Wife’

Real men don’t watch those.

And when you pull up at a red light, no more picking ….

Please, please, I say, no more no-no’s!

How Could I Not?

I put up a post the other minute that I knew might offend people but I wanted to honour the veracity of the experience. Would it be more acceptable if the man was the one shouting, and he was the bear of the title rather than his female partner? She did unleash a scatological attack upon the poor guy. What he had done was unclear; more likely it was what he hadn’t done. The title of the piece was unavoidable, though might have been more acceptable were it the man hurling abuse.

It was what happened. Security was called. I overheard the remark, ‘woman screaming in the mall’. It was quite an event. It stopped everyone in their tracks. I could bend over backwards to sugar-coat the experience or ignore it but I’m a writer. How could I not respond to it?

Enlightenment

I was sitting at Maccas

chomping

on a cheeseburger

reading

what the Buddha had to say

on Generosity:

how it benefits both the giver and receiver

when this aboriginal woman

came up to me and said,

have you got two dollars. For chips?

Sure, I said,

digging deep,

pulling out a coin I plonked

in her hand.

Gee thanks, she said,

It’s my birthday today. I’m 29.

Lucky you. I said. Have a good one

and go easy on those chips.

She beamed me a smile

big as Uluru

& I knew what the Buddha meant.