Life, she laughs at me…like tonight as I sit at my computer. The machine is a heap of shit. I chose to call it the muse to my masterpiece. The keys are sticky with age; the keyboard stained and the space button is missing. Instead of a large friendly bar, all I am left with is a small plastic sensor. This small target that remains in it's place; I must train my fingers to touch with fair accuracy at regular intervals.
I believe in the terse nature of humans. If you don’t make your decisions for yourself then nobody will make them. It goes with the idea that it's better to over-rate yourself because if you of all people don't then no body else in the world will. I’ve made a decision, tomorrow I am going away. I can hear the rain on the roof outside and the rattle of my tiny mind inside. It’s time to get out. Time to leave and I can feel it; clear as clear as religion coursing through me.
I can’t explain away love, or my life’s lack of it. I haven’t planned anything for so long I’ve forgotten what a pleasure and a curse it is to imagine past the next few months into a future. Tonight I pack and engage the possibilities; how much more is there is to touch and see?
I get up early. I eat reason for breakfast. It sticks in my throat and I fight to swallow it along with my raisin toast, with a heavy backpack on my shoulders I close the wooden door
I listen to the sound of my own shoes crackling the leaves of the path.
No more half-dazed days. Goodbye watching days slip by. As I leave in this confusion of love and endurance, it's a relief to hang hope off a decision. I’ve always glanced over at people with babies or small children and wondered what it is they were hoping for.
Only once in my life have I felt like I belonged. I really, truly, loved him and I’ll probably never know why. Worse I’ll never understand why he didn’t want me. All I have is the knowledge that he didn’t and couldn't. It's when I learned the art of self - preservation. It seeped in after that. I make my way down the foot path. I spit and keep walking, it’s cold for this time of year and the afternoon light is like an after-thought. It’s as if it should already be 5 o’clock and the sun sinking behind me. It’s not- it’s barely one thirty and I just want to leave. Autumn and it’s tricks.
I’ve always wanted a car, a bright yellow valiant with an Australian flag on the aerial, mostly because I had a friend with one once. She was reckless and strange and we parted company. A few years ago I heard she died (the world is always too small for good people). Of course I don't have wheels or the hope of acquiring them so I walk. Loaded and ready to catch a bus.
I have an idea that I’ll use my passport and try and get a cheap flight when I get to the airport. I haven’t much money. It bothers me. I chew on my lip. At the airport I buy chips and a coffee. Amid the throng of travelers I'm relaxed and busy. This day holds new truths that I hadn’t known existed. I take stock of my funds and the price to get anywhere. I choose Cairns. I choose Cairns because it’s small and unfamiliar but there's still the possibility to go north if I want to. Depending how it goes when I get off the plane. I’m a bit rumpled that I can’t afford to go overseas but I have to make do with a change. The flight isn’t for 5 hours and I kick around at the airport.
When I was smaller I wanted everything, I was fierce and opinionated and passionate, brave and stupid. I wished for things with unfaltering faith and lots of the time I got them. Years later I wonder where that little girl went? Did she walk away when she realized I was never going to stand out in a crowd? Did she let go of my hand and wander off in her party dress and I didn’t notice until it was too late? Or did I merely make a series of strange, easy choices and she left. I certainly don’t feel old. I just feel like I’ve been kicking around in a shoe box. A shoe box that’s pretty and that I picked out for myself and now I’m inside it, knowing it intimately and I don’t like it as much as I thought I would. I smile conspiratorially at no one. I rearrange my arse in the plastic bucket seat. It’s too uncomfortable and I want to be outside.
A man offers me a cigarette whilst I’m standing around on my own, at the glass doors in the wind. I take it. I smoke for something to do but I don’t really taste it. He asks me where I’m going. The man says I have the look of winter. He says it's fortunate I’ve chosen to go away. I look at him unsmiling. My brave face, facing his. People are so free and easy with their opinions. His opinion is meaningless. Passing observations made on a life he knows nothing of. I don’t thank him for it. Taxi drivers, old people, aunts, people you meet at the fish and chip shop, buskers, smack addicts you turn away for lack of change, mum – they all have something to say about how I look and feel. I don’t want it. I want to be blank faced, tired and mysterious.
About a half an hour later I'm sucking the cigarette man’s cock. We only talked for a couple of minutes before it occurred to me. It wasn't hard to get to this point. Blunt = sexy when it comes to casual fucking and here we were in a toilet cubicle at the airport. I’m doing it for sport, aware that he might try to give me 50 bucks at the end and I’ll feel insulted. I'm extremely good at it. He mutters some phrases I’ve heard once or twice before. He bucks me a little with his knees, shoving his cock further and further into my face until he cums with a rusty grunt. It doesn't take long. I clamber up and kiss his lips; briefly. His stubble and his smell are unfamiliar. I let myself out of the cubicle before he even buttons his pants, there-by avoiding the awkwardness. He makes a sound but I don't turn around and it's over. I smirk and check the sides of my mouth in the mirror.
I buy a fanta. Three hours have passed. My lips are numb and rubbery. They feel huge to me as I press them together. I buy a newspaper to find out what day of the week it is.
I sit by myself in the lounge making origami boxes - this eats up more than an hour of my time. I’m feeling anxious now. There is nothing for me at the other end. I interact badly with people. I curse myself for giving head – again, when I could have had someone to talk to for another hour or two. I wonder where he’s going and realise I didn’t ask.
The last time I was intimate with my lover; the man who broke my heart- I’d given him a head-job. I had taken the time and given freely to the task of making love to his silky skin. Caressing him and sucking his cock like a nymph. He’d gotten up afterwards and I’d watched him walk around my tiny bedroom, nude. His taut, lean muscles on display… he was so comfortable with himself, such a rare thing, after weeks of hiding under the sheets unaware that he was beautiful. I was so sure he loved me that day, and I glowed on the inside- fit to bursting with words that I chose to hold back. Now I am glad of it, I would have been made a fool. He let go of my from his life the next day. As it was I had no idea that we would never be that close again. I had no idea then, that he never feel anything like I felt for him. He always told me he had nothing to give. I should have listened. Instead I gave and gave until my love for him gutted me, took my energy for fun and happiness and churned it into an unquenchable restlessness. Well he was a cunt and he fucked me. Today I am an emotion cripple. We can’t blame others for our mistakes. Can I blame the fearless little girl I used to be? She got me into that mess based on trust and understanding. I smirk to myself at this and an elderly lady at my side shifts in her seat uncomfortably. I wonder if she will get up and move away. I stop picking my emotional scab. I look up to see my friend with the cigarettes. He acknowledges me coolly and indicates his pocket. I make my way out of the lounge behind him, out onto the street. We smoke, not talking and eventually he leaves. I can still hear the wind.
I board the plane to Cairns. When we disembark the airport is tiny and hot. I buy bananas and bread and peanut butter and go and sit on the pier. There are cafes and restaurants everywhere. I sit at a bench to make up my food. It’s getting dark now but it’s not cold. I’m not sure where I’ll stay. The best place to start is the pub, I’ve not much money but if I can find a bar with locals I might learn where to look for work in the morning. For now I use my plastic knife to smear peanut butter on white bread. My fingers poke the banana flat to fit in the sandwich.
I figure I’ll find my way when I need to.