i wandered the impossible earth
locked myself in uncharted rooms
i never knew where i ought to be
lost my thoughts to the memories of old trees
somewhere surely winter must end
somewhere surely there’s a little less rain
I hugged the walls, trying to hide in dark corners, but a bitchy wind found me everywhere I went, and gnawed at my neck and cheeks with its merciless teeth. I had no respite.
I was huddled in the pokey gap between a tattoo parlour and pool hall when I heard what sounded like a squeaky toy. There was a frail, drawn-out release of air. Like it had been sat on. Like it had invented misery.
It came to life in an expensive arty-farty Moleskine—maybe I fancied myself as the next Hemingway. I even bought a posh Parker pen. Only the best tools, right? But as time went on and times got desperate, the Moleskine got swapped out for paper from bins and skips, and the Parker for biros I’d stolen from cheap snack-bars and post offices.
But I didn’t give up. I continued to scribble beneath dim streetlights, in dingy alleyways, and as close to the neon glow of storefronts as their owners would allow. Come hell or high water, I’d complete this book.
My dream. I ended up leaving my hometown for this.
Melbourne was too expensive. I’d lost my job and the rent was killing, so I upped stakes. I moved to deepest, darkest Peru where I burned through the remainder of my savings in under a year. Even though it was as cheap as chips to live there, I eventually found myself eking out a living on the streets.
I guess I didn’t think things through enough. Now I didn’t even have the money for a one-way ticket back to Australia.
Perambulation is something that featured a lot in Iron Uncle’s Upbringing. His travelling oilcan never once dried up.
Rarely did his joints give out or his suspension develop clanky carbuncles.
Geez, he skipped up hill and down dale like a pumped-up pup!
And did you know he could bench press a thousand Tiny Tins if he really wanted to?
Tinderellas were thrilled with his seductive cast-iron buns.
Oh, if only he could return to those halcyon days and youth anew,
Rekindle what used to be instead of chased for conversion by rumpty nuns.
Years roll past like parts on a conveyor belt, and rust never sleeps.