I stayed for my housemates party and shared a few sincere conversations.
My girlfriend floated around in her long low cut black dress with a relaxed radiant smile. I watched her endeavours to appear unaffected by whatever substance she was taking become overpowered, as the skin on her face contracted like a picture taken at the wrong moment. I went upstairs and poked my head into one of the bedrooms she was periodically visiting. I saw her back and a protruding hand resealing a little clear bag with a redline across the top.
When I woke up I had an unexpected message from my gf’s friend asking to meet him in Lucas gardens the next day. He’s read the blog and is interested in spirituality. The content of his message was affectionate and I thought it was brave of him to step outside the restrictions of conventional masculinity especially since we don’t know each other well. I would certainly have been more reserved in his position due to the conditioning of rejections from people I’ve looked up to in the past. I did question the peculiar nature of the message and whether it had anything to do with the synthetic candour of a post big night, especially since he didn’t show up.
We’ve been buying this biodynamic apple juice from Peckham platform farmers market for months. I asked the employee if they needed any workers and was invited down to the East Sussex farm to meet the owners.
I was introduced to the farmer who shook my hand while looking in the other direction. He lives in a trailer home with his family in the middle of a 200,000sqm orchard where 3000 chickens roam freely. He took me for a walk around the perimeter and abruptly told me everything he didn’t want from an employee. His austere behaviour was unreflective of my character and I began to smile with declining interest.
He invited me into his home and I sat on the couch, his kids lounged on me while their cat quickly sprawled out on my lap purring.
The farmer had made it clear that he wanted permanent, reliable workers and I summoned the courage to tell him I have a tendency for spontaneous wandering and that I was just after some quick money. He gave me a lift home and offered me a casual job at his London farmers markets.
During meditation yesterday I decided I was going to attend the opening of Russell Brand’s new cafe in Hackney and try to ask him a question.
I ran to Queens Rd station about 1000am as a train was pulling up, my oyster card was empty (didn’t buy a ticket) but I knew I had to get that train. When I got off at Haggerston I looked for someone in a hurry without a bag on and piggybacked them through the barriers. A lady saw saw me and gasped as the alarm went off.
There were about 150 people outside the cafe including BBC reporters in a roped off area. Russell appeared and made a speech then posed for pictures. It went quiet for a moment and I yelled, “Hey Russell! Can I have a job?” People around me started giggling and the creases from his face disappeared as he looked in my direction to verify the question. “Can I have a job?” I repeated. I had his undivided attention, it would have made an exciting photograph but I refrained. “Are you a recovering drug addict?” He asked. “I’m completely recovered,” I called out. “Wrong answer,” he said “Recovery takes one day at a time, but yeah, maybe.”
“Yeah my girlfriend has just signed up to her first course,” I said at the lunch table in the meditation centre. “But she hasn’t experienced it yet so obviously if anything comes up at uni that’s more important. I can only wait and see what nature wants to do I guess. I’m not going to pressure her, as with anyone, I like to try and be the best person I can and set an example.”
“It’s the best way,” said Udo, a very tall German Pierce Brosnan. He is a teacher so who knows how long he’s been practicing.
“People are always watching,” he said “and when you think they’re not watching that’s when they’re watching you the most. When you first start meditating your trying to act like a good boy and set and example but your tense, soon though you keep practicing and it becomes natural, because Dhamma works you know. Then they see, this guys serious, he’s calm, happy and he hasn’t drunk in two years. Then some time later they watch a movie or get some signal and consider it more seriously.”
There was one question I wanted desperately to ask Udo. “Could you be in a relationship with somebody that does drugs?” That is also the same question I’ll ask Russell Brand when I meet him.
My girlfriend came in dopey after a night out recently and I ignored her. It pissed her off but I was pissed off too. It’s a tough one but she’s important and has demonstrated a profound commitment to me which has been covered before. So I accept the intoxication in our life, for now.
Initially I told my 7 housemates I wouldn’t be there for the joint birthday this weekend, basically because I’ve never felt that comfortable at parties and used to deal with it by numbing myself. But I don’t do that anymore so I just stand there uncomfortable having synthetic conversations. I’ve changed my mind though, this is where I am and soon it will change with only nostalgia to remain, so I’ll make the most of this young boho world I’ve been invited into, and not just invited, nurtured. I can’t work in England yet and they haven’t asked me for a cent.
Here’s a poem I wrote for Finch’s 21st birthday.
ambitious eagles and their cloud politics
wondering queen in lollipop glass
seven angels painting
a flower staircase and it’s miracles
raining spells gather sounds
teddy bear’s invisible hopes
baskets of cherries
special apple summer comes
drinking cups of moonlight
canal boat reflections
friendly violet spiders
sometimes you could hear the cats dancing
climbed up into her bed in the stars
the colour of tears
fairy bread smiles
We were all in the kitchen lastnight and everyone had made individual efforts for Finn’s birthday, the Queen’s was making desert.
She realised that George had put too much of something in the mixture. “I don’t want to be involved in these brownies anymore,”she said as George tried to reassure her they would be fine. “No they wont! they are going to be BITTER AS FUCK!” in a long, high pitched whine. Soon after she began smashing a measuring cup against the bench repeatedly in a plume of flour and a loud uvular tantrum. I looked at Jack and smiled, these are my favourite parts. I hate for her to be upset but it’s a lot more interesting than watching television. The housemates intervened with some time out and the Queen returned shortly after with renewed enthusiasm and some humorous self deprecation. Desert was great.
I’m in debt to the Queen actually, she’s been developing my film at her Uni and made me some fantastic avocado, vegimite and cheese toast once. Time has gifted us sincere smiles.
They all sit around and critique my pictures after development, I almost enjoy it more when they tell me they don’t like something.
They get me into Uni every few weeks as a visitor and I go round taking notes on the work I like, then I go read all the great books in the library. Yesterday I got access in the computer room and was sitting in there all day scanning my negatives. “How’d you get in here?” asked Oscar very audibly. I hushed him. People I know through my gf kept spotting me in there and coming up for chats, I was paranoid the whole time about being discovered and trying to learn for free.
I was a bit uneasy anyway because of something that happened earlier in the morning. My gf and I were walking to Uni and an argument broke out between a driver and a pedestrian on the cross walk opposite The Pelican. The pedestrian was accusing the driver of trying to run him over because he was white and soon another passer by got involved. The pedestrians face was bright red and he looked dangerous, zipped up jacket and trainers on, beating on the car window and threatening the passer by with “You fucking racist black cunt!”
It broke up and they went opposite ways but the passer by looked very agitated walking in the middle of the street. I called after him and asked him if he was alright. “Are you fucking alright?” he shouted. I repeated the question, a little puzzled. I wanted to tell him the pedestrian’s vilifications were not the general sentiment.
“Who the fuck are you!? FUCK OFF!” I felt nothing and stood there looking at him. “Are you fucking off?” he asked. I don’t know why I didn’t, maybe I thought love would conquer all or maybe it was pride, but he took a reluctant glance at the floor before running towards me, he had a hood on and brown spots on his cheeks, round glasses, “he won’t hit me I thought, he’s bluffing.” I saw his brown fist slam into my mouth and my head jerked in the other direction but my torso remained. My gf was on the corner watching. He jogged off, shoulders relaxed, the tension had been released.
Growing up you had to be ready to fight, not just ready but prepared, that’s why I did kickboxing, but there became a fine line between defense and offense.
I considered running after him and fighting him, it burned in my gut, but I know better now. Whether he realizes it or not he will suffer for that.
I felt embarrassed for caring. Like a stupid missionary.
I’d been trying to feel my breath like the teacher described. The bridge to the deepest level of the mind, an involuntary and voluntary bodily process which you could train yourself to observe without interfering. But I was interfering and my mind wandered far away every few breaths. I meditated like that for a year before becoming disheartened. If I couldn’t concentrate my mind to feel the natural breath without being distracted how could I meditate properly in the field of wisdom? But the mind did focus, after an hour and 45 mins there it was, in all it’s automatic subtlety, in and out touching the base of the nostrils, effortless, detached – like awakened sleep. Then the body became apparent, full of vibrating code, this is where the wisdom is learned. All the guilt I was fixated on that would keep me dirty forever became an equation with an answer. But there are no words to convey the answer because it’s an experience and persistent practice is the only way to understand it.
Have a super night :P
Something or other triggered it, she was holding me, I was crying. I looked up at the wall in disbelief, like, how much longer can this go on? Here is someone who wants to change, I’m ready, I’ll do whatever it takes, just show me what I have to fucking do, you know?
My phone rang the next day and I was asked to volunteer at a Vipassana Meditation course in North England, lucky I’d been practicing consistently so my mind was concentrated and sensitive to the requirements of service.
I got the train out of London and walked along the A12 for 2 hours until I felt like sticking my thumb out. I always expect to have romantic experiences when I tramp like riding freight trains with vagabonds and poets, but it doesn’t seem to happen, I just wander around by myself feeling dirty and looking in peoples windows as they enjoy warm dinners.
I got picked up by 2 kind drivers and left a huge ink stain on one of their seats after a pen leaked in my back pocket. I knew I was never going to be able to hitch there as it got dark and the rain came down, so I kept walking to the next town where I found a bus stop and had a beautiful still moment in a sudden quiet snowfall.
I got up to Saxmundham on a series of rear bus seats, tired with wet socks and numb toes. Despite being miserable knowing I had to sleep on the street, everyone I came across had a talkative kind enthusiasm which I found hard to be coincidence.
I looked around the town for places to sleep gripping my arm pits until I found the meditation centre. It didn’t open til the next morning so I slept on the doorstep. I’ve been colder.
The next morning I heard someone coming and tried to look orderly, it was an older women with died bright orange hair wearing nike hi tops. She came and inspected me with a curious smile then opened the centre.
I was asked to be a student manager seeing as I had sat courses before and there was noone else to do it.
A student helped me in the kitchen before the course and I expressed my confliction with the ego, creativity, recognition, self publication and capitalism. He said “There’s nothing wrong with being rich, and the rest is livelihood, there’s people making loads of money on youtube just being themselves. He had a point and I’m a big fan of Russell Brand. I’d rather exploit myself than be exploited by someone else for income.
So for the next 4 days my mind justifed reestablishing social media as I meditated for at least 8 hours a day with the students, catering to their needs and liaising with the teacher.
I would look up to see if anyone was having trouble during practice as they sat for 1 hour periods without moving an inch. I felt a unity with them, sitting up with straight backs, eyes closed, hands in front, gritted teeth and teared cheeks – all there for the same reason, working to live better lives, working to come out of their misery.
Diary Entry – Sun 1 Feb
3rd day here. Sankhara’s, they only come up when the mind is focussed. It takes 2 or 3 days preparation to focus the mind. It just does. Constant thoughts continue in the background, livelihood sometimes overtaking. Not much anger at all. Write a book. Once a thief. Have not spoken to Flo for at least 3 days. I thought she might message to check on me. I shouldn’t be writing, drawing and eating chocolate at a meditation course. I was clean and as soon as I ate it my thoughts clouded and I got clammy. When I do something I know is not good for me it makes it easier to slip into other behaviours or thoughts which I’d otherwise be able to resist, especially anger.
I saw the lid of sleep shut on my head.
Something is coming – to understand. something words cannot teach. Pain are tools to heal. The difference between understanding and not is how much you are prepared to work, how much pain you are prepared to face. It’s so easy to runaway, and most do.
The pain won’t go away until you learn what it is trying to teach you. Don’t poison yourself it makes your mind weak. The reaction to pain is the misery. Dr Richards (social anxiety) was RIGHT! I can’t yet face all the pain, it’s duration outstays my determination but I stalk it persistently. The sensations are not the goal but a way to observe the truth in a physical form. It’s about getting to the point where you are detached from them. They are not yours anymore. You are the control man sitting in a glass box watching. In this moment I understand. I remember.
No words or feelings. Watching, knowing from the window of amber light, unattachment, so perfect, things pass, continue to scan to see what happens which has no importance. Something is coming and it’s not how I thought it would be.
I was captivated by the cold industrial energy and the grit.
The way people dressed exceeded my comprehension of style. Trench coats and military greens, deep organic colours, fur coats with boots mixed with dreadlocks and facial tattoos.
People talking to themselves with black eyes, a man showing his penis, the biggest public karaoke platform, twirlers, a kick ass drum circle dance party and alot of weedsmoke.
I’ve still seen no place like it.
17 Jan 2015
We went for a walk to the market and my gf asked if I was impressed that she’s only been smoking 1 cigarette a day.
Heard it all before I thought, with a sanctimonious musing of my own sugar addiction.
“Yeah until you get rat faced tonight,” I said.
Shit. I shouldn’t have said that, I always have trouble expressing such things without irritability but it was a compounded response to repetitions of hers that she isn’t a big drinker and I felt compelled to submit conflicting evidence.
She’s not a big drinker compared to many (and myself at her age), it’s environmental – but she drinks, she gets affected and she does it frequently. She’s always unquestionably selfless, fun and integral but for a few days after there’s an obvious void in her spirituality and emotional independence which is hard to connect with when you know her capabilities. It is in decline however (it’s not that I don’t want her to do drugs, I just don’t want her to do drugs) and could be so much worse. Treats me like a king too she does. When I was her age I was a criminal, and seeing as intimacy and stability are my greatest disabilities she is already doing her share of making exceptions for me.
On the way home I said “Can I tell you a secret?”
“Yeah,” She said.
“You are the best girlfriend in the world and I’m so lucky to have you.”
She gripped my hand and smiled.
She insisted we go to Lidl at which I protested because I do my best not to shop in supermarkets as I believe by financially supporting huge corporations I’m an advocate for the greedy bloated capitalist’s human and environmental exploitation.
She filled the trolley and I felt tempted by the extensive fresh pastry section and conflicted by my consumer ethics, also helpless because whatever she bought was for both of us which I would surely eat in a few days with inconsistent ideals.
I went and sat outside in the cold and returned when I saw her at the checkout. She justified shopping there because she’s a student, that nuts at independent stores are too expensive and how fairly so, she makes ethical choices whenever possible.
“It could be worse,” she said.
I looked at the bags of nuts on the conveyer belt, then replied “And it could be better.”
What I meant by that is if you can’t afford to buy ethical products from ethical suppliers then you can’t afford to buy nuts. It’s like buying caged eggs because they’re cheaper and giving the thumbs up to lock a chicken up in a dark shoebox it’s whole life.
Well what’s wrong with Lidl? Oh I don’t know, they are a global corporation selling cheap foreign products with the only concern of gobbling up as much profit as possible and injecting it into the hands of a few people who have more of it than they know what to do with?
I agree that corporations have made it difficult for consumers to shop independently by squeezing out local business with cheaper multi convenience but there is always a choice. Imagine if it became untrendy to use such services because people realised they’d been manipulated using consumer techniques developed by Edward Bernays and were angry, then reclaimed their independence with minimalism and returned to the green grocers which were in such demand that you and your neighbour could make a living too.
I can make a difference, and it’s about where I spend my money. They need me, I don’t need them. (Unless there’s nowhere else to get biscuits.) Maybe I should make my own. right now….brb.
After christmas I became convinced that my life was restricted by my mental health and for the rest of the year I was going to meditate seriously with Vipassana to cultivate inner peace and outward love. (Which is not a new pursuit.) After all what is the point and nobility of all my ambitions if their foundation is not pure? How can you save the world when you destroy yourself?
I have meditated as serious as I could for the last 2 weeks, I locked myself in solitude for 2 days with a non verbal sign on the door to inform my housemates who were so supportive.
It’s hard, you want to give up the whole time because your mind won’t focus, you can’t feel your breath, you can’t feel the sensations, you are lost in the future and the volume of boring work ahead of you which you aren’t even sure works. They say meditation with an objective isn’t meditation but if I didn’t want to gain something from it I wouldn’t bloody do it would I?
But the hard work has paid off, I’m much more intimate with the cats and resistant to habitual tendencies like anger. After all if you can withstand an hour of meditation without changing your posture with your limbs screaming and your mind telling you to give up now, you start developing resistance to distracting ideas like depression.
When I wonder whether it’s worth it, I have a look at life over the last 10 years and it has improved dramatically which I believe is through a determined effort to become more peaceful and treat people better. Or maybe it just happens irrespective of my efforts. I do wonder whether I need a therapist instead of meditation though.
I’ve almost deleted this blog so many times, I really am conflicted by it but I feel compelled to interact and share today although I know it distracts me during meditation and life as I analyze every metabolic process for newsworthiness.
I still get a great deal from reading articles on the internet, they are like the gutter barriers at the bowling alley as I look for guidance to reassure I’m on the right track. Maybe I have a responsibility to share my information in return and help others or just dress up attention seeking in altruism. Everyone I look up to makes public expressions, they’d have to or I’d not have read them. It’s either a fantastic resource or one that makes me lazy and stops me learning from physical experiences. But there was no internet around when I was a teenager and I was out of control. Alot of the time I think it’s just easier to try to connect with people and share some article I typed up in a few hours in delusions of significance than get out and actually contribute to society. I think anything of true value takes time to create. Anyone can write about changing the world or living integrally but it doesn’t mean they are actually doing it. And how much difference does reading an article make anyway?
Having or showing a cautious distrust of something. Peckham – London.
when i get angry at them i dont like it anymore and I was trying to change my head
then i was always folding my legs and can only seeing some blackness
i said it is the nothing
it was hurting and sweat was coming
i keep to work
i am always trying to perfection my head
in there some secrets cant hide
then i was dirty and i think nobody can friends with me
i was in my head at the bridge and so far down is the water
when im sitting on the steps jack said if i was ok
he told me did i ever kiss a man
i wasn’t doing it or the other things but i had before done some things
then my girlfriend heard it and asking that she doesnt know it
i was telling her and she was always my girlfriend and said dont ever to change.
i am asking the questions everytime what is the point for all this things in a book
everytime the pictures and blog and in and out some breathing
finn said not always changing yourself
i was inside dont know who am i
then i said hi im chris bell!
you cant answer your own question
There is no answer for always breathing
You will all the time ask it and learn dont to ask it at the same time
I think that was called a paradox
you were always have to trick the mind so it cant see whats your plan
always saying what is the point!
then i said nobody knows it
dont always looking for some instructions from someone different
then i drink the coffee but not some beer why?
my head wants to looking out the clear window
not if it has a shit inside
so how to stop saying why?
you dont and you keep in and out some breathing
i think it was accepted
all the time life was entertainment
Man buying tickets wearing sunglasses at Queens Rd station Peckham.
At the edges of our town you could walk for miles through paddocks, across streams and wetlands, through vineyards, tall grass and bushland, past kangaroo’s bedrooms where bobtails hissed and kookaburras laughed.
Whiteman Park was in the middle of it all and Gnangara Pine Plantation stretched off into a never ending mystery of shadowy tracks beneath tall needly arches.
Single carriage roads connected the towns, people had credit at the shop and long driveways with names on their letterboxes.
Then the suburbs expanded and displaced the ducks that now sleep next to the widened road, pine tree bellies lie sawn in rows next to their root systems pulled from the earth like dusty hearts.
Kangaroos still graze in places, behind developers signs promising to house 2000 future families.
Why can’t those families live somewhere else?
Kangaroos used to graze where my house is.
Nov 26 2014
I’m staying in the ethnic community of Peckham with Flo in South East London. We live in a 5 bedroom townhouse with 6 of her friends. I’d like to write about them because they make me smile and a more conscious person.
Flo grew up with Charlie who is in a lesbian relationship with another housemate Finn. They both wear binders which flatten their boobs. Charlie does not identify with gender and requests that when being referred to the pronouns “them” or “they” are used. I slip up all the time and they gently remind me. I imagine how frustrating it would be when people don’t understand or hold importance to Charlie’s wishes, tempting them to just put up with it and suppress themselves which they are obviously sick of doing.
The attention Charlie pays to our conversations produces a feeling of self worth. I see a great empathetic sagacity within them which they are perhaps unaware of, it encourages the pure vision and prejudicial end I seek. I wish not to disappoint them with my tongue.
Flo and I are almost too good. We hadn’t seen each other in 4 months and I had suffered intense periods of doubt over the future of our relationship. She came to meet me at the airport. She stood there bright eyed and smiling with pieces of fruit. It was weird, like I had to get to know her allover again. But I soon remembered why we are together.
She kept smiling, and holding me all the way home, telling me of my new home and housemates, all the things we were going to do, the talks we were going to hear and the art we were going to make. I haven’t told her this but as she led my hand across London Bridge Station I was filled with the familiar fears that it was not going to work, that I was going to be trapped, fabricating a self eroding affection that would destroy me and send me running across the Eurasian continent.
I talked to her as soon as I could about things that have worried me and which I could not tell her before due to distrust of my own emotions and fear of hurting and losing her. It’s a fucking spider web and she does NOT like some of the things she hears but the critical point is that honesty dissolves uncertainties and increasingly proven is that she is the best equipped to deal with them. I can see why it’s SO hard to tell people exactly what you are thinking because you just don’t want to hurt people or are petrified of being alone. You end up hiding, acting, doubting, with a closet full of skeletons.
I told Flo that I don’t feel like having sex all the time and that I have felt pressured in the past, that if I didn’t do it she would become unhappy with me and look elsewhere and that there was something wrong with me for feeling that way.
I believe that our connection has a greater conscious magnetism when our lesser desires are not being expelled into a pile of tissues everyday.
If sex were meant to be a passtime noone would get pregnant from it.
She reassured me tenderly, her love continued outpouring and it will all have a positive affect on the cause.
Flo took me to her University to see a portrait she painted of me. People’s work was allover the walls and much of it was way out of my reach. I felt at home in the photography studio, I was ready to sign up there and then, if only I had my citizenship.
As I came around the partition into Flo’s studio her position diverted my attention to an intense burnt orange profile up on the wall, I seized momentarily, it was me, actually me – not just the body but the soul, with blue, neon pink and lime highlights. I didn’t have to pretend I liked it, I felt justified, like she sees in me something I can’t, like a good fire.
Guildford, Perth, Western Australia
Emotions continue to be a constant battle for me so I support this sort of expression. Good Luck.
Originally posted on Recovering The Flow:
Recently the feelings of self loathing and worthlessness began to creep in stealthy, morbid thoughts began to replay in my mind, and suicide was beginning to seem like the easiest way put before hitting he abyss again.
I knew my health was becoming an unbearable issue again and knew things would get dangerous without help. So on Thursday I went to my GP unlike my usual reserved self and actually explained how I was feeling with brutal honesty, describing past traumas and their affects leading to my current lack of sanity. In a disturbingly calm manner I managed to consciously tell her of my unwanted subconscious plan to end my life just after Christmas, likely cause being death by drowning since I have already once failed with the method of overdosing. Overdosing…don’t do it, horrible horrible experience. So anyway my doctor was wonderfully understanding and decided that I should try…
View original 205 more words
♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣
Inside some sort of dark factory
with dim lights on
roller doors with chains opening and closing them
down each corridor is a deep lane of water
someone is there with me, Blake?
The walls are black and slimy
I dive in and look around
it’s dark but visible
sudden glance left
there is a massive orange octopus tentacle next to me
it is looking at me
pulls back it’s tentacle and starts waving
I call out to my friend
I think it’s Blake
for the trust I feel in his underwater knowledge
I swim right to the bottom
I backstroke underwater
The view is beautiful
crystal clear water
slimy black walls
an underwater bat
the night sky with stars and 3 moons
I must be living.
♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣
This was taken a few days before I left London returning to Australia. My girlfriend is down there on the left side footpath holding shopping bags near the phone box.
I became fascinated with graffiti in the early 90’s around 11 years old. Writers usually operated within a group called a crew and from my observations “GAS” appeared to be the most prestigious one.
Me and my mates started our own shitty crews and our own tags trying to recreate that underground rebellious mystique ourselves.
I continued destroying endless stacks of paper practicing my tags accompanied by intermittent vandalisation from then on.
In 1997 after leaving High School to work in the city, I returned to a mature age school called Cyril Jackson Senior Campus. It seemed like people were only attending for the big social atmosphere including me who skipped class down on the oval, high on dexamphetamine, smoking cigarettes with everyone.
I noticed a guy I did swimming lessons with when we were boys at the pool in Morley that’s not there anymore. I’d also seen him at Basketball in Midland a few times, he was over confident and had graffiti on his Nike Air Force.
We started hanging out, he was doing art at school and would show me his drawings, he was older and walked a certain way, listened to Wu Tang, wore cool clothes and people talked about him, (especially girls.)
After school one day at the train station he got out his marker and started tagging on a panel, he wrote TUMBLER – GAS followed by my tag TWERP. He looked over at me and said “I bet you think your hardcore now coz I wrote you up.”
He drew my tag in an amazing piece, I’d never seen anything like it. “Don’t bite my style,” he said.
I soon realised that Tumbler was using Heroin. I could tell when he was on it because his face was pale and vacant, his eyes were red and his heart was generous. His gold rings would disappear some days and he would jovially anguish over figuratively injecting them into his arm. He’d winge about his pimples and ask me to help him get off drugs to get his life together and treat his girlfriend right. He’d say how pathetic he was for hanging around people much younger than him.
Through a new mysterious blue eyed friend and other people at school, my circle extended amongst other vandals, thieves and like minded youths. I got invited into a crew even though my writing sucked.
Funnily enough besides crime, most of the writers were generous and morally upstanding amongst their friends, welcoming new people and sharing what ever they had. That’s what it was all about, making friends and getting known.
I grew up excited by what I could get for free, smashing things and going where I wasn’t allowed so breaking the law was familiar to me but some of these guys had been in jail and had no fixed address. They were very street and their acquisitions could be methodical which took my dishonesty to a new level.
One of the big news stations did a prime time report about Perth Graffiti and interviewed 3 of our friends with their faces blurred. I know at least one of them is now dead.
One day in the city some of them stood in a fancy watch store appearing as innocent window shoppers, a minute later they had looted a cabinet with a screw driver.
We walked passed an older Aboriginal guy soon after who reprimanded VIRUS about bombing his area disrespectfully. He tried to change the subject and got told, “Don’t try make a conversation with me VIRUS just walk away.”
We went into Macdonalds across the road from Midland Gate Shopping centre. There was a glass donation box half full of money fastened to the counter and everyone was too scared to take it so I walked up and cut the wire with my snips and walked out the door. A customer said “that’s not yours,” and I laughed at him then disappeared over an adjacent fence.
We went straight to the bottle shop and I bought Strongbows for everyone. TWERP was officially a mad cunt.
My family went away for a weekend so I invited friends round to get drunk. Early in the afternoon the phone rang and my mate Tom picked it up and started teasing the caller.
An hour later Tumbler stormed through my front door and went for Tom, “Was that you on the phone?” His fist cracked Tom’s mouth like a baseball glove.
I started screaming and telling him to get the fuck out, he grabbed me and forced me down the hallway in a bear hug. I was drunk and crying, summoning all my rage to break free as he overpowered me. “I love you man,” he said, sedating me, “I respect you more than anyone, you stand up for yourself.” He did weights and boxing and was just too strong and had too much influence over me, I gave up. I’d found my role model.
We all got pissed and Tom forgave him, holding frozen peas to his pummeled mouth.
We had a bonfire out the back and some of my other friends from Lockridge came round. Tumbler had picked up his mate from jail after being released that day. They were sitting by the fire and his mate was leaning right over to one side with eyes half closed, mumbling and shaking hands with newcomers like he was mentally impaired.
My Lockridge mates left disappointed and angry that I was hanging out with drug users.
I followed Tumbler into the bathroom.
“Have you used man?”
“No,” he said fixing his hair in the mirror with red eyes and spotty cheeks.
“I fucken haven’t,” He said pushing passed me with the tonal warning not to interfere.
Some uninvited dude bought police to my house so 2 of us smashed him while Tumbler disappeared with a girl.
Then I slept with Tom’s girlfriend.
As the sun rose over Swan View I sat on the street kerb with Tumbler comforting him as he cried about cheating on his girlfriend and being out of control. Something had happened to him between growing up in the middle east and migrating to Australia and he was angry about it.
I was spending a lot of time with blue eyes by now. She had been in my health class at school, sitting directly across the room with short bleached hair, striking eyes and vintage fur coats. I couldn’t stop looking at her and one day she caught me, I looked away immediately returning shortly later to a wonderful gleam of white teeth and direct eye contact. I thought she was from another planet.
She moved into a house on Bushby St in Midland with 2 friends, one being Tom’s now ex girlfriend. I’d hang out with 3 chicks and everyone was curious because blue eyes was popular and I had fast become her best friend. One night I’d had a few sleeping tablets and was settling down in the lounge room when all three of them came and tenderly tucked me in, I felt cute.
The house started getting very busy with all sorts of people and one morning Tumbler came around early with a pocket full of jewellery and 3 or 4 watches on his arm. “I just broke into 3 houses,” he chortled and continued his brash repertoire. He’d started ignoring me by now and was living somewhere near Maylands selling gear.
I was giving someone a haircut one morning out the back when we decided to break into a nearby house. I jumped the fence with someone and pushed through an open bathroom window. I let him in and he went straight to the bedroom and tore it apart, he looked in places I never would have thought of and found all sorts of cheap jewellery. “She must be a hooker,” he said. I went into the lounge room and there were kids toys allover the floor.
Later on we were out playing pool and Tumbler showed up to sell gear to us, he had gold rings allover his hands and a roll of cash. He ignored me. Even though nobody trusted him or necessarily liked him, they respected him because he was the supervisor, he dominated everyone. He once told me that he used to look up to the bigger taggers until he met them and realised he could push them around. That’s what he wanted from me, to stand up for myself and be someone he could look up to.
I hadn’t done hard drugs before but we went back to Bushby St and I shared a needle with VIRUS (irony?) I felt nothing, Tumbler had ripped us off and no one would say anything about it.
Tom’s ex took a few of us with her to break into her parents house for food. Seeing as she had apparently been kicked out of home we figured it would be alright to rob the place while she was in the kitchen.
Someone must have found a bit of cash because the police raided my bedroom looking for it.
I was the only one to get caught because she knew where I lived. The police promised not to charge me if I told them who the other people were, so I did. I started getting threatening phone calls from someone who said they were going to break into my house so I moved to Sydney to live with a relative and straighten up.
I constantly listened to a hip hop cassette tape Tumbler had made.
One night about 8 years later back in Perth I saw Tumbler coming down the stairs from the Look Out pub in Scarborough. He called out my name smiling with that same self assurance. I ignored him.
Not that long ago I heard he died from an overdose.