But you never know who sees you, so don’t be invisible.
I love people I don’t like for being themselves.
Pablo Picasso spent his career trying to paint like a child.
The best advice I ever got in recovery was to knock yourself out.
Let’s be honest your going to anyway.
Enjoying the ride?
When no-one loves what you do,
Love them so you can (love what you do)
And they will end up loving you anyway
Even if they don’t
And I don’t mean confession
I mean never making a mistake
Not even one, ever.
new ball points
Description: Looking head on at craving, trying to set foot in a new land of okayness. To glimpse what I have wanted ever since I remember something not being right. I feel like this is a win today.
Transcription: because he is sitting there (Kanye) and he says even after he has all the shit. Material, s. That he still feels suicidal and he’s still addicted to percosets and doesn’t even realise it. And i thought, who do i wanna be? Do i wanna be someone, do i wanna be something that is controlled by some secret power that invades every hour, or do i wanna fight? Do i wanna fight for my freedom? What do i wanna, what do i wanna experience. Do i want reality or do i want drugs? Coz i have reality right now. Am i willing to fight for it? Do i wanna be remembered as someone who, was a genius? Or do i wanna be remembered as someone who had. Love. It’s more than courage. It’s. To, to want something new is more than courage. It’s death. It’s death of: being good enough it’s, of being loved, being excited, having fun. But it’s also the death of fear. Man that old life is just calling, all the time. All – the – time. And I tell other people to wake up. And they snap at me. But how do i know it’s possible? If i wont sit. In this, apparent hell. Crow crowing. In the unknown. In that lounge. The very thing i want. Is in front of me every day. And how many days have i run. Run from it. Given up. Given up on what i want. Which is to be free. Which is to love the moment. Red eyes. Hoarsesness. To love life.
Will trade for two good car tyres
Spinach boxes, long life milk, tape, liquid nails, gorilla grip, contact epoxy, gesso, biro, posca, spray paint, paint, pages of notes / drawings from journal.
Hot chips are technically sugar. It’s always hard to know which part of me is tackling you. You know when people ask you for stuff? What’s happening with uni anyway? It felt like I was going backwards plus maybe I’m finally full of myself. Which is why u do these things but maybe is as close as you’re going to get. Like how do you know when you have to turn? You’re turning. How do you know when you’ve had enough? You just know. But no, we have to make sure. Bad for the engine over time. And the ones who stop? Pikers. Secretly we admire their loyalty.
I’m not here to convince you that my life is interesting or that I caught 3 shoplifters. I’m aware that I try too hard to help others at times so have decided to go and see someone about it so I can help them. Someone was just faffing about so I offered to pay their bill. It’s been done for me I said. I’m trying to write what their response was but it will make me the winner. We were talking about how Usher told T Pain he ruined music for real singers. Nope I can’t talk about that either, ego cramps. Can I mention how ironic hipsters are because they’re gorgeous and terrified of how the outside world is perceiving them?
You know the ones, you’ve known them for 3 years and they won’t follow you. Then you get the Normies; GOD BLESS THE FUCKING NORMIES. You know everything about them and they don’t even blink despite you being better.
Somehow I got up at 8! Worth it because it was quickly 9:36. I got a pair of shoes for $2 and put them on. The soles are coming off the Pumas and would disrupt the finish in here. I heard, “fucking richies,” and they assessed me from the booths. Unsure exactly what it is we do in that moment but I could find out. How we look up from benches, yielding a semi automatic grading system. 22 million God’s with shopping lists. Now tell me where that comes from? I’d have to sit in the dark for two weeks to find the tendrils but I’d do it if I had some interest from investors. I renounce gawking at people every morning, including myself. I’m relieved to see people full of piercings despite the granite.
I was down at the fire last night having a soup. I didn’t say anything to anyone. I had it in my mind that I don’t need to fill silences. It wasn’t a serene understanding, more like treading water. I’m watching me there and I can’t see a problem. Say hello or don’t, get in the car, go home. The only thing worth writing about is the fire and I didn’t notice it.
Carrying on like yesterday’s record. The best part was the loser bit which no-one will understand. I’m a loser. Think about it. If I’m a winner you’re a loser, if you’re a winner I’m a loser. I saw it. Not right now because I’m ambitious but I did. I called someone a loser for ever then I realised they were just trying to win. Which is what we’ve all been conned into doing here. I dunno if you get it. Maybe you want to get it. I know two people like that. The first thing we do is go, oh I’m not good enough because I’m not levitating. April fools. Isn’t that a relief. I won’t even understand this next week but it’s fun to do. You can just tell when somethings coming from a different place. It’s lost its grip. I was looking at someone’s profile who’s got it all and the bio says, “Don’t worry I hate myself.” I felt relieved. Why? It gives me hope in the coin toss. Death and dreams are made in the same factory. If I write in a way which encourages you to compare yourself you’ll have to go get drunk. Why, because I’ve got guts. I’m so outgoing I’m suicidal. Beat that. Homicidal is a close second. Maybe it’s first, I dunno we didn’t watch those movies in my house. I’m not suicidal. No-one is unless they believe it. I used to. I saw something funny, a cinema full of sheep watching a movie about a paddock full of sheep. They’ll never get out.
Respect to The Work of Byron Katie
Listening: Joy Orbison’s new album, Still Slipping. XL https://tossportal.bandcamp.com/album/still-slipping-vol-1
The reason I left uni last week is because I realised how stupid it is to actually pay for something I don’t want but have been convinced I do and is actually killing me.
The reason I have come back to uni this week is because the excitement of wearing black and showing my forearms is more appealing than being strictly alive; looking out the window. The dreadful existence of being above it all. Must not be abstract must not be abstract.
Even that’s an ideology though, letting go, giving up. I think we’re starting to get somewhere with, “give up giving up.”
My friend recently asked me to write a monologue for one of his characters. It’s top secret but has to do with the meaning of life. He says, “You’re the only person I know who could write that.” I agree with him because I’ve seen it; most days too, right up until lunch time when the guilt of underachieving kicks in.
I know how to get it.
But I don’t want it.
Because I’m an excellent listener. All the shit you guys have filled my head with over the last 40 years. Even through all the chronic diagnoses and the bed sores, the lice, the footpaths and the I couldn’t possibly get any lowers. Must not be excessively sentimental must not be excessively sentimental. Still I listen and say just give them another chance.
Don’t take this personally unless you enjoy that sort of thing, a good way to measure this is how you react in online forums or watching the news. I think there’s about, actually no-one I know is beyond that. And if they are they’re judging the ones who aren’t. But I do have some associates who are above it, and they were my disabled clients while I did support work.
I’m justifying the fire in my belly right now with Jesus’s rage in the market. But really the cause of rage is my own noseyness. I could also question that though given a story I heard from a class mate. It was during a printing studio and one of the other students was not listening to the instructions of how to use the press. The tutor flew into a quick fit of rage. My friend monitored the following moments very closely and observed a clear beginning and end to the anger. She carried on in a balanced manner without any further interruption to the cohesion of the group. He and I being both experienced in brawling were in awe of this.
The reason I write this way is because I intend it to be read. If I were to write exclusively for my own benefit it would look like a stock take pro-forma, then again that could be interesting.
During meditation I realised that there were people in Perth who’d made celebrated contributions to local music and had thousands of followers, were down right gorgeous and people thanked them when they were in public. The biggest factor was how many blonde haired friends they had, and how those people look stunning wearing a sleeping bag. I saw how frequently these sexy gifted people posted pictures of their heads or some ironic supermarket scene. I thought these mother fuckers have exactly what I want and behave in precisely the same manner which keeps me awake at night. What I mean is I have absolutely no evidence to suggest they are happier than me. It certainly seems that they’re getting their own way though. I know what I’m like when I get my own way. Higher than you. Way way way way lower.
Do you ever have so many fantastic things to write at once they get bottlenecked? I look amazing today. I put that down to stopping when I was full. I seem to have so many great clothes when my life’s going well. My life goes well when I get my own way and I get my own way when the Dr gives me a 3 month work exemption. Having great hair also has something to do with it.
We were out last night and a girl kept passing behind me and saying sorry even though she didn’t bump me. We agreed that she was hot so I said, “Poor girl,” and turned my back to her. I don’t know where I picked that strategy up but it worked because I never saw her again.
The book I’m reading made me jealous and want to start dating. The problem with dating is people only like me if I don’t talk. It’s hard to manipulate people like that. Eventually they realise I’m not actually cool and I have to call them posers for the rest of my life when I’m trying to go to sleep.
I told my Dr I was better than ever but only because I’m unemployed. He said that Centrelink’s job is to get rid of me and his job is to help me stay alive, that there’s no question I’m bright, most people don’t realise that times an illusion. No question, I said, showing him all the writing I’d done in his waiting room and saying how I learned to make music in 6 months. Would people be interested in your music? Probably not; and we both laughed. Not anyone I know anyway. The only thing that makes sense is online, that’s the future, Then he sugested blogging.
New Chris Music
We’ve had our share of troubles; gut ache, best friends. I will not try to be positive because it’s just as intolerable. I’ve come to grasp intellectually that some humans inherently and ungratefully can discern between horror movies and reality. I have wondered how a bed wetter goes from being unable to able, and the evil from bad to good though all I really have is there word.
I haven’t been taking the aspirin. I figured through self deception that as I mostly, actually sometimes eat well, that plaque wouldn’t adhere to the aortic stent, break off and lodge in my brain. Raised blood sugar is on the rowing team with thrombis and here I am by the river with a car full of melting moments.
Trouble eating is a great marketing tool for juicers. Spinach is like an eraser for yesterday but you can’t rub out dermatitis. Skin is king, you can’t make up with bulemic tricks.
I threw a tantrum earlier deciding that life had nothing to offer me and I was going to sit on my mattress until I’d gotten to the root of why the world thinks I’m bad with my hands. You know, I muted the phone then turned off the phone then punched the floor then set up the camera to record me punching the floor and knew in my heart that I’d figure it out relaxing at the bakery.
Everything’s good again. The fisherman is pissing in the bush, cockatoos are playing, my sister got a tattoo gun and I’ve been to 3 life drawing classes in a row.
4 Jan 2018
I was at Rifo’s with Lawrence and told him I had 19 of these journals. He said I should start screwing with them. Did I have the trick? Why did I have the attack of the holidays? I sat with mum for hours, we read Matthew and she cried three times. I told her I struggle with a love between God and art. She said art is in his image and not to surpress it. Then I saw Lawrence then Sam then picked up the velvet book and burst. I was supposed to go to bed but the ink kept gushing. It had been stuck all this time inside a jelly of fear. Afraid of ridicule for being soft and wobbly. But now it’s like the most amazing cordial. I just know this is what they mean by purpose. Bad energy stays in the throat but the chords are relaxing, my voice is breaking again. Things are really starting to change because I realise I can’t. Mum said I need to get checked out. That there’s a good therapist in Mt Lawley. The poison needs to come out, it’s tearing you apart. I said don’t worry about what Aunty Pat says. It’s my Facebook and I’ll write whatever I like. That was a poem for chrissakes. She said, “Maybe I should listen to it with music?” I sung Dadada. It really does sound like your going off the rails though. I said I haven’t been on the rails since the 60’s. At that party, on a big property. A girl said we may as well get married and save time. So I took her to my room, there was clean clothes allover the bed. I said I don’t bother putting them away there’s no point. She got in and I went into my high school garden for a leak which went for ages. When I got back to my room it was rearranged and she was crying. “He came in wild with language and pissed right there two times.” I said, “Right,” and went and cut up his toy engine with a hacksaw.
26 October 2015
I was thinking about it, but I changed my mind.
Found a friend who didn’t call me selfish, change the subject or tell me it’s not that bad. Someone who could listen without giving me advice. Unless advice is offered very tactfully it will be perceived as a judgement, that the answer is simple and that I’m not trying hard enough. And basically just make me hate them.
Saw a therapist. In Australia you get 10 free sessions a year on Medicare and surprisingly when combined with the other coping tools listed here it can prove very helpful. Even if it’s just one thing they say, it has helped me move through a new door of self awareness. I was certain there was nothing more for me to gain from counselling and when goal setting was suggested I scoffed. ‘That’s one of the reasons I’m so messed up because of all this pressure to achieve something.’ But It did help me. It helped me realise that living on the street wasn’t an option anymore. That what was most important to me at that time was having somewhere safe to live. So I started taking steps towards it and am picking up keys to a studio apartment.
Faced my emotions. I read somewhere that if people could just deal with their emotions, there would be no need for therapy. Luckily I have a tool for that, Vipassana Meditation. On average I practice 1 hour a day, have done for 3 years. And I don’t have insomnia anymore. It’s like excercise for the mind, making it strong. It is not about 3rd dimensions, it is like training a very naughty dog x 1000. But like excercise which makes me feel good when I do it and enhances many other areas of my life, when I don’t do it, the benefits are easy to forget. So frequency is key.
Minimized addictions. There is no way around it, whether it’s heroin or cake, there is no truth for me in synthetic experiences. At times it’s not even about resisting it’s about knowing what I have to do to get better which is experience those difficult feelings naturally. Nothing motivates abstinence like abstinence. The feeling of being clean and not needing anything to be myself. I’ve been working on this for over 10 years and have remained completely drug, alcohol and cigarette free since the 1st day of 2013
My other demon is habitual eating. Besides my friends and even my therapist thinking it’s hilarious for me to eat 10 donuts and a jar of Nutella, I feel like it’s just as physically and spiritually damaging as other drugs. Just my opinion. I had to cut out sugar again recently for over 2 weeks because I’d been hitting it so hard I was breaking out in dermatitis and waking up in night sweats.
Excercise. Nike got it right, just do it. I know it’s good for me because I’m full of endorphins after a workout, it’s a stress reliever, it burns guilty calories, tones and keeps my body functional and most importantly gets my mind off staring at the wall trying to solve the mystery of depression. I said to my therapist, “I feel like excercise is just a distraction, like a band aid, that I’m running away from my problems and they will be right there where I left them. ‘That may be so,‘ she said ‘But is sitting there thinking about it actually helping?’ ‘Absolutely not,‘ I said. ‘I’ll sit there for 3 fucking days drawing nooses.’ ‘Exactly, she said ‘It’s very dangerous.‘
Work. All of the above, helping my mate at work, djing, volunteering in the community. Even if I do feel like pulling out on the day because I’m quiet and weird and can’t hold a fucking conversation, I go get involved and usually find it was worth it. Just doing something to get me out of the house, into a routine, a reason not to stay up allnight. Developing my interests. There are times when all of this rationale is beyond me and I can’t get off that dark path but I like to think my determination has something to do with improvement. Recovery is hard work but suffering is harder. I know some people don’t have a support network and depression has often convinced me that I don’t have one either, which is bollocks. Because there is someone to ask for help, I just need to keep asking and if they don’t come I’ll scream at the top of my lungs until they do.
I didn’t always have a support network or interests to give me something to work towards. I used to drink, steal, and hate. But with continuous hard work better things came. It happens very slowly but 15 years passes quickly and there is nothing more important than my mental health. That is my job and it is so difficult, almost impossible, that’s why I don’t blame people for killing themselves or most of the population for being addicted to something. I know when I see a filthy person crouched in a street corner talking to themselves that it could have been me. I was on the start of that path, the voices in my head were taking over. So can someone come back from that? I would love to hear from anyone that has recovered or developed the tools to cope with mental illness.
Jail used to seem like something I was working towards, there was even a time I thought I’d be able to kill someone if they wronged me. Now I can’t even kill a mosquito. So I make an exception on getting advice when my therapist says, ‘Keep doing whatever your doing, because it’s working.’
Trying to hitch out of Uxbridge nobody would stop. Frustration? Then remembering that I was free now, not when I got there. If I didn’t get a lift I could camp in the park and I’d still be free, even when it rains. I don’t have to worry about collecting glasses, what the housemates think of me or feeling guilty for choosing my laptop over my girlfriend. I changed spots.
A taxi driver picked me up. He drove taxis because he had no-one to answer to and could come and go as he pleased. I exclaimed. I’m petrified of not coming and going. I’d rather be beaten than employed. He said I’d made the right decision because London is a toilet. I told him about my girlfriend and how she has this special power where she actually forgives people. He said, I was better off without her and gave me five quid and his number.
I was at a complex intersection. Iron railings all around and tunnels underneath, nowhere to stand, peak hour traffic dark and raining in Birmingham. I considered breaking into the boarded up Ruxtin hall to sleep but tried a little longer. I was close to pitching my tent in the park when someone held up traffic calling out to me.
They say they can only take me a short way and laugh at everything I say. I seemed to start impersonating myself to entertain them, realising they probably weren’t used to picking up Australian hitch hikers and I had an edge because I was different. I could do no wrong, keep it simple and smile while they offer me jerky and cigarettes. You could say be myself whoever that is. I ended up at a Welsh hotel and they shouted me a room.
Kev reminded me of my dad. His voice whined like a Scouse’s and he used fast anecdotes that I didn’t understand. He valued wit in men and cackled like the intro in that Feel Good song in the Gorillaz. His teeth twisted and pointed straight out like a beaver.
He used to hitch hike 20 years ago and told a story of being picked up by a man in Dagenham. ‘He seemed alright to begin with and suggested I stay at his place. I soon realised he was a fookin gay and said nah I’ll be right. He kept insisting and luckily he pulled over to have a cup of tea, so I had one with him then went to the toilet and fooked off.” We all laughed.
I sat with Kev and his 2 sons at The Stanton Hotel in Chirk. They had about 3 pints each and for a moment I considered joining them. Kev chain smoked and repeatedly offered to buy me food and drink while getting money of his sons for the next round. All I had was £50 in the whole world but I still felt guilty for accepting the hotel.
I went upstairs to write, and Kev knocked on the door. “Aren’t you Australians meant to play guitar or something?” He kept shaking my hand and repeating himself, I thought he must be drunk.
He said goodnight and that his son would pick me up in the morning to take me to Manchester. “It’s been a pleasure,” I said. “I bet it fookin has!” he said nodding with a high brow.
I could hear the doors playing through the wall in his room and he called me 10 minutes later. “Do you have an alarm clock you drongo?”
Mitch picked me up out the front, I didn’t get a chance to look at him much but he had small brown eyes. It was a struggle to talk but I dug deep. He was kind and unsure. I don’t think his old man shouts him hotel rooms.
I got into a posh part of South Manchester and found myself ravaging a tray of McDonalds. I don’t look after myself anymore and I haven’t been meditating. I’m also having dreams about being Lou Reed.
I’m staying with someone I met in Mexico. He’s living at his uncles for nothing and gave me a top floor room overlooking a jungle where a fox lives.
I will over stay my welcome and think about it for years.
Flo is not happy but I’ve run out of sorrys.
July 07 2015
I was falling asleep on the train coming back from Victoria which seemed to humour two dudes sitting opposite. So I layed dog eye for a bit, slowly filling my lungs then screamed as loud as I could. Everybody on the train jumped and it frightened those two so much that a part of them may never recover.
Before that I was seeing Flo off the couch terminal and she bought me a flapjack. I had been looking at her in awe, wondering if she was real. How did she know I love flapjacks? Seeing as I’d known real happiness I figured it would be the last time I’d see her before she died in a bus crash.
She was hopping, so it didn’t feel right to look deep in her eyes but I made her promise she wouldn’t die. And seriously why we won’t be together forever? Unless the bus crashes or I die of strangeness because I’m way older and live a double life around snack stands.
I came home and ate a litre of cheap ice cream which I had to hide from my housemates who hate Nestle. It was so bland I had to put 3 bananas in it and heaps of Flo’s honey which I’ve been banned from touching. Then I ate the chocolate which I found hidden at the very back of the cupboard from me.
I sat ashamed on my laptop and played with the cat as Finn clanged around with a mop and bucket on her morning off. Then Jack woke up full of phlegm and left a puddle of tea on the clean floor.
I went into his room while he was away in Barcelona. It was a shocking mess, a bulging black bin liner being circled by winged insects. Finn and Flo had been in there and cleaned it for him, which was most kind considering he’s a brat and refuses to wash his own dishes. While they were in there Finn called out to me to come look. The room looked fantastic and they’d written him a poem. Finn guided my attention over towards the shelf where standing upright stood both of Jack’s rubber dildo’s. With a cheeky smirk she pointed closer to the smaller one which seemed to bear some remains with hair stuck in it.
Jack and I weren’t talking. He’s a pig and I’m not paying rent. When I went into his room to retrieve my shorts, I found myself sympathetic and intrigued. This was his first time living away from home and he’d obviously had no domestic responsibilities before.
For a gay kid growing up in Essex I assume the only way to survive was to become efficient at devaluing criticism. Problem is he applies it to things he doesn’t understand or hold importance to. He got smacked out the another night by some guy in a Peckham fast fued and you have to give it to him old Jasper, he’s good at getting under your skin. They did call him chubby however.
I saw almost our entire collection of bath towels on the floor, empty booze cans, all sorts of grime and debri, evidence of independant sexual activity, scattered change, his drawings on the wall – one which looked a fine piece of draftsmanship done without lifting the pencil from the page.
He complains about being the only single person in a house of eight and at least was, spending a lot of time on grinder. Since I’ve known him, his increasing sexual exploration has entertained my own curiosity, his frankness around homosexuality is refreshing since it’s not typical of my upbringing.
He came into our room the other night and woke us up crying and saying he didn’t want to drink anymore, then denied it the next morning.
There’s no denying the allure of a self destructive person, but it’s a lot less irritating from a distance and when you don’t have to wash his frypan just to cook.
27 March 2015
I almost walked out of work before even starting, waiting like a moron for my boss to open his door so I could ask why I hadn’t been paid. I called him two days ago and he said he’d get back to me.
In his office he said he would call the pay people on Monday and let me know. He asked me if I was struggling and without hesitation I told him I was. He said he’d lend me £100 out of his own pocket and that I could pay him back later. Until that moment I was indifferent towards him but this changed things. We shared a hint of a smile and I asked where he’d like me to work figuring I’d see him later about the loan.
I went out to the busy beer garden and got on clearing tables of glasses and plates, scanning any horizontal surface for lost valuables. I can’t look at the patrons because my hair sucks and I don’t know what to say when they talk to me.
Chris is behind the bar. He’s not worried about his hair, neither am I really. He always smiles and doesn’t get weird. His girlfriend is best with the bosses girlfriend. We talk about Italian shirts and I squirrel wedges from customers plates. I’m doing my best believe me. I realised a drinker had been watching me wedge and a jolt went right up me as I continued stacking glasses and refusing to look up.
I found a packet of unfinished cigarettes and as Charlie walked past with two towers of glasses I tucked them into his top pocket your the man!
There was a brown paper bag under one of the tables and I took it. There was a half eaten steak and a pair of orange Ray Bans.
A rugged looking new employee brought some glasses up as I was stacking the dishwasher and asked if I was Australian. He didn’t seem to notice I was weird and we cleaned up the beer garden together in the dark singing Tomorrow by Silver Chair. I found a gold pound in the stone floor crack marvelling at it in my fingers. I added it to the other 85p I’d already found and shifted the ray bans from my bulging jeans pocket into my shirt. If anyone came asking for them I’d give them back but they’d only be looted from lost property and sold for 20 quid.
I’m aware my morals are sliding but being poor makes it ok. If it weren’t for cashing someones’s oyster card I found in the dunny I wouldn’t have been able to get to work today or buy a chocolate orange from Poundland.
I was relieved about that loan though and could finally buy my girlfriend and I some food. But it felt like cheating because I wanted to be in this position out there broke in London. Making it up minute by minute not knowing later, in the jacket alone in the grey, pecking at the path, not knowing about the nits. Carry on only luggage euphoria and no alzheimers.
At the end of shift I realised the boss had gone home early without a loan and the Ray Ban’s had fallen out of my pocket so any relief would have to wait til tomorrow.
“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.
We were all in the kitchen lastnight. Everyone making an individual effort for Finn’s birthday. The Queen 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.” George quickly tried to reassure her they would be fine but she whined in a long high pitch, “No they wont they are going to be bitter as fuck.” She started growling and repeatedly smashing a measuring cup against the bench inside a plume of flour. I looked at Jack and smiled, these are my favourite parts. The housemates intervened and after a short time out The Queen returned with renewed enthusiasm. I hate for her to suffer but it’s way better than television.
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
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 and I go round looking at their work and reading in the library. I got access to the computer room yesterday. Cagey. Sat in there all day scanning my negatives. Loads of my girlfriend’s mates kept coming up for chats. I was just waiting for the tap on the shoulder from security. Then I saw Oskar and he’s across the room like, “How did you get in here?”
I think the cortisol was still in me from earlier on. On the way to uni we were walking past the Pelican and an argument broke out between a driver and a pedestrian. The pedestrian accused the driver of trying to run him over because he was white. Another passer by got involved and so he turned on him. Face bright red and dangerous. Zipped up jackets and trainers beating on the car window 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.
when i get angry at them i cant stand it anymore and
I was trying to change my head
then always folding my legs and 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 but i had before done some things
then my girlfriend heard it and asking that she doesnt know
i am telling her and she was always my girlfriend and said dont ever changing.
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 even 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 tricking 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 somebody 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 can’t and you keep in and out some breathing
i think it was accepted
all the time life was entertainment
Guildford, Perth, Western Australia
5 Nov 2015
I became fascinated with Perth graffiti in the early 90’s after seeing “PIST – GAS” tagged in the alleyway next to my house in Beechboro. I was 11. Writers usually operated within crews and from my observations “GAS” appeared to be the most prestigious one.
Me and my mates started our own shitty crews and 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 97 I left Lockridge High to work in Forest Chase News. Didn’t work out and I returned to a mature age school called Cyril Jackson. It seemed like people were only there for the social atmosphere including me who hung around on the oval doing dexies and smoking.
I noticed a guy I’d done swimming lessons with at those old Morley pools when we were young. He had a little brother too. I’d also seen him at Swan Recreation while playing Basketball. He came up. Way too confident and had graffiti on his Nike Air Force.
He came up at school one day and said I’d tagged on his piece at the bustop outside the BP in Swan View. He was submissive probably reasoning anyone willing to challenge his clout deserved caution. But I was just stupid. I didn’t even know there was a piece there, maybe just some kindergarten project.
We started hanging out at CJ. He was doing art and would show me his drawings. He was older and knew how to walk, people talked about him and everyone knew when he arrived. He wore jag jeans and Timberland shirts, listened to Wu Tang and Ultramagnetic MC’s. He showed me this tune on his walkman called the Poo Poo Wrecka.
After school one day at the train station he got out his marker and tagged a panel, he wrote TUMBLER – GAS followed by TWERP. He looked over at me and said “I bet you think your hardcore now coz I wrote you up.”
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 injecting them into his arm. He’d winge about his pimples and ask me to help him get off drugs, get his life together and treat his girlfriend right. He’d say that he was pathetic for hanging around people much younger than him.
He stayed with me for a bit and drew TWERP in an amazing piece and told .me not to bite his style. I glued it to my file.
Through a new mysterious blue eyed friend and other people at school, my circle extended among other vandals, thieves and like minded youths. I got invited into JM by LASH even though my writing sucked.
Funnily enough besides crime, most of the writers were generous and morally upstanding among their friends, welcoming new people and sharing what ever they had, even tipping taxi drivers $50. 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 but some of these guys had been in jail and had no fixed address. They were street; 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 Graffiti and interviewed Torcher, Virus and Brat while blurring their faces. “You see me on the news Twerp?” Said Torcher on the train one day. I had taped it.
One day in the Murray St Mall we were in a watch shop browsing innocently then the next thing they’ve vanished and the cabinet door is wide open.
We walked passed an older Aboriginal guy soon after who reprimanded VIRUS for bombing up Mirrabooka I believe. Virus started asking how so and so was but got shut down, “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 people 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 ball to mit.
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. He was crying too, “I love you man,” he said sedating me, “I respect you more than anyone, you stand up for yourself.” He was just too strong, he did weights and boxing 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 friends from Lockridge came round. Tumbler had picked up his mate CINSE 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 mates from Lockridge came round and screwed their noses up at my choice of company; beer and fighting was alright with them, but not drugs.
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 above the train tracks on the kerb with Tumbler comforting him as he cried about cheating on his girlfriend and being out of control. Something had happened to him growing up 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 Mel and Tom’s ex Kelly. I’d hang out with these 3 chicks and everyone was curious because blue eyes was popular and I had fast become her best friend.
The house started getting very busy with all sorts of people. One day I was giving someone a haircut out the back and a few of us jumped the fence. I noticed a high open bathroom window and seeing as none of them were game I seized the opportunity to get some publicity.
All I could find was a bottle of grog but they tore the place apart finding cheap jewelly in places I didn’t know were there. “She must be a hooker, said one and I went into the lounge and saw kids toys allover the floor.
One morning very early Tumbler came around 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.
A few weeks later we were playing pool in Maylands and Tumbler showed up to sell us gear. He had gold rings allover his fingers and a roll of cash. I didn’t bother saying anything. I found it strange that they trusted him. I’d seen him cut dexies with glucodin and sell it as speed to a guy everyone knew who shot it up in the Midland train station toilets and said nothing. Another guy point blank told him he ripped him off but Tumbler mocked him saying “Thats because you fucking smoked it.” But money changed hands and we ended up back at Busby street and I shared a needle with Virus. I was not surprised when it did nothing but not another word was said because Tumbler was the supervisor. He was BAD, ABC, GAS! And if he liked you, it was like a drug.
He once told me that he used to look up to the bigger taggers until he met them and realised they were nothing and that he could push them around. Maybe that’s what he wanted from me, to stand up for myself and be someone he could look up to.
Kelly had moved in with Blue Eyes after falling out with her parents and she took a few of us to their house to get food. Noone was there so she broke in and seeing as she didn’t like them we figured it was kosher to rob the place while she was in the kitchen. One of them found a bit of cash and split it between us. It was about $400.
A few days later police were at my door and mum was asking the neighbours to baby sit the kids while she ducked into a paddy van with me.
I was the only one to get caught because she knew where I lived. The police did the old, “we promise not to charge you if you tell us who the others are,” so I did. I started getting phone calls from people saying they just got out of jail and were going to break into my house and mess up my family. So mum took everything she had out of the bank and bought me a ticket to live with my Grandad in Sydney.
I constantly listened to a hiphop tape tumbler made.
8 years later I was back in Perth and I saw him coming down the stairs from the Look Out in Scarborough. He was with two girls smirking and with that same self assurance called out TWERP! I ignored him.
Not that long ago I heard he was dead.
This was taken at the bus stop outside Stratton Shops after walking in the rain from West Swan Caravan Park where Blue Eyes was staying after being kicked out of home for getting her nipple pierced.
25 Oct 2013
Munich Central Train Station Day 4.
Still here – DIRTY RAT.
Slept on Balcony near Burger King. By morning 6 others were lined up along side me. Comfort in numbers.
1st guy Martin (German) came at 1220. We discussed the cancers of money, he bought me a big water, kept saying “fuck off the system!” And told me I was a cool man. I find broken english fucking hilarious. “You are laughing!” He’d say.
2nd guy came at 1am after watching us from the otherside. He’s Japanese and has a moustache. “Are you sleeping here?”
He sets up 2 metres away, bike locks his pack to the table and jumps in his sleeper.
2am I hear foot steps as I doze. It’s security guards looking at my socks over the rail that I washed in a bathroom yesterday. They peer over the 3 of us as I wait for them to lose it. They swap a genial glance and walk away.
At 4am I wake up and there is 4 others lined up on my left side, they’re from Croatia. They leave, so does Martin.
530am this bloated, orange dyed, apish beast woman starts thrashing the cafe tables around losing it in German about the japs bag locked to the table. He must have gone to the toilet.
“It’s not mine you monkey woman! Does it look like mine? I don’t speak monkey alright?”
She scorns me with red bulls eyes like I’m the matador.
I’ve been painfully and confusingly undecided about my next direction for 3 days. Life is never easy for the fragmented.
I’ve been eating small cheese and tomato baguettes for £2.20, showering in the station wash and go room for £7 a pop and reading, writing and blogging in Starbucks. They play great music and are very friendly.
07 Oct 2013
First night in France – dinner with strangers, military haircut nightclubs, sleep in a Macdonalds playground.
I met Virgil on the Ferry to Calais.
He invited me for dinner with his family
Then we went here
Virgil went home and I slept in here
Employees started arriving at 6am so I slid out the slide like a reptile and moved under a motorway bridge until 9.44
I Might go to Paris.
4 Oct 2013
London doesn’t look the same in the darkness of 3am, there’s no people anywhere and all the restaurants along the South Bank have their outdoor tables and chairs neatly stacked and chained to the wall.
I’m wearing everything in my backpack and I’m still cold, laying here on the Victoria Embankment on part of the Thames River Wall. It’s overlooking the downward ramp entrance to RNLT Tower Life Boat Station which is a stones throw north from Waterloo Bridge. I’m on a granite block elevated to about head height of the passing pedestrians, it’s dark enough for them not to notice me but anyone with street eyes would spot me.
There’s rats running around and I can’t really sleep because the slab is cold and I’m freightened of rolling over the edge. Surreal moment : Am I actually doing this? It’s a section of time when you are sort of detached from the reality of your geographic location, so far away from home in a situation your mother would never have wanted. I understand why people talk to themselves, it’s like your the centre of the universe, everybody else is frozen and your walking around looking at whatever you like in Murgatroyd’s Garden.
I moved heading north toward Blackfriars Bridge and saw a little round man walking toward me with a shopping bag. Anyone walking around this early is a nutter so I held a reserve of tense curiousity.
I could smell his cologne and he invited me to sit down. There was not much space on the part of the bench he suggested and he did not move over despite the contact of our legs. He was from Romania and I didn’t feel like talking but he said he was starting a company and had some big plans. He asked for my email address which I gave him, then he left.
I crossed the bridge after looking for a better spot by walking into the tiled subway entrance to Blackfriars London. It was drenched in tuscan light not a sound at all, there were some people under blankets just outside.
On the South Bank on the otherside of the river almost directly opposite my previous spot I found Bernie Spain Gardens. I was so tired, I hadn’t slept for 48 hours since hitching from Glasgow.
There’s a bunch of scattered green benches there, right up the back of the small park I can see a white face supine on a bench facing me asleep in an eskimo rimmed sleeping bag. About 30 metres away to my right a man is sitting on another bench slumped with a big hood over his head shadowed from the garden lights by trees. He has no blankets.
I lie down and pull my sleeping bag over me which is only half effective now since washing it in a machine (it’s duck feathers.)
I look at the back of my eyelids, wondering if those sounds I hear are people walking up behind me with a bat about to bludgeon me for assaulting this public space with my seemingly worthless presence.
I hear the sound of jogging feet. I peak out of my sleeping bag and the black has turned to pale colour as people run past with their headphones on and men in suits walk to work not even looking at me. Those other two guys have gone.
Bernie Spain Gardens
RNLT Tower Life Boat Station