Little Rhyme For You

Everything I’ll ever write will have been meaningless if I didn’t write some of it for you,

So without further ado here is a little rhyme that is just for you:

“Staring at your eyes, staring at mine, locked in a loop couldn’t be more divine.

Looking into you looking back at me, the locks deep down I wish I had the key.”

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The Sound of Life

A night full of music and songs is a night of life.

Life flourishes in every chord,

In every note.

The tiny intricacies of existence twisting and turning in the percussive waves.

Words filled with heart, and soul resonating so perfectly.

Sounds so pure and simple, so true, they seem out of place in the crazy randomised chaos of the world.

But here, on this couch in this yellow light, hearing the sounds of life the chaos fades away.

And you just sit and you listen, to the repetition, to the old and the new, to the words and the beat.

You just listen.

 

Crying Wolf

Day One

I wake to pounding in my head. I’m surrounded by coarse sand reflecting the heat from the sun, blistering my

skin. My eyes struggle against my commands to open. I concentrate pulling my attention away from my

burning body, a deep breath, finally a flutter; open.

Around me is chaos: body parts and shrapnel of torn up metal litter the ground. The sand is dabbled with

crimson red, plumes of smoke cover the beach in a tight thick haze. I hear the cries of the injured as I

stumble to my feet.

As I rise for the first time I feel a gash along my forehead. A steady stream of crimson starts flowing as my

heart starts pumping blood, people call out to me as I stumble to the forest that seems miles away. I see the

refuge of cold shade, the forest…

Day Two

I’ve found a cave, it is the cold in a world of fire. The beach is already beginning to stink, I tried going back…couldn’t.

Day Three

Nothing.

Day Five

I wake to the sound of cracking in the forest, it still feels foreign. My senses not sharp; I clumsily climb to

my feet a poorly crafted ‘spear’ grasped loosely in my hand. My body tenses as I wait, for some predator to

take me, sweat rolling over my ash-covered body. But it never comes.

My body relaxes and I touch the wound on my head. Having assessed the damage in my reflection I figure

I’ll escape infection. It’s a proper red hole, my skin left behind on the metal of the boat. I haven’t been back

yet. I won’t be going back.

The past two days I have stayed in my infantile cave, avoiding the stench of dead men, trying to sleep,

drinking from the pool next to me. Trying to survive.

Day Six

I haven’t eaten yet. My hair feels longer, longer than it should be by now. Beard’s coming in too.

I splash my face every morning, trying to create some semblance of a routine. To keep me sane I talk to

myself, nothing of note, just little things here and there. To make me feel normal.

My stomach’s almost always growling now, a low rumbling bass to follow the melodies of birds and the thin constant rustling of the trees; a fitting island soundtrack.

Need food.

Day 8

I’ve taken to going on daily walks, careful to avoid the crash site, everyday feeling more at home. It feels comfortable. It’s shocking how quickly I start feeling at comfortable. I’ve fashioned a bed out of palm leaves.

Still hungry. Still, need food. Doing my best to ignore the hallucinations. I’ll be fine. I’ll be fine.

Day 10

Managed to find some berries yesterday. No idea if they were dangerous, didn’t even think. I’ve been tracking a boar, following it around the island since last night. I watch it as it eats, planning in my head a way to get to it. It leads me around the island, teaching me in its own way about how the island functions. I start making a mental map of the island…of Home. My cave the centre point of which the rest of the island spirals from.

I know where the best watering holes are. Sometimes I lose the boar. Not sure where it goes, I’m not the best at tracking its prints. But today, today I am prepared. I’ve been watching it by the waterhole for two hours now. It’s been enjoying itself in the radiant sun. I take a deep breath, it is ragged, hopeless. I need this. Now. Spear in hand, a proper spear now with a real point (I obsessed over chipping away at it with a rock) I charge at the boar. Sprinting full bolt at the creature: my meal. Adrenaline takes over. My body starts ignoring the aches of malnourishment, my muscles reverting

I take a deep breath, it is ragged, hopeless. I need this. Now. Spear in hand, a proper spear now with a real point (I obsessed over chipping away at it with a rock) I charge at the boar. Sprinting full bolt at the creature: my meal. Adrenaline takes over. My body starts ignoring the aches of malnourishment, my muscles reverting

(for a second) to their former strength. This is my moment. As I get close the boar turns. Unmoving and

unafraid it stares me in the eyes; an unblinking mass of grey and I…

Stop.

Momentum gets the best of me pushing me off balance and I tumble towards the ground. Reopening the head wound. Scraping my knees like a schoolboy on the pavement. I lie there, for a second listening to the boar charge off into the scrub. The adrenaline leaks out of me, slowing being replaced by hopelessness. Defeated tears force their way out of my dry eyes, filling in my cracked skin. Slowly I turn over, my body wracked

with empty sightless sobs. I lie there staring at the sky, a blue mass of promise. My lungs burning, ribcage expanding and contracting.

Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

Melbourne – Some first impressions from a cafe

Melbourne a place I’d never been but had for some reason always wanted to move to. A place I had heard a lot about. That it was a place filled with cafes and hipsters. After being here for two days and writing this whilst sitting at one of those many outside cafes, a cappuccino in a quaint blue cup to my right, I can say the things I heard about Melbourne were true.

Firstly I like it here. I really do. I haven’t been here long but it feels welcoming and accepting to outsiders. It’s…a relaxed city compared to other places I’ve been. It’s a place that feels structured. Like every street and house was placed with purpose, it’s a nice change of pace.

The air feels clearer here and people look happy and smile at you.

There are two main things I noticed. 1. Melbourne takes the little alley’s and nonessential streets that other city’s look at as something to ignore as an invitation to play. Alley’s become places to admire rather than begrudgingly walk past. It seems as though around every corner there’s some delightful treat of attention to detail. Of care for design and simplicity. And 2. Many Victorian’s don’t give a shit about crossing roads.

A Happy Poem

So rarely do we get to write poems that purely come from joy. What I mean by this is that finally I am going to write a poem that isn’t trying to get something. It isn’t trying to get someone to like me. Its isn’t trying to get someone to say something. It simply isn’t coming form a sad, tortured desperate place. This one is just joy, plain and simple.

Here we go:

You have delightful curly hair, I really must say. The kind of hard that when one looks at it they can’t help by smile. Hair the flows and crinkles in such a pleasing way.

You have a gorgeous laugh that explodes from nowhere and makes me grin.

Sitting with you in the cold and holding your leg and having your hand rested on my arm is such a perfect moment I wish I were a better writer to capture it.

When we walk I wish I could hold your hand.

And finally when we inevitably have to say goodbye we hug.

And you hug like I am the last person on earth.

You pull me close and I feel you refusing to let go.

I feel the small of your back as we part, staying there, wishing for the moment of never end…

And then one last hug. A second goodbye. And this time, this one, I don’t want it to ever end.

I want to stretch the seconds into eons, because you give hugs I never want to end. Never.

The Book of Mormon or (A ridiculously good time)

I don’t even know how to begin. There have been a lot of things said about this musical and a lot of people in the world have seen it, but finally tonight I got the incredible chance to sit down in a very average theatre seat in a very beautiful theatre (the Princess Theatre) in a City that I do not know at all and watch the most incredibly fun musical I’ve ever seen.

I seriously didn’t stop smiling the entire time. From the first beautifully timed ding! of a ‘doorbell’ to the final huge full cast note I was beaming from ear to ear like I had been conditioned at the same school the Mormon’s had been.

I cannot begin to explain the amount of ridiculous frivolity that is to be found in this show. Listening to the music is one thing, a thing that I have done many times and it’s always made me laugh. But pairing the music with unbelievably precise dance moves and unwavering smiles and sheer ridiculousness of attention to detail at every corner really takes the entire show to another level. Watching a song that like Two by Two about how the Mormon kids are going out there to ‘fight the good fight’ but having them burst into the most ridiculous movement that I can only describe as some kind of precision ‘walk-dance-thing’ has a very particular giddy feeling to it.

Also the play starts with Trey Parker and Matt Stone doing some of the most hilarious voices for God and Jesus and Ancient civilisations that you know straight away what you’re getting into which is nice. It’s nice to feel their sensibility at every turn. It’s almost like a 2 hour long South Park episode with higher production values.

I feel like it is important to not that with Trey Parker and Matt Stone the show is the most obscene, ridiculous and possibly very offensive piece of theatre you’ll ever experience. But it MUST be experienced.

It’s a true magical treat that will leave you beaming from ear to ear and have you bobbing your head and tapping your foot throughout. It soars from one song to the next and feels like a classical musical that whilst being showy and ridiculous on the surface actually constructs a character driven masterpiece that has important things to say about religion and the nature of believe and truth.

The songs are unforgettable, the choreography is eye candy, the jokes never miss and ultimately the entire musical will stay with me for a very long time. It left me wanting to walk right back in, ready to watch it at least 7 or 8 more times.

A Word on James – and the new

I think that I am finally at the point where I can attempt to write about new friends. I am constantly nostalgic and forever looking into the past. Forever wishing ti was yesterday. Wishing that I was 4 again running around without pants with Winnie the Pooh strapped to my back. Hoping that I could go back to when life was more simple, where things make sense. Where you don’t have to travel 2 hours to see friends and you can just walk round to your best friends in the world, sit on their bed, open your respective can’s of V, play diablo and talk about all your stupid teenage bullshit.

But, I find myself ready to talk about new things, for once. A once in a lifetime offer to the new. Let me write about you. (Ha! It rhymed).

So I think today, that I will write about Jame. The first of my ‘Sydney friends’ to enjoy the long road to my home. The, as he called it, pretty much only coloured person I know. So, let me begin about James.

A couple weeks ago, I went round to James’ house to take care of him. He didn’t really say he needed taking care of, and I’m not really saying I actually took care of him. But he was…one would say a bit stressed out (an understatement screams James as he reads this). So I made the hike, I packed up a bag and fled towards my friend who most certainly needed a big old hug and a pat on the back.

It was a very surreal afternoon, not just for the fact that I felt like I was asleep for half of it. Here is a rapid summation of what we did: played Game of Thrones the Tell Tale game, remembered James had to be somewhere for an interview, got on the wrong-bus and arrived late for aforementioned interview, rocked up to interview looking like an old married couple, finished interview, went to friends house to collect fake blood, left house, got to station remembered hadn’t gotten fake blood, walked back to friends house, got fake blood, went and got ‘post date’ gelato, got on train, listened to music, left each other.

It was lovely.

What I want to talk about though is something that happened on our wrong-bus ride. We, for whatever reason, decided to play strengths and weaknesses (a game I have just now made a name for and I am almost certain it has never existed as a game anywhere else apart from on that bus). Basically the game would go that we named each other’s strengths and weaknesses (many times they doubled up). It was simple, and incredibly strange.

I have never been so open about a friend, to their face before.

Honestly it was a strange sense of liberation that washed over me.

I cannot perfectly recall what James said my strengths were or my weaknesses and I cannot remember what I said his were. I wish I could but honestly that day has been replaced by a strange sense of cloudiness and a constant pondering of ‘did I actually leave the house that day or was it all some strange dream?’.

So I want to say something about James, (something nice) something that I hope will give him a grin and make him laugh in the big healthy Islander-Arab way of his.

I will say this: James’ biggest strength is that he loves people for who they are and not for who he wishes them to be. He is the first person I’ve ever met in my entire life (which is arguably not very long and not much has really happened yet) that will love you unconditionally.

He is a person who believes in the good of his friends and a person who simply just believes in his friend. I owe James a great deal. In the small time that I’ve known him he has enlightened me to the world of adulthood. Giving me a new perspective (slowly I’m not quite there yet) on life, friends and love.

James is the only friend who, having known me just six months (a tiny amount of time in the great scheme of things and especially when compared to some of my other friends) who took no corralling to love me for me.

Although my constant positivity and life life to the fullest mentality surely drives his pessimistic downbeat view slightly mad I have no doubt in my mind that James secretly enjoys my optimism. James has been one of the only people I’ve ever met that I haven’t had to pretend to be liked by. And by that I mean I’ve never once had to perform myself in a certain way. James has taken all my ignorance, naivety and energy and decided that he loves it and he doesn’t need anything else.

I’ll end with a word of advice. If you ever get a friend as special as James. A friend who asks of you nothing and gives you their everything. A friend you know loves you so completely for being you. For not being smart of clever but for being who you are. They love you for the who you are and not who you pretend to be. Never ever let them go.

Never.

Cinematic Courtship

It is a funny thing: cinema dates. Taking a person you like, who may or may not like you back to a giant blacked out room where you sit next to each other for 2 excruciating hours of ‘will they won’t they’ as you both watch the flickering magic pass before your eyes.

There is almost another language that takes over in these silent situations. I haven’t quite found a name for it yet.Most people would call it intimacy (fancy people might call it proxemics). I haven’t decided on a name so it shall be nameless.

Being in the cinema the movie begins and you will do nothing for the first 10-15 minutes. You will sit there quietly, seemingly watching the movie but secretly figuring out when would be best to establish contact.

So you wait, obsessing over the fact that they (whoever they may be they are special) have taken precious moments of their day to come and sit in this dark room with you.

Then you feel it in your bones, the moment! You put your hand on their leg and you wait, wait for them to recoil, for them to laugh at you, for them to get up and run away screaming from terror and fear…and yet, they do not move.

They seem perfectly comfortable connected to you. The music starts in the film and you start a nervous tapping; in time or slightly out it doesn’t matter because you’re slowing moving your way other hands.

You feel their hand wriggle turning over, awaiting yours. Your hand slips into theirs. And now you’ve done it! Hooray for you!

And you sit there, methodically tracing their hand, with an occasionally squeeze and a squeeze that comes back. A call and an answer. A call of “hey I’m here and this moment is perfect” and an answer that says “I know. I know. I know.”

You look at them, their face away from you, the light of the cinema gently catching their face.

You look down at your hands united togged.

Smile, slowly works it’s way across your face.

This is cinematic innocence. The pureness of human beings at it’s finest. 

A Word on Masaru – and communication

Yesterday I embarked on a journey to see an old dear friend.

It had been a long, cripplingly exhausting week. I had gone from the highest of highs sharing particularly important, wonderful, magical moments with people to the lowest most frustrated and angry I have been since I yelled about how unfair Extension English was a full year ago.

I was nervous. I couldn’t honestly tell you why I felt butterflies squirming in my stomach but I felt them there fluttering about as I half read, half slept my way to Central. I think I was nervous because it had been so long since I saw my dear friend Masaru.

We had not spoken for basically that entire time. We do not speak the same language. Me having forgotten almost all the Japanese I ever gleaned from half paying attention in class and watching anime. And him not coming to an English speaking language for quite sometime so not needing to practice his English. I was nervous that it wouldn’t be like last time. That I wasn’t prepared for him to visit and that we wouldn’t be the same people as so much can change in a year (he had a freaking baby!).

Nervous that we had forgotten the special way in which we used to be able to communicate, (a particularly incredibly feat one might add).

As I walked in the through the glass doors going from the windy freezing of Pitt Street into the warm confines of a hotel lobby I saw my dear dear friend. He grinned yelled Gaden! And ran towards me. The nervousness fled and I was replaced with a deep satisfaction of comfortableness and placidity.

We stood for a long time, talking to each other.

A word on talking to someone who does not completely control the language you use and you do not know anything of the language they use: it is a special treat the act of communication. Being able to figure out what the other person meant and wanted to say has always been a special skill of Masaru and I. For the life of me I couldn’t tell you why that was but that was the way it had always been. We chatted about his baby, he showed me photos (she’s probably the cutest single human being on the planet and that’s a completely unbiased opinion), he asked about my school and about other people from home. There were long stretched of silence where we would look each other and he would laugh or I would laugh and then we’d just go back to being there with each other.

It is truly the purest form of communication when you have to completely and utterly focus on the other person. You have to focus because the other person has no idea how to convey what they mean and the other doesn’t know if what they’ve said will be interpreted right. It is the only time in any conversation where you have to be completely and utterly engaged. You MUST be in the here and now.

That’s a very special kind of relationship.

A very special kind of friend.

American Gods – A Review

American Gods is one of the strangest most wondrous books I’ve ever read. I finished it yesterday and I knew that I planned to review it in some way, shape, or form. Because I felt like it was an important exercise to think critically about a book the rest of the world has decided is a land mark novel.

However as soon as I finished it I didn’t have the words for a review and if you do not have the words already forming in your mind you cannot force yourself to write about something, or else it will be false and your readers, however few of them there are, will feel betrayed by your lack of honesty.

So I sat on it a while, I went about my day and did not think about American Gods until right before I went to bed. Just as I snuggled myself into my squirrel covered bed sheets (yes I’m aware that I am still 5 years old) with a book by John Green in my hand ,eager to be read, the first words of the review came into my mind, they were:

I remember my first encounter with American Gods was several years ago in a small bookshop in Christchurch New Zealand. I remember the red of the book and the silver tree on the front cover and the word ‘Gods’ capturing my eye. For a child of twelve the book would be the biggest book I’d ever read. I remember reading the blurb and thinking to myself ‘that sounds really cool’ (I was like most boys of twelve in a state of fascination with gods, myths and legends and anything that could give me the feeling of being in a world where those things were real I would read). So I took the book to my most trusted advisor, Mum, and got her to read the blurb. I asked her what she thought. She had a read, she flicked through the pages and she said, in a perfectly motherly voice, I don’t think this is for you, it’s too grown up. And I thought okay that’s fair but I really want it. And she retorted rather quickly that I wouldn’t enjoy it and I probably wouldn’t understand it (and in hindsight she was very correct, after finally reading it there are many many things I wouldn’t have grasped).

So I put the book back where it belonged and didn’t dwell on the opportunity I’d missed and went on with my life. Reading many other books about myths, gods and legends.

So I have now read a book that drew my attention at a formative age, that I just so narrowly missed because of mother’s wisdom. I find myself pondering a questions What would I have told my younger self about American Gods? I would have said buy it. Buy it and enjoy the fact that you’re not going to understand half of it. Enjoy the fact that the words and the sentences and the paragraphs will confuse you. Because above all American Gods will make you think and consider ideas you didn’t realise you could consider. It is a book, much like the only other Gaiman work I’ve ever read that forces you to think about ideas and humanity. It forces your mind to grow and soak in all the knowledge that’s been poured into it.

I remember as I read being constantly hounded by the question of where is this book going? And what on earth is the point of all this? And the book doesn’t answer those questions until the very end and yet it’s one of the best payoffs to any piece of popular culture that I’ve ever experienced. It’s a book that somehow forces you to keep reading, because you’re fascinated by the world that Gaiman depicts and the ideas he chooses to lay out on the page. Gaiman asks you to come on a journey to the centre of the human psyche and of the great land of America.

I’m sure reading this book as an American would have a profoundly different affect but as an Australian at the bottom of the world I feel like I understand more about America. More about the psychology of the country as Gaiman himself uses the book to discover what he thinks about the land he calls home.

All in all Gaiman said it best himself in his introduction, that (and I paraphrase because the book is not with me whilst I write this so I have to rely on the fickle mistress of memory) American gods is a grand sweeping winding novel. And all in all that is all you can say. It is a true epic that explores fascinating concepts of belief, trust, hope, gods and humanity. I loved it. And I am better for reading it.