Ash Tray Hearts

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I knew it was going to be a bad one. I knew it when I stirred and found my eyes stuck together in a coagulated mix of conjunctivitis and sand from the beach. The Party. I didn’t know didely-do-shit about what went down. My phone was dead. And the room? Trashed.

Who was this glassy eyed fuck looking back at me in the mirror? What did you do shithead? he asked aloud sending a spasm of pain reverberating around my skull. He winced. I had that dread in the guts. Real tight.

When the dry heaving was done I felt marginally better and though to get a move on. Whose house was this anyway?

The sun kills. Burning through my Burger King happy meal Wayfarer knockoffs. I’m a greasy stinking pile of shit going down the main drag to Burleigh Town. There’s a stain on my chino’s that makes it appear like I’ve pissed myself. I probably did. Piss doesn’t stain though. Does it? Fuck.

I’m hurting and sweating and stumbling down the highway. I’m regret imbued in flesh. I lean behind a  tattoo parlour and have a little heave. I go inside and ask for some water.

Four hours later and I’m back on the baking pavement. It was cool in there. Empty too. The guy was bored so he gave me a good rate. So I got my forearm covered. Fuck it. Freestyle, I said. The needle took the rest of the pain away. He gave me a beer and I nodded off…

Now looking at it, I see a scrawling dagger stabbing a cartoon bat or something with a skull shooting lazers going all the way around hitting some kind of egg thats cracked and a fried egg is coming out of it… It looks like something my nephew would draw. Its pretty sick. I’m a sick cunt alright.

So I’m back stumbling along the road. cars are buzzing past and I get this mad headspin like, woooah which way is up, dizzy. Then I’m on the deck. tonguing tarmac, watching something shiny flying right for my face.

And now I’m dead? Right?

No. Fuck no.

I’m in hospital.

Two broken legs and a fractured pelvis.

That bus nearly flipped though. Tried to miss me but ran right over my dick, up the curb and into the bus stop. There’s fair few other people here from the ‘incident’ as they’re calling it. I got a suicide councillor jabbering in my ear, a law talking guy jabbering in the other and I’m wishing the nurses would hook me up with one of those buttons I could mash to give myself a bit of that ‘(5α,6α)-7,8-didehydro- 4,5-epoxy-17-methylmorphinan-3,6-diol’ know what I’m saying?

Yeah, thats nearly the whole thing. Never should have went out last night. Never shoulda pissed my chinos and trashed some fellas room while I puked all over it. Never would have been cock blocked by 20 tonnes of Council property either.

Thats life but. I cant not be a rad piece of shit.

I’m fucking sick.


Crush City

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I feel lucky when I throw a roll into my busted Yashica. I keep it in the car so when I’m bopping about Crush City I know I can get a shot when the eyes start twitching for some keen angle-catching. Sharp-like, see? So I know what I’m getting.

Frame up. Frame down. I roll the the city streets real slow. I’m in no hurry. Looking for some busted, faded motel sign I ain’t spotted yet before. One of them throwbacks to the glory days. Before the money got too big and everything got so clean. Real Dry. All the class just up and left. Where? I aint tellin. So, Eventually the cars piling up behind me’ll start bleeping their little bleepin’ hearts out. I ash my cigarette in my rear view mirror, flip em the V and slow down some more.

Then I laugh a hearty ‘fuck you lame fuckers’ kinda laugh that makes em loose their fucking minds. Veins swelling on their foreheads looking like they got centipedes crawling around up under their coupons. Fists gripping the steering wheel like they’re tryin’ ta bend it in half. Its sport. Good sport. And all sports fair-game in Crushtown.

Thats how you got to be, A real dick. Bigtime. Thats how it is if you ever want to get nothing done noplace in this kinda special kinda nowhere, kid…


A Night at the Pink Poodle

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The Pink poodle was an art-deco styled motel built on the side of the highway in Surfers Paradise in the late 60’s. Its bright neon sign and prominent location led to it becoming a Gold Coast icon seen on postcards for decades.

By the late 80’s the shine had worn off and the motel had become a den of prostitution and criminal activity. The sign still shone its bright sickly pink hue over the rain-slicked streets on summer evenings for years to come as the building continued to deteriorate beneath it.

My 11th grade teacher once made the class made read and analyse a fictional book called ‘A Night at the Pink Poodle’. It was about the Gold Coast, its tacky superficial materialism and how chasing it all may eventually leave you feeling like a big fat phoney. Near the end of the book the protagonist, a wildly successful High-rise Apartment Salesman, spends a night at the latter incarnation of the hotel after fucking up his life by questioning its validity. He has some kind of spiritual epiphany while he sits in the faded, stained, dated interior of his room listening to only the passing traffic on the highway and in the hallway.

In 2004 they tore the faded motel down. The sign remains. Next to a Hooters.

I regret never going inside and taking a few photos. When it was in its final form. I regret this now. Then it never really crossed my mind.

There were a similar motels in Palm Beach. There were actually dozens of similar motels up and down the Gold Coast Highway. Many have been knocked down. Some are still running. Others fell into gradual disrepair.

I remember walking past one that was near my house when I was 18 or so. A man called out asking for a light from a darkened door frame. I went up a flight of stairs to this strangers door and gave him my lighter. He pulled out a filthy pipe and had a cook right there on the balcony. He offered me some. I said no thanks and went on my way.

I’m finding something in them as the coastline becomes increasingly gentrified. They’ve become fewer and further between. So I’m trying to get a few shots whenever I see the chance. They have something you cant make.