Another Postcard Afternoon.

It stunk out. A stiff northerly kicked up a dust devil as I stepped out of the car and walked to the drive thru bottle-o. Grit’s whipped into my eyes. They weep as I’m peeling the shirt off my back, I step into the cool room and quickly find the cheapest slab pale ale.

“Cheer up mate, cant be that bad” the bald mad with stubby digits says to the chuckle of a small crowd of local boozers queuing up at the counter.

Back in the lot. Looks like a wreckers backyard. Cars parked haphazardly wherever they’ll fit across the potholed mosaic of asphalt and broken glass. Its always been like this since I’ve known it.

But it wont be forever. No.

A passing glance reveals a wee tsunami of gentrification washing through the streets of old Palmy. Shiny white Cafes, Hip restaurants, boutique shops and trendy barbers. A dozen or so popping up in the last year. The pissheads with the blistered coupons wont be chuckling when they cant afford the rent anymore.

The slabs in the boot. I spark up and sink back into the cab.

Suns getting low.

Lighting up the faded pastels of the highway motels real nicely.

Lights go red.

Lights go green.

Lights go red.

Traffic backs up and we all crawl along in this beautiful stinking postcard afternoon together.

 

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Wood Chips

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It’s another Monday in the kitchen. The weekend rush is over, now its time to get to work organising the kitchen for the week ahead, to restock the cold room and unpack the largest, bulkiest delivery of the week, which is comprised of dry goods and long holding products, like cheese. The washing machine is on the fritz and the frier needs and oil change too but thats enough mundane detail from the life we chose to live. As thrilled as I know you are to hear it.

I’m joined by Tommy Gun the cool Kiwi who is slicing very ripe tomatoes as I unpack the delivery.  Now join me as I run my knife along the packing tape of a box to reveal a collection of goats cheese logs…

I pick up the perfectly round cylinder and flip in in my palm, slapping it down on the bench to grab Toms attention.

“What do you think of this Goats Cheese we’re using?”

Tom shot me a downcast look, “Not great bro, I don’t really dig it hey”

“The taste?”

“Yeah there’s something about it, hey. Its not right”

“Yeah its shitty alright” I roll another roll onto the bench

“You know what it tastes like? Its like a goats cheese made by a robot in a some kind of, not too distant, dystopian future where automation has progressed to a point where all food production has been taken over by robots.”

“Yeah, its got no soul!” Tommy exclaimed excitedly.

“And it tastes like plastic too… Cheap though.” I say, with a resigned shrug.

I bundle up the rolls and grab some other bits and make my way to the cool room. Outside the clouds are rolling in, creeping over the sunshine. A few customers are walking up the steps, two by two. Another trucks pulled in with the fruit and veg. He’s fudging about in the back of the truck, no doubt somethings missing, I’ll deal with that the on the way back in…

Across the road the last rays of light hit the ocean as the traffic begins to back up through the intersection.

And I step off the steamy street, into the cool air of the walk-in.

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…