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Minor Diversons

MINOR DIVERSIONS

David Francis Jeffery

Copyright David Francis Jeffery 2016

Shakespir Edition

Shakespir Edition: License Notes

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THE GUFF THAT’S IN HERE

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Afterward

JANUARY

‘I like your country,’ he said. I agreed. I liked my country too. I didn’t know about his country, so I didn’t feel qualified to comment. He said he liked my country and I suppose that that was good enough for me to concur.

Wherever, whenever. A motto that one can adjust to. Because one can never live by a motto; one can only adjust to it. The difference lies in the act of living. You can take a motto and say, ‘ I will live by this.’ But what of the time when the motto lets you down? One cannot say, ‘well, I’ll just start again,’ for then, it is too late. You can never start again. But you can adjust. The price of a motto must always be adjustment.

‘That’s not quite where I intended,’ she said and I thought I knew what she meant, though later of course, I was proved incorrect. But at the time, and let’s face it, we only have THE time, I thought I was on the same wavelength. The same wavelength that, naturally enough, bruised my ego when the pattern changed. But as I said, that was all to come later. That was not NOW, so when she said, ‘that’s not quite where I intended,’ I immediately agreed. I shouldn’t have but by then, I was too involved to know.

The sign said, WAIT THERE, so that’s exactly what Tony did. He waited. And he waited right there. He wasn’t exactly sure why he waited, nor what he was waiting for but, the sign was so sure, so authoritative, that he could not disobey. WAIT THERE TONY, WAIT THERE. He thought while he waited and many of those thoughts revolved around how ridiculous his waiting was but the sign would not let go. WAIT THERE. He did.

Make good use of the two you’re going to get, her sister was told, but with the characteristic invulnerability that comes with youth, she ignored the advice and I’m guessing that you can guess what happened next, so I won’t have to spell it out for you. All that’s really left for me to say, in the space that I’ve been allocated, is that; if you do get some good advice, you don’t have to take it but it should at least be worth considering. For good advice not taken may be silly but good advice not considered is plain foolishness.

How to dictate terms of the settlement:

Get in first

Make their demands, your demands

Keep them guessing, as to what you’ll do next

Show no fear

Rotate between yourself and your representative

Talk in aggressive terminology

Remain tall

Maintain eye contact

Rush through, as though you have somewhere else to be

My pen used to know about the bullshit. It used to be able to cut out the bullshit and all that was left, was the coal; the coal that someday could become diamonds. Now the bullshit it all that’s left. The bullshit is all my pen craves.

The seas is shining and for this great day, I can honestly say that I am happy – which is not something I ever like to say. I”m of the opinion that happiness goes unpunished for only so long, which is why I always find myself alone.

Lately he had been thinking of doing more writing but the usual doubts kept plaguing him. What if I’m published? What if the book sells so well, I never have to work again? What it if becomes a movie? What if, upon being urged to write a follow-up, the next book is hailed as even greater genius than the first? All important considerations, I’m sure you would agree. How could one live with oneself afterwards? In the end, he decided against it and stuck with his chosen career of secretary.

‘Short stories take on the retrograde of a barking insignificance,’ said Simon. I looked up from my beer and one cigarette, which was supposed to be my last one but I knew, even then, that I was never going to give up. I liked smoking. ‘What?’ I asked him. He repeated the phrase/sentence/quote (omit the incorrect reference) and looked at me; perhaps daring me to prove him wrong. I weighed up what he had said, took a large gulp of my beer and lit my last cigarette. ‘You know Simon,’ I said. ‘You’re a fucking wanker,’ ‘Yeah,’ he replied.

Uncomfortable silences and alcohol. the world that seems much brighter after a drink. Sally thought that people over-think things too much. All you really needed was a bottle, someone to share it with and perfect silence. No conversation, no discussion of problems, no turning it all over in your mind; just the clean, crisp fire that runs down the throat and stokes the stomach. The fire that cleanses. The fire that re-news. Sally had no time for touchy-feely bullshit. Just the bottle and quiet. Hell, she didn’t even really need someone to share it with.

He’s actually very talented. Though you probably wouldn’t think that at first glance. There was something so ordinary about him, that the term ‘generic’ was the only one that perfectly applied. Even his name was a cliche – John. I mean, can you even believe that – that I would stoop so low as to use ‘John’ as an ordinary name, in even a short story such as this? God, how could I be so pathetic? Can you even read the rest of this now? John. JOHN FOR GOD’S SAKE. I mean, the whole story had some promise and I ruin it with ‘John.’ Appalling.

You can try to fix this or…. Make some kind of a stand, at least. But Tony didn’t want to make a stand. Tony hated confrontation but you probably already know that by now. You remember; Tony was the one doing all the waiting. Well, anyway, Tony decided that he would try or. He knew it was the wrong decision, hell, no one needed to point that out to him but, nevertheless, he’d made a decision and was going to stick with it. Tony went with or and, of course, it was a disaster.

‘Some days I feel like crying,’ she said. This isn’t one of them. This is one of those days that I just feel like letting it all get on top of me; so much so that I might actually try to find my dad’s ‘secret’ gun. Sally had probably drunk too much.

You’re not hungry enough. Sometimes I think you’re never going to be hungry enough. In fact; I don’t think you want this at all. You know what I think? I think you’re a coward. that’s right; a full blown, yellow streak coward. Hungry now?

20% mistakes. That's all it takes sometimes to turn the whole thing around. It's true what they say; about your mistakes being the greatest learning tool. And it's not like you need to highlight them or anything, hell, they're highlighted enough I would've thought. It's the fact that they don't have to be so great in number. They aren't so great in number if truth be told, look at the first line. 20%. 20% of your life are mistakes. Not a lot is it? Not that much to learn really.

‘More curious than happy.’ Trevor had always thought of this as his natural demeanor. It wasn’t a conscious decision; well, I don’t believe it was and I’m the one writing this but it was, if asked, how he would describe himself on most days. Trevor didn’t think of it as a negative attitude; indeed it didn’t consciously weigh on him at all. It was merely an adequate description he could use to stop people from talking to him. They didn’t expect that answer and often found themselves speechless. Except…

‘See? Now that’s real. That’s as real as you’re going to get Colin. Don’t tell me that you can find any better, I don’t want to hear it. Oh, your mum said, your mum said – listen – I don’t give a fuck about what your mum said; your mum doesn’t know shit. What? I’m being harsh? I’m being harsh? Who the hell was the one who said it in the first place Colin? You tell me, who? Let’s see; well, it wasn’t me and there’s only two of us here. Do I need to spell it out?’

Look, when you said you were coming to grips with it Marshall, what I thought you meant was that you were beginning to understand. Not that you were taking it somewhere else. That’s the essential problem with language; making ourselves understood. ‘I know it’s English but I can’t understand a word you’re saying.’ How many times have we thought this? How many times has it been thought of us? How many times can you be wrong before someone stands up and shouts, ‘Oh, NOW I get it.’

The lights are hanging down for Christmas. but Christmas ended years ago. Long before even its spirit was crushed. Christmas ended in a hail of overtime and a series of arguments about nothing. Christmas ended when the presents became more important than the celebration. When the family only came over because there was nothing good on television. Christmas ended with his hatred for summer that, in turn, fueled the hatred for himself. And what he hated most was that he didn’t want to hate Christmas.

I’ve had enough of the sun. It beats down on my neck and leaves me bowing in mock submission; slave to its power and peon to its dictatorship. It isn’t as though I don’t like it; I just can’t take too much of it. So I go indoors.

They’re on the furthest table, away from the others. It wasn’t a choice they made; rather, it was made for them. They didn’t mind so much, as it was half expected but even so, the reality of the situation came as something of a shock.

‘This is my friend, Arthur,’ said Sally. It’s very sad when things don’t turn out the way you want them. But predictions are best left to the foolhardy. Sally didn’t understand why so many people felt such sympathy for her. After all, she’d known Arthur for a long time now and, yes, he did cause her pain a great deal of the time but it wasn’t all the time. Sally had learned to live with him and besides, she had her bottle and pills. Pain can always be managed, no matter how bad arthritis was.

My relentless pursuit of perfection. It usually starts with the question ‘what if?’ Questions provide you with an immense sense of power – the power of possibility. The problem that is often encountered here is the knowledge of what to do with that power. This is why perfection is, remains and will always be a search. You can never stumble onto perfection. Nor can you bump into it in the street, excuse yourself and move on. You can only search, never finding, never owning, only searching.

It’s hot today. Damn hot. Hot enough to fry an egg on the bonnet of your car, if you’ve a mind to. Hot enough to boil water. Hot enough to throw cliches around like they were confetti. Yes, it was hot and Tony didn’t like the heat. Tony, as a general rule, didn’t like anything very much but the heat was one of his greatest dislikes. Still, he couldn’t help but think that, maybe if he stood up to it, the heat wouldn’t be so bad. Then, Tony remembered the disaster.

‘No, because it’s total shit. That’s the whole thing about you Colin; it’s that you don’t recognise total shit when you’re confronted with it. I’m sorry? Who’s saying? Everyone is saying Colin! My God son, you have got to snap out of this daydream. It’s time to face facts, to recognise the obvious. You don’t have it Colin, you just don’t have it. Look, I’m sorry if this isn’t what you want to hear but, honestly, somebody has to stop you from making a bigger fool of yourself than you already are.’

I’m a terrible snob and I know that. In actual fact, I think I’m a damn good snob. Someone has to be. Someone has to be; too many others will get away with murder if someone isn’t. I’m an intellectual snob but only where it comes to creativity. Not mine naturally, everybody else. It’s so easy these days to put out half-arsed material – whether it be books, music or other art – and have it called greatness by people who you judge, should know better. That’s why someone has to be the snob. They need to know.

Colin sat and looked at the rain. After a week of constant heat, it was nice to finally have a break. It was still hot but he could pretend. Colin loved to watch the rain. It made him think of home and what he really wasn’t missing.

‘You cannot dress for success by being naked.’ Which Marshall thought was a good argument for the kind of work he was looking for. Alas for Marshall, the kind of work he was after, required the use of a brain.

Happiness is not a bad emotion. There’s an art to being happy – just enough and not too much. Too much brings the insanity. Too much brings the badness. But just enough; just enough can turn your whole life around. Just enough can enable the conquering of almost any fear. Just enough can get other people to help you for a change. Just enough is just enough. Sally thought about this. She thought. She considered. She drank and then thought some more. Sally did this.

We haven’t heard much from Simon so far. I like to think sometimes that it’s because I’m too busy to take much notice of him but the honest to God truth is, Simon is such a dick that I just pray – pray every day mind you – that he’ll explode in a fiery ball of vengeance. One day, I’ll be walking past his office, see him sitting there with that stupid, stupid grin on his face – doing nothing as usual – and he’ll just explode. No noise, no screaming, just a fireball; like lighting tissue paper.

FEBRUARY

Sometimes they can’t grasp relative size. And that can be a great problem in these hyperactive times of ours. Relative size should always be considered when making up one’s mind. Do I want this, or THIS? Could there be a case for choosing this instead? Should I just be happy with the this I already have? Relative size means relative concept, which also means that greed – while not necessarily being totally evil – may be our ultimate downfall.

Do you want to be entertained? Trevor did. Trevor enjoyed entertainment. He was never 100% sure what he would call entertainment but Trevor thought of it like art; he knew it when he saw it. So Trevor always walked around with his eyes open. If you can see art everywhere, then much the same can be said for entertainment, he thought and let's hand it to him, he was right. It could be a light turning on, a dog chasing a ball, or a car accident; Trevor didn't care. It was entertainment.

You’re not exactly clean yourself. And who really is, I hear you ask? Well, with the way things are at the moment, I’d have to say, no one. We all have to take a certain amount of responsibility for the problems we find ourselves in. But do we? Hell no. Taking responsibility is the last thing we want to confront ourselves with. We need someone to blame, we must have someone we can foist responsibility onto; thereby clearing our consciousness of all blockages to the next blaming.

I’m not even sure what a chance is anymore. You spend most of your life asking for a chance – just one break – but when it comes along, do you even recognize it? I know I haven’t. I’ve squandered more chances than I can count but here I am, still asking for just one more.

‘Are you my boy Peter?’ Simple question one would’ve thought. Simple question with an equally simple answer. An answer that Peter couldn’t provide. Was Peter really his boy? And if he was, did he really want to be? And if he wasn’t? What then?

I sorted that out. I mean, I'm fairly certain that I have it sorted. Let's be frank now, one can't always be 100% sure of these things, but, as far as I'm aware - all things being equal etc - I've sorted it. Look, you can sit there and cry all you want; you can moan and sigh and rant and abuse until the air leaks out of a rainbow but it won't make any impact upon me. I've done what I said I'd do; I gave you plenty of opportunity to detract or contribute and you sat there doing nothing. Get over it.

Sally will never die wondering. It was one thing that she did pride herself on; her frankness. Yes, it did get her in trouble at times; quite a deal of trouble yet Sally felt that, trouble or not, it was better to tell the truth than to keep silent. Better to let the words fall and be damned. Far too much in the way these days, she thought; no one is willing to grind down to the bone. Not Sally. She hated all that touchy-feely bullshit. Tell it like it is, then let’s go for a drink. Sally drank by herself a lot more these days.

Can I ask you why? Yes. Why? Because. That’s your answer? You want a better one? Well, don’t you think that ‘because’ is a little vague, not to mention childish? No. Besides you did mention it. What? Childish. Oh, we’re a comedian. How exciting. Go on, tell us another then. Well, there was a bear, a priest and a glass manufacturer…And they were stranded on a desert island, right? Actually no, I met the other two at the zoo yesterday, where I met the bear.

Take me down to the bottom of the sea. Take me down and set this whole thing to rights. Marshall had never been a huge fan of the sea but he had decided that it was the only way of a workable solution. There was little more that could be said now, that wouldn’t be misconstrued as Marshall taking the piss. Yes, he was fully aware – and completely accepted – the fact that he’d brought all of this upon himself, so now it was time to ‘shake things up’ as it were. The sea was the place.

What was that, you WANT something? Get fucked. Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you correctly – YOU want something? Get fucked. Pardon? Oh, well, once again I have misunderstood what you were asking – you want SOMETHING? Get fucked. The reason is not that I hate you, oh no, you don’t even rate high enough in my estimation for an emotion as strong as hate. No, I nothing you. In fact, you barely even register on my scorecard. You will never be important enough to fuck with.

Listening to my self – Saturday morning. Cloud cover, sunshine – the whole deal. Haven’t heard myself for a number of years and I have to say that I don’t stack up too badly. Sure, there are always improvements one can make but still…..

Thanks to the television, Colin had made many new connections than he might normally have. God for instance. God was an all pervading influence on the television and Colin saw Him every night. Which meant that Colin became himself.

Going it alone but not in a sad way.

Going it alone but not as a curse.
Going it alone as a measure of strength.
Going it alone because it should be done.
Going it alone and not regretting it.
Going it alone in maturity and prosperity.
Going it alone because the sun is shining.
Going it alone but not truly alone.
Going it alone but not for the have to.
Going it alone because the timing is right.
Going it alone because you want to.
Going it alone in the fields and the beaches.
Going it alone just like going it alone.

‘I’m looking at you,’ thought Trevor. He wasn’t trying to make it obvious, nevertheless, he was hoping he was. Trevor had noticed her for a while now but couldn’t bring himself to go and talk to her. He couldn’t understand why, as he’d never had much trouble talking to women before. It wasn’t as though he couldn’t – he didn’t think he’d act like a complete twat – he just knew (somehow knew) that talking to her was the wrong move. She’d have to talk to him but how to get her to approach? Mind-meld?

You can’t just bury your head in the sand because there’s no happy news on TV. Believe me, I’ve tried and it’s amazing the things you miss out on. I mean, let’s fact it, who actually listens to the TV for news anymore? You might listen for the basics but if you really want to find information, you go the the internet. You talk to people. You investigate for yourself. And you know something I’ve found out from doing this? Even ugly, unpleasant news can be good or happy news when you have more than the required info.

I can’t say it. I can’t stop it. I’ve tried; I’ve actually done it for a time but that time didn’t last. I guess it never really does, no matter the outcomes. I wanted to and wished to but I keep coming back. No matter how useless I know it to be, no matter the waste, I can’t stop it. Because, inside, I don’t believe it is a waste – not really. It doesn’t do me the good I’d like it to, yet it obviously does me some good. There is some reason why I still do it, why I can never give it up. It has nothing to do with improvement. It might be sanity.

Peter always thought he knew what he was doing, even when he had no idea. ‘Am I still your boy?’ had been ringing in his head for days; yet, he still couldn’t come up with a satisfactory answer. Was he? Well, of course he still was; at least superficially. And therein lay the problem. For, if he wasn’t really Colin’s boy (as he was sure he was?) then why on earth the hard decision? Would it truly matter that much if he said ‘no?’ He wanted to. He had wanted to for ages?

He had put off writing the book for so long, that the doubts he once had now hardly seemed relevant. He couldn’t help thinking though, that it was still there, it still might be possible. Then again, anything might be possible.

Trevor was so drunk, he could barely order his food. The waitress thought she heard some sort of slur that might have been ‘steak’ but she couldn’t be sure. When Trevor fell asleep in his seat, she knew it was all over for the night.

‘It’s the official start of Pisces today,’ thought Sally. ‘Feb 20 to March 20,’ Though it has absolutely nothing to do with this story, Sally thought it was an interesting quip. Only interesting if you happen be a Pisces I suppose, or if you’re captured by astrology. Still, as somewhere to get the ball rolling, it could’ve been worse. ‘Somewhere?’ thought Sally. Should that not be ‘something?’ Looking again, I have to say that she has managed to pick me up on my bad grammar. It should indeed have been, ‘something.’

That can mean taking gender into account. Which can also mean the chance of really insulting someone inadvertently. And Marshall hated the thought that he might do that. Yet, what other choice was left? Pinning down both sides was a hard enough proposition as it stood. Now he had to take in gender? It was obvious, the more he thought about it, but Marshall couldn’t help wondering how it was to be accomplished. A conference? An email? A phone call? He was sure face to face was best; how to get it together?

Just come for Gods’ sake! It won’t kill you to go somewhere else for a change. Yes, I know you like your usual haunts; yes, I know you love your little routines but honestly – think about it – isn’t it time to go somewhere else; try something different? No, it isn’t exotic; it’s called having a life. What do you mean you already have one? Being able to know what month, day and time it is by following your routines is not what I would call a life. Is it?

That damn dog is still howling. He’s been doing nothing else for the past three mornings. I don’t know which house he’s in; I don’t know what his owners are like – mate, I don’t even know if he’s a he. But I do know that every morning, for the past three mornings, from eight o’clock he just howls. Not constantly, not insufferably but howling loud enough to wake me none the less. He howls for thirty seconds or so, has a five minute break, then howls again. For two hours. Did I say not insufferably?

‘Simon, are you ready to go?’ The heat of the day had finally worn him out and there was nothing to do but agree. So they went and, even though Simon would probably not admit it – even under extreme duress – they had a good time. They saw some people, they drank some drinks, they ate, they talked. Even for Simon this had to be considered something of a good time. Of course, as you all know, Simon’s a dickhead and if there’s one thing a dickhead won’t do, it’s tell you he’s had a good time.

I’ve put my glasses on, to enable me to see better. Unfortunately, it does not enable me to write better – for that I have to use my brain. I wish my brain had glasses sometimes. Maybe then I wouldn’t feel the need to put myself down constantly, as I do.

It’s lunch and I’m hungry. There are fish fingers in the oven and I’m writing this. It is too hot to walk my dogs, so they are wandering around – sulking. I’m wishing that I had’ve checked this diary before I bought it. It’s difficult to write in.

‘I’ve actually got to start doing some more work, these things are wearing me out.’ And so say all of us. Not so much for Trevor though, he’s been working his arse off for the last three months, trying to save for an overseas trip to see his grandmother. What Trevor is unaware of at this time, is that his grandmother has been dead for the last three years and he’s being dragged into a situation most would prefer not to go. Trevor doesn’t know this yet though, so he’s safe for now.

Colin, Colin, Colin; those three words in the tone that makes you feel like a five-year-old again. Peter knew just how to get Colin off side. I think he actually enjoyed it – the meting out of a punishment, if you will. It was this habit that Colin found most insufferable. It was the reason his tongue stuck so firmly to the roof of his mouth. It was not the only but it was THE one thing he had talked the most about to Peter and it was the one thing Peter refused to alter. Upper hand I guess.

MARCH

1st of March today – so the fuck what? In eight days I will be 40. All I need do now I suppose, is wait for my life to start. That is still the starting date isn’t it – 40? Or in our youth obsessed culture, has it dropped? Maybe the ‘life starts here’ date has dropped and I’ve missed out. Perhaps it’s now 37 or 38 – perhaps even as low as 35? If so, when did it change and how in hell did I miss it? Maybe I should just relax and wait my eight days. Will I hear a bell?

Sally was drunk – yet again. I always make her drunk, don’t I? I wonder if that says something about me, or her? I do know a Sally and I’ve never seen her drink, let alone drunk. So why make my Sally drunk all the time? She’s an alcoholic – ok, we get it. You don’t have to point it out with every sentence – let something happen in her life, for fuck’s sake. Oh ok, well, Sally was drunk again but this time, it wasn’t by herself. Sally was with Marshall and Marshall was still taking gender into account.

Trevor hadn’t seen her for a while and it wasn’t for want of trying. He thought he might have, a couple of days ago, but he couldn’t be sure. It certainly looked like her but she was with a man, so Trevor quickly ruled out the possibility that it was her. It could’ve been any man – cousin, brother, friend – but Trevor assumed boyfriend or husband, which brought about his denial. Because Trevor wanted her so bad, that she had to be single. He assumed this girl wasn’t and so, not her.

Today is my 40th birthday party, thought not my 40th birthday. We’re having it early because it’s the best day everyone can come. My wife will be away the weekend that should be my party, so we are having it today instead.

This has been written on the Friday before my 40th party, as I assume I am going to be too hungover to bother putting pen to paper today. I will have to re-read this on Monday and find out if I was telling the truth.

I’ll convert you. No I won’t. I won’t do any such thing. I couldn’t covert two pieces of bread and a slice of chicken into a sandwich, let alone covert you. I don’t even have a clue what I’d be converting you to in the first place. So why did I say it? I don’t know, it just seems to be one of those things that pop off the tongue before you realise what you’ve just said. ‘I’ll convert you.’ What a stupid statement. As if I’m somehow persuasive enough to convert anyone to anything I believe in. Especially you.

With the lid off my pen, I’m free to write whatever I feel. So, what do I feel? Well, at the moment, I guess I’m feeling a bit rushed, as it’s almost time to get ready to go to work, so I’m sort of racing against the clock to get this story finished. Where do we stand with that at this present time? Well, we’re over halfway, so that’s pretty good, considering I have the White Stripes playing quite loud in the background, distracting me. What do you know? Only two lines left, so it must be time to leave.

Wednesday – that’s the one. Sally liked Wednesday, because Wednesday was pay day and pay day meant drinking day. It was a hot Wednesday too; no clouds, blue sky, full sun; a perfect day for heading down to the pub, sitting in the beer garden, soaking up sun and alcohol. But what Sally forgot, on her way to the pub, was that Monday had been a public holiday. Hence, all the banks had been closed and Sally’s pay would not be available until Thursday, when rain was predicted. Sally didn’t know that yet.

It’s Colin’s birthday today, which is at least one thing I have in common with him. And one other nail in the coffin for Peter. Peter believed in astrology to the exclusion of everything else, so the fact that Colin and I were both Picseans tore Peter’s heart out. For Peter was a Scorpio. Now, as a sort of general astrological rule, Scorpio’s and Picseans get along famously. As long as they just remain friends. When more is involved, it can go one of two ways – amazing or brutal. Peter was choosing brutal before giving them a chance.

Today is my father-in-law’s 60th birthday. I wanted to have a joint 100th party but he wouldn’t be in it. We get on well but I don’t think he wanted to make a big deal about turning 60. I think it’s all a bit too much for him to cope with. Me – I didn’t mind turning 40 – I’m finally beginning to accept my life. None too soon either. I think my father-in-law imagined a quite different scenario of his life by the time he turned 60. And I think we’re probably all in that boat with him.

‘Saturday again,’ thought Marshall. He liked Saturdays, not because it was the start of the weekend but because it was the start of his working week. Marshall worked in a bar and he liked Saturday’s because Saturday’s were when the girl came in.

What’s Simon been doing lately? To tell you the truth, I’d completely forgotten about him. I’d better go look at his last entry. That’s right; Simon had a good time, despite the heat. Well, it’s hot again today and I’ll tell you something – Simon is not having a good time.

Who’s incinerated in a private jail? Incinerated – shouldn’t that be incarcerated? Or perhaps I’m actually on the right track. Incinerated might be the best word. For jails are no longer, and I guess never really were, places of rehabilitation. They’re just places to serve your time and to have any vestiges of humanity burned away. Once a prisoner, always a prisoner. In the eyes of the law, the community and oneself. Marshall was thankful that no one knew – yet.

Surely not. No, surely not. Surely what? Surely, you can’t have seen that? All I’m saying is, I know what I saw and I’m telling you for your own good. But…no, surely not. Yes, Yes? Yes. But…but why? Look, I don’t know why. I can’t even begin to contemplate the why, all I do know is what you now know. Did I have to know? Did I have to know really? You’d actually prefer to remain in the dark? Maybe, yeah. What good does it do me to know? At least now, you can do something.

‘I still miss someone,’ said Trevor. Well, he did like talking to himself and he had no choice but to call her someone, as he still didn’t know her name. You and I know that it’s Sally but Trevor didn’t. He also didn’t know that Marshall was with Sally at this present time but, as we do, we can feel a certain amount of sympathy for Trevor, because I’ve decided – at this early stage – that Trevor and Sally are destined to stay apart. This will probably change as things move on.

Simon has been toying lately, with the idea of a robbery. It isn’t that he needs the money. Simon is actually quite wealthy. He is, in fact, the only person in this book who is. So consequently, Simon is rather bored. He has recently quit the job he didn’t really need and he has hobbies but the problem is, Simon has a very short attention span. And naturally enough, for someone with this type of problem, Simon’s hobbies require concentration. So Simon was contemplating a robbery because he thought it would be easy and exciting. For the moment.

It’s St Paddy’s day today and I’m busted. Mainly because I have to go to work and, with everyone going out and drinking Guinness tonight, we could be awfully quiet. And this might also backfire on me and we could be so busy, that I won’t be able to take a piss for the whole time I’m there. Either way, I’m busted. I’ve got nothing to lose and nothing to gain. There’s naught for it but to go to work and take whatever comes. Hey, just like the rest of the world.

Sally was thinking of giving up the grog. Don’t worry too much though, she always did this every second or third period. They hurt so much, she drank to blot out the pain but she felt so bad later that giving up seemed the only option.

I’ve tried to lead from the front before but I don’t have that base competitive instinct. I can be at times but those are the times that I’m not pushed too hard. When the heat is on, I crumble. Couldn’t be more un-Australian admitting that.

What will I be? I don’t know but I do know one thing – I don’t light up the personality in a room. So I suppose that cuts down my options considerably. Which should, theoretically, make the choices that much easier. Of course, this pre-supposes that I ever really had the choice of the ability to light up the room. Lots of ‘the,’ in that sentence. Look, I’m not saying that I couldn’t, I’m just saying that it isn’t part of my natural talents. But I guess it’s something I could fake?

Marshall had just served Sally her third drink, when he decided to take the plunge. It worked of course, because this is a flashback. That night, Marshall and Sally went on a marathon sex session, of which, Marshall was the only one to come. It wasn’t that Sally couldn’t, she was just too drunk to think about it. For Marshall, it was the most amazing experience he’d ever had but these things usually are, at first. It wouldn’t be too long before the whole thing became routine.

Simon had actually gone so far as to plan his robbery. He didn’t want to steal money, it was an art piece he’d had his eye on. A friend’s art piece. An original Monet, if you don’t mind. Simon didn’t like the painting, he just thought it would be easy to steal. It’s always easy to steal from your friends’. Simon knew his friend was pretty slack on security, so he figured that, next time he was over there, he’d just unlock a window. Pretty simple, but most robberies are.

No, Colin and Peter have not disappeared and they have not broken up. Not yet at least and it hasn’t been from lack of trying on Peter’s part. Peter really needed guarantees. And love has nothing to do with guarantees. Colin, for his part, was in love with Peter but it was a near thing. With all of Peter’s tests, taunts and question, Colin was just hanging on. Peter, as yet, had not realised this and so was going on with the tests. Colin was about to change all that with a test of his own.

‘Well, the weather is definitely changing,’ said Trevor, to no one in particular. He’d recently discovered that Sally and Marshall were indeed together and he felt that the greying of the sky was in perfect sync with his dampening mood. He’d walked into the bar that Sally frequented, just in time to watch Marshall finish his shift, take Sally by the hand and exit through the rear. If there was one thing that Trevor didn’t need, it was the obvious rammed into his head. His mood would get blacker with the season.

We’re almost a quarter of the way through the year already and the best I can say for it, is that we’ve had a pretty good summer. The weather has been hot, the sky blue and the girls tanned. It sounds like an Elvis song.

Music from another room. Is that the title of a famous book? I can’t remember. It’s true for me though. Music is coming from another room. Talking too. The radio is on but it isn’t that. It’s not my mother.

There’s a chance that things might not work out as anticipated. Obviously I control what happens to my characters but, only superficially. For instance, I didn’t know that Marshall and Sally were going to get together and I also didn’t know that Colin was gay. Having said that though, it now seems logical that all that has happened. It also seems obvious, and probably logical, that Trevor is going to do some serious damage to someone. I’ll be interested in his choice.

‘I’ve just deleted you Peter,’ said Colin. ‘You are now gone from my phone, my computer and my address book. If you would like to be undone, you know what to do.’ Peter played the message back three times, just to be sure what he was hearing. ‘Colin’s deleted me? Colin can’t delete me; I’m the one who does the deleting, not him! I can’t believe it.’ But it was true. It was there on his answering machine. He played the message back, just once more. But no, there could be no doubt. Colin had deleted him.

How do you get the words into mirror image? Not only that, how does the mirror image become reversed when the time comes to read them? I only ask these questions, as my own mirror broke last week and I’m at a loss as to how to fix it. The pieces still lie scattered, unable to be used without one cutting oneself. I’m all out of glue and band-aids. I’ve tried to fuse them together with the aid of the sun and my anger but all that seems to happen is the pieces break smaller. I need solder.

Sally’s dream of sobriety was dashed in a car wreck and a bottle of vodka. The car was not hers but Trevor’s. Unbeknownst to Sally, Trevor had decided to kill her but didn’t really know how. By sheer chance, and incredibly skillful plotting, he noticed her about to cross the street, while he was out doing his weekly shopping. Pounding the accelerator into the ground, he was about to run her over when the author decided she needed to turn back, to buy alcohol. Lucky for her, not so lucky for Trevor.

Well, you could all see that coming, I'm sure but did you think it was going to be so early, or so cliche? You did huh? Hmmm, methinks I'd best push my imagination into deeper directions. One thing I haven't said though; Trevor is in the hospital, but how badly is he injured? ICU or ward? Just broken bones or a coma? What do you want to happen? Write your answer on the back of a postcard and send it to: Green diary 2006, c/- Kurtovich products, Auckland, NZ.

APRIL

‘Hey kid, your shoelace is untied!’ Funny hey? Works every time. April Fools is for kids isn’t it. No, that isn’t a question, it’s a statement. As an adult, you would have to be pretty desperate to play April Fools gags. Or, at worst, a stupid bogan.

I can’t offer you anymore. I’d like to be able to but, like all of you, there’s only so far I can go. True, there are many people who can go much further but this is as far as I go. And yes, it is deliberate. I like it this way; it’s how it’ll stay.

Repetition runs as the mainstay of human development. It’s the only way we learn anything; the only way we can improve anything. For whatever scientific reason, our brains need repetition to cement a new lesson; be it a new language, a new occupation, a new sport, or a new idea. Repetition is the key to all great human achievement. It is only with repetition that we learn to recognise what are true mistakes and what are true accomplishments. Then why, oh why, do we still go to war? Why?

I’ve always known it inside but I’ve come to openly realise that I’m incredibly intolerant of people. I’m listening to this female DJ on RRR, banging on about how wonderful Martha Wainwright is. She played one of her boring, dopey arse songs and back-announced it by saying, ‘she’s everyone’s favourite.’ And if this wasn’t enough, she followed it up by repeating, ‘she’s EVERYONE’S favourite.’ Guess what fuckstick, she isn’t MY favourite. She never will be my favourite, I can’t stand her fucking songs, and I hate her brother as well.

‘Slow it down,’ thought Simon, ‘just slow it down.’ Simon was outside his friend’s house, looking up at the window he’d left unlocked. It was only a matter of getting a ladder and entering. So why was his heart beating so fast? Why was he sweating so much? Why couldn’t he just get the ladder from around the back of the house, lean it up against the wall, climb up and in? Nothing to it when you thought of it like that. Nothing to it at all. Simon couldn’t move his feet. He hadn’t planned on this.

Sally and Marshall were at the hospital. Since Sally had watched Trevor crash himself into a tree, she hadn’t been able to sleep. Marshall had done his best for her but Sally had been insisting on going to the hospital to see how the man was. She didn’t know it was Trevor – how could she? The papers had not released Trevor’s name as he had no identification on him when he was in the car. Trevor never took his wallet anywhere with him unless it was absolutely necessary. Sally and Marshall were there to see if they could find him.

Everyone’s an expert after the fact. This isn’t just true for Trevor’s accident, it’s also true for Peter’s deletion. He still couldn’t understand why Colin had left the message, for Peter has spent all his life being the one in control. Now he wasn’t and it bothered him. He just couldn’t find it within himself to accept any blame. So it was all Colin’s fault and therefore, Colin was being extremely unfair and rather childish. To anyone with half a brain, it’s obvious that Peter is a dick. Peter barely had half a brain.

There were takers straight away. It wasn’t anything too gaudy, certainly nothing too unpleasant; hence the rushing for the opening. With anything like this though, there will always be the detractors. These however, were only minor diversions.

As the song fades out and I drink my coffee in the sun, I realise that being ordinary has improved my life immeasurably. Writers tend to repeat themselves in the things they’re writing, if they have one thing constantly on their minds so yes, you’ve seen this before.

There’ll be peace in the valley for me someday, there’ll be peace in the valley for me, dear Lord I pray. And while I’m praying, how about throwing in a few extra bucks and a second job. It isn’t really that much to ask is it? Colin and Peter hadn’t exactly been living together but the truth was, Peter had been staying with him quite a bit and also contributing to the household bills. Which was why Colin really needed to know if Peter was his boy. If not, then ok. In the meantime, he was finding it harder to budget than he remembered.

Trevor had been wondering why he couldn’t move of late. He could see the lights straight above his head, and the occasional outline of a face but he found that he couldn’t move his head to either side. Nor could he seem to move his arms or his legs, though his fingers and toes seemed fine. He couldn’t hear very well either; it was like he was underwater. It occurred to him that he must have been abducted and the aliens were currently performing experiments. He wasn’t scared, as he wasn’t in any pain. He remembered nothing of the ‘accident.’

‘Make the pain go away.’ Marshall had his arm around her because it was all he could think of doing. Trevor didn’t look at all good and Sally couldn’t hide the guilt and shame any longer. Even though she knew it wasn’t her fault, seeing how bad he was proved too much. Marshall didn’t feel so bad; he hadn’t seen the accident, didn’t know Trevor personally and was tired from work, so all he really wanted to do was leave. Of course, he knew that that was never going to happen, so all he could do was put his arm around her and hope.

You’re lying. No, he’s not. And it was true, he wasn’t. What he was doing, was leaving certain things unsaid, which forced the other party to assume a more positive outcome than what was actually the truth. This, in a pure, technical sense, was not lying, though neither was it telling the truth. And this is exactly the way the world is going, not quite lying but not quite telling the truth either. Everything is ok, just as long as you stick to the pure technical aspects of truth. You can’t get in trouble and can justify anything.

Yes, it’s Good Friday. It’s Jesus’s time. Though, if the whole point of celebrating Easter is Jesus’s resurrection, then would he not have been crucified on Good Friday? Or is Good Friday when he was taken down from the cross and buried? As you can see, my grasp of Christian history is tenuous at best. I’m guessing though, that it must have been his burial day, as that would mean he rose sometime Sunday, hence the significance of the egg and new birth etc. I’m sure someone will tell me how wrong I am.

And then the bass comes back in out of nowhere. And what sounds like hordes of insects but could instead be the certain hum of an amplifier, though I don’t really think so. I think it is more likely to be a sample. The acceptable form of plagiarism these days.

Ah, it’ll never happen to me. How many times have we heard this? How many times have we told ourselves? And how many times does it become reality? But we must keep telling ourselves, mustn’t we? Because the alternative is just too horrible a thought to contemplate.

Man, where have you been? It sure has been a while – shit, you look like you’ve been dead three days. Yes, sorry about all this cliche writing of late but I’ve become ever more lazy as I grow older. I always told myself that age was no excuse for laziness but, the truth of it is, I’ve always had an excuse for laziness. Only for myself mind, never for others. Oh no, others have to keep up their originality, others have to keep up their envelope pushing. Me? Hell, I can stick to cliche and poor excuses.

I could see my dogs outside, which was a little unusual because, wherever we are, they always want to be. And it turned out to be that way because their dog door had been locked, hence, they couldn’t get in. Now of course, they are in but still sitting in the sun. And, at the moment, there is way more sun outside than in so really, they’re cheating themselves. Much the same way we all cheat ourselves when I think about it. ‘The grass is always greener’ mentality. Or is that ‘the grass is never greener?’ I forget.

Now I’m stuffed. We ran this morning and have just now walked our dogs into town and back. They’re not as stuffed as me but still, I’m older. And much less fit. And that goes hand in hand with being older. Oh sure, not for everybody; in fact, quite a few people, when they hit 40, go into crisis mode and become fitter than they were at 18. Not me though, not really. Yes, I am running again but I’m still eating like I’m 22. I guess that, eventually, I’ll realise my mistake. Not yet though, not yet.

You’re going on a journey alright. It’s a journey of discovery, a journey of revelation and a journey of complete and utter bullshit. Yes, that’s right, I’m watching American sitcoms. Is there a better use of the formula than the American sitcom? (C+T=L+R+U). Conflict + Tragedy = Learning + Resolution + Understanding. You could also throw in something about Love here but Love is the ellipsis around the entire formula. Still, you cannot go wrong by following the formula. Well, you can go wrong, and the evidence is there but, what else have you got?

I’m not really a solitary man but I do like to think of myself as that sometimes. I do like to be by myself; I can revel in my own solitude but it isn’t as though I could do it forever. I like to believe, I guess we all like to believe, that we can truly remain an island – no one gets in, no one gets out but in the end, even the most cynical (such as myself) need to talk to others, if only for a short time. To remind ourselves of why it is good to be alone sometimes. To realise why we can’t do it forever.

It is one life, so I suppose it is reasonable to assume that I should do something useful with it. I mean, I’m only assuming it’s one life, I could have many more but if I can’t remember my past lives, then how am I going to remember this one? I have no answer.

It’s breakfast and I’m hungry but I’m waiting for my pot of tea to brew before I eat. And so I’m sitting at this table, listening to Johnny Cash and scribbling random thoughts into a diary. All because I have to wait for my tea.

So now we’re running with the advantage. And I have no advantage because I’m having trouble spelling. In the initial sentence for this entry, I began spelling ‘we’re’ as ‘ew.’ And it isn’t the first instance of my dyslexia. It isn’t a recent thing either. I’ve noticed several times over the past year or so, that my handwriting has deteriorated and my spelling is going with it. Perhaps it’s a sign that I’m growing old or it might be a sign that I don’t hand write enough. Whatever it is, it’s not good.

I suppose you’re wondering by now, what’s happening with everyone? Well, I’m getting there, keep your pants on. It’s Anzac Day today and , unlike most of you schmucks, I have to work today. That’s right, no day off for Davy. And no penalty rates for working on a public holiday either. That’s casual employment for you. Oh well, maybe I can give you a teaser. Trevor is still in his coma but, Sally will do something to bring him out of it. Marshall will contemplate a crime. Simon wakes up and Colin and Peter? You’ll just have to keep reading.

The shower’s turned off and the door has been slammed hard. There’s a dog whose tail is wagging slowly. The sun is shining in the pale, blue autumn sky and it feels warm on my neck. The radio was talking about car manufacturers going bankrupt and is now playing some sort of Bootsy Collins type of funk. Sounds good actually; I’ve never been that big a funk fan but I quite like this. We’re going shopping soon and I really should be writing a shopping list but I’m almost finished now, so see ya.

Trevor wasn’t quite awake but he knew one thing for sure: he was conscious. And he could feel the leads and tubes and associated equipment that the aliens had him hooked up to. He wasn’t in any great pain – Trevor could barely feel anything – but he knew he had to plan some sort of escape. God knows how long the aliens had kept him; or what they were doing. Had he talked about something? What were they learning from him? Had he betrayed everyone after all? Trevor’s mind was racing when he saw one of the aliens lean over him. Now!

‘Take my hand and you’ll take my heart.’ Colin listened to his answering machine yet again. He couldn’t believe it. Peter had finally given him an answer. And furthermore, it was the answer he’d been wishing, wanting and waiting for. As with the rest of this cliche novel though, it’s probably appropriate that Colin now think twice about whether he still felt the same about Peter. But, to tell you the whole truth, he does and always did. I only wrote that other sentence to help fill up this section of the diary.

I’m looking out on a big bloody mess. There was a party on last night and now the backyard is bottles, candles, food, lights and a tent that needs to be pulled down. It’s raining at the moment, so I’m not expecting to do it yet but it will have to be done.

One of my dogs is sitting beside me. He’s our 1st and my wife bought him for me for Xmas, eight years ago. He’s a little Jack Russell and going very grey. We have a photo on the fridge from when he was younger and you can notice his ageing from then.

Simon was back home, pacing. He still couldn’t believe how close he came. He actually made it into his friend’s house and had picked up the aforementioned art piece, when something clicked. ‘What the fuck am I doing?’ he said, to no one in particular. He put the piece down, went back out the window, down the ladder, and home. He encountered no one on the way home and saw none of his friend’s neighbours as he came out of the house. What Simon didn’t do, was put the ladder away. Or wear gloves.

Oh hello, come for something to eat, have you? Well, there’s not too much left I’m afraid. Yes, I’m quite aware of the fact that you say you don’t need much, I’m just giving you the option. Ok, ok, I’ll see what can be rustled up. Just sit there and I’ll be back in a sec. Right then, here we go. My, you were hungry weren’t you? I really am sorry that we don’t have anymore; it’s been a busy week. Bloody hell, finished already? You certainly made short work of that little lot. I suppose we’ll be seeing you tomorrow? Of course. Bye.

Sally was home alone. Well, not quite alone; three bottles of vodka can be considered friends can’t they? Sally certainly thought so. Marshall had also been sent home, though he had wanted to stay. Sally didn’t think that he should see her like this. I think that was probably a wise decision. Seeing as Sally had finished her 1st bottle, was two thirds of the way through the second and eyeing off the third, like if she didn’t drink it, it would grow legs and leave. Wise decision.

In the end, I suppose the question does need to be asked: is it music? Or is it merely randomly generated sounds, in the hope that someone might appreciate it as music? Which raises another, more positive question: who’s to say what music really is? Can’t music simply be traffic, or seagulls, or footsteps in a library? So how can it be any less than music? The same answer occurs whenever he tries something creative – doubt. Doubt about the reactions, doubt about the work, doubt about himself. Isn’t it about time he stopped and just grew up?

Sounds like a typewriter coming from somewhere. But who uses a typewriter these days? Isn’t everything done on computer now? Certainly makes for easier editing. Which might be the point. It takes a fair degree of confidence in your skills to use a typewriter – even one with a built in eraser. You really have to know how to string your words together, how to coherently pursue a theme and , perhaps most important of all, know how to spell. I’ll bet it isn’t someone young using it. I’ll bet it’s someone who know what they’re doing. Not me.

Peter had picked up the phone seven times in the last half hour. Since he’d left his message on Colin’s machine, Colin had not called back and Peter was nervous. What if he’d read the wrong signals? Which would be hard, considering previous chapters. So what happened?

This morning, I heard on the news that Grant McClennan, one half of the two greatest songwriters in Australia, has died in his sleep at the age of 48. What the fuck? Why am I alive and he’s dead? Why do the talented ones die so early? RIP Grant McClennan.

Trevor saw his chance and took it. Once the alien was leaning close enough to him, Trevor struck. He head butted what he thought may have been a man and sent him flying. ‘Wow,’ thought Trevor, ‘their blood is red, like ours.’ Quickly removing the leads and wires the aliens were using to experiment on him, he scrambled off the table and headed for an exit. ‘That looks like a door,’ thought Trevor, still disoriented from the bright lights. He went through it and was stunned with even brighter lights. What?

‘Oh great, the power’s out.’ Marshall awoke to find that he was over an hour late for work. For some reason, a power surge maybe, all power had gone out in his home. No clock, no fridge, no TV, no hot water. Well, whatever hot water was left from last night’s heating. The phone was still working but it seemed no one had tried to call him. He called and told them what had happened. ‘Yeah, we know.’ ‘You know?’ Marshall, it turned out, had not read his mail since the hospital and so, was unaware of the interruption to his electricity supply.

So, what happened today? God, I can’t even remember what happened five minutes ago, let alone three days ago. I know I worked but what about the rest of the day? Let’s see – I obviously woke up. Yep, then what? Oh yeah, went for a run. Was it fartlec training? No, that was Tuesday. That’s right, it was a relaxed 65 mins. Relaxed, what the hell does that mean exactly? Wouldn’t a relaxed run be walking? Nevertheless, that’s what I did do. After that? Breakfast and…shit, I really can’t remember. Nevermind.

I’ve come to the conclusion, that doubt is the greatest thing I possess. And I don’t mean ‘great’ as in good. I mean ‘great’ as in a lot. I’m rich in doubt. I am, in fact, the wealthiest man in the world in terms of owning doubt. Look up the top 100 in Extreme Doubt Weekly (EDW) and I’m no.1. Always and forever. You’d think, with so much doubt, I’d be able to share it out evenly. You know, give some to charity, some to my folks, brother and sister – just generally be generous. But no, all this doubt is mine and I’m keeping it.

I’m a city boy. Always have been, always will be. Yet, here I am, still in my home town. I’ve moved away from here two or three times but have always ended up coming back. I can’t understand it; I don’t hate the place so much, as find it terribly unconducive to my creative ambitions. I think I’d do much better living in Melbourne but it’s just never happened. I’ve found it easier, through my past, to move greater distances than just an hour up the highway. Yet, I’m a city boy. I hate the bush, I hate the country. I’m a city boy.

Trevor found himself in a hospital ward. Well, he would have if he could actually move. Trevor was out of his coma but far from healthy. His imagination was still active – well duh – but he couldn’t move. Still, something told him he was not abducted.

Colin and Peter are meeting for coffee. Colin had finally rung and confessed his feelings, which Peter found strange because he knew how Colin felt. It was nice to hear though. They are going to discuss moving in together again. They do.

Saturday night I went out, as I had the night off work. Had a few drinks, went to the toilet, where I find lovely fresh vomit on the floor. ‘Nice,’ I think and have a piss. As I’m standing there, I’m also thinking to myself, ‘hmm, this vomit is making the floor quite slippery. I’d best be careful.’ However, the best laid plans and all that; I do indeed slip on the tiles and come down, my full weight landing on my left arm. The consequences of all this being: my arm – not broken, just sprained but I’m off work for three days.

Simon received a phone call last night. It was the phone call he’d been dreading; the phone call he was trying to prepare for. He wasn’t prepared for it and he knew it. Simon wasn’t terribly good at lying but he knew he had no choice. Although he hadn’t actually stolen anything, he had broken the law. It wasn’t hard to tell that his friend didn’t suspect him but, with guilt, one can never be too sure. Simon can’t remember what he said on the phone – probably some platitudinous crap – but he did hear one thing. The police didn’t dust for fingerprints.

Marshall’s power had come back on but, as many men do, he hadn’t reset the clocks. Which didn’t necessarily mean that he was going to be late for work again but it didn’t improve his odds much. And, as we’ve seen, Marshall’s work didn’t seem to care much when he came in. This, through yet more skilful writing, caused Marshall to think about a change in career. Funny how such small things can lead us in unexpected directions. Now, that’s deep. More brilliant philosophy from your favourite author.

My arm is a little better but still not as good as I thought it might be by now. Which worries me more than a little, coz I’ve already had too much time off work and, because I’m casual, if I don’t work, I don’t get paid. I’d be a great deal happier, if I could at least raise my arm without pain but unfortunately, I still can’t. Well, I can raise my arm but, only about half way and it still hurts like mad. I’m receiving some physio for it and it is helping. I’m also quietly exercising it and again, it’s helping, just not enough. I need more time.

Sally? Oh God, don’t talk to me about Sally. Sally is so much back off the wagon (“so much”? Is that even allowed?) that she’s been unconscious for the past three days. Oh yeah, she’s been binging. She’s been three days binging. When she finally wakes up, she’s gonna be real sore. But, at this moment, she’s perfectly safe. In fact, Sally is having one of the most pleasant dreams she’s ever had. It involves blue sky, a beach and John Denver. Don’t ask, you don’t want to know.

First day back at work tonight, after injuring my shoulder. I’m pretty sure it’s going to hurt, so I’m hoping that we won’t be too busy. It will be interesting to see where I am in the grand scheme of things. I feel like I’ve improved a lot over the week.

Work was hell. My shoulder is nowhere near ready yet. I hurt all night and we were busy as fuck. Now I have to call the boss and tell him that, not only do I need today off, but all next week. I have to get this right. Not happy Jan.

‘Mr Roland? Can you hear me Mr Roland? If you can, squeeze my hand.’ Trevor did what he was told. It wasn’t a hard squeeze by any means, but it was a reaction. It meant he was alive. It also meant that he finally knew where he was. On Earth, in bed, in a hospital. Trevor didn’t know why but he knew that he wasn’t too good. The doctor talked to him for a little longer, then left. Nurses attended to him, as Trevor strained hard to remember what might have happened. Was there a girl involved?

Marshall is kind of boring, isn’t he? Not his fault of course, I’m writing him that way. This may, after careful consideration, be alright. Exciting things can’t happen to everyone. Marshall is the so-called, ‘Everyman.’ He’s the guy you have, when you’re not having something happen to the other guy. Point is – I wonder how he feels about it? I wonder if he’s a bit tired of going into the same job everyday, coming home, trying to contact Sally. Because yes, he’s with Sally but the interesting things are happening to her. I wonder if he’s just a bit bored?

I’m thinking hard but coming up blank. This is supposed to be the part where I talk about what’s happening in my life or in my head but I can’t think of anything. I guess I could just do the cliche thing of writing about having nothing to write about but honestly, who the hell is going to take that seriously? And while I’m asking the question, the next logical line is, who is going to take any of this book seriously anyway? After all, I’m not taking it seriously; should I really expect anyone else to? And do I want it to be? What would be the point?

One of my dogs has hurt her back. She’s done it a couple of times now and there’s not much to do but just keep her quiet. I can’t even take her to the vet for some pain relief because a) my wife has the car at work at the moment and b) because of my arm, I still can’t drive. So I have to sit beside her as she tries to sleep in obvious pain. I did have a thought though. My wife will be home in a couple of hours and we are both going to see our chiropractor. I’m wondering if we could take her to see him? Or is that just being stupid?

I feel like going back to Marshall, because I did put down that he was thinking of changing jobs. but what do you do when you’ve been a bartender for most of your (admittedly short) working life? Open your own bar I suppose. And this is what Marshall is thinking of doing? I don’t like it, it’s too cliche. Yes alright, you can stop laughing. It’s true though isn’t it? How many times have you seen a movie, where the put upon bartender swears he’s going to get out of this hell-hole and open up his own bar? I don’t want to do that.

I must admit I’m very impressed. Keep in mind, I’m very easily impressed. I don’t think I need to give you any examples, I think you can trust me on this. So when I tell you that I’m very impressed, it would probably be wise to not get too excited about it.

Don’t miss out, just five days remain. Until what? Well, until whatever it is that we’re waiting five days till the end for. I don’t think that makes any sense, grammar wise. Upon second reading, it’s not too bad a sentence. So don’t miss out.

Peter is moving back in with Colin. Colin doesn’t know it yet but Peter had a one night stand while they were apart. Peter will probably tell him but he’s also thinking that, if he doesn’t have to, then why bother? It’s a good concept as it stands but, what Peter doesn’t know, is that the guy he fucked, was Colin’s first lover. They were only together a month and they haven’t spoken since but, where they live is not such a huge gay scene, so they are bound to seen him. Together or alone, I haven’t decided.

Today will be my first day back at work after the disaster that was a week ago. Remember when I went back to work too early? Well, I did and it was terrible. So all last week, I’ve been having rest, physio, chiro, rest, bowen and more rest. My arm feels pretty good, still pain but improving. I have a little more movement than when I injured it but still not as much as I’d like. I can see now why people remain so depressed when they have constant pain – you just can’t do anything. All you can do is wait and hope.

Sally has woken up with a clarity of mind she didn’t think she could ever possess. Her black mood is gone and she has made another vow to give up drinking. This time though, she’s going to stick with it. Because Sally has realised that the drinking was what caused Trevor’s accident in the first place. She still doesn’t know he’s called Trevor and she still doesn’t realise he was trying to kill her but she knows it had something to do with alcohol. She still doesn’t realise it wasn’t her fault either, so the constant guilt is actually reassuring.

Ok, so I’m now half-way through this book. And I’ve had a bit of a flick back through parts of this “novel” and I’ve come to the conclusion that it makes absolutely no sense. For instance, I have Simon on one page, working in an office and on another, he’s rich enough to not work. Which is it David? Well, merely for the sake of clarity, let’s say that Simon used to work in an office, where he invented something so revolutionary, that he was able to retire at only 25. Sure, it doesn’t sound that likely but hell, stranger things have happened. Not to me.

Now that we are half-way through the year, we can look back and see that things are getting better for our small cast of characters. Sally is stopping the drink; Simon is realising he’s a dick; Marshall is changing jobs for the better and Colin and Peter have finally declared their love and are moving in together. I have, however, placed a few small obstacles in their paths, as I’m sure you’ve noticed – assuming you’ve made it this far. They’ll negotiate their way through them, of course, and it will all turn out ok. You can trust me.

Fucking raining at last. Thank God Winter is finally here. I’m looking out from our kitchen, into the back yard. The sky is a very pale grey – white in some areas – the rain is coming virtually straight down as there is no wind and our plants are dancing for joy.

We got to know each other pretty well, just from talking on the phone, don’t you think? Well, yes but one can only learn so much about another person from a phone call. So true, so true. Well, what do you think you missed? Ah, I’m not sure I should say.

It wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be; yet I can’t say that I’m all that disappointed. Because, paring away the fat of my presumptions, it was still good. And maybe with more exposure, it could be very good. Genius even; why not? Remember when I was talking about repetition? Well, it’s the same deal for something that you really expected to like, only to find your pre-conceived notions shattered. Yet, you still find something in there; you still tell yourself that it’d get better, just keep going. Repetition.

Simon is a lot more relaxed these days. Since the phone call, he’s heard nothing from the police, or his friend. He seems to have gotten away with his petty crime. “Gotten?” That’s a crime in itself. I hate the word “got.” I use it a fair bit but I really try consciously not to. I think it’s a mark of a truly lazy writer, resorting to “got,” or “gotten.” It even sounds horrible coming out of the mouth. I could’ve said, “he seems to be in the clear,” or “it looks like he’s safe at this time,” both cliché sure but at least there’s no “got.” Simon is relaxed.

I’ve decided that Marshall has decided that he’s going to go back to school and become a social worker. We figured that, with all that time behind the bar, listening to people’s sob stories and trying to help them through hard times, social work appears ideal. The problem is that Marshall never finished high school, so he’s going to have to do his final year by correspondence, then apply to university. Which means staying on at the pub to survive. Maybe Marshall is having second, second thoughts.

Trevor is awake now but can’t really communicate, as he still has a tube in and won’t be extubated for a while yet. He can move everything though, which is a great relief – not only for him – but for his doctors as well. This means that Trevor can write, not terribly legibly but good enough to read. His first question was, where are my parents? The nurses have told him that, as he was in a coma and had no identification on him, they didn’t know who to contact. Trevor asked, ‘has no one come in to see me?’ The nurse replied, ‘yes, a girl.’

I’ve been accepted for a second job at Barwon Health in their Food Services department. I’ve signed all my papers and went for a medical but, because of my shoulder, they can’t clear me; which is fair enough. I’m going to see the Occupational Health specialist on Friday and it will be up to him whether I am ok or not. I didn’t tell them at my interview as I didn’t think I’d damaged it as much as I had. It could mean that I’m sacked before I even start but they seem ok so far. Time will tell.

Simon is visiting Phillip – the guy into whose house he broke. He hasn’t gone there to confess exactly; more to see if Phillip can catch him out somehow. Fortunately for Simon, Phillip is as much a self-obsessed dick as he is, so can only talk about himself.

While he was talking to Phillip, Simon noticed a slight hesitation in his voice. Simon had asked him whether he had any suspicions, as to who broke in. It appeared that Phillip suspected Leon – a mutual friend. Simon couldn’t help smiling.

Sally has rung Marshall, to try to arrange a time for them both to go back to the hospital. Marshall has agreed straight away because he hasn’t heard from Sally for nearly a week and any time spent with her, he figures, is good time. So they are going this afternoon. At least they will be able to find out Trevor’s name and perhaps offer to contact his family, if they haven’t been contacted already. Marshall is going to tell Sally about going back to school, when he finally makes that concrete decision. Which may take a while.

‘Shit,’ thought Marshall, ‘here we fucking go again.’ While it was true that he agreed to go with Sally straight away, the last place he wanted to be was the hospital. Yes, he knew it was selfish and yes, he also knew he would feel guilty the rest of the week for thinking but he also knew that it would probably help Sally with her own guilt. So he bit his lip, gritted his teeth and said ok. He actually figured that Trevor would be out of hospital anyway, not really knowing how bad he was hurt. He hoped so anyway, he hated hospitals.

He was in the clear, or at least , that’s how it seemed. The tension that had been building up in Simon since the break in, was now draining into nothingness. He felt that he could truly relax for the first time in days. The police didn’t suspect him, Phillip didn’t suspect him and, even though he hadn’t actually stolen anything, Simon no longer suspected his guilt would betray him. In fact, Simon hadn’t felt so exhilarated in years. He wondered whether it might be time for another robbery.

Colin and Peter have been a bit quiet lately but that’s only because things in their life together have been going so well. They haven’t argued nearly as much as they used to, they’re budgeting effectively; they don’t even argue over the housework or remote like they used to. Peter has decided not to tell Colin about Steven but I’m definitely going to throw them into a situation that forces his hand. After all, I am the author of this novel and therefore – God. It’s time I was able to toy with my creation’s emotions.

I’ll try harder next time, I promise. I know I can be a bit of a pain; a little forgetful at times – hell, even a tiny bit cruel but honestly, I really don’t mean it. I’d like to take this opportunity to apologise to you, like this – right out here in the open and I’m profoundly hoping that you’ll see it in your heart to forgive me. Obviously that sort of thing is totally up to you and my begging is not going to sway you one way or another (probably) but still, an apology is an apology and I’m giving it.

Marshall has signed himself up for school. He is going to do his final year of school through Thompson direct. He has just enough money saved to pay the fees and is just awaiting the material in the mail. He is very nervous about it.

And with good reason. He and Sally are at the hospital, visiting the man they now know as Trevor. What they don’t know is that their visit is inspiring all sorts of memories for Trevor. Not quite yet but he is beginning to understand.

I wrote very early in this book about Sally’s arthritis but have not mentioned it again. I don’t know why I’ve failed in this respect but it’s most likely to be the fact that I haven’t planned this book in any way. As a consequence, there must be more in this book that I’ve forgotten. It will be an interesting exercise in typing this thing out, to see what parts I’ve missed and whether this all hangs together in the way that I think it does in my mind. Anyway, Sally has arthritis and coping.

One of my dogs is sitting on my lap as I’m writing this paragraph. His name is Jeff and he will be nine years old tomorrow. At the moment, he is licking his paws, which is knocking my arm as I’m trying to write. This is causing me to move the book further away from his head, so he won’t touch my arm. Having the book in an area that I’m not used to, is making my already untidy writing, virtually illegible. I can tell that I’m going to suffer severe headaches when the time comes for translation.

Come up to my balcony and look through my window. It was a strange message that Simon received. It was from the friend when he had tried, unsuccessfully, to rob. It was an email message, so was difficult to pinpoint any emotion in it. Simon didn’t attach any suspicion to it, so he went along. Phillip greeted him at the door and took him upstairs. Simon followed him and did what the message said – he looked through the window. All he saw was the wonderful view he’d seen before. Then he saw his ring on the sill.

‘Something tells me my lucky numbers are going to be changing soon,’ thought Trevor. Flashes of memory were shooting through his brain. He was seeing a car and a tree. He saw a paramedic. He saw sky and road. He saw blood and re-felt pain. But none of it connected, none of it told him what had happened. Sally and Marshall had been trying to talk to him but he hadn’t really been listening so they’d given up. They stayed silent for some time. In this silent period, Trevor remembered something else. He remembered a girl. He looked at Sally, smiling.

One of the main reasons I’ve signed Marshall up for school, is that he doesn’t appear as a very nice character, so I’m trying to introduce some empathy for him. It’s difficult, with these short paragraphs, to really get some character development going. Well, I’m finding it difficult, so I thought the best way might be to show that he’s thinking of more than just himself. By sending him back to school, even if only by correspondence, I can hopefully bring about some development for him. Let’s see how good I am.

I might never go out again Colin, I might not ever need to. We have everything here that we need don’t we? I have you, you have me, we have each other and food and TV; what could be missing? Social interaction? Who gives a shit? We have it made!

Thus ran the cliche of Peter’s speech. Because you all know that, now that he’s made it, I’m going to have to put him in the position that I’ve been telling you all that I’m going to put him in. But I won’t do it now, maybe September.

Fine and mostly cloudy today, with west to south westerly winds and a top of 15ºC. Another day in paradise, as my increasing reliance on cliche would have you believe. It is 7.14am, on Monday the 26th of June and so, well into winter, as the Winter Solstice has ended. It is week 26 on the calendar; day 177 with 188 until the end of the year. It is just beginning to dawn outside, yet not enough to me not to have to have the lights on. I’ve just dropped my wife at work and am about to make myself a coffee.

My eyes are following the horses around the table. There are two magnificent white horses; one with a rider, the other pulling a loaded chariot. They are both obviously war horses, charging into battle; as the rider is carrying a large shield and a banner and the chariot is huge, carrying two men, another banner and something I can’t work out. It’s something shaped as a ‘T’ and could be either a weapon, or some sort of balancing device perhaps, keeping the chariot from tipping over. I don’t know, I’m not much on construction.

My shoulder is still very sore but I also believe it is improving. I can now move it up and down without help from my other arm, but it still is with a fair amount of pain. I cannot adduct it much further than head height but that’s much better than when I first injured it, when I couldn’t move it further than just above hip height. I’m back at work 3 days a week but the new job at Barwon Health I haven’t been able to start as the doctor won’t sign off on my shoulder yet. Just as well.

‘Do you see what I see Simon? Isn’t it beautiful?’ Simon’s ring was certainly that; it had been his grandfather’s and had been passed on from his own father. It was a simple gold band that had been hand carved and inscribed with patterns, letters, pictures – all sorts of things. The carving was so tiny but precise, that it must have taken the jeweller many months to complete – perhaps years. Simon did not know how his grandfather came to be in possession of the ring but he knew that he was not the artisan himself. Simon had not yet replied.

We are beginning the Liver Cleansing Diet again today. I say again because, like most diets, we haven’t stuck with it very well. It’s quite a tricky one to complete (it’s a 12 week program) as it cuts out much of what makes food taste good – dairy. I don’t drink anything but soy milk these days but not being able to eat cheese or eggs is still a bit of a challenge. All diets cut out things like chocolate etc and this one’s no different so that’s not a surprise but still, the challenge begins. We’ll keep you posted.

Marshall has begun his YR12 correspondence course to complete his schooling. It isn’t actually necessary, as he could enter university as a mature age student but Marshall has a certain pride about it. He always felt that he cheated himself, not completing his schooling. Now he will.

Simon didn’t know what to say. All he could really do was nod his head in quiet dismay at having been so stupid. ‘Look,’ said Phillip, ‘aren’t the trees amazing?’ Simon brightened slightly; surely he saw the ring? But if not, if not…..?

Trevor was coming to grips with his memory. The doctors had assured him that, in time, he would remember everything. At least, everything that he wanted to remember. And it was true; he remembered a car, a tree and now – a girl. He still couldn’t put them all together but, as Sally and Marshall sat there looking at him, he was becoming increasingly confident that the girl and Sally were one and the same. How she fit in he wasn’t sure but another thought struck him. Did he have a wife?

I’m not quite as tired this morning as I thought I would be, or even should be. I’ve begun a new book, ‘My Best-seller,’ and it’s been keeping me awake. Not because it’s particularly impressive literarily; it is, in fact, a piece of doggerel but because I’ve been enjoying writing it. It will show my state of mind and give a great insight into me, the person, when I say that I’m writing this book in a crass, and none too subtle attempt, to become famous for the allotted 15 minutes. As a result, the book contains nothing of interest.

What do Colin and Peter do for a living? I haven’t given this any thought until now, I’ve been concentrating on their relationship and don’t think I’ve mentioned it once in this book. Then again, I haven’t mentioned what Sally or Trevor do for a living either. and, upon going back through this book, I’ve noticed that I’ve included a character called Tony but I’ve not mentioned Tony since. I think this book is going to be very interesting when I type it out. It won’t make any sense but neither do I.

So, continuing on from yesterday, what do Peter and Colin do for a living? Well, I can tell you that Peter is an accountant – a CPA in fact. He works for a firm in Melbourne handling environmental issues. He’s been working there for seven years now and loves it. I don’t know what Colin does for a living, it’s all rather mysterious. In fact, neither Peter, myself or any of his friends know what he does. He makes money. Whenever he’s asked about it, he smiles and directs the question elsewhere.

I’ve finally figured out who Tony is. It’s been bothering me since I discovered that I included him in here. Now that I know who he is however, it all becomes clear – Tony is God. Well, Tony is my idea of the impression of God. I thought that, if God were talking to himself, would he say ‘God’ or would he use a name? I suggest he’d use a name and his name is Tony. And Tony likes entertainment. Whether he’s writing this book or I am remains unclear, but I’d be placing your bets upon me.

I haven’t actually meant to make Sally the only female in here. It’s honestly not some sort of misogynistic attack on women; I’ve only just realised today. I do have two gay characters, which kind of makes up for it. I don’t have any Aboriginals or Italians either. Sorry.

In fact, there is not one ethnic stereotype in here. Unless, of course, you include Tony. But, as Tony is God, he can’t possibly be any sort of stereotype in human form. He can only be a stereotype in Divine form, which means he makes up for a lot.

‘Can’t you see Simon? I had part of the back wall removed and glass put in so I could finally see the view. Isn’t it incredible? What do you think?’ Simon leaned forward for a closer look. In doing so, he put his hand around his ring, picking it up. He stayed that way for a full minute, taking in the view. When he turned back to Phillip, his smile was the broadest it had ever been. ‘It’s wonderful Phillip, it really is. When did all this happen?’ Phillip began the story. The ring was gone.

It’s full moon of this week, 28 of this year and I’m dropping things. I’m a naturally clumsy person anyway but during the full moon – for reasons I’ve never been able to figure out – I cannot seem to be able to keep hold of anything. In the past ten minutes, since getting out of bed, I’ve dropped the deodorant twice and my pen once. Ok, so it’s not exactly the same as dropping a priceless Ming vase but, if I had one to move, I could just about guarantee that vase would never again see the light of day. Full moon – bah.

Sally and Marshall have left the hospital, promising Trevor they will come back to see him tomorrow. ‘Do you think he was looking at you funny?’ asked Marshall. ‘What do you mean?’ ‘Honestly, I don’t really know but, at one point there, as we were silent, he looked at you and – sort of smiled – like he recognised you.’ ‘Really? I can’t say I noticed. Besides, where would he know me from, it’s the first time we’ve even known his name?’ Marshall shrugged his shoulders. It didn’t matter what Sally said, he felt uncomfortable.

We could spend the next hour or two talking about this but, unfortunately, we just don’t have the time. That’s the limiting thing with limitations – the fact that I’ve limited myself to only a few lines, rather than a complete page. Yet, limitations are the thing that make this book so interesting. The point at which each paragraph intersects and makes its own chapter; the random characters who come in and out, sometimes expected, sometimes not. And it is also what makes it such a pleasant experience to write.

Eventually, we have to be taken out and shot. That’s the deal. You know it, I know it, it’s what we’ve all agreed upon. Now all that’s left, is to actually complete the task. It’s a hell of a thing, killing a man. I heard that in a movie once. It must have a ring of truth though, don’t you think? Getting away with it – that’s the easy bit. Something else from a movie. Something else that’s true too, I’d wager. It must take a certain kind of bravery to shoot someone face to face. Cowardice maybe?

We need some more ink in our printer. Now, in the context of this novel, that doesn’t make any sense, which means, in the context of this novel, it fits perfectly. It happens to be something I just said, so I wrote it down and it became this.

Silence is not sexy at all? What on earth is Blixa talking about? The way they use it, proves the exact opposite. Still, you can’t tell some people can you? Even when something as obvious as Silence looks sex straight in the face.

Tony has been looking over the notes of this novel and, I can’t say that he’s terribly happy. Oh, he doesn’t think they’re bad, or even ridiculous but he just doesn’t think that the entertainment value is particularly high. Whereas, I think this is a great book. Not the best thing I’ve written and perhaps not even very good but nevertheless – great. Great because I’ve followed the plan I set out for myself at the beginning of the year and great, simply because I wrote it. I say – Fuck Tony.

Just an update on our lives: tonight, we’re going to see the YYY’s. While they aren’t one of my favourite bands, I do like them and they’re one of my wife’s favourites so, what the hell. It’s an extension of her birthday present from June. I also bought her the PJ Harvey DVD and it’s awesome. We both LOVE PJ and saw her the time she came out for the Big Day Out and toured with the Go-Betweens. I mentioned earlier about the death of Grant McClennan; for those who don’t know, he was half of the Go-Betweens.

I saw Colin the other day, sneaking around a back alley. I tried to follow him but, as I’m not a particularly good tracker, he got away. I went back to the alley to have a look but couldn’t really see anything. The alley became a dead end, so I assumed – after years of watching TV and movies – that there must’ve been some sort of doorway that he went down but, for the life of me, I couldn’t find it. I mean, I had a real good look in the daytime but I couldn’t find anything.

Trevor is falling into a pit. The memory he’s been getting back has for some inexplicable reason, stopped. He was beginning to see the accident quite clearly, when a curtain came down that he could not see through. He’s almost certain it has something to do with Sally but, something is keeping him from fully remembering. He thinks, in his more lucid moments, that the drugs he’s been given are doing something to him. Then he realises that those are not lucid moments at all. It’s the pit opening.

Marshall’s schooling is a great deal more complex than he imagined. It’s the English that is getting him down – all the assignments and essays. He’s forgotten how to put these things together properly. To tell the truth, he never knew how to put them together; it’s half the reason he left school in the first place. And if I could just take this opportunity to apologise for using so many cliches. I must stop, because every new thing I write, I apologise for using too many cliches. So I’ll stop it.

I’ll try to stop it anyway. The trouble is, since I’ve stopped trying to become ‘great’ and have just tried to ‘be,’ I’ve found an easier way to work is to use the cliche. But, to be mediocre, doesn’t preclude the denial of cliche does it? I didn’t think so.

Peter is at work, dealing with the myriad legal troubles that come with tax time. Because they concentrate on environmental issues, every year they have to be audited and, every year, it’s Peter’s job to help the accountants doing the job. Yay.

When dealing with the use of cliché, one must regularly state the case for relying on them. This case is my most obvious laziness, something with which I harp on in everything I write. I talk about it all the time; I will have talked about it in this novel, I have talked about it in previous works and I will talk about it again in the future. When reading it though, think of this – I love Andy Warhol. Which means, I love boredom and repetition, both things associated with cliche.

It’s Winter and the sun is shining and warm. The wind is still bloody cold but, for the past few days, it’s been wonderful Winter weather. However, taking into account the fact that our water storage levels are so low, we’re on quite severe water restrictions and most of the country has been in drought the last five years or so, then the weather has been awful. We really, really need rain. Despite this though, emotionally, it’s a beautiful Winter’s day today. A few wispy clouds but nothing to consider. Sun and blue sky.

It’s moving toward the final month of Winter and I’m sitting in the kitchen, watching dawn come up. I’ve just taken my wife to work, it’s 7.01am and the news is on RRR. I’m waiting for my toast to pop up, then I’ll make a coffee. It’s becoming lighter earlier and staying lighter for longer. At this point, there’s not much to describe what’s happening outside. My toast has just come up. Eaten breakfast, made my coffee and the sun is well and truly coming up. No blue sky tho.

Do you know what the best part of clichés are? Their repetition. The best part of my writing is also my repetition. To that end, I should just have you refer back 2 entries, for today’s entry. Because it’s pretty much a carbon copy of that day. Only difference being; I don’t have to work today. I do have to go shopping tho, but I suppose that’s not too bad. Thursday is pension day, however. I had a terribly frustrating day yesterday, so I’m not sure that hanging around with a lot of slow people will help me.

Shopping was ok; I went in the afternoon – most oldies tend to do their shopping in the morning. Now, I know very well that I’m generalising and I don’t want to get the reputation for hating, or making fun of old people. Because I don’t hate old people and I don’t wish to make fun of them. After all, I’m an old person myself. Certainly if you ask someone who’s 20 or even 25, then they’d definitely say that someone of my vintage (40) is old. Past it even. Should have a career by now; what’s he doing writing?

Almost the end of July now – it’s the 29th today. Which means we are well over half way through the year and well over half way through this book. How time does fly. This book has not evolved the way that I imagined it would at the beginning.

Of the year. For instance, I didn’t actually intend to have any characters in here; I certainly didn’t intend for there to be a kind of story in it. The whole book was supposed to be random thoughts – just like this. Well, that’s evolution I guess.

There’s a whole new school of thought going around town lately; it seems that the better things become, the worse they appear to be. Come to think of it, this isn’t a new school of thought at all; rather it’s the old school of thought finally recognised for what it is – an easy way to keep the masses on edge. There is no better way to get someone to do what you want than to keep them on edge. Women and politicians have known this for years. Maybe it’s about time the rest of us woke up to the facts.

AUGUST

First day of the last month of Winter – my favourite season. And of course, it’s cold. Bitterly so but we have the heater on and it isn’t so bad. People often ask me what’s so good about Winter? Especially living in Australia, where we are all supposed to worship the sun. And I have to say that, I’m not sure, it just appeals to me. It might be the fact that it’s always easier to warm up than cool down; it might be the rain or that a cold, sharp wind really makes you feel alive, or it might be the grey sky.

‘Don’t you forget about me, Peter.’ It was a text on his mobile phone. Peter knew who it was from. You know who it was from. The only one who doesn’t know who it is from, is Colin. And it is Colin who is reading the message. Because Peter is in the shower and hasn’t heard his mobile phone go off. Colin is caught between confrontation and feigned ignorance. He chooses the latter. Deleting the message just as Peter emerges from the shower, Peter asks whether the phone rang? Colin smiles and says, ‘no.’

There is a time and a place for everything and Marshall is finding that the time for going back to school may have passed him. He was finding both the study and work increasingly difficult to negotiate. He knew he needed more time to study but one can only starve for so long. As a result, he was working more than ever. Marshall didn’t really question whether he was taking on more work so that he purposely didn’t have time to study; that sort of questioning remains far away for people such as Marshall. Why doubt?

There is far too much talk coming from the TV at the moment. And another thing that are on TV far too much are bland celebrities. I’m watching the last few minutes of Yasmin’s getting married and am appalled. Not only is it a ridiculous concept (something akin to the Batchelorette) but the ‘panel of experts’ contain not one, but two bland celebrities. One being Jo from Fox FM (yes, a RADIO celebrity), the other being the always excruciating Dylan Lewis. But The Simpsons is on now.

Finally relented and obtained a mobile phone. Ostensibly, it’s for when my wife and I are apart, as we’re on the same network and can talk and text for free. However, I still hate mobile phones so I’ll probably never turn it on.

Simon was the happiest he’d been in a while. He was in the clear and everything was ok. Not that I’m going to let it stay that way, that’d be pointless. For what Simon didn’t know, was that Phillip had found his ring on the ground floor.

That’s right, Phillip had planted it there. In fact, Tony had got Phillip to plant it there. In actual fact, I had got Tony to get Phillip to plant it there. So Simon has been doomed from the beginning. But in the beginning, if you recall, I said that Simon was a dick. So I was always going to have something happen to him, or make him do something stupid. Because Simon is a dick. Well, Tony says that Simon is a dick. Well, I say that Tony says….you get the idea.

Trevor is stable enough to be moved from ICU to a ward. He is not happy about this, as he’s been in the ICU for a while now and has grown comfortable there. This is not a new phenomenon; many people feel safe in ICU because you’re 1 to 1 there, as opposed to the 5 to 20 you are on the wards. And in the ICU, all the equipment is there; if you get into trouble, help is around the corner. You are, in essence, safe. Not that you aren’t on the wards, it just isn’t the same. So Trevor wasn’t happy.

Sally drank two. Not bottles, not glasses, not pints. Sally drank two shots. Two shots of vodka. The first two shots of vodka she’d had for the past two months. Sally didn’t see it as a weakness, she saw it as a strength. Because Sally knew, and she felt it as well, that she didn’t need them. Further to that, she did not want them. Which was why she knew she had to have them. Because; how do you know you don’t need them, unless you have them? Sally drank two.

It’s a pain in the arse when you don’t have the right change. Other things that could be considered pains in the arse might be: only enough coffee for one; getting booked for speeding at 3am; running out of money when the bills are finally paid; rain on your only day off and the lawns are desperate to be mowed; forgetting the plot of the book you’re writing; cleaning the house; working thirty hours a week and still earning less that $400, even though you aren’t working in a sweat shop; interest rate rises; playing to the same 10 people your band has played to for 12 months.

I’ve been tossing up my Sponge Theory idea for a couple of years but this year I have finally done something about it. I have released, and will continue to release bi-monthly, a CD single that I’ve recorded at home. It is my experimental side coming out; I am experimenting with the ideas of sound and the noises in-between sounds – the noises instruments make when you turn them on. I have also begun experimenting with the guitar with the strings taken off. I’m enjoying it.

Start me up. It’s Saturday, which means it’s the beginning of my working week. Yes, when everyone else (well, not EVERYONE) is lazing around or thanking the Lord, I’m having Mondayitis on Saturday. Have been for quite a while and longer.

My dog Jeff is sitting on my lap and it is making it extremely difficult to write in this thing. And now he’s moving his head around, thereby making my illegible writing even more impossible to read. But I’m nearly done now, so fuck it. Isn’t this an entry I’ve already done?

Have a cold today, which is a bit of a pain in the arse. I’ve been trying to avoid this cold for ages, as almost everyone at work has had it, my wife has had it and my dad has had it. I suppose it was only a matter of time before I succumbed but still, I really thought I might have been able to by-pass it entirely. It was not to be unfortunately. So here I am at home, hoping I’m getting better but not really sure. I was supposed to clean the restaurant this afternoon but, I’ll do it tomorrow. Assuming I feel better.

Went out last night to try to kill my cold. Met up with a couple of friends to Lipari and drank two carafes of red wine. We then went out to the Carlton to drink some more. I didn’t actually drink that much more, as I was pretty pissed already. At one point, I had to tell my wife that if was time to go, because I was feeling very dodgy. Made it home, got undressed, lay down, got up again immediately and power-chucked for the next half hour. Kind of a pointless night really but had fun regardless.

Still feel like shit but that’s from my cold and not hungover. But I don’t feel as shit as Marshall, who has finally conceded that going back to school was something of a mistake. He’d been trying, he really had but he’d discovered something that he knew all along, he just wasn’t able to admit to himself – he was not good academically. He could study ok – he had plenty of time to – but he couldn’t retain anything. He remembered the same from school. It’s why he quit.

Took the easy way out with Marshall. I came to realise – too late it seems – that for Marshall to finish school, I would have to write somewhere about his exams, or his study or, at least, somehow describe what he was doing so at least it looked authentic on the page. Sadly, I’m not that good a writer. Actually, strike that; I’m not that conscientious a writer. I’m always amazed at writer’s who say that it takes them ten pages to have a character turn a corner – it barely takes me five words. I am so lazy.

Trevor’s been on the ward a week now and is quite depressed. Not only has his family not visited but Sally and Marshall haven’t been back either. His memories of the accident have stopped coming back and even the memories that have returned are beginning to fade. Did he actually recognise Sally, or was it something of a dream? He couldn’t remember. He REALLY couldn’t remember. He didn’t know that Sally hadn’t come back because every time she saw him she felt like drinking. She was on a cure.

Flu, cold, whatever you want to call it, is almost gone. I still feel a little crappy but certainly a whole lot better than I felt last Monday. Which means that work is a little easier but not any shorter for it. But, that’s ok in the end.

You know why? Coz the longer I work, the more I get paid. I’m casual so I only get paid for the hours I work. The down side is that I work every weekend, which you know, but I don’t get any penalty rates because of it. Bugger.

Simon received another call from Phillip. He was to meet him at the cafe they used to attend together every Monday morning. They hadn’t done this for a while, so Simon assumed that it was some sort of reminiscing thing Phillip wanted to indulge in. When he arrived, Phillip was already there and carried with him a strange look. Simon began to feel uncomfortable, and with good reason – Phillip told him what he’d done with Simon’s ring and told him he knew he was in his house.

Marshall and Sally are celebrating their six month anniversary. A belated six month anniversary to be sure but they’re celebrating it the same way they began – they’re both drunk. They’re both drunk in bed, which has been the first time they’ve been in bed for a while. It hasn’t been because they don’t want each other, it’s just been the whole Trevor incident has managed to worm its way into their lives. That and Sally’s sobriety. Sally only likes to fuck drunk. Marshall can’t really but he tries. It’s win-win.

Colin is still tossing up what to do with the knowledge he has discovered. He has been trying not to judge Peter too harshly. After all, it could just be a friend. It didn’t have to be anything worse than that. The problem Colin faced was that the number seemed vaguely familiar. He didn’t know how and he didn’t know why but that number….that number…He told himself again and again that there was nothing to worry about but that is generally the time to start worrying. Colin was worried.

Went to the Picasso/Dora Marr exhibition last night. It would be too obvious to just say that it was amazing. Many adjectives could be used but the best might be: revealing. To see the stages that Guernica went through opened up greater avenues for reflection than the painting in its completion. The one thing I want to do before I die now, is go to Madrid to see the real thing up close. My wife has said that, one day, we are going to go on an arts tour of the world. I still think this is a brilliant idea.

Trevor’s back in ICU. He went downhill very rapidly on the ward and not all due to his depression; though that certainly was a factor. He was doing ok until he began to have a little trouble breathing one morning. He told the AM nurse about it but, unlike ICU, nothing immediately happened. If Trevor had’ve been relaxed, or even just a little more positive, it would have been an episode he could’ve worked his own way through. But Trevor was not and he ended up crashing hard enough to be placed back in ICU. And he’s happy.

We were supposed to have played on 3CR last night but something happened with the engineer and we were not able to. Which is a pity because it would’ve been a good advert for our gig tonight. Nevermind, it’s only a party tonight so, not important.

Played the Saturday night and it was ok. Nothing too special really, it was all for a birthday. The old drummer from the Adults has come back from overseas and a few bands played to welcome him home. We were part of the few.

So Marshall has given up the schooling and, funnily enough, Sally is supporting him all the way down the line. Though I don’t suppose that is funny in any sort of humorous way. I just mean, from the vague picture I’ve painted of Sally, one might get the impression that she’s a little self-obsessed. And one would be correct. But, just because one is self-obsessed, doesn’t mean that you can’t support a significant other. Especially if it is in your own best interests to do so. And it was.

Colin is letting the whole Peter situation go a bit. He’s realised that, if he doesn’t, he is going to drive himself insane. Colin can’t afford to drive himself insane – not just yet. Consciously, he is not caring where Peter is going without him; he’s not caring how many phone calls and texts he’s getting and he’s also not caring that they haven’t had sex for two months. This is all consciously. Subconsciously, he’s noting down everything, because when things come to a head, as we know they must, he’ll need ammunition.

Tony’s been looking after Sally for a while now, even though she doesn’t know it and probably wouldn’t believe it if she were told so. But all you need to do is go back over what has happened and remember the old adage; God looks after drunks and children. Personally, I’d dispute this and say that Tony just looks after drunks. After all, if God really did look after children, there’d be no abuse, nor paedophilia, surely. Yet drunks routinely stay alive despite their shortcomings.

You have a message. Well, you might have a message but I don’t. No one sends me messages. Boo fucking hoo. No one sends me messages – so who bloody cares? Well, I do I suppose. But, that’s my problem and I have to deal with it. I don’t need to dump this shit onto you, do I? No, of course not. What I really need to do is get back to the story. Back to the story? What story are you talking about David? This book is so convoluted, how could anyone pick out a story? Oh, boo fucking hoo.

SEPTEMBER

1st day of Spring and a beautiful day it was too. It was so beautiful, that I can’t even remember what we did. I know we both had the day off…oh yeah, that’s right; we finished our grocery shopping and we also went shopping for Father’s Day – on Sunday. We bought a T-shirt for my father-in-law and a shirt for my dad. Yeah I know it seems a bit lame but what did you buy for your father? It’s one of those days that seems to occur, then go. Sadly, it’s just another day.

Marshall quit his job at the pub. He now works as a waiter. Not much of a step up really. Still, he’s earning a little more and he doesn’t have to work the very late hours. So, I guess it might be a step up. Only a little but better than down.

Father’s Day today and Sally has gone to see hers. She doesn’t see him very much but it isn’t because they don’t get on. It’s just that Sally’s dad is Polish and his English isn’t very good. Sally speaks Polish but she tries to get her dad to speak English.

And he always refuses. Well, that’s not completely true; he does try but it makes his head hurt. Sally only speaks to her dad in Polish, so she doesn’t use it very often. So, while ostensibly it’s her ‘native language,’ it isn’t. And Polish is a very difficult language to pronounce if you don’t use it a lot. Sally likes the fact that she can speak two languages but, for her as well, speaking Polish makes her head hurt. And she figures that, if she speaks English to her dad, he’ll be forced to learn.

Colin and Peter have decided to get married. Now, I’m well aware that, in Australia, marriage between the same sex is illegal. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a large underground of secretly performed, civil ceremonies. Colin and Peter are going to take advantage of this at Christmas time. Unfortunately, they cannot get married any earlier than this and, as anyone who has planned a wedding knows, they were awfully lucky to find space so soon. While they realise they won’t legally be married, they’re doing it for themselves. It’s time.

Looking at the rain. The rain that won’t stop. The rain that we most desperately need. And enjoying it. The rain that is soaking my jumper. Yesterday, it was sunny and fairly warm. My wife washed my jumper and put it outside to dry. It’s on our outdoor table, lying flat. I went to work and she had night duty. This morning, my jumper is wet again. Very wet. Wet from the rain. The spring rain. The rain that won’t stop; that we desperately need. And enjoying it.

With the second cook being in Sydney, I’ve had to cover her shifts. I don’t really mind that much, as I’ve had much longer holidays myself and she’s covered for me without complaint. This doesn’t mean to say that she’s enjoyed doing it, it just means I haven’t heard about it. So now, I’m doing her the same favour. I actually thought I’d be working more but I managed to mix my dates up and am really only working an extra shift and a half. Not anything worth complaining about actually. So I won’t.

Marshall has the day off today. He’s finding that he’s enjoying waiting, instead of bar work. For one thing, the restaurant he works in isn’t as busy as the bar and he’s also finding that he’s able to spend more time with Sally. They’re both getting drunk more often but, on less alcohol. They’ve both noticed this but neither of them have a satisfactory explanation as to why. I think it has something to do with the fact that they’re more relaxed around each other but I’m just the author.

Colin and Peter are going shopping for suits for the wedding. Peter just wants tuxedos but Colin is being very particular. He wants a shirt with a big, 70’s style wing collar and he can’t find any. They moved down a side alley that they hadn’t walked down

before and found a clothes shop. But even better, it was a vintage clothes shop. ‘Good morning gentlemen, how can I help you?’ Peter was first to recognise the voice but Colin was first to say hello. ‘Steven!’ he said. Peter had to sit down.

Monday tends to be the only time that my wife and I consistently have off together, so it’s also the day we spend most of our quality time together and how do we achieve this? We clean the house. So today, we spent all day washing dishes, dusting, vacuuming, mopping, laundry, hanging out clothes and folding up clothes. Despite the drudgery that this sort of description entails, it was actually quite enjoyable. I love just spending time with my wife, regardless of what we’re doing. I love her.

Beautiful Spring day today; blue sky, birds singing, sun shining; though, like most people these days, I would like to see some more rain. It has come down quite hard over the past couple of days but it just has not been consistent enough. The dams are less than half full, our water restrictions are tightening all the time and, on a personal note, I never thought I’d see Victoria without rain. It’s always been the rain capital but, no more it would seem. It’s time to worry.

Sally and Marshall have been back to visit Trevor for the first time in a couple of weeks. Trevor is out of ICU again and is back on the ward. He is not as depressed as he was the first time and feels, in himself, that he is getting better. They talk about things that people talk about in hospitals i.e.: anything but why they’re in hospital. Trevor tells a funny story about a patient in the ICU and something about Sally’s laugh awakens him. He remembers that he once tried to kill her.

So what does this mean for Trevor? And maybe as importantly, what does it mean for Sally and Marshall? Well, it’s early days yet, so I’m not sure but I know what it means for Trevor – confusion. Why on earth did he want to kill this girl? She’s come to visit him, initially straight out of the blue. He didn’t know her, certainly didn’t remember her; yet, he can clearly remember the feeling of wanting to kill her. She seems so nice; is there something else he has forgotten? Trevor thinks, perhaps.

Simon isn’t being blackmailed by Phillip – not yet anyway. It sounds very Godfatheresque but, Phillip has insisted that Simon ‘owes him a favour.’ Simon doesn’t like the idea but, what can he do? He’s been caught, he’s admitted it, he has to go through. Phillip has assured him that it will only ever be one favour and, once it’s completed, Simon will owe him nothing. He’s not sure how much to believe but Simon has agreed anyway. He can see no other way out.

Began my new self-imposed cleaning roster today. I’m only cleaning on the days I actually work now, so I was up at 6.30 this morning and am back now, having breakfast and writing this before I have to go back. Work never really ends does it?

This weekend is the start of the September school holidays. Usually in the first week, we’re pretty quiet because it’s Spring, the weather’s warmer and people are going away. Very quite last night; I left early. See what tonight brings.

All action today. We saw some skinhead guy walking around the next door neighbour’s house. We thought he must be the old lady’s grandson, so didn’t think much about it. Suddenly we start hearing all this yelling and swearing; not long after that, two divvy vans pull up, four cops get out, pepper spray this guy and chase him across the road to another neighbour’s house. He’s screaming even louder now, coz pepper spray really hurts and they’re doing their best to calm

him down but he doesn’t really want to let them. He’s still cursing and screaming and they’re trying to flush some of the spray out of his eyes. About half an hour later, they manage to have him walk across the road and into the van. It was all I could do to not jump out and yell, ‘YOU’RE GOING HOME IN THE BACK OF A DIVVY VAN!’ but I didn’t. The story goes that he was part of a gang and they’d stolen a couple of computers from the cemetery admin office. It was all action Monday morning.

‘Gosh I haven’t seen you in ages. How have you been?’ Peter wasn’t sure if he should stay and talk his way out or not, because he knew that if Steven saw him, he would never be able to stop him from saying he knew him. Peter thought it would be a good idea to slowly back away, then make a break for it. Steven and Colin were obviously reminiscing, so Peter thought he’d take the opportunity to leave. Naturally, I’m not going to make it that easy. He knocked over a rack.

I’m not sure but I think Tony is growing angry with me. As I said, I can’t be sure but, you know; I just get a feeling. I think he wants to know what’s going on with everyone but, to tell you guys the truth, I haven’t a clue. I don’t actually know where the story, such as it is, is going until I put pen to paper. And I’ve said all of this before but I don’t think Tony listens all that well. He is God after all, so he has a fair bit on his plate anyway but that feeling still lingers. I might need to watch myself.

It’s been dying to rain today and now it’s finally coming down. And a good thing too; we’re on stage 2 water restrictions at the moment, which means the lawn can no longer be hand watered. At the time of writing this, the water storage levels at my home town are at 29%. Fuck all. So a couple of good days of rain would certainly not go astray. The only trouble is, I get the feeling this will be a short storm; big rain drops. Let it keep coming Tony.

Day off today, as we were supposed to be playing a gig but I have a bug of some kind. I picked it up last night at work. I was feeling fine all day; no problems at all. Half-way through the night though, I start falling down. It was the strangest feeling.

Felt fine today and am back at work. I haven’t had such a weird virus before. I didn’t feel sick exactly – just aches and pains all over my body. I could barely lift my head for a while there. And, as quickly as it came…gone.

Simon hasn’t been able to sleep for the past week and a half. Well, would you be able to, knowing there’s this ‘favour’ hanging over your head? What sort of favour? When will I have to fulfil it? How much trouble have I managed to get myself in? He tried to content himself with thinking that it really couldn’t be too bad; Phillip wasn’t a person for whom crime could really be associated. But there wads something about the way he said ‘favour’ that Simon didn’t like. Didn’t like at all.

He can’t remember what the perhaps might be. He’s been sorting back through as many memories as he can muster but, so far at least, nothing is coming to the fore. Was she an ex-girlfriend? A friend of a friend? Was he, indeed, a contract killer who has lost all memory of his previous life? Trevor didn’t really think that was at all likely; a little too ‘movie of the week,’ even for this book. But he does remember the feeling of wanting to. Really wanting to. And it isn’t a feeling he wants to remain with.

Marshall is working six shifts in a row this week, so Sally has taken herself off for a little holiday. Marshall isn’t all that happy about that; naturally enough, he’d like to join her but, he can’t so he has to get over it. Sally has gone down to Daylesford for a couple of days; not to have a spa but because they have a couple of great pubs there. There’s every chance she might have a spa but, with the weather being so nice and all lately – it’s good for drinking. Good for drinking every day.

‘What are you doing Peter? Come over here and meet a friend of mine. Steven, this is Peter – Peter, this is Steven.’ So, with that, Peter had no choice but to comply. They dutifully shook hands and immediately Colin noticed something amiss. ‘Do you two know each other?’ Neither one replied immediately, which is a sure sign that the answer is yes. And, in a wink, Colin saw it all clearly. He looked at Steven first, then at Peter. They looked back. Colin turned and walked out. Peter ran after him.

It’s Grand Final eve; Australia’s very own Super Bowl or FA Cup – whatever great sporting highlight your country is involved with. Only problem being; Victoria is the ‘spiritual home’ of football but there are no Victorian teams in the Grand Final so, many of us are at a loss this weekend. Personally, I don’t care that much; we’re playing Grand Final night, I have the whole weekend off, so I can watch the game before the gig (first time in almost ten years) and I can recover the next day. Anticipation.

Well, the weekend turned out to be a bit of a bust. We went up and saw the Grand Final at Moe’s house. Had a few beers, a bit of a BBQ, a few more beers, then played that night to almost no one. It was quiet, quiet, quiet on Sat night. Perhaps a reflection on the Grand Final itself. Everyone had drunk their fill during the game and so, there was nothing to really celebrate. Everyone went home. Sunday was ok but it turned out that I didn’t really need the night off.

OCTOBER

It’s October and Spring full on. Yesterday and today have both been warm and sunny; though today has been a little temperamental. Right now it’s lovely and we’re going to take the dogs for a walk soon. We’ve had a nice breakfast, La has baked a cake, we’ve read the paper, washed the dishes, done the laundry and had a shower. All in all, it’s been an ok day off. Nothing much planned for the afternoon so who knows what we’ll get up to? Maybe Tony but he’s not letting me in on the secret.

Almost time to go to work. Not much to say for myself today, it’s a bit of a re-run of yesterday. Blue sky, 23 degrees, sun – the whole kit and caboodle. Need some rain, blah, blah, blah. School holidays are over though, so it should be a reasonably quiet night tonight. It won’t be long though, until we start getting our first Christmas party bookings. Whoo hoo, can’t wait, God help us. As I said, not much to say for myself today, must continue on with the stories tomorrow. Until then.

Sally has been sitting in the pub on her holiday the last three days, and has been approached by, at least a dozen men; each of them being knocked back. Because Sally really is in love with Marshall; it isn’t something that she’s trying to fake to make her life better. They’re not only good lovers, they’re good friends as well. They get along and, despite everything I’ve written previously, it isn’t just about the alcohol. It might be fair to say that it began that way, but it’s moved on.

When Peter caught up with Colin, they were both almost in tears. ‘Where are you going Col?’ Colin didn’t answer for a long time. When he did, it was not something Peter expected. ‘I love you Peter; why didn’t you tell me?’ Peter, expecting to be yelled at ‘till the cows came home, was taken a little aback. Was he really going to get away with this so easily? ‘If I had’ve known that you and Steven had been together before, I would have Colin, honestly.’ The look Colin gave him told Peter he was not, absolutely not.

Trevor is going home today. As far as the doctors and specialists are concerned, he’s well. Trevor manages a wan smile. ‘I’m well?’ he thinks. ‘If I’m well, then I’d hate to see someone who’s truly sick.’ You will have worked out by now that we’re not talking about Trevor’s physical well-being. As far as that goes, he is well. Trevor’s mind though, is shot all to hell. He knows it and he’s not sure what to do about it. Talk to someone he supposes. But who?

Went to a buck’s party tonight. Wasn’t too bad, though I’m not all that thrilled when it comes to these sorts of things. It was a friend of ours on his second marriage and really didn’t want to have one but we made him. He enjoyed himself.

Felt alright today after last night, though I did wake up during the night feeling shithouse. I thought I was going to have to go to work with a hangover but it wasn’t to be. Managed to work the whole day feeling good.

Sally’s back home and Marshall is feeling all put out because he now has three days off and Sally doesn’t want to go anywhere. It’s understandable from her point of view but equally, he doesn’t want to sit around doing nothing for three days. Or even worse, just getting drunk for three. Marshall is growing tired of the drinking; it just isn’t doing anything for him any more. For Sally, it’s a life choice and not something she wants to give away. Compromise may be required.

What’s the favour? What’s the favour? What’s the damn favour? Simon could no longer help himself. He drove to Phillip’s and demanded to know. ‘What am I in for Phillip? What am I in for?’ Phillip smiled and shook his head sadly. ‘Simon, Simon, Simon. You know I can’t tell you that. Hell, even I’m not really sure. All I know is, you owe me one and, when the time comes – as it surely must – you will do me a favour.’ Simon could do nothing but turn around and go home.

Hot today, very hot. Summer hot and it’s only Spring. I can only think that it’s going to be a very hot, very dry summer this year. Already we’re on stage 2 restrictions, with talk of stage 3 by Christmas. If they were smart, they would probably begin them now. We aren’t going to have any rainfall for a good long while yet. That, if nothing else, seems certain. I don’t like the hot weather much, so I’d love some rain about now. Alas, it is not to be. More sun tomorrow.

Fucking hot day today. Perfect day to suit Colin’s mood. He hasn’t moved out of the house yet but he is making life difficult for Peter. Peter has finally understood what Colin was mad about in the first place, but it doesn’t seem to be helping him. He’s pleaded, cajoled, used sex, not used sex, done all the housework; anything he can think of really but Colin is pointedly staying mad. What Colin is yet to realise, is that staying mad may make you lose in the end.

Friday the 13th today. It’s usually a pretty good day for me; everything tends to go right on Fri 13. Of course, now that I’ve put it down on paper, nothing will go right will it? Cynicism, thy name is David Jeffery. Self-referentialism too. Still, it’s a nice day, I don’t have to work and I’m by myself. La is in Tasmania for a conference and won’t be back ‘till Sunday. I’m working on the weekend but today; today is mine to waste. And I’m gonna.

My Sponge Theory site now officially has a shop. Yes that’s right, you can actually buy my CD-R’s and cassettes directly over the internet. It’s only been up for two weeks, so I don’t have a sale yet but when I do, I’ll certainly let you know.

Think I’m going to quit the band after Christmas. I’ve been getting more and more into the experimental field and playing in the band is just not what I want to do anymore. I’m working up the balls to tell the fellas but I’m not there yet.

Now that Trevor is home by himself, he has no idea what to do. He is ok for money at the moment, as his insurance has covered him. Just being able to get that is some sort of miracle, Trevor thinks. Who would ever have thought that an insurance company would actually pay out from an accident? Trevor certainly didn’t expect it. And really, this sort of thing can only happen in a book can’t it? No one would honestly believe a pay out so quickly.

Marshall is back at work, having argued with Sally for almost all of his time off. The problem he has found with arguing with Sally is that Sally doesn’t argue. She just gets drunk and looks at you funny, as though everything in the world is more important than what’s coming out of your mouth. The second problem is, you begin believing that she might be entirely correct; so you reconsider your rant. Then after a day or so, you realise you were right after all; the cycle continues.

Peter has moved into a hotel for a week. Colin has still not spoken to him since the Steven incident and especially since Peter’s explanation. For his part, Peter still hasn’t understood the implications of what he said, so he’s going away; ostensibly to just get away from Colin. Colin, for his part, knows this and doesn’t care. I know that I said Peter did finally understand but, in truth, he only thought he did. Things aren’t looking good.

Sometimes, I find it amazing how stupid I can be. Yesterday, before work, I spent most of the morning working on a Myspace page, to help advertise my Sponge Theory stuff. Only after I’d set it up, did I realise that Myspace had a dedicated music/artists sign up page. So, I tried to delete my account but, for reasons unknown to myself, the email address I typed in, doesn’t read instructions sent from Myspace. So I can’t use my Sponge Theory URL until it’s deleted. Could’ve saved myself trouble if I were smarter.

Simon’s looking for another place to live, somewhere in Perth. He’s run away from his problems all his life, so he doesn’t see why he should change his pattern now. In his mind, he thinks that if he gets out now, it’s less likely that Phillip will be able to find him later. He also thinks that, if Phillip ends up telling the police that it was Simon who broke in, the police aren’t going to be too concerned when they find him gone. Simon is on the phone to a realtor. He’ll be gone by Sunday.

Went to a friend’s wedding today; his and hers’ second. The ceremony was quite nice and all but just about a Guinness world record for speed – 7 minutes. It was almost literally blink and you’ll miss it. Worth going though.

Today was a bit of a step forward for me – my first sale through the shop. I’ve been buying CD’s through a guy in the States, doing the same thing as me but for longer, and he’s reciprocated. It’s a small but very welcome start.

Simon has moved; lock, stock – the whole deal, to Mt Lawley in WA. It isn’t as though he couldn’t afford to pay people to move him, so it all worked out very well. He couldn’t quite afford to buy the house but he has paid twelve months rent up front and is looking at an option to purchase at the end. Let’s just say that Simon is coming into a nice chunk of money after Christmas and will put an offer on the house. He’s relaxed for the first time in months.

Tony is extremely happy with this book as it is coming towards the end and so, will soon be his birthday. It’s a lie obviously, and he says so himself, but if you have to have a day to celebrate your existence – it might as well be the day that a great deal of the world celebrates as well. Especially as a great deal of the world celebrates it as proof, or at least confirmation, of your existence. So Tony is very happy at present. And speaking of presents, what do you get for the creator?

Our Cup Day today and many people have the day off – including me, though I really don’t count as I have Wednesdays off all the time. Not ALL the time but, usually, Wednesday is my Saturday. It’s been threatening rain for a long, long time today but so far, nada. Just looking outside now, the wind is blowing fiercely, the sky is completely grey, the trees are just about falling over but nowhere is there a drop to be found. Good for the horses I expect.

Trevor has been out of the house once this week, to go shopping. There is no physical reason why he should stay at home; he’s not disfigured, he can walk fine, he doesn’t need any help; it’s his mental capacity. Trevor has not been able to break out of the mindset that he wants to kill someone. And that someone, we all know, is Sally. So he’s kept himself indoors, for fear of running into her. Trevor realises that he can’t keep this up forever. He’s even thought that, maybe he should find her?

Sally hasn’t thought about Trevor since the last time she and Marshall saw him. She doesn’t even know he’s been discharged from hospital yet. She only knows that Marshall was angry at her for some stupid reason but she can’t quite figure out what. It isn’t so much that Sally is completely self-obsessed; it’s more the fact that her constant drinking makes things much more tricky than they otherwise would be. She’ll hit on why later but whether it will be too late, I haven’t decided.

Simon’s enjoying the WA life. He finds it much slower, much more relaxed. He’s been toying with changing his name to Charles; he’s even been practising his signature. He’s not sure but it’s an option he prefers to keep open.

Peter is still in the hotel and it’s costing him a fortune. So much so that he’s thinking of finding somewhere to rent. This may cause some problems for, he knows that if he moves, he and Colin will be over. Coin is ok with that – for now.

Woke up Thursday, checked my email and the help desk at Myspace had deleted my page. Just as I was getting used to it. Now, I have a page in the Myspace music section; which was what I wanted but I wouldn’t have minded them letting me know first. At least I’m now able to put some of my stuff onto my site. I haven’t had a lot of notice from it yet; though I am putting something out on a label in the States. Not too bad for early days I guess. Cheer up.

Halloween. Or rather, not Halloween, because Halloween is not an Australian tradition, though someone out there in the marketing world is desperate to make it so. I figure that someone out there in ‘how can I make more money?’ land has figured that, if they can get people thinking of spending money two months before Christmas, they might stay in spending mode during the quiet month of November. And how do we do that? By convincing everyone it’s a good idea to come out to our ‘Halloween sale.’ So transparent.

NOVEMBER

Haven’t written about Marshall for a while but he’s ok. He’s still working but he’s no longer angry with Sally. Still a little boring though isn’t he? But I’ve decided that that isn’t so bad. People sometimes are boring. I am. Quite often. Let’s face it; I work at a restaurant; I play every so often in a band; I do some writing but no longer for publication; I run a website for my experimental music; I’m married and love my wife. All in all – mediocre. And mediocrity is the cornerstone of boredom.

If you have a question, and I know that you do, then why not ask it? After all, how bad can it be? Difficult? I live for difficult. So, what is it? Oh, come one now, don’t be shy, you know you can ask me anything. Yes, yes of course you can. How personal can it be? Even very is not something you ought to be afraid of; I would never say anything to anybody. Honestly, who would I tell in any case? So come on, unburden yourself, you know you’ll feel better. Yes, that’s it, go on. Oh.

‘There’s a demented, psycho butcher in all of us.’ Well, so says the record from a band who’s name I no longer remember. You can kind of guess their music; both from the title and the picture of a blood stained old freak, holding a hacksaw and smiling. The only reason this has popped into my head, is that I read about the band and saw the cover in an Onion special on scary record covers and I’m listening to Sun O)))’s Dark One CD and the title just seemed to fit.

Coming up to the end of a long week for me; apart from Monday, I’ve worked every night this week, which sounds like, ‘oh poor baby,’ but it is unusual. I wouldn’t mind doing it more often actually. The money will be good this week.

Getting tired of all these characters, I can’t seem to make them do anything. Of course, I haven’t read this from the start, so it may be more interesting than I imagine. I need to stop anticipating the criticism. Bad work.

Day off after my long week, that didn’t actually prove too bad. I’d like to be able to make those shifts permanent actually but I think I’d be struggling a little. We were supposed to have a staff meeting tonight but, as half the staff won’t be there, it’s been called off. Which is good because after six nights straight of working there, I really need at least one night of not going in. Me and La are going to go to the movies later on, so that will be nice. It will be a good day.

Ah yes, Melbourne Cup day; the race that stops a nation. Well, I’ll probably listen to it but it won’t stop me. I, like many, many people, will be working today and not taking a punt. We won’t even have a staff punting board, coz there’ll only be three of us on tonight. Or maybe four, I can’t remember. Tuesday is not usually a big night for us but, as many people do have the day off today, the boss thinks we might do a few tonight. And he could be right, only trouble is, they’ll all be walk-ins, so we’ll be stuffed.

Simon has been going around calling himself Richard. He tried Charles out for a while but found he got incredulous looks from people. Since he’s been introducing himself as Richard, he seems to have eased people’s minds. He’s not sure why Charles didn’t work; he certainly thought, in his own mind, that he looked like a Charles. It was clear though, that nobody took him seriously as a Charles. But as a Richard, it’s all been smooth sailing.

Peter has moved into a flat in Ocean Grove. It’s expensive but not quite as expensive as the motel. Colin doesn’t actually know this yet, as Peter didn’t want to say anything. He figured that, if Colin is mad now, then telling him about the flat will make him furious. What he doesn’t realise is that, if he had’ve told Colin about the flat, Colin would’ve thought twice about his anger. But, though they’re both gay, they’re also men and men love to hold onto their anger.

I’m so very glad that this damn book is almost finished because it’s rally getting on my nerves. Not because it’s quite lame (thought it is that) but mainly because it’s the last book I will ever write, and so, will end my pursuit of this as a career, in rather ignominious fashion. I’m concentrating all my efforts from this point on, to my blog, my music and my notebooks. In essence, of course, this is still a mere notebook, but it also contains something of a story.

Sally has started back on the wagon again, as it’s only 50 days until the end of the year, and so, almost Christmas/New Years – the alcoholic’s official holiday. Sally wants to be well prepared for the revelling ahead.

Trevor is dead. He committed suicide two weeks ago, from the depression and sheer boredom of not being able to leave the house. He sliced both wrists open and it took ages for him to die. His body is yet to be discovered.

‘Softly, as in a morning sunrise.’ Yes, the sun has indeed risen; in fact, it’s been arise for some time now, as it’s almost 10 o’clock in the morning. Phillip is looking out his window, across the expanse of forest that is his backyard, thinking about how wonderful life is and how marvellous it is to be rich. He knew that Simon had moved interstate and even knew where he was. Phillip was a great deal more powerful than even I suspected and I’m the author. The favour will be expected.

I’m putting it out there, that I need two extra shifts tacked onto the permanent shifts that I have already. I need to work all day Wednesday and from six o’clock Friday. These shifts need to be permanent, as it will give me at least 32 hours a week; which I’ll need to work, if Lara becomes pregnant. This will mean I will work: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday (night), Saturday and Sunday. Note; I am not wishing this will happen, I need this to happen. To the universe, I NEED THESE SHIFTS.

Trevor is still dead but no one has discovered him yet. He’s facing one of two problems at the moment; 1 – he lives in a house and not a flat, so the smell won’t be effecting his neighbours and 2 – he’s managed to alienate his family to such a degree, that no one wants to come see him. Trevor is (sorry, was) one of those guys who – internally – thinks he’s right about everything all the time. This makes him very argumentative and stubborn. Luckily, it’s Christmas soon.

Sally and Marshall are still together and will continue to be, I see no reason to have them break up. Sure they argue, sure Sally is turning Marshall into an alcoholic, sure he’s probably never going to have a better job than hospitality (my job as it happens) and sure, they may never have a house or a baby but they’re one thing and that’s happy. It’s one of the few things you can count on with both of them; they enjoy each other’s company. And Sally is about to start a new job tomorrow – as a dishwasher. Not with Marshall.

It’s Canterbury Anniversary today; I wonder what that is? As this diary is printed in New Zealand, I’m assuming it’s some sort of Kiwi celebration. I know almost nothing of New Zealand (more’s the pity for me, I’m sure), so I don’t even know if this is a celebration; a day off, or something that is ignored by the majority and celebrated by a minority. Does it have something to do with the Bishop of Canterbury? Is Canterbury a place in New Zealand? Does it have absolutely nothing to do with either? Probably.

I began the NanoWriMo contest on Wednesday. It’s something where you have to write a novel in a month. It’s already half-way through the month and, as I’ve just begun, I’m only 10,000 words in. I should be 20,000, But, I don’t think I’m doing too bad.

Going to see my father-in-law’s relations today. They’re all over the place but mainly around Portsea, so we’re going over on the ferry. Should be good. Supposed to be 30ºC tomorrow so that should make travelling pleasant.

Another hot day today, mainly to do with all the cloud cover. It’s been grey as hell and hot to go with it; yet if you head on down towards the water, the breeze just about freezes you cold. Yesterday was good; good food, lots of beer, good company, good weather. All good then. One of Lara’s cousins came to stay with us last night, as she was heading off down the Great Ocean Road today, taking an overseas visitor on a little tour. Good day for driving with the top down.

Now I’ve done it. It’s going to be another hot day today and I’m going to be at work for most of the day, so I decided that I would walk the dogs this morning. So I did. Now this is usually not a problem but this morning it became one. There are a lot of dogs around our area and our dogs usually like to bark at them. Well, on the final stop on our walk, there are two dogs behind a metal fence who always stick their noses underneath the fence and attack my dogs. This time, Jeff got caught and now has a big cut.

Took Jeff to the vet yesterday and now he has a couple of stitches in the side of his snout. It seems as though the other dog latched onto him and, as I was trying to pull him out, the teeth of the dog held shut and tore his snout. Either that or his head got stuck under the metal fence/gate. Either way, he’s now a bit sore and sorry for himself and just wants to sit in his basket all day. I think he’s a little in shock still; the dog was quite vicious. I’m not too happy either.

Dear Simon, oh sorry, I mean – Richard. How is everything going? I do trust that you are well, keeping fit and things are looking up for you. Personally, I couldn’t be happier. I’m just writing this short note to remind you that you still owe me a favour and the day is coming soon to pay it back. Have a nice day and, I’ll speak to you again soon. Phillip. Simon turned away from his computer. He knows I’m here? How does he know? I must be being followed. He even has my new email address. Fuck.

Sally and Marshall are reading the paper. It is a bit of a slow news day and, with what’s been happening around the world the past twelve months, is not a bad thing. Sally’s eyes are not really reading anything, she is thinking of opening a bottle of wine. It is then that her eye catches a small column story about a man found dead in his house. ‘It says here that they think the guy has been dead over a week. Imagine that, no one knows you’re dead. Discovered by accident.’

Five days until the beginning of Summer; though you wouldn’t know it by looking out today. It’s not exactly cold but I do have a jumper on, because the wind is blowing. It’s grey and it’s also election day. Will it be Labour or Liberal?

Labour won in something of a landslide, as most pundits predicted. I ended up voting for the Greens, who didn’t seem to do as well as most might have thought. It will be interesting to see how the next four years pan out.

Tony and Trevor are talking together. That could be a song, couldn’t it? ‘Tony and Trevor are talking together.’ That’s quite jaunty actually. Well, it’s jaunty in my mind. I’m hearing it as a bit of a sing song type of thing. Maybe you don’t hear it that way? It certainly is possible; no two people will hear the song the same way. However, this is a digression. Tony and Trevor are talking together and Trevor is asking Tony why he let him kill himself. All Tony will say is, ‘It’s your time.’

Trevor is not exactly happy with this answer. And I don’t suppose you would be either but, what am I supposed to write? I can’t exactly put words into the mouth of God now, can I? Can I? Come to think of it, maybe I can. After all, being the author of this story, I am God. I’m putting words into everyone’s mouths. I’m letting people live, or killing them off. I am more God than Tony and he IS God. So if I have Tony say, ‘it’s your time,’ and nothing else, I’ll just have Trevor accept it.

Colin and Peter haven’t spoken for almost a month now and both of them are worried about the other but both are similarly afraid of contacting the other. Both of their imagined anger that the other has for them is overpowering any sensible thoughts they might have. Well, they’re both going to have to get over themselves soon enough because, if they leave their non-communication much longer; their break up will be a permanent thing neither of them want.

I finished my NanoWriMo novella yesterday but didn’t make it to the magic 50,000 mark. I go to just over 34,000 which, for ten days actual writing – actually, it might have only been eight – isn’t too bad. I feel a little guilty that I’ve just stopped but honestly, the book just wasn’t interesting enough to go for 50,000 words. But, at least I gave it a go and, next year, there should be some sort of email in October, letting all previous entrants know NanoWriMo is coming up. I thought I’d let myself know this year but, no.

DECEMBER

1st of December – where has the year gone? Or, in my mind, it’s the first day of Christmas. I love this time of year. I love everything about it, the tackiness; the commercialism; the fake snow; the fact the people seem just a little brighter. It’s also the first day of Summer and it’s quite a nice day outside. Some people are already starting to put their Christmas lights up; it always makes me happy seeing them when I walk home from work. I’m going to take some photos this year. Maybe even a little movie.

Yesterday was actually Gala Day and Sally and Marshall went along to the parade, as they hadn’t been since they were kids. And unlike most things that change as you grow older, Gala Day was still the same, tired, tacky parade they remembered. Except today, they loved every minute.

Trevor’s funeral is today. No one is there, not even his family. It is unbelievably sad but also a perfect end to his life. I’m not being callous here; Trevor would have wanted nothing less. He set his life up to be alone and so it should be in death.

Phillip has stepped off the plane into a dry, aching heat. He’s never been much for the hot weather and the fact that he’s had to come half-way across the country just to have Simon keep his promise, is not improving his mood. He hails a taxi at the airport, gives the driver Simon’s address; then settles back. It’s an ugly trip from the airport into the city; almost no trees are passed all the way in, which makes the heat seem all the more oppressive. Phillip can’t believe people want to live here.

Through all the confusion of Peter and Colin’s disagreements, neither of them had thought about cancelling the wedding. As far as anyone knew, even though all their friends knew about the separation, no one had asked them about the wedding. It’s either that they’re too scared to mention it, or just assuming that it is off. Peter’s brother Marshall, yes, Sally’s Marshall, has thought of asking but he’s one of those who has assumed that the wedding has been, at very least, postponed. It hasn’t been though and if it’s not soon, they’ll lose their deposit.

Put up the tree and all our lights on Monday. I love this time of year but it doesn’t necessarily stop me from being grumpy. It’s just that there’s more stuff around to put a smile on my face. I love wandering around and seeing different houses and their light shows. Some people go all out and must save all year just to blow out their entire budget in the one month. But it’s fantastic and I don’t care that everyone features snow and icicles; it’s what I want to see. It’s Christmas; tacky as hell.

‘Hello Richard.’ Simon opened the door and, yes, there stood Phillip. It was no surprise really, Simon knew he couldn’t run away any longer. The favour would have to be repaid some day. Better sooner rather than later. ‘Hello Phillip, what do I have to do?’ Phillip smiled, handed Simon a piece of paper and waited. The piece of paper contained a list of half a dozen names. Simon looked up questioningly. ‘This is my family,’ said Phillip. ‘Each year it gets harder and harder to buy them things for Christmas. This year, I’m handing the job to you.’

Sally’s eyes locked on the story the moment she saw the photo. It was Trevor The dead man was Trevor. She began reading about his life and became sad. Infinitely sad. She knew him, yet she knew nothing of him. She didn’t know he had a brother and sister (both refused to be interviewed for the story). She didn’t know both his parents were still alive. And, perhaps worst of all, she didn’t realise it was he in the smaller story she’d read. No one was at the funeral.

Christmas party time. Went to La’s Christmas party tonight. A good time was had by all and not much money was spent. Somehow, we brought $80 and came home with $60. But got pissed in the interim. I wish my wallet would do that.

Nothing much was on offer today. Kim stayed with us after the party, so we all had breakfast together, then La had to train and I had to work. A long day after partying the night before. I’m getting too old to do this.

Still no word on the wedding. The problem stems from the one mentioned before, no one wants to talk about it. So, as a natural consequence of this obstinacy, money is going to go to waste. And for Colin, if not also Peter, wasted money is not something he would normally consider. Neither of them have really spoken since the ‘occurrence,’ and it doesn’t seem likely that they will, unless one backs down. They have one week left to cancel, then money gone. Or maybe wedding?

Simon laughed. Long and hard. If he had’ve known the favour was going to be so simple, he wouldn’t have run. Now that he had though, he didn’t mind living in Perth. Still there were things to do. The list Phillip gave him was only five people long but they wanted a few things each. And it was only two weeks to Xmas so, time to get moving. First up, Phillip’s wife wanted a Klein watch and some Dior clothing. Fuck this will be easy, thought Simon.

Don’t just cloud fucker – rain. But no, it’s going to be hot tomorrow, yet again. I’m getting pretty damn sick of this weather already and it’s only the beginning of Summer. What am I going to be like in February? I’ll probably be on the verge of killing myself. Well, maybe not but still, if we don’t get some rain soon, half the town will go nuts. And the other half already is. So really, the end of the world is nigh. Again, maybe not, but who the fuck knows?

On RRR, they’ve just been talking about the new Bond film and it seems to be getting a big thumbs down. In fact, scratch that, it IS getting the big thumbs down. And it’s getting the big thumbs down because it isn’t really a Bond film. No Q, no Moneypenny and no gadgets. Plenty of product placement though. And I’m thinking I have to agree. A Bond film without gadgets just doesn’t sound right. But La has seen it and said it’s fantastic; much like Alias and I love Alias. Guess I’ll have to see it.

Fair bit to write about. We’ve just come back from the final Ocean Thunder; a surfboat competition that La is involved in. Her crew was definitely in the running to win, as they were only two points behind the leaders as of the third round. The rowing was all being held in Dee Why, on Sydney’s northern beaches; which tend to be quite choppy and rough. This is exactly as it turned out to be but we didn’t know that yet. We were still on our way to the airport. We left on Friday afternoon.

Saturday we got our first good look at the water. It was pretty ugly. And none too warm either, I’d have to say. However, time for race 1. The girls came dead, motherless last. Not dictating to the waves, not quite serious enough. That changed.

Race 2 was a winner. And a pretty convincing winner from memory. The races themselves are quite short and the bowman has to jump out, run up the beach and hit an electric marker that relays the time and gives you a points score. A win is 3 points.

Race 3 was a second but not by much. On the final wave, La’s crew and the crew from Avoca were neck and neck and B, our bowman managed to get out first. However, in Dee Why, there are large holes on the shoreline that you can’t always see and on her run in, B tripped and faceplanted, allowing Avoca to come first. Not her fault obviously and it was quite funny at the time, though I’m not sure she saw the humour. Round 4 was an easy win to set us up for the finals.

As with most surfboat comps, things were running behind schedule, so there was a bit of a wait – for lunch and the finish of the men’s rounds. By the time the finals came, the wind had picked up and so had the waves. The race before our crew, Moloolaba and Bilgola took off on the same wave but couldn’t end up holding it, and slew into each other with a sickening crash. No one was really hurt but it was a near thing. The girls were next, got smashed off the beach, came last and were put out. Bugger.

Simon has bought all the goods for Phillip’s family. I told you it was going to be easy. I’m not really one of those writers who likes to set things up one way, then do the opposite. I mean, I’m a fairly cliche heavy hack but I do like to use minor twists occasionally. You might have thought that, with me saying (well Simon saying), ‘this will be easy,’ that I’d make it more difficult. Indeed, you would probably expect it. But, it wasn’t difficult. Simon had the money and the goods were not hard to source.

Marshall begins his holidays today. The restaurant will be closed over Xmas anyway but Marshall felt like he needed more time off. So, he’s having 16 days; from the 21/12 to 5/1. Sally is working through most of the Christmas period but they’ll have a few days off together. The good thing about being a casual worker, is that you can take whatever time off you want. The bad thing is, you don’t get paid if you don’t work. Still, they can afford to drink and that’s all that matters. That and some time together.

Trevor’s mother has come down to visit his grave. It’s more an act of belief than compassion but at least she’s made the effort. She asked his brother and sister to come but they just laughed. What kind of life does one have to lead when your own family refuses your funeral? And when your siblings laugh when asked if they’ll see your grave? It may not come as something of a shock revelation to many but when you are openly confronted with it, in this way, you do begin to wonder about yourself.

Two days before Christmas and Colin and Peter have not reconciled. It is too late for them now, there will be no wedding and no refund. I must admit that, I’m still surprised at how stubborn they’ve been. Well, perhaps more how stubborn

Colin has been, as it was his pig-headedness that began this in the first place. That’s what Peter is comforting himself with anyway. Colin is comforting himself with his refusal to believe he’s in any way wrong.

Christmas Day today and spent the whole day with my father-in-law, drinking beer and watching silly day time movies. There were a couple of good ones; with Gracie Fields and a very young George Burns; then one with Tony Martin that wasn’t so good but pretty cheesy. Also saw a remake of A Christmas Carol, with Patrick Stewart playing Scrooge. He actually brought something substantial to the part, enabling it to not be too cheesy but still, smaltzy enough. I loved it.

The Boxing Day Test. The smells, the sounds, the pomp and circumstance. I wasn’t there of course but I did watch it on TV. Well, most of it. It was the day of Shane Warne’s 700th wicket and I happened to miss that, as I was with my brother-in-law and so, was in the car at the time. Nevermind, I can always pretend I guess. It isn’t like anyone’s going to read this after all! My father-in-law and I also went to the cemetery to put flowers on all the rellies’ graves. A good day.

For reasons best known to themselves, Sally and Marshall are going camping. Neither of them have been camping before, so perhaps that’s part of the reason they’ve decided to go. Of course, neither of them have any camping equipment, so they’ve had to borrow stuff from Sally’s dad; who IS a big camper. They’ve decided on going to Hall’s Gap, because they figure that not many people will be there. They seem to be forgetting that it’s the Christmas Holidays. I don’t think this is a good idea.

This book is finally coming to the end and I can’t say that I’ll be too sad to see it go. Ostensibly, I’ve written something everyday, though that has rarely been the case. Usually I miss a couple of days and have to catch myself up and, on a couple of occasions, I’ve had to write a few days in advance, as I knew I’d be going away for a while. For the most part though, I’ve tried to write something everyday, just because it’s a challenge to do. I don’t think I’ll be doing it again but, I suppose one never knows what one might do.

I suppose it’s time now to wrap everything up neatly and put it to bed. Unfortunately, I only have three more chapters until the end of the year and I find that I’m not going to be able to wrap everything up quite so nicely. You see, I’m not here and I really don’t care to leave you feeling good. Sometimes life doesn’t turn out as you might expect and I think books, no matter how average, should sometimes reflect that. You have to deal with what you’ve been dealt and moaning about it won’t help anyone. And so, the

Summation commences. Sally and Marshall, despite a few setbacks, have remained together for the year and will possibly continue to remain that way. Trevor has suffered a major setback that was self-inflicted. No one seems to really care.

Colin and Peter have broken up, yet neither has officially told the other. They are still not speaking and don’t seem to want to. The wedding, as mentioned, did not happen. Simon? Simon is moving back home. He is still a dick. Tony is still God. I am still the author.

©David Francis Jeffery 2006

AFTERWARD – 2016

Well, I've just read through this thing; made a few corrections, a few minor edits but have, largely, left it as I wrote it. There's a lot of stuff in here that really pisses me off and I'm really not 100% sure I should be publishing it but, I'm going to anyway. Mainly because I'm never really sure what stuff of mine is good and what's rubbish. Certainly I've thought heaps of things I've done have been magnificent but have received barely a reaction from others and things I've done that I've thought were complete rubbish have been praised reasonably highly. So really, what the fuck do I know?

I figured I’d do this afterward to maybe clarify a few things. It was written ten years ago; before I even thought of the ‘particlism’ idea for novel writing but it’s still a good indication of what I’m trying to achieve and a pretty good first start. I also thought some of you might be interested in where a couple of things now lie ten years down the track.

I mentioned my Sponge Theory idea: well, that’s gone to the dogs. It never really took off and I chopped and changed things so much that it didn’t really stand a chance. I released a couple of things on an American label but it never took off. I still have the idea in the back of my mind but it’s more to do with drum stuff now. Still not going anywhere though.

I’m still with Lara – my wife. We now have a daughter – Sydney. At the time of writing, she is four years old. Our two dogs are no longer with us. They both made it to 18.

I still have a blog but haven’t written in it for many years. However, as you’ll know, I am still writing. And publishing.

I no longer work in hospitality; I’m now a secretary. Yeah, I know, how did that happen? Well, I not long after I finished this book, I began working for a friend of mine as her receptionist and things grew from there. I now have all my weekends off.

Canterbury Day in New Zealand is, from what I can vaguely understand from Wikipedia, similar to our Show Day. So, nothing to do with the Archbishop of Canterbury then.

I don’t want to make the mistake of trying to apologise for this book but I would like to apologise for me. I apologise to those of you who have made it all the way through this book and have been disappointed by it because, in truth, I’m a little disappointed myself. Not so much with the book but with my lack of authorial judgement. I’ve really not dug down deep and edited this as I probably should have and it isn’t anything to do with, ‘my writing is far too important to edit!’ nonsense. It’s just that I don’t really know where, or how to edit this thing. My inherent laziness, notwithstanding. I mean, I can see there are many things that should be edited out (my constant complaining of my use of the word ‘cliche’ for instance) and some of the stories that have beginnings but no concrete resolution or even some sort of forward momentum. I began this with the idea that I would write everyday and read it back at the end of the year, so there are lots of things in here that have been started and forgotten or ignored. For that, I want to apologise. But the book, as it stands, I want to leave. You don’t have to like it, I’m not asking that but don’t judge the book. Judge me. I’m the lazy fucker who wrote and didn’t edit it, so don’t call it a crap book; call me a crap writer. There have been plenty of times when reading this back (and making those minor changes I talked about up above) that I thought, ‘there’s no way I can finish this,’ and then something will come along for a bit that keeps me reading so; if it can do that for me, it can do that for some of you too. I’ll live with it as a creative work and die as the writer of it. It’s that simple.

DFJ – 1/06/2016

Other books by David Francis Jeffery on Shakespir include:

 

BORE

No truth to the rumour

50 Haiku

The Unfulfilled

HA/VE

The Anti-book

Reporting from the Bombsite

Another 50 Haiku

The Host

The Cardboard Writings

Refugees

Falling Houses on a Tightrope Journey

The light beside the reading chair is weeping

New Plays

Letters to the Sunday Age

 

All these ebooks are available on the Shakespir website.

 

Thoughts, remarks, insults and death threats to: davidjeffery@y7mail.com

 

Thankyou


Minor Diversons

First book in my new style, particlism. Written ten years ago, this novel was written in parts, one part to a day. Very short chapters, grouped into months of the year. Some sort of story hangs in it and some of my life as it was at the time. A kind of combined novel/memoir.

  • ISBN: 9781310522086
  • Author: David Francis Jeffery
  • Published: 2016-06-01 04:35:09
  • Words: 30424
Minor Diversons Minor Diversons