AustrAlien

This is a work in progress, quite long but worth the perusal

The Lucky Country

“Why write a book about such a happy country? One reason is that in some ways it is not so happy: one can learn something about happiness by examining Australia – its lingering Puritanism, the frustrations and resentments of a triumphant mediocrity and the sheer dullness of life for many of its ordinary people.”

May 20th 2001

And yes, this is another soon to be widow of dying wife journal. I write this to my future-self, in the hope that it validates or explains my decisions. It is a simple and solemn promise, that everything I do is my own decision and therefore my own fault. Don’t fuck up your life Percival. You have to realise that the bitch’s time bomb is ticking. She’s going to disappear. No one can save her now. Sure your life isn’t perfect, but she accepted you for what you are, despite the lies.

• • •

May 21st 2001
0545

I check my watch, every couple of minutes, praying for respite. To remain on the safe side I check it again. I look past the scratches in the glass, through to the small ticking plastic hands. How tedious it must be to the two of them; the minute hand and the hour hand. They play this repetitive children’s game for one another all day long, awaiting twelve o’clock. Twelve. The brief and ecstatic cohesion that only lying on top of one another can bring. It is such a peculiar time to be so wildly aroused. When my very existence flickers before my eyes. Note the use of flickers not flashes. Despite this carnal mindset I have only managed to whittle away a few minutes in thought. I have, to this point, successfully squandered my youth in my own fantasy world. In and out of sexual illusion, flying unassisted, building robots, grasping voraciously for whatever was most desirable. But now when the sweet escape of numb detachment is my only objective, I’m left here with the whip crack of reality ringing in my ears. The sudden jarring, massive pendulum of everything and waves of undulating nausea are all that meet me in my once quiet place.
I have experienced these sorts of emotions before. A distortion of my regular existence, where time shrinks and expands, when light floods the night and even the flapping of a butterfly in South America has a sweet sensation on my skin. This will most often happen in a time of crises: perhaps the death of a loved one, or watching helplessly as the family pet is backed over by the family Holden. I find, only the kind words of a complete stranger help to centre me and lace my perception with delusion.
Luckily in my case I had a stranger. A stranger in a man, labelled smartly with a plastic badge, inscribed, Dr M. Spermway. Dr Spermway was kind enough to inform me that despite my fear (and the massive cluster of malignant cancerous material lodged in my wife’s breasts) I should not be too concerned, and that some hope still remained. Hope, in my case is the poultice that fills my wound, binds me in a tightly woven cocoon. It’s become the noun, the thing I can play around with like a tongue in my mouth, something constant, tough but flexible, sure as sure can be.
With this newfound sense of shelter, the storm that had raged so consistently subsides. What comes instead is the calming sound of acceptance: The sense of validation that only long familiarity can bring. I rose from my despair, albeit slowly, and went to join my wife, newly awoken from her deep sleep, after a night’s chemotherapy. She looked bravely back at me from beneath a mound of white linen. A single snow peaked mountain rose from her chest and stood there pert, lonely and to the right. I feel like a discarded child at a fair: broken but proud. The truth was, she was not attractive at that moment, not pretty or refined as she had been. I decided that pure strength is ugly, brazen and determined, but a sour sight to see. I can imagine the child’s face at the fair again, having found his mother he scowls at her. Anguish and relief are the most contorting of the emotions and they shape a monstrous visage. I sat beside her, this new monster, and held her hand, as though my strength; my firm grip might scare the painful monster away.
I found out about her death in the line to renew my driver’s licence, at the roads and traffic authority office in Fairfield. I needed to change my address you see. I was intending to run away. Not the brave choice, but I was just a hindrance anyway. I had no intention of staying and watching her die in that place. But it seemed I had failed even in that. Doubly as I had also failed to evade the promise made to her on her deathbed. I wouldn’t fail for a third time today. I was not going to leave this line, as I had waited what seemed forever in it already. The woman in front of me was tall and emaciated, and she looked vaguely familiar, she hardened as I thought this, but slackened again quickly. It seemed as though I had spent the better part of my life in one line or another. I waited the first half of my life to hear my first sound, and waited yet again for almost two years whilst my wife puked herself to death. I waited to hear from my parents (and still continue to). I have hung on for freedom from my sexuality but remain at its whim. Most of all, I have bided my time idling away the dull sobriety of my suburban life but all I can think to do is run from it instead.
Finally I reach the front of the queue. The bell rings, and I approach the flashing light on customer service desk 4. According to her embroidered smock, Meredith was happy to be serving me today. She didn’t look happy, not even cordial. But I was able to convey my request in good spirits. “Could I please renew my licence?” I enquired. I could do nothing to stop the tears however and they ran down my face while I smiled contentedly in hers. She was trained by rigorous government instructors to ignore me thoroughly and did so with consummate ease. She chattered away slowly on her computer, stopping to fix her printer, talk to a colleague and ejaculate. I don’t think I was supposed to see her self-penetration. She typed with one hand, and pleasured herself with the other. She pleasured herself, while I wept for the death of my wife. This hasn’t been the best day for me. Add more about what happens
“You’re a pretty boy? Are you French?” She asked. I nodded – my father’s mother was indeed of French origins. “Did you know that the French legal system is designed in such a way that the accused is guilty until proven otherwise” the saliva was now visibly dribbling down the side of her sexagenarian mouth. “In China, homosexuals are considered hooligans” she offered.

• • •

June 14th 2001

I mostly forgot or ignored things, in general. I believe that I began to control time. I was able to consume whole days in a blink or stretch an hour into quiet eternity. A month, perhaps two has passed since her death. The indefinite remission that the doctors held, bibles on chest, was snuffed out. The cancer came so violently and so swiftly that they didn’t have time to snatch back this paper hope, the hope that had been given up for me, now thin and translucent. So it is with me it seems forever. I hope, because it is all I have. I went to work the morning after her death, hoping to find my old life there: That silly cloudy existence. I went home hoping to see her silhouette behind the shower screen. I went to bed and hoped for something more than constant realisation, which is both mundane and sharp as tacks. It is best described like a poem without imagery; a cheap advertising jingle that I live. I needed to get out of this house. Her high heels, the last remnant of her eighties attire, and the years of casual fun rested next to my head, where her pillow had once been. It was the last time I would be in this house, perhaps the last time I would see a photo of my wife or smell her perfume in the air.
I spent the next day (the day after whichever one this was) at an old friend’s house. Mark (The old friend of ours) laboured around the room, trying to avoid my gaze, lifting and placing every garment of clothing, every knick-knack he owned from the floor and back again. I sat on the rug between his couch and his coffee table, stretching my legs to the rhythm of some soft rock music playing idly in the distance. The whole effect was intoxicating. When he could no longer dance around my presence, I engaged him with the gaze that I think he would have expected. Bereft determination, the look of a widow as the earth swallows her husband’s stiff remains. I feel like that child again, having accepted the loss of his mother, he searches determinedly to find the exit and get on with his life, away from the fair, away from the lights, and fast rides and that neglectful bitch. I placed the palms of my hands to the wooden floor and raised my arse a few inches above it, flexing my back and shoulder muscles. To be totally honest, Mark appeared to be turned on by this. To be honest we really weren’t that close, Mark and I, not anymore.
At any rate, I accepted his hospitality. It came in the form of cask wine and companionship, and I awoke later that evening lying beside him, naked and cold. You must understand this is not an excuse, this is not a pardon. I am ‘something-sexual’. Melli had known that my preferences where not always clear, from the moment we met, the very instance in fact. She would tell me that everything was okay, like she knew what okay was. Fucking latent femo-nazi. I dressed myself quickly, glancing over my shoulder as though my parents had discovered my secret, would catch me in this awkward moment. This is how I would be reunited with them. I re-evaluated, and began again to disrobe. A feeling of freedom had re-awoken. I felt inside out. My heart was thumping so hard in my chest that I thought I might wake Mark.
I felt the cold sensation of the wind against the damp skin of my chest, felt like the horny boy that needed a warm hole beside me. The fleeting refreshment was short. I found that evening that guilt was as sanguine as sex, with just as much sweat. I left his house and went home to prepare to leave mine. I left to pursue whatever putrid cliché would lead me to the ‘And Live’ that my former wife had assured me would be waiting. This promise I made feels like it does in only the shittiest American movies. Triumph, in less than two hours, delivered in a pleasant and predictable package. I blew him before I left. He didn’t even wake up to enjoy it. Mark had always been there when I needed someone to lean on. He had introduced me to plenty of women and men alike, and never once judged me for my ways when all my other friends felt propriety was more important than sex. The last thing I remember seeing on his naked body was the tattoo of Tintin on the nape of his back, the lone androgynous reporter with a sexless soul.

1st June 2002
0513

Today is the first of June, which in my hemisphere is the first day of winter. It symbolises a whole raft of other things, most involving death, sleep or some such inactivity. For me it symbolises nothing. I have to leave with my consignment of luggage, and the short supply of rations that have been agreed upon ‘and live’. These had been my wife’s very specific instructions before she had escaped life. ‘And Live’. The way ‘and’ was tacked onto the ‘live’ made my skin crawl; there is no melody to this. It seems so unnatural. It implies so much. Walk the dog and live, make your bed and live, arrange your sock draw and live. Weren’t all of these things life: The amalgamation of all of these mundane, ridiculous tasks. We had always fought about these kinds of details. She would end the fight by shaking her head and saying ‘make a decision Purs, just one’ and I would sit with my arms crossed like an indignant child, and thrash out at her impetuously with physical insults, and derision. It may seem hackneyed but just seeing her dead didn’t make sense. The right colour, the wrong smile. The stiff wooden expression of the deceased (more smug then sullen), made me miss her more, the way you miss a person with Alzheimer’s; There, but not there.
So I packed all night, with my right hand folding, with my left praying to whoever for whatever, just to cover my bases. The lightning outside was symptomatic of the end of autumn. The thunderstorm was mute, all flash and lights not the slightest noise, Herculean mischief with the volume turned way down. My whole life pre-puberty was just like this. I was born deaf and remained so until the day I sprouted my first pubic hair over fifteen years ago (on my 15th birthday) no shit. That was the day of the largest thunderstorm in the history of the mining town, Pannawonica, where I had been born. My father had a party in my honour that lasted fifteen straight days and nights and caused such uproar that I was made partially deaf as a result. That was a year or two before the flood and one of my only memories as a child. Maybe this was part of the reason that Melli had made me promise to leave when she died, so that maybe I could reconnect with myself. Or maybe she was playing with my mind, or maybe the chemo fucked up her brain.
I’m looking outside. You can feel so alone in this amount of natural intrigue, in the lower levels of life just under the tree line. I have a feeling that if you floated above it permanently you would never be alone. Up there you could see everyone and involve yourself in all things, intimately. When I had done packing, I took the keys to my car, my birth certificate and my wallet and dropped them into the drain outside. Believe it or not, For the first time in 30 years I had no one. This type of cold-turkey detachment sounds quite romantic, but feels uncomfortably wet and involves walking for many hours. I decided that I would hike out of Sydney until I came to a truck stop, maybe get a ride to the place I had grown up, and from there onto ‘Life’. All I had on me was a backpack, some cigars and 25,000 dollars in cash. When my stash ran down I would either have learned to live or have perished in the process.

Pannawonica

I spent my formative years in a Western Australian mining town known as Pannawonica and made my way with my family to Sydney when I was newly sixteen. We left not long after I regained my hearing, after the trouble. We left primarily as a result of the flood but I have come to believe that we left because my parents committed a crime. I wasn’t sure what yet. I can’t remember a thing about my youth until my fifteenth birthday, I have only a few clippings, scraps of newspapers and the intermittent journal entries my parents or I had written.

June 1987

Mining town rejects evacuation efforts hundreds perish

Authorities decided not to evacuate the flooded Western Australian mining town of Pannawonica after violent feuding.

The town’s water bores broke down after Cyclone Weary dumped heavy rains on the area.

Authorities from across the region have met to discuss how water, sewerage, communications and power supplies will be restored to the 900-strong mining community. There have also been high-level discussions about restoring law and order to the area.

The group has decided evacuation is not necessary at this stage however dangerous insurgency has compromised a plan to repair essential services over coming days.

Bill Rose, from the state’s Fire and Emergency Services Authority says hundreds of litres of drinking water will be flown in today, however it will be dropped from a safe distance.

“The only way in is by air and we’ll be having heaps of water brought to Perth then we’ll put that into lighter planes and take that to Pannawonica” he said.

“We’re anticipating no casualties at the moment.”

Police in the Pannawonica region are beginning an aerial search for what is left of the remaining dead today.

“We are expecting that time will show whether there’s floating bodies along the ocean or in the river systems,” he said.

“We don’t know what went wrong, why there was such a backlash, truck drivers and residents began acting as though they were being attacked, we had to move in and secure our men, before order could be restored, many were lost.” A spokesman from the RTA said.

2
3rd June 2002

Mammas and Poppas

There sits a woman in the office of the dead. She sings a hymn and waits. She must wait to enter; the dirge of her former life draws a fibrous curtain around her. The mournful punish the mourned. Direct, Oh God, her way in your sight.

I sat down to rest on a gutter after four days of mind boggling boredom in unseasonably warm winter sun. Already my freckly, pale skin was covered with a film of tepid sweat. I am the smell of talcum, dirty laundry and hospital. My diminutive kiddy backpack is strung tightly against my back. It’s the one I travelled with as a twenty something, with this stupid little Australian flag sewed into the front, decorated with ‘fuck yous’ and ‘I did your mummas’. I should have taken this opportunity to fuck up much earlier, but you know how life is, just when your getting it together, wham, its half over and no one wants your crabby old sexually confused arse.
I really think I have become a product of death. Once death starts driving I can’t imagine he or she is likely to say, “hey you know what, you have as long as you want, live it up and don’t worry”. Cars are passing me by with some regularity. Many of their occupants seem bored and lonely. Death itself might just have passed me in that Ford, might have thought me a little depressed, perhaps given me some extra time, that frankly I didn’t want. To Daddy Death, dying is a beginning. To everyone else it’s an end. So maybe I should look depressed, maybe everything about me at that moment wreaked just that little bit like an end.
I entered the ‘Stop and Shop’, the closet rest stop to Fairfield, inland about 80 kilometres and the one with the least creative name. It was a mixture of beige decores, westies, prostitutes, wife beater singlets, crickets chirping and McDonalds cuisine. The diner was modern looking and sheik from the outside, with white walls and fluorescent human beings buzzing about like humming globes. Everyone looked unnaturally white clones of one another. The only person even vaguely reminiscent of an actual human was a larger man sitting with a diseased prostitute. They spoke in whispers that gathered in intensity but ebbed just as quickly into silence. I had never actually attempted to solicit a lift off a truckie and was just about to try my hand at it when he turned his head in my direction. It just so turned out that he was looking for companionship on the road and I looked like the perfect candidate. When I asked why he didn’t just take his wife along, he blushed a white shade of pale and continued sheepishly. He was willing to take me on his route (and further) if I didn’t mind hearing some tales of the road and swapping some urban legends. I didn’t have any, but was more than willing to lie.
I gave him a thousand dollars cash as a sign of good will and went back into the buckling winter heat. The truckie remained for a moment longer nestled inside the rest stop, making eyes with the clandestine prostitute. She was emaciated, white, and conveniently wore a nametag. It identified her as ‘Liane Somebody’. Some time later he shook her hand and passed her something metallic and cylindrical, he left with a sluggish wave. The prostitute looked happy with her new vibrator and disappeared into the shop. As he approached the truck, I stood up from where I was sitting, leaving behind an arse sweat patch and walked out into the over exposed daylight. I climbed with difficulty into the vinyl cockpit of this mans silver steed. He handed back my money, in full, laughing as it was returned and saying that he was only interested in some Aussie Yarns. His name was Big Willy. A self-proclaimed storyteller claiming the title of explorer and believer. I wondered if Big Willy was also his nom de plume? Given where I was I guessed that his name was a crappy phallic hyperbole, but in his case I think it could just have been William and frankly he was grossly overweight so Big fit too.
Big Willy’s cabin was dressed with what looked like the confederate flag, and magazines on archery and UFO’s. Most of the magazines had a front cover picture of a blonde model holding up a rather distressed looking dear, buffalo or other dead quadruped. The models all smiled a distinctive smile, the smile that said ‘I’m hungry, but I ain’t cooking’. Big Willy lent over and began to talk about how truckies these days were being cracked down on for several reasons, like speeding, taking speed (or similar amphetamines) prostitution and the flagrant overuse of leather vests. He protested that the stereotype wasn’t only wrong it was unjust. “I mean most of mi mates are married, with three kids”, he said. I have to mention at this point that I thought he had said that his friends were married to three children, but listened as though I had understood. Anyway, Big Willy was not his Christian name after all. As a matter of fact his name turned out to be Lance (Not William), and as phallic as this was all becoming I managed to take a strangle hold on my truant thoughts. I concentrated on speaking to him as though he too might inhabit the same plane of existence that I had managed to occupy for so many years. But then again, if the a persons state of mind were reflected by the garb he wore, then I would be wearing a white coat with stethoscope and he bunny slippers and a pink tutu.
“Have you ever driven a truck mate?” He enquired whole-heartedly. His long silver beard stretched out magnificently across his lap into his crotch, petering out onto the floor. I tried hard to imagine how a person would normally respond in this situation. I mean I could simply answer to the question as though he seriously cared, I could take this shoulder, I could cry on it. I could have simply answered ‘no’ and sat as rabbits do when the two round lights approach, wide eyed, curious and hopeful before the pain. This was my everyday rape. I really just hate small talk. I always take it like a bitch in the hope that eventually I will habituate to the violent rigmarole. And that I say it feels like rape I say unapologetically. The physical element is not required, I was being head fucked by this loon in the front cabin of a big truck on the way to god knows where and all I had to do was submit. I had already shaken his hand against my better judgment and I just needed to hold out palms up like Oliver Twist and beg for more, and maybe this time it would be different.
‘ No, is it hard?’ I managed to muster in laconic reply. His blank glance like the arse end of a cat turned on its side, already dead, was all the putridity I could bear. I cut off, I escaped to the white room where my wife’s corpse was unceremoniously replaced with another and another, and her image, the image of a thousand dead. In the midst of this verbal persecution I somehow fell to sleep. I fell to sleep.

Too angry towards conversation and small talk
Too detached from big willy
I was asleep. I had that dream again, about standing in the snow, my wife’s corpse wrapped around me like a fox fur. Her body was stiff and colder than the warm white snow that hit us with a dreamy regularity, the minute hand of an enormous clock softly pounding at our flesh as we ran. We manage to escape the snowstorm, using my wife as a make shift bivouac strung over a sturdy tree’s limb and attempted to sleep on the gnarled branches of her legs. She was un-flapping in the harsh wind. Her stiff expression was the countenance of a mother to her child, too stern, too platonic. It made me feel like I never reached her properly inside. Perhaps I only ever bent her to my will, earned her stay like an obedient pet. I always wake when the storm peters out into an infinite charcoal drum beat and awake with the gritty chalky texture of too much kissing. I woke. All was silence. To my perpendicular right was the hulking mass of Big Willy to whom I suddenly felt completely benevolent. He was staring at me with a great concern, his hand resting on mine. Had he been crying red translucent tears? I turned left, my head sliding convexly to reveal that the Semi-trailer was now floating through the darkness of space, the pin pricks of starlight poured silver mercury into the void. As my head made its box-car speed-pivot downwards I could see my wife, sitting on my knee waving up at me with fairy floss in the one hand and the other pointing at far off fireworks at some distant fair, she looked concerned. I woke.
To my right Big Willy looked fixedly at me with great concern, he had a tear in his eye and a CB receiver hugged tightly to his mouth. The glare from outside made his retina glow angry red, my own skull burned and throbbed and I was thirsty. Big Willy had lost a friend today, a woman told him on the CB in a stabbing tone. Maybe Willy’s three children (if indeed he had them) sat home in silent lament, hoping for the return of their father. I tried a pat on the shoulder it registered no effect. An idea dawned. I took from my wallet a single white pigeon; its pristine plumage seemed a muted grey in the Australian glare. I held it to Big Willy’s ear, and all noise in the world ceased as quickly as it had begun some 15 years ago. And the smooth sound of a distant flute emerged from the depths of the small bird clutching firmly to my index finger. Big Willy turned to me, he was afraid. He was asking me a silent question, and receiving no response. I told him that all he had to do was whisper his pain into the dove’s ear. He did. After pouring his grief into it, he named it Quarry and it was a black crow. Quarry flew away and all returned to as it had been. The harsh sun, the confederate flag, the man without his grief, the silver steed on the wide Australian road and the boy from the fair who had returned to find his mother, and set things straight.
This time I woke I felt close to Big Willy, to the Semi I was in.

4th June 2002

Dirt tracks

The idea was to take the Hume out of Sydney for about 370 kilometres and then onto the Stuart Highway for 500 plus from what I gathered of Willy’s babbling. Willy believed that it would take thirteen hours to get to Adelaide, where he would drop his payload and continue on to Perth, if he had a willing company. Willy was an independent. The ‘freelance writer’ of the truck driving profession. He had been paid by the South Australian University to deliver a number of priceless museum artefacts from the University of Sydney. He had done some contract work for them before. They paid reasonably and as a large institution expected little from the uneducated he didn’t have a strict timeline. We spoke at length about the issues of the Australian road, but Willy seemed more intent on tails of intrigue, chases and danger. His version of Australian trucking was more like the blurb of a Tom Clancy novel and I soon lost interest. He looked slightly disheartened by my unwillingness to discuss my life, and even more so when I admitted to not having travelled all that much since I reached Sydney. I promised that I would listen to his tales at a later time and pretended to nap. In doing so I actually began to nap and before long was asleep again. What an interesting life, travel.
I had obviously been asleep through the exact hitchhiking ordeal, but now to my immediate left as I awoke blurrily, sat what appeared to be a little bespectacled boy from Asia. He was listening to something on his pitch black, sticker obscured mp3 player. When I gave him a polite nod he unplugged himself from his musical experience, giving a quick hello gesticular fashion and then humming his rendition of Queen’s ‘Killer Queen’. “Momentarily out of action, temporarily out of gas”. Willy seemed to be having the time of his life, he was bopping to the sound, speaking some broken English-Mandarin, and making thinly veiled racist jibes, beyond the comprehension of Eric, our new passenger. In the hydraulic suspension chair Big Willy seemed positively buoyant, he turned to me with a grin, none of the tremulous fear, trepidation and grief of my dream and began to sing along to those eight words over and over. Big Willy told me that Eric wasn’t really Asian so I pretended to understand.
I feel it best, considering the nature of this journal, that I should describe every thought and feeling, every rotten sensation, danger, excitement, and probably given my luck grief. The nature of the Australian sun is one such example of the lengths I am willing to take this method of examination. So, to give you my take on the play of the sun here in this air-conditioned cabin, I will start with the glossy white skin of Big Willy. (By the way, I am now going to be sleeping in a road motel with Big Willy, but that, I promise to write about after its happened, as the mere thought of his sweaty heaving mass disrobing deserves its own entry). Anyway, his skin is like nothing I have ever seen, it is sub-human or perhaps extra-human. It is like a lively corpse, one that won’t die, that gives the poor embalmer nothing but anguish and leaves no one the time or want to grieve. Big Willy is just a fat white sausage in the burning glow. The sun whitewashes everything out here, makes everything clean and sterile, black or white, sharp and granular, but painful to look at. Mind you though, you real travellers (as I am not nearly one yet) this is only about four hours southwest of Sydney.
Before I finish this entry, I need to explain what you’ve done. Today you left everything: you left her memory, bagged her remains and sent them to her mother in Tamworth. You left your job, your patients and your money. You have so much life left to lead, that this can’t just exist as some final swan song that ends with a big hoorah. This is called failure by most people, this life you had ahead of you. You may thank me for making this decision in the future, or curse my bad judgement, but if you slice my wrists, OD or shoot out my fucked-up defective brain, you are just going to hurt yourself too. But she knew you better than I do. She also knew that you were weak enough to agree to all of this. You left your balls at the altar, and you are too effeminate, cravenly and pathetic to even blame yourself in the present. So when you read this, when you finally bring yourself to open this journal to page one, I hope you aren’t fucked up, lonely or depressed. I hope that you’ve stopped grieving and that this was all worth the time. Most of all I hope that you love something or someone, even if it’s the soft sensation of your own palm caressing your cock. Because if you don’t and this was all for nothing, you aren’t even worth this ink, or your daddy’s sperm. Peace out brother.

3
4th of June 2002 – The motel
1816

Wouldn’t have mattered

This Eric is a laugh. He is from Shanghai and doesn’t have the slightest idea where he’s going as far as I can muster. He has childish looking hand luggage with pictures of kittens on it. Everything he owns has a shiny new merchandised look to it, cross-promotional sneakers, mobile phone with camera and the tightest skinny leg jeans on the planet. I have to admit I can already see myself ushering this guy into a public toilet and breaking his hairless body in, treating him with sexual contempt and making him beg for my company. He is extremely well mannered and speaks broken English. The one thing that strikes me above all else, are the complex lines and wrinkles that coat his hands. The rest of his skin is taut and smooth, plump and full. His hands are unattractive, they don’t fit, the colour and style is wrong, the fingers are long and pointed with large dark knuckles, they look like the back of my elbow. I make the effort to ignore them as I believe this might get in the way of my jack-off fantasies later on, and since that is currently my only form of physical activity I can’t run the mental risk of being hand fucked by ET.
Evening was slowly filling the sky, revealing more of those pleasant pricks of light I had seen earlier. Big Willy would normally spend the whole night driving all the way through to Adelaide, and if he had to sleep, and didn’t want to risk taking speed or No-Doze, he would do so in his cabin. But I had money to waste and offered to pay for the three of us, if that meant sleeping in a motel. I mentioned this idea to you, earlier in the day. Willy was stoked. He had the money to afford a motel but never such awesome company, as he put it. He turned to me as we were disembarking (if that’s the word for getting out of a big rig) and shouted through the cabin. “We really flew down that highway mate.” To which I responded meekly “Yes we did, sort of scary”. His look defied explanation something like pride and jest co-mingled. The motel had another terribly offensive name, “The Slide Inn” and it stood alone on a stretch of highway that didn’t appear to end in any direction nor to show any distinctive features. The ground had already gone cold, the grass was matted and yellow and crickets sounded only very quietly as we made our way to the check in desk. The railing that led up to the door was a long shaft of polished wood, still warm as I slid my hand along it.
My limited experience with these motels had always been pleasant. They were usually arranged with a large reception and a mini market and were staffed by one or more dotty old Aussie ladies. No sooner had I thought it when “Gud ar-fternoon gen-tle-men, welcome totha Sliiiide Inn, whaccan ar do u fore?” she asked. Her name was Ethel, and she was in her mid fifties, though judging by her attire and crusty, word-worn voice she could have been mid eighties. The pleasant would-be octogenarian having noticed our silence offered us one last queue “Well guys, what will it bee-ee?” Big Willy was the first to sound up, he asked if we could have three single rooms, to which I interjected and asked for one single and one twin. Eric smiled, but it may just have been because he spotted the fruit display on the counter. She reluctantly acquiesced, but only because I paid in full in advance. We went our separate ways, Eric and I to the twin and Big Willy to his Foxtel enabled single. Big Willy did return though later he told me, to have a yarn with old Ethel, apparently she knew some one that he knew or something along those lines.
So this is Yass, and this is our journey so far. Big Willy told me that we were taking the scenic route, and that he would never, ever have used the Hume to get to Adelaide, though he wouldn’t divulge any further. He was an absolute treasure trove of truck driving information Big Willy was. He was a member of the prestigious Western Australian Truck drivers association with over 11,500 heavy truck drivers in that state. He even had his own CB radio call sign, “Shlong”. Normally he would have to take at least a one half hour break every five hours, but he was in no rush to deliver his payload and had never been here before. He seemed to really enjoy the company. Maybe I was someone to share twilight on the Aussie road with, or just an ear to fill with a grievance. My wife would have enjoyed this, our little company, the soft vibrations of the truck up her skirt, the whirring wind, the adventure of sleeping in someone else’s bed. Willy said he would tell me all about trucks and trucking and I pretended that that sort of thing appealed to me. That little kid at the fair is really starting to enjoy time away from his control freak of a mother. Silly bitch should have never walked out on him.
I pushed my key into the door, not failing to notice that it was attached to the largest key chain ornament of all time. It was a bona fide boomerang. It looked as though it may have been used to brain a Kangaroo at one time. Either way at least one indigenous person was involved in its life, if only very recently. Bubbles, was a Western Australian Aboriginal man who had just been fired from his long time job as a pearl chipper in the Kimberleys. It may seem like a strange time to bring him up, at the door to my would-be sex pit, but it just so happens his was the first naked body I saw that night and not Eric’s. His body was well defined, and his penis though flaccid hung to a respectable length (I am no size queen). He turned, quite startled and made to run, thinking it better to use his cunning, he enquired as to why we were in his room. I did not want to go through this. I could see the game was being played and I wanted to be the wildcard, so I simply convinced him that we were to be his room-mates for the night and he did not have to worry. I added in addition, that he could stay naked if he was more comfortable that way, but he said nothing and threw on a towel.
Eric took his bright little set of luggage and began to clean mindlessly about the room, straightening up both beds, and muttering something about luck. I would have my chance yet, I thought, to screw his brains out, when Eric said “We sleep same bed tonight”. I immediately hardened and then relaxed. Bubbles thanked me in his silent way for not freaking out about his being in our room and explained to me that which I have just now explained to you. He continued however to describe the situation with his boss, and the way in which he was dismissed. He continued “So mi boss says, you get on up and fuck off outta here Bubbles, coz you been spreading a lot of shit, and mi boss then makes some excuse about mi laziness and dat was dat.” He said, looking into a crack in the earth that had opened up inside my eyes. I was not sure what he was going to say so I said “Continue” and he did. It turned out that Bubbles was a little bit of a shit stirrer, and that it wasn’t his abject laziness that had gotten him fired but the stories he had been spreading throughout the pearling camp. Stories of the devil in the water, monster’s in the sky. No one would care about that shit I thought, but he said the majority of the camp were indigenous and these stories were not so out-there for them.
I had to press Bubbles further for more info. He seemed forthcoming at first, then apologetic and finally adamant not to disclose any more information. He was more interested in talking about fucking local chicks and breaking in virgins and shotting things with his gun on Aboriginal land (quite illegal). But I pressed him with the promise of cigars, only because it felt like I needed to hear what he had to say and I was bored. Bubbles had all the providence of a soothsayer, he spoke as though he not only guessed but also intimately knew, everything. He spoke that night of the many tales of his camp and how he had come to believe the stories of his people, the stories of bright lights and air demons and the floating colours in the sky. Bubbles spoke for many hours, and I forgot all about young Eric, sleeping soundly in the single bed, waiting warm and curled with his big knuckles poking out from under the covers, taking with it the last remnants of that night’s libido.
I didn’t get much sleep that morning, instead I sat with Bubbles as he spoke and I gave him everything in my bag save the cash, to keep the sound coming. At first I was just being polite, but as time passed I felt like I would miss his voice if it stopped, a mother who miscarries might feel the same way. I was intimately connected to someone I knew nothing about. We had been smoking together for many hours, and drinking and looking up at the ceiling in the pitch darkness. His quiet voice rolled about the room, it did not echo or stir the slightest vibration it simply came from his mouth and hit flat upon my face with the force of thunder. He spoke of a place in the centre of the desert, a place where his people had seen many wonders but I didn’t hear much more after that. I did not fall to sleep per say, I entered another state, as though sleep was a room you just had to stride into if you could find the door. Similarly, my dreams were not dreams at all but the image of my body standing in a room populated by clanging glass sheets, thick air, soft bells and the smell of my dead wife.
4
The morning of 5th of June 2002
0600

The disappearance of Bubbles and the death of Sam Chumley

The night before, in our short exchange, Bubbles had promised to come along with us on our journey, and I was sure that Big Willy would have loved him. Big Willy told me of his affinity towards the Aboriginal people of the Western Country and the rapport he felt with them. I personally could have done with the entertainment of Bubble’s many stories and the added companionship. Big Willy is occupied by his CB conversations, the maintenance of the 9 tonne rig and the difficulties of acquiring a multi-combination licence. Eric barely spoke a word, just flicked through the endless array of Dark magazines and clandestine literature in his bag, listening to his music collection on low so as not to disturb, and scribbling notes and observations. Unfortunately when I awoke the morning of the 5th, I was alone, Bubbles had vanished. Bubbles represented the closest thing to a conduit I had ever encountered, a big mouthpiece for his peoples’ brand of spirituality and mysticism. Eric was having a shower and singing the lyrics to a pop song. It was inoffensive and catchy. It reminded me of Melli, that’s my wife’s name. All that was left of Bubbles was the smell of cigars on my body, the towel he had wrapped around his waist and the sensation that my skin was electric or magnetic or that some force was just under the surface waiting to react with some other force.
I walked down to the mini-mart in the reception area to purchase some cheese, some toothpaste and a health bar when I ran into Big Willy and Ethel whispering to each other in a shady corner. Big Willy knew so much about the languages of the people of the Western country Karajarri, Mangala, Ngarla, Nyamal, Nyangumarta, Nyiyaparli, Palyku and Walmajarri to name a few. I wondered just how he came to know so much, but at that moment I was more interested in his dealings with this Ethel. He clearly knew her, but their conversation looked heated. I heard her deny something before they detected my presence. Had she been a past associate? He had acted weirdly in her presence. Maybe he was discussing payment, but surely he had seen me pay. They both turned towards me. Willy looking as always, flushed, and Ethel, who seemed to have grown in the darkness, swelled with hidden anger and then shrivelled to her elderly self. I asked for my sundry and then left for the room. Before I had even turned they recommenced their sibilant conversation and as I didn’t want to be late and miss Eric coming out of the shower, I walked away.
To my great delight Eric was sheathed in a skimpy sarong of some sort and some form of man bra, he did not look fazed by my presence. “When we go, I have ready.” He said. He threw on a shirt, some pants so that I caught a glimpse of his white ass, which was much more muscular than his physique implied and ran past me towards Bertha (Willy had named his truck Bertha). I suddenly realised I was hard and went to grab for him, but thinking it probably less illegal not to I refrained, and promised myself a masturbation session in the toilets later on. I was not looking forward to another ten hours on the road, but it would be Adelaide soon and maybe I would have enough time to visit a few of my friends or my fuck buddies as Melli used to call them. These people dated back to my school days, the days of travel and trek when I could fuck anything. I grabbed the cheese and toothpaste that I had failed to pack, scoffed the health bar and made my way to Bertha.
Big Willy ruptured into the morning air just behind me. Haste followed soon behind him, then the commotion of escape. I had never seen such a portly man move so quickly, his face showed nothing of the speed with which the rest of his body moved. This guy was one fat bastard, yet he was gliding. And without so much as glancing backwards he brought Big Bertha to life, with speed and resolve. I could not shake the feeling that he was scared. What had he done? I knew that he and Ethel had been hostile. He seemed to have enjoyed his stay despite all that. He wasn’t a serial killer that was certain. We weren’t evading a crime scene. I had to forcibly discontinue this train of thought. Willy seemed to be sensing my apprehension and he started in on the promised talk of modern road trains, and gross vehicle mass and the new government speed caps anything but why we were apparently on the run. In between breathes I could hear him whisper, “How did she know” ad nauseam.
Big Bertha raced along the Hume but I fear it was just an illusion. Our progress was slow, Eric was lost in his electronic world, Big Willy was pontificating and avoiding and I was listening to the radio and the CB occasionally I would hear someone enquire as to the whereabouts of “The Shlong”, but Big Willy wasn’t interested in anything but boring the fuck out of me. The radio was on behind all of the commotion. I couldn’t believe that after all of the many years on air I could hear the sultry bass tones of Dr Hugs McKenzie. He still had that intoxicating effect on me, on everyone in this car in fact. Here we all were apparently on the run from something. All I could manage to feel in this craziness was confusion and paradoxically calm. Nothing of the past few days flowed, like this journal everything was a perplexing mess. But despite it, as the news began to role I felt tranquil and in peace with the world. I had no enemies and everything was going to be fine.

5th of June 2002
0715 hours
Driver’s Body trapped in freak accident

In this morning’s news
It could take days to retrieve the corpse of a truck driver and father of four killed when the cabin of his semitrailer was crushed by a large and as yet, unidentified object in Victoria’s North East.

The truck collided with the object on the Camperdown- Lismore rd near Lismore, 200 km south-west of Melbourne at 2am this morning.

There are no known witnesses as of yet, but a spokeswoman for the Victorian traffic authority, Mrs Meredith Brunswick has made an appeal for anyone travelling along the road at that time to please come forward with any information they might have. Foul play has not been ruled out and there is believed to be a possible link with a number of similar accidents occurring on Australian roads over the past 3 months.

“It may very well be a week before we can extract the body,” she added

The truck’s onboard computer has been examined by authorities and there are no reports of excessive speed. Police crash investigators believe the truck had been driving continually without a break for over three hours before the accident.

“This is a significant time for truck drivers around Australia, and I make the appeal again, to please remain cautious and vigilant if you are driving interstate, as fatigue and unforeseen circumstances can lead to catastrophic destruction when 10 tonnes of metal is thrown into the mix.”

“Australia Wide Trucking attended the scene immediately and will conduct its own investigation of the crash scene”

“We lost a good man today, and so much more than that.”

I wondered what it was that made Willy choose this life, this disconnected series of adventures that always inevitably ended with a mindless transaction. I had taken plenty of road trips, I loved the freedom, but it was always so methodical, so planned. This must have been what Melli intended. She would have been laughing at me right now squirming in the heat, sweating on the Vinyl seats dumbfounded by my situation. We were now about one hour out of Yass and Willy had long since stopped talking about his truck fantasies. I turned to look at him without trying to give him another reason to barrage me with details and by-laws. He was concentrating hard upon the road and it gave me time to pick up where I had left off. I failed to mention earlier something strange I had noted about the Slip Inn something that Bubbles had touched on. It was completely and utterly deserted. Not a single truck or car, no other residents or cleaners, just Ethel. To be honest I felt her presence just above me the whole night, kept Bubbles talking to me just to fight the fear of her omnipresence.
I’m the first to admit that I’m cracking. It is reasonable, my wife is dead and I am dehydrated and tired. I just can’t shake her from my mind. I could imagine her naked, I could imagine the pulsing heat from her mature flesh, the soft suppleness of her insides. I can see her in the passing trees endless poles, the waving barbed wire, hear her high pitched incomprehensible prattle like bird song. Maybe she reminded me a little of my mother, and that this was some sort of oedipal bullshit caused by overexposure to the sun, but it wasn’t the only aberrant thought I’d had today so I let it go and concentrated on this new theory. The theory that, if Big Willy is a fugitive and I am here on this journey with him, then according to my extraordinarily obtuse and dead wife, this was meant to be. Now I don’t buy Karma or destiny any more than I believe in truth or love. But I was willing to accept this much, Big Willy was my companion and I would hold on to him no matter what, until we both reached a climax. Whatever that may be.
Big Willy, in his informative lecture on all things truck had mentioned that we would be driving for five hours straight before our first break. This would happen on the intersection of the Hume and Sturt Highways. He stressed that this would be an important time to take respite and recharge before we made our final leg of the first segment of our travels. I have to admit that I am totally unsure of when this pact was actually agreed upon. Big Willy had barely initiated one single non-truck related topic of conversation and I was not really the chatty type, but at some point in the last 24 hours we had managed to learn a great deal about each other and agree to many things. On this leg of the journey I had swapped positions with Eric however, though he and Willy had barely registered on each other’s raider and I was now forced to talk across him to speak to Willy. If I wasn’t going to get to fuck Eric then I was sure as hell going to get him fucked by someone else, I thought. I had already made plans to meet some of the Girls from Adelaide when we arrived, maybe I could get an orgy organised, some consensual sex might bring us all closer together.

0737

I had only just begun to feel the clutches of sexual frustration grip my lower half when a single clear explosion sounded in my left ear. The truck and its driver and all of us, and everything stopped. One single rifle bullet already compressed by its impact with the passenger side window made its way gingerly past my head. It turned to me and with what seemed like a scrunched up face and blinked, continuing its way towards Eric. The world was moving so slowly that Eric had not even reacted to the noise, he bopped his head like a Galapagos turtle would, slowly and determinedly. The bullet now positively playing with the idea of being sentient, aimed itself at Eric’s mp3 player, blasting through it, weaving under his forearm and making its sure and steady path into Big Willy’s right eye. I had some time to think clearly, because time was so lethargic that the bullet itself seemed to have stopped entirely. Its face was no less determined, the trail of super heated vapour in its wake no less super-heated. So I began to reflect on Melli. What better time than a crisis, albeit in slow motion.
Melli was the woman I had committed myself to, continued to commit to. And this might not seem much coming from an apparent deviant (I have read over my journal in disgust), but at this cataclysmic moment in time, though the danger is not exactly mine, all I could think about was her voice, its depth and authority. She was the one real authority in my life, my Madonna Whore. At any rate it was then when I stopped just feeling her presence, but for the first time in over two years, there she was, in body. The very body she had occupied when I first met her at a swingers club in the cocaine decade. Melli was with me, sitting on top of the dash swinging her long slender legs. She was wearing tan sheer stockings and a mini skirt she had purchased in the mid-eighties, when people were simply irresistible, when Robert Palmer and my wife weren’t able to discuss things face to dead face. Her lipstick and pumps were bright red, her earrings hung about her jaw, electric blue lightning rods. “Fuck Percy, you look like shit stepped on twice. I can’t believe you are writing a journal you fag”
“Mel you’re still a slut, dead or not. At least I can masturbate. And for the record, what the fuck was the idea leaving me like that? I can’t believe that you would just allow your life to end, you said I could trust you.” I whispered, feigning calm. “You little cock sucker, are you going to replace me with that lady boy. And for the record Purs I didn’t leave you anywhere. You didn’t even have the sack to watch me die, you spent more time in the waiting room and screwing Dr Spermway while I was puking up my uterus.” Her indignant face turned leisurely to a smile and then a hearty laugh. Each exhalation of dead breath was met with the slow return to normal time, exhale bubble, and exhale, jerking the bubble of time forward. Her image was fading and life was jerking noisily like an old cough back into my time. Big Willy slammed on the breaks, the bullet had grazed his nose, but obviously not deeply as there was no sign of blood. Both windows had been shattered and Eric’s player had suffered irreparable damage. All three of us sat quietly on the deserted stretch of road. Big Willy looked reposed, Eric looked confused and I looked as though I had seen a dead person.

0737”37

Big Willy had been trying to suppress something, something that he had been repressing since we left the motel this morning. The mass of shattered glass on the floor, the strange presence of natural air in the climate controlled cabin, the stark silence was stifling. It awoke something in Big Willy, the soft intestinal looking skin looked stretched and moist on his cold body. Eric didn’t seem to need any explanation whatsoever he just grabbed into his pretty bag and retrieved his black book scribbling erratically. His pen had a large metallic ball on one end, which caused the pen to vibrate, making each letter look like static on the page. Despite the fact that neither man seemed interested in discovering the origin of the sassy independent bullet, I was adamant. There was no way that I was going to take cheek from an inanimate object, a dead woman yes, but not a bullet, not this guy. I wonder if Melli had seen it too, spouting beyond-the-grave style cryptic bullshit may have distracted her, but I needed a witness to whatever it was that just happened.
I opened the passenger side door to a heavy breeze, it seemed entirely without direction, and swirled around me cold and stiff. Big Willy realising I had exited the cabin did the same and came around to the passenger side door, leaving Eric to his engrossing task. I made for the bushes to the left of the truck beyond which was a barbed-wire fence and a large field of, what appeared to my untrained eyes, to be Canola. Big Willy followed silently behind looking absolutely soppy. I jumped the fence. Big Willy pulled out a large set of industrial metal cutters from inside his pants and dispatched the remaining rusty wires. We each moved in a straight line through the golden yellow field towards an area that had been disturbed. In the very centre of the large paddock was an impression left by someone slight no larger than myself perhaps. I assumed someone had been crouching in wait, and I had little doubt that this had been planned for one of us. The good news Willy explained, was that they had missed, the bad news was that whoever they were, they had disappeared, and at the moment both myself and my plump compadre were now sitting-ducks in the cabin of a windowless steed.

5th June 2002
0906 hours

Truck driver slaughtered after escaping accident

A truck driver involved in an earlier accident was found slaughtered after his out-of-control semitrailer smashed into a heard of cattle, plunging 50 metres into an empty damn.

The collision occurred at 0737 this morning on the Hume Highway southwest of Sydney.

In a tragic twist, the victim who managed to scramble up the walls of the damn after the accident, breaking his wrist and fracturing his arm in the struggle, was then violently assaulted and murdered by an unknown assailant waiting at the damns edge.

The Police have taken the owner of the farm on which the accident occurred for questioning but as yet no suspects have been identified or arrests made.

Due to the nature of the incident the Hume will remain open, however, Police believe that commuters should be cautious near and around the Bargo exit, and remain in their vehicles, as it is believed the assailant might still be in the area.

1000

I had wanted to talk to Big Willy, to discuss my apprehensions and doubts, my mounting fear and the deathly pale that had come over him. Regrettably I had become no better with small talk and instead spent much of my time sorting the new knowledge I had acquired into my cranium. We would not be reporting any of this to the police, Willy explained, it was not a matter that concerned them. As we sat paralysed and exposed I began to regret my decision to leave familiarity and the safe monotony of a wasteful life. Regret was still searing new neural pathways into my mind when I spotted something moving quick upon the road, matching its speed to ours. It was moving through the myriad fields to our left, breaking a path through the Canola. Its pursuit startled me. I pushed my back into the seat, hoping that Bertha’s thick skin might shield me from quick dispatch. I was not the only one to have noticed our new shadow, as Willy was also fixated on the entity. He did not appear to be concerned by it and in fact began to slow to a halt. My relief was immediate as from the canola came a girl on a scooter waving erratically. She was emaciated but from this distance, her intelligence was undeniable. Her Black on Gold name badge was labelled Liane Somebody, and with that we were stopped upon the Hume.

5

Note that they inspect the back

The waiting room

I wondered what it must be like to experience death. Not the dying itself, that part didn’t seem too hard but after it, just after. I mean you could die in a million ways, but the result, whether it was natural or unnatural, painful, cruel or long, was always the same. You could suck a cock and choke on it, or be eaten head first by a badger the only thing that differs is the before, the after was still death. I am supposedly a Christian so I am told that I have the whole heaven scenario but my fellow wordlings hold to many more beliefs. Reincarnation, Nirvana, absorption into the spiritual world and so on each designed to seem absolute. A means to an end. I wonder what it must be to wait. When my wife quit this plane did she have to line up, was the whole of our existence ushered in by just another doctors waiting room, losing ones self once again in the throng. Because then, no matter what happens in life or death, its punctuated by the breaking of your spirit, losing yourself and being nameless and unsafe. You don’t have any friends when you wait, you are small just another number, a number made even smaller in the infinitude of the other side, a thousand worlds of dead.
The most troubling notion is that after you endure the humiliation of waiting for your redemption like fried chicken you are given an incorruptible life. This means that whatever happens you are just sucking ass to get the best position in the corporation of the after world. If it is God up there, he has a monopoly on our souls and he isn’t an easy thing to lick ass with, especially when it is on her terms. It feels like I have been here in this state of mind and on this long road for such a long time. I know that whatever happens from now on in, I am just waiting to wait, and I have to really lose myself here in this life, because the only way to avoid the deathly endlessness of torturous waiting is to pick up a magazine or watch the tube. My magazine will have articles on the life of a person who was warmed on the Australian road, in the company of everyone that I meet and the one person on the Earth that commanded my full attention, and will do so until the day that I am chosen to wait, or the day that the infinite dreamless sleep makes waiting a black void. Who gives a fucking fuck.

June 5th
1201

Quick night, the defender and Eric Nematoid

We had finally reached the intersection of the two Highways, were our actual, break had been intended. The day was not half over and already I had lost myself in the flow, I want to be able to slow this experience all down, like I used to. Big Willy and Liana spoke in closed company, checking on Big Bertha for bullet holes and other problems, moving in large circles. They spoke softly and at length while Willy checked the tyre pressure, changed the motor oil. The two of them seemed to have quite a different dynamic now, unlike when I had first spotted them yesterday in the roadside café. They looked like less like a whore and her employer and more like animals, herbivores, perhaps a giraffe and an elephant brought together in the search of food. They disappeared from site for a moment. The whole truck shook as the back of the container section was opened, the door swinging heavily upon their hinges. Big Willy came back into sight, and collected Liana’s scooter. It felt as though he threw it rather than placed it, as the sound of crunching metal could be heard followed by the reverberation of the whole semi. Big Willy and our new charge got into Bertha and once again we were off.
This was not the break I had been hoping for. Much of the day had become muddled. I am glad of a journal for my thoughts. The truck roared into existence, I sat squeezed between Eric and Liana. Eric seemed ingratiated by my closeness and I was filled again with the same adrenalin charged sexuality that had been peaked in the motel last night. Our fluids connected us this time, the moist layer of sweat between us, I put my arm around his shoulder, for comforts sake bouncing my biceps around his neck which made him quietly shake with laughter or enjoyment. I felt him move his hand towards my crotch, using his bag in our tight quarters to cover his hand, which frankly I was glad of. Just as his fingers were about to reach my crotch, and this fantasy was fast moving into reality, Big Bertha seemed to lose power. The accessories flickered, the power steering and brakes failed, and we finally rolled to a stop in the middle of the road.
The very blue of the day sky clung on unwaveringly to the canvas of the universe behind it for a moment. The night however, which was not welcome or particularly timely, decided that determination was not nearly enough. It broke quickly in the sky. Grey clouds replaced blue and took with it the very light of the sun. It felt as though a semen filled condom burst onto us all, my nostrils filled with the smell of ammonia. I was warm and comfortable. The cacophony of sounds and noises inherent in all of life’s little interchanges and processes ceased. From the numbing silence came a brisk tap on the passenger side door. I turned to see Big Willy’s silhouette quietly motioning me to exit the truck. His gesticulations suggested that I was to do so as quietly as possible and that everything at the moment relied on my not failing that simple task. I clutched the handle of the door, as slid from the seat onto the road, I turned towards the door and pushed it closed with the weight of my body, using my shoulders in the hope that I could muffle the sound. As I leant upon the door the Semitrailer awakened. Eric must have become spooked, as Bertha was off in a flash, leaving me on the floor in her wake, I had no idea he could drive a truck. Myself, Big W and Mrs Somebody stood there in the pitch of this quick night. All I could do was poke around in the darkness and hope that this eclipse would pass quickly as I was fast becoming irrational.
I felt a strong hand take

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