My place. Sunday, 11.20am
I am generally a man of peace.
Like a mountain in a storm, I am an immovable monument to unflappability. Like a smiling Buddha, my belly normally wobbles with phlegmatic drollery, not trembles with rage.
Generally. Most of the time.
But here and now, I am no meditative mountain. I’m a volcano about to blow my top. I am Krakatoa spitting furious fire-chips and ready to let out the biggest bloody sound the world has ever heard. A boom of anguish and vexation.
My war cry will circle the globe seven times, causing birds to take to the sky, crocodiles to the water, and drunks to the bottle. Shops will be closed (despite the post-Xmas sales), churches filled (despite everything), and internet jammed. Politicians will look appropriately grave and have their photos taken with a hard hat on. The army will invade Iraq. (I don’t know why. It’s just what you do.)
At this moment, I’m no chuckling Buddha steeped in calm compassion. I’m a deadly serious Nemesis shaking with revenge. (Okay, Nemesis, the Greek god of revenge, was female, and ropable though I be, I’m still a man. I know that. But such is my rage, metaphors are breaching the barriers of gender restriction, turning me into a seething shemale god S of wrath. Yes, this is getting weird, but that’s anger for you…)
Why this fury?
Why has this mild-mannered writer turned into a hateful horseman of the apocalypse?
I’ll tell you why in one word – bush turkey. (Alright. Two words.)
Bush bloody turkey. (Three.)
Scourge of the gardener. Hen of Hades. Wrecker of equanimity in even the most tranquil of men.
For weeks I have been creating a little garden in a pot on the verandah of my shack. A basil, some dill, some parsley – even tumeric – was growing very nicely there.
I also had a rare native plant (tastes like cooked banana) given to me by a wise old hippie who had blessed it daily with holy water and mulched it with a dreadlock that fell from his head in 2012. He said this plant cured cancer, baldness and erectile dysfunction. (Not that I have a hair problem…)
Being a busy person, I don’t have time for farming, but I do love to grow a garden, however small. It keeps me grounded in a spinning world.
And you would think a garden on the verandah would be safe from marauding animals, wouldn’t you?
Ten minutes ago I arrived home with a freshly harvested broccoli from a friend. I was led up the garden path by pleasant thoughts of a home-cooked broccoli lunch: basil, dill, parsley and tumeric, with maybe some Billie Holiday – a perfect Sunday.
But here, at the top of the stairs, on the verandah, a scene of total destruction awaited me. The garden is ripped apart, gutted. Its drying innards lie spread across the path like bodies on a hairy battlefield. It is Mordor. Metnal. Metgasco.
Behind me, a scratch, a rustle – bush bloody turkey!
Our eyes meet, mine contemplating murder; his contemplating dessert.
In a world where a government will let a reef die so a deal can be done; let a child suffer so an election can be won, it’s impossible not to get angry. All that anger, usually locked away deep inside me, is unleashed and directed at an ugly avian head which looks like the creature that burst from Kane’s chest in Alien.
With a yell embodying universal rage and frustration, I chuck the broccoli hard at the bush bloody turkey.
The turkey, so suited to the modern world, wanders over to the broccoli and pecks at it.