Byron Bay. Tuesday, 1.45pm Byron Bay is a beautiful place despite the pillaging by modern humans. You can still experience that beauty if you escape the tinnitus and tinsel of town and get to the beach.
I love Lismore, but... But... But... The other day, I wanted to abandon Lismore forever and move to Brisbane, or Phnom Penh, or Kempsey. (Yes, Kempsey.) Why?
Sometimes, you see something that just makes you stop in your tracks. One night, taking a leak, I saw a meteor streak with a brilliant daytime incandescence above my shack, break into three, and ditch into Jiggi Valley. I gasped and watered my foot.
Northern Drains. The future, 7.40pm ‘Hey Great-Grandpa, show us that hand-typing thing you can do,’ says Great-Granddaughter #1. ‘Yeah, yeah!’ yells Great-Grandson #2, his spectacles clearing. ‘Show us that... that...’
S Sorrensen Nimbin. Saturday, 5.40pm To see the sun come shining through, To smell the beans freshly brewed, Beats from a passing Subaru, This is the best a life can do. Leaning back, in my chair, The prodigal sun dries... Read More →
‘Whoa! Look at that!’ says a big bloke with a big red beard, pointing across the road as he leaves the pub. His excitement is so great he stumbles over the step onto the footpath, losing a thong. ‘Must have a been a bumper crop...’
My place. Thursday, 2pm. Okay, people; a thought experiment: If the Australian government were a person, would you invite that person into your home?
Oh dear. A traffic jam. The Jeep in front of me – an all-terrain vehicle capable of impressive speed – is crawling along so slowly I'm expecting its reversing lights to come on at any moment. Must be frustrating.
Friendships are important. They must be, I reckon – there are so many Facebook memes about them: Good friends are like stars. You don't always see them, but you know they are always there.
‘Welcome everything that comes up. Welcome everything you feel. Invite all...' Her voice flies off with a crow, calling faintly from afar, as my body relaxes on a deck overlooking my home valley.
Maybe I should be excited. Many of my friends are. ‘The votes are in the mail,’ one of those friends says as we pass by an Aboriginal bloke sitting under a tree, painting on stretched canvas.
Every six months, I check my battery. No, I don’t have a pacemaker, and I’m not talking about phone or car battery. I’m checking my house battery.
Surfers Paradise. Saturday, 5pm. From 77 floors up, you get some perspective on the world. I’m on the top floor of the highest building in the southern hemisphere, the Q1. (Named by a robot.)
Larnook. Monday, 4pm I look to the sky. I'm waiting for something. But there's only the sun. It's winter and there is, finally, a chill to the air, but the sun is a yellow orb of dessication laying waste to the land. I don't look at it. Only fools and presidents look at the sun.
Rocky Creek Dam. Tuesday, 12.15pm Sometimes, you find beauty just when you need it. A salve to the soul. I'm walking along the Rocky Creek Dam wall. It's a beautiful summers day – except it's winter. I'm sweating. This makes me a little uneasy. Call me old fashioned, but I like cold winters and hot summers. That seems natural, right?
My place. Tuesday, 8.55am I’m ready. The time has come. My jaw is set. My loins are girt. The empire is falling before our eyes. Headed by a lunatic (no distinctive moustache but a conceit of fake hair) the cultural driver of our times is simultaneously constipated with inaction and shitting in its own nest.
Mount Jerusalem. Thursday, 11.45am I like to drive. It soothes me. I get worried about stuff. Some people like to swim laps for relaxation. Some like to listen to music. Some like to knit scarves. Some like to drink red wine. Some like to mow the lawn. I like doing all those too (except the laps, and the knitting, and the mowing...) but for me the best anti-anxiety therapy is motorised wheels.
Teven. Tuesday, 12.10pm. The motorbike purrs and drops into a corner. It loves it. So do I. I'm riding to Ballina. To see a psychologist. (Don't ask.)
I remember when the Big Prawn was in an awful state. Feelers broken, shell peeling. Pale and graffitied, the poor prawn didn’t even have a tail. Those were bad days for Ballina. The Big Prawn is the symbol of Ballina, even more than the mobility scooter.
It's in my nature to say hello to people. I say 'g'day' to passers-by in the street who catch my eye; to cashiers at the servo who ask me if I'd like a drink with that.
I know a secret cave. Only a couple of other people know it. We’re friends. Friends of the Cave. A long time ago we swore an oath of secrecy, ritually cutting our palms with the Sacred Cave Knife, mixing our blood, like stoned Sioux, to seal the vow.
‘What’s this?’ I ask, extracting a folder from a cardboard box full of folders. ‘Oh, I don’t know. Probably some of your father’s business stuff,’ my mother says, pulling out another folder.
Dear Malcolm, You and your band of merry members have recently taken to pushing the ‘Australian values’ line. And using the word ‘patriot’ a lot. Jeez, it’s all a bit American, isn’t it, Mal? Should we put our hands on our hearts when we sing the national anthem?
Children mustn’t obey their elders anymore. They mustn’t follow in their footsteps. They mustn’t listen to the nonsense that spills from old mouths like sewage from a pipe. The young must break from the tradition of honouring their elders.
‘Find the diamonds in the shit,’ the driver says to me. We jump the speed bump as we exit the university. The Subaru doesn’t really ‘jump’ the bump – it doesn’t get air – but the car does rise up on its toes before slumping back heavily onto its hydraulic heels, like a sumo wrestler.