Monday, September 03, 2007

At The End of the Line.

I stopped writing for awhile as I was looking my mortality in it's phantasmal face, convinced I'm at the end of THE LINE. I've been in a delirium, painting my last piece of visionary madness before kissing planet Earth goodbye. My injured leg has been poisoning my whole system, the reason for my boils and heart attack, I thought I was dying and had nothing more to write about, and who gives a shit, civilization is teetering on the edge of chaos, and in my punk nastiness I think, good riddance! But then I tackled the source of my problems, the shoddy pin the mad Indian surgeon put in my leg 4 years ago, it's going to be ripped out, and maybe, just maybe, I'll get another 20 years of swashbuckling adventure, I wouldn't mind living till 77, after all, it is an amazing existence, this Universe so awesome.

So I stumble on with my life, no direction home, no great purpose, except for knowledge and ecstatic experience, I'm thankful I've still got a brain and the heart to remain amongst flawed humanity. The Piccolo Cafe also staggers along. Vitto is numb with fatigue and grief, his sister Maria died last month, there was a full Catholic Requiem Mass at a church down Roslyn Street, it was like a Vittorio De Sica neo-reallist movie, with absurd drama and heartbreaking sorrow. It's a weird church, lots of bums and druggies sleeping on the portico and being fed 3 meals in the basement, a true sanctuary and what Christian charity should be all about, but still amazing to have to run the gauntlet of crashed out zombies to get thru the front doors.

The coffin was carried in by a gang of bikers, The "Life and Death" club, her son Joe was a member even tho it seems he doesn't ride a bike, they all wore their colorful biker leathers and were suitably solemn. A large crowd of King's Cross locals turned up, freaks and straights made to ogle each other across the klunky church. Maria had been a notorious underground matriarch running cafes in the Cross/Darlinghurst area for 50 years and people either loved her or feared her. I loved her, she was a real character, grumpy but dead honest, no bullshit. She hated bludgers and druggies and made no bones about it. I never let her get to me, I've always been able to handle old curmudgeons with aplomb having lived and worked with gerries all my life, and me being the most curmudgeonly of all.

In the middle of the tirade of nonsensical prayers there was a commotion on the other side of the coffin, I glimpsed a weird tableau of a black-clad family trying to drag back into her seat one little old lady. An old Italian widow in black was trying to stand up to say her piece, the sister of Maria's divorced husband. After much struggle she threw her family off and grizzled loudly her remorse, "Maria was a bitch but we loved her!" A bit embarrassing but it wouldn't have been a real Italian funereal without such drama. Thankfully Tina, the daughter-in-law got up and gave an inspiring, loving eulogy that dissipated any reservations on the life of the hard task-mistress that was Maria.

The priest, a milksop Auzzie, was named Father Syn (of course) and he thought he'd proselytize to a room full of freaks, Christ this, Christ that, Christ dying for our sins bullshit, the service went on and on forever, stand up, sit down, stand up again, my bung leg ached thru-out, but none of us deviants was up for conversion, even Vitto and family refusing to partake of the sacrament, we're all lapsed in one way or another. All the while Peter played violin up in the choir with 2 other gay guys on organ and chorals, it was so sweet I couldn't help but cry, especially at Ave Maria, funerals always make me cry, they're so final, the soul gone away for good, only the memories left to assuage the heart.

Afterwards I moaned to Peter that these things come in threes, first Auntie Jack died, then Maria, perhaps I'd be next, my leg giving me so much grief. My misgivings were pooh-poohed but Maria had a young friend, Eric, almost an acolyte, one of the few souls who saw her great worth and gave her much energy. Only a few weeks later he had a massive heart attack, at 36 years old, and died, almost as if he'd gone to join her, to keep her company in the happy hunting grounds in the sky. Life/death is such a great mystery, I reiterate, I'm in constant awe of IT.

Vitto has forbidden me to write about the funereal, being too close to the bone for him, he thinks I put shit on him and the cafe with my Blogging, I assure him I'm just painting an impression of Piccolo life, fairly supportive and simply my attempt at creative writing, nobody reads it and, anyway, how to gag a compulsive poet, neither the blood-stained Nazis in Berlin nor the redneck Auzzies in Canberra have succeeded.

Back at Northcott Housing Estate life continues it's dysfunctional roller-coaster ride. The fire alarms clanged mercilessly again last Saturday night, only this time there really was a fire, a fuckwit nearby set his apartment alight cooking drugs in a bent table-spoon no doubt, smoke poured like a tsunami out of his shattered windows and filled the entire complex with a thick fog of noxious fumes, with droogs hollering about the end of the world and firemen stomping in and out hosing down anything that moved, I loved the drama but only as long as I can watch it from inside a protective space-suit, my intact skin, as if I'm exploring an alien planet.

Cursula next door has been up to her sleazy, moronic tricks, bringing back mugs to her flat from the all night pubs down the street with promises of erotic delight, then wheedling money out of them so she can score drugs and return to oblivion, her preferred state. I heard the argument thru my thin lounge-room wall, some dickhead guy furious that he had been conned, spitting on her after he fucked her, throwing 50 bucks at her then demanding she suck his cock when she asked for more money. She whined and pleaded, she had expected he'd give her $200, he laughed in contempt and threw another 5 bucks in her face and charged out the door, kicking the pot-plants over, she staggered after him and I heard her pleading for more money out on the pavement and with a demonic snarl he threw 5 cents in her face and spat on her again. Nogod, what a pathetic existence for some, how can getting drug-fucked be worth such dehumanizing behavior? Oh humanity, where for art thou?

(Her story is my story, everyone with no money, no love and no hope do desperate things, I feel sorry for the poor cow but I dare not be nice to her as she'll be knocking on my door 24/7 wanting to borrow something or get endless counseling, and I don't have that much compassion.)

Maybe I'll carry on with the writing, I'm spurred on by the likes of Bukowski and Genet, only I'm kidding myself with delusions of grandeur again, but it's fun, much like masturbation, even if purely for my own enjoyment, like throwing thought-waves out into cyber-space begging for rescue, making footprints in the Akashic records, I EXISTED, IT sure had it's moments, there could even be a few more stations to go here at the end of the line.

If you enjoyed this story please go to the WEB address above and consider buying my book of tales about growing up anarcho-queer, rock and roll punter and mystic adventurer in Australia and India of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.