Sunday, April 27, 2008

Waste is God in the Wastelands.

I awoke in a cold-sweat from a nightmare that my poor, much put upon soul lay trapped inside a broken, catatonic body frozen inside a bunker in an inner-city ghetto of the early 21st century. For all the wealth of that civilisation it seemed a limited, tortured life, not able to realise anywhere near it's true potential, as if weighed down by chains or crippled by a deformity. What was that fuckwit's problem? I felt great relief to be alive in the year 2107 where the world, for all it's devastation, was boundless and open for my exploration, and perhaps there was even a kingdom for me to win.

My darling dog, Butch, lay snuggled beside me, his two heads snorting and grunting at the smell of alien beasties in the vicinity while I revelled at the garish beauty of this desolate world. Staring up into the heavens above I gloried in the countless sparkling stars, they took my breath away with their mystery, some flying fast like fire-flies often directly overhead and I wishfully thought of them as guardian angels guiding my progress. It was when I could relax by my campfire that I accessed my hard-won augmentation, the chip embedded within my brain containing a whole library of knowledge that flashed up at will on the white-light screen of my mind's eye. It deciphered any and every symbol for me and so I learnt the history of humanity from it's origins in the primeval mud, the sciences and comparative philosophies were mine to consider and imbibe, I looked at the world with a lucid intelligence, my eyes sharp, my joy keen, for this wasted environment now had the potential to be my playground and not my tomb.

The red gold flames of dawn soon lit the horizon and Butch leapt up as a herd of giant kangaroos approached, chewing upon anything that looked like fodder. He barked and snapped at their heels while they tried to kick and punch in pugilistic bad temper. I swept up my camping gear and thrust it into my backpack as the huge creatures stomped about nearby, with Butch leaping in and out of their mammoth legs and barking vociferously. These were dangerous animals when riled, one could be flattened to mush under their hopping stampede, and I had to thrust my spear into several biting snouts that loomed at me from the twilight shadows to keep them at a distance. We gradually backed away from the huge kangaroos' battle-dance and jogged off thru the tumble-down ruins and great mounds of garbage over which they could not climb to pursue us.

After some miles of running I found a shelter where I could take rest and refreshment and as I swigged water from my canteen I glanced at the devices twinkling and beeping on the end of the gold cables that flowed from the back of my head and swept over my shoulder like a long, metallic pony-tail. This unasked for gift from the hideous Rat society I now considered to be a tremendous boon for not only was my intelligence increased and senses enhanced but several of the gadgets were measuring devices that from a distance warned of approaching radio-active hotspots, noxious gases and bio-hazard debris, and with Butch's ability to sniff out polluted water and poisoned foodstuffs, we were thus able to keep danger, disease and disaster at bay, making our way thru the mire of this endless human holocaust safely, my awareness of the Universe so complete I felt a veritable god striding thru his domain.

Butch sniffed at the hot winds and barked excitedly, disappearing into the desolate muck with me chasing after, curious as to what he was after. We came to a large clearing in the heaps of debris at the centre of which was a pool of water fed by that miracle of miracles, a fresh-water spring. The water of the pool itself was fouled by a brown stain for sitting on it's edge and scrubbing himself clean of much built-up grime was an apparition that shone luminously in the sunshine, a beautiful blond boy, as gorgeous as an angel from the magazines of the old-times that I had poured over for hours when hiding from my disapproving Tribe. I could not help but gaze spellbound upon his nakedness and did not see one blemish or deformity marring his physical perfection as he scoured his golden skin, humming a tune and innocent of my spying.

Butch was avidly lapping at the water that bubbled from a rocky crevice above the pool proving it to be untainted and so I strode over to the small waterfall to quench my thirst and fill my canteen while the blond boy fell back in surprise and grabbed up a short spear lying nearby to hold it threateningly towards my heart. He shouted in a garbled language demanding me to leave, my chipped brain deciphered the gobbledy-gook and I replied in soothing tones, laughing and assuring him I was no danger but merely needed to refresh myself and, besides, there was no way he could fight off me and my two-headed dog, so he'd better trust me. He smiled on understanding my entreaties, perhaps thinking I was some distant cousin and, laying aside his weapon, he continued to bathe. He rinsed globs of muck from his blonde dreadlocks, watching my every movement as I quickly disrobed from my rags and entered the cool water, splashing the scum away and blissfully sloshing off the filth that had built up all over my body from a lifetime of scrabbling in the mire.

I noticed his eyes widen in interest as he took in the perfection of my own physique, my bulging muscles, my skin free of lumps and warts, my limbs with all the correct digits, my healthy genitalia, and I saw him lick his lips in what I hoped was desire, for perfect physical specimens of the human animal were few and far between in this world of devastation and mutation, and I desperately needed company. I'd never had actual sex with anyone, just a bit of playing around, and my guts fluttered mysteriously and my mind clouded over with confusion. Again he smiled, gloriously, as if in invitation and I couldn't help but flop beside him and interrogate him as to the wonder of his existence.

He told me of his loving Tribe that lived a day's walk from the spring in a valley hidden by the unsurmountable ruins of several collapsed skyscrapers and of the advanced culture and profound philosophy by which they abided. At times, while he babbled on, he touched me to stress a point and it felt like a caress, my flesh flushed hot, my penis grew erect and he smiled seductively when he noticed it. But when I tried to caress him in turn he brushed aside my hand and said it would not be possible to consummate our friendship in this sexy way unless I was willing to undergo a rite of inclusion that his Tribe insisted upon.

It was no big deal he assured me, nothing dangerous like cannibalism or mutilation, just a song and dance affair in the church of their Godhead that would be over before I noticed and then we could fondle each other to our heart's content. Oh fucking Hell! There were too many dammed gods in these Wastelands, around every mildewed corner another one sprang up, as if the dregs of humanity that eked out their existence amidst all the destruction needed some crutch to lean on, some big daddy in the sky to look after them, some mumbo-jumbo to believe in in the face of the evident meaninglessness that screamed from every dust-mote of civilisation's wreckage. It seemed obvious to me that it was hysteria and herd mentality that really ruled, not spirituality, what the elders preached was good enough for the meek and dumb for it was too much effort to actually think out rationally the true underpinnings of this hard existence.

But he was mighty cute, my guts were uncontrollably aroused, I was so lonely and his promised friendship seemed so sweet, I felt to go along with his entreaties. With my augmentations I was smart enough to outwit his Tribe if they turned out to be deleterious to my wellbeing, and I had weapons to fight my way to freedom, none of which I'd need he laughingly promised me, taking me by the hand and leading me thru the mounds of dust and refuse. He cajoled me unceasingly in a soft, sing-song voice about how his Tribe was highly spiritual, his God all powerful and benign, I'd see it in a flash and I'd never want to leave their fabulous, one true Cult. Butch whined and grizzled as he trotted in our wake, sniffing at Blondies flesh and shaking his head in repulsion, and I should have taken this as a warning, but I was infatuated and being led by my dick, my computer-chipped reasoning had crashed into white-noise by my fevered desires. So on we trod, my tongue lolling as I gazed upon his luscious form.

Eventually we came to a mountain of rusted girders and huge splinters of razor-glass that seemed impossible to by-pass but Angel blithely approached a heap of molten slag and revealed a cleverly disguised doorway thru which we slunk. We squeezed thru a series of maze-like passageways to finally break out into sunshine high up on a crumbling concrete edifice with a view down into a valley hidden within the mountainous ruins and I took in a sight that stunned me in it's outlandishness. All around me shards of collapsed buildings stuck up like the jagged teeth of a dead monster and in the centre of it's open maws stood a cathedral of brown clay with one colossal spire stabbing up at the heavens. I could see human forms scurrying to and fro pushing wheelbarrows full of clay from mudheaps scattered about at the edge of what once must have been a city plaza, and returning with stacks of sunbaked bricks which others added to the cathedral structure, building extensions onto it or repairing gashes that harsh weather had rent in it's fabric.

Angel gaily skipped down a stairway built into the debris and I tentatively followed, an awful stench wafting up to me from the scene below and growing more nasty the closer we got, and Butch sneezing and snorting, shaking his two heads in irritation and occassionally stopping to let out a woeful howl. We traipsed onto the plaza and the denizens of this weird society hurried past with their burdens of clay, mumbling a greeting of respect to Angel but steadfastly avoiding my eyes, keeping their gaze fixed obsessively on the cathedral. They were covered from head to foot in the brown clay as if it were the fashion in their world and they took great pride in smearing it on every possible surface of their being. A foul stink emanated from them as they busily rushed about clutching the clay bricks preciously like religious relics and I felt horror and fear creeping up my spine as Angel led me forward.

A bell suddenly pealed sonorously from the church spire and Angel sang out joyfully how our arrival had been noticed and the congregation was rejoicing at his new recruit, a grand addition to their dwindling numbers. He led me thru the entrance of the enormous sacred edifice, all of which I noted was built from the ubiquitous clay bricks, which Butch refused to enter, remaining steadfastly outside and howling inconsolably. And in the dark interior I glimpsed a crowd of misshapen human forms genuflecting towards the imposing altar at the back of the cathedral and as one they all turned to watch my approach, grinning vacant, toothless smiles of welcome from the layers of brown muck that covered them all over. And as their malodorous stench reached me I choked and almost fainted from its noxious fumes.

Angel turned to me and disclaimed unctuously, "Welcome to the Church of Shittism, we are the Shittists!" The congregation hullaballooed as one and made obeisance to Angel who in turn bowed to them and as he strode majestically down to the altar-piece each member slapped their hands upon him, leaving behind a print of brown goop so that by the time he climbed up onto the dais he was covered in the filth. I realized with horror that he must be the High-priest of this odious religion and as I retched he prostrated himself to what must have been their central icon, a huge mound of filth shaped somewhat like a man with outstretched arms, and in front of it he took a massive dump, then scooped up the filth and held it high, the sludge dripping thru his fingers. The congregation hushed and I screamed, "You've got to be shitting me!"

"Exactly!" he beamed in fervid religiosity, "Shit is God and God is Shit! From Shit all the world is born and to Shit it all will return! That is the one true law of the Universe!" "Yeay, yeay, yeay!" intoned the mob of dirty fanatics. I looked about me in revulsion and my enhanced vision took in the structure of the "church", what appeared to be statues of saints on pedestals lining the walls in niches, each with a plastic photo embedded in it's base of some early 21st century celebrity, a politician, entertainer or sports-star. The icon above was molded from brown crap in an attempt at resembling the so-called star, and I gaped in shock as I saw celebrants approach their favorite saint, release their bowels then smear the muck upon the statue, celebrity worship taken to a mad extreme. I watched disgusted as Angel plastered the massive, lumpy godhead behind him with hand-fulls of his own filth, all the while chanting, "No matter how strong, how big, how robust, all will turn to Shit. Every thing alive produces Shit, the very earth we live upon is worm Shit, even the great edifices of history decay, rot, crumble! All turns to Shit in the end. God is Shit!"

"Stop!" I screamed, "this is an abomination! You have lost your humanity in the face of all this destruction, the end of history has driven you all mad! There is no god and if there was, it would be more like the living awesome Universe of which we are a conscious part!" The crowd booed and cursed as Angel raised his arms in smug benevolence and intoned as if in prayer, "How can you deny the omni-presense of Shit? Do you not produce it all day long from the sanctity of your own body? Does not everything living produce Shit as tho it were the very purpose of life? It is so obvious, Shit is the creator and the destroyer, and the very substance of the world, God is Shit and you must bow down to It!" The maddened mob screeched and hunched over in obeisance, then started throwing the brown filth at the altar, at each other and at me.

I vomited copiously and ducked the rain of loathsome crap while mucky hands reached out to drag me forward as Angel sang, "Come and receive the the host, the body of our God!" He produced from his butt a horrid turd and held it out to me, nodding wisely and indicating I should come on down and recieve it like it was some holy benediction. Again I vomited and backed slowly out of the Church, grubby hands clawing at me and shit flying everywhere.

Then I ran for the door and leaped into the clean sunshine, sprinting back towards the path that climbed up into the mountainous ruins. Butch yelped with joy and, as the crazed religionists chased after me, he snapped at them with his two vicious jaws, keeping them at a distance so I could make good my escape. I looked back to see Angel appear in the Cathedral's entrance and call out plaintively, "Come back TeeZee, we need you! Disease is decimating my flock, the good god Shit is claiming his own and turning us to Shit, we need your healthy genome to imrove our stock so we can continue our sacred religious duties." "You morons!" I shouted in return, "you are dying by your own disgusting filthy practices. You deny science, worship ignorance and wonder why your world falls apart! You can rot in the Hell of your own making!"

With this curse still echoing behind me in the plaza I clambered up the crumbling concrete stairs and rushed off thru the labyrinth passageways, Butch leading the way, sniffing out the path of our return and soon we broke out into the known world of post-apocalyptic destruction and desolation. Any kind of freakishness would be preferable to that abomination and I ran with all my might to put the greatest distance between us.

And thus distracted I did not see the trap lying in my path, I trod upon a hidden latch and a cage sprang up to enclose me. A dart shot into my arm and, growing delirious, I glimpsed a tall, dark form come stand over me, blocking the sunlight. It looked to be part-machine, part-human, all metal carapace and shining diode eyes, gizmos whirring and blinking on every joint and surface with only slices of true flesh peeping from slits in the armoring. As I sank into unconsciousness I thought, "I'd rather be a hard, machine-like cyborg than a shitty, god-fearing religionist!"

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.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Gods of the Wastelands.

I sure am happy now I've left the Home Compound to seek out my destiny here in the wilds of the Wastelands. I don't have to answer to any deadhead creep overlord, live up to any bullshit ideal of the perfect man or obey nonsensical superstitious mumbo-jumbo, I am footloose and fancy-free, responsible only to myself. And my dog Butch of course, genetically modified tho he is, he's great company, keeps me warm on the freezing nights and with his two heads is able to keep watch in all directions, and with all those razor teeth he can terrorise any mob of bloodlust marauders that might attack me.

I camp out under the stars at will, nobody to harass me about slacking off, those monsters called Family that I've left behind can all go fuck each other and devour their mutant offspring in the dirt, I'm so glad to be shat of them, they only wanted me for their own survival, the mucky-muckers, to feast upon me, fattening me up as if they loved me, it still breaks my heart to think about it, their false love. I hate them and their horrific religion that has an image of Death as their main focus, I'm so glad to be free of their filthy, dumb lives.

My path diverges and leads me far, far away from them, with so much to discover over the horizon and so much to learn about my place in this destroyed world. I've been roaming for a month now and have avoided other humans, mutant or otherwise, going in the other direction when I see camp-fire smoke or come upon a well-trod path, and the only life I've seen have been the giant kangaroos gnawing on the tough vegetation growing from the refuse.

The mounds of garbage and debris of a vast city in collapse are heaped in a labyrnth as far as the eye can see and I have to jog in and out of grotesque constructs of cancerous concrete and rusted steel to find my way thru the maze, but I hum my song of freedom as I run, deleriously happy to be my own man, while Butch trots ahead sniffing out danger or any hidden caches of sustenance.

When I scurried over a pile of plastic shards I found a giant, mouldy plastic head shaped like the mythical hamburger sticking out of the rubble with a grim smile on it's time-ravaged face. I imagined it was some dead alien god that once promised endless blissful consumption but now only communicated disappointment. Butch was snuffling and digging at it's grimacing mouth and looking back at me as if to say, "something smells good down below." I kicked in one of it's large plastic teeth and thrust my head into the dark interior. Yep, there was a tunnel of sorts leading down thru the debris and knocking more teeth out I pushed my way in, Butch barking and leaping about with excitement by my side.

We scrabbled down thru fallen masonry and rotten advertising boards, pushing ruined furnishings out of our way and kicking open delapidated doors till finally we found what once must have been a temple of display for the marvellous and varied goods the fallen civilization seemed to adore beyond all else. There were many lumps of unrecognisable, decayed crap stacked in cracked glass boxes as if they were sacred religious reliquaries but I found one glass box still hermetically sealed in which marvellous objects glittered. Smashing it open I lifted out a small metal device and toyed with it, flicking a wheel that created sparks, and suddenly a flame leapt from a tiny nozel. A fire-maker, yes! How wondrous and just the tool I needed as it was mighty tedious to scratch away with flint and tinder. I scooped several of them into my belt-pouch, they could be life-savers in turbulent times ahead.

Much of the decayed goods lay littered about amidst heaps of splintered glass as if all had been trampled in a mass panic, there were even human bones and skulls lying entangled with the gaily coloured plastic and shiny metal detritus, and we trod carefully about, turning over the garbage and smashing the remaining glass cases, clutching at curious objects but discarding most as unknown or useless.

I found a few bent cans of what hopefully was still eadible foodstuff and I sat on a ruined, manky couch to pry one open with my many-tooled knife and just as I was managing to suck out some of it's rancid juices I noticed Butch had stopped snorting about and was staring into a dark corner, both heads stiff and snarling. In the gloom I could just make out the glinting beady eyes of one of those noxious smart Rats that were the bane of my tribe, the device it wore plugged into it's brain blinking hypnotically. It had been observing our every move with intelligent curiosity and, realising we'd spotted it, gave an enigmatic smile and turned tail, disappearing down a dark passage torn into the garbage pile behind it. Canned crap was OK on those days of starving desperation but there's nothing like fresh meat to warm a cold heart, me and Butch sure loved a clever hunt, so we rushed off after it, down, down, down the pitch black tunnel hot on it's ratty tail.

I quickly pulled a head-lamp from my rucksack and lit the candle within with my new fire-maker. A reflector cast a shaky beam of light ahead and thus we were able to push out way thru the crapulous junk, clamber over obstacles and occasionally get a view of the Rat's tail slithering into darkness, reassuring us our quarry was not lost. We came to a clearing deep within the garbage heap, a cave dug out and filled with cans of food in many shapes and sizes which glittered alluringly in my candle-light. I momentarily forgot our prey as the pile of various consumables promised a luscious feast, enough for many weeks, and so I lay my spear aside and grabbed up the goods, avidly reading the pictograms labelled on each while shoving them in my rucksack and I gave a shout of jubilation for there was meat and soup and fruit and fish, many things I'd only heard of in hushed tones of awe and desire whispered by the Soothsayers around the campfire.

Butch had continued chasing the Rat and was out of sight when suddenly a net dropped from the overhanging debris and pinioned me to the ground. As I threshed about, and got more entangled with every attempt to break free, a gang of Rats crept out of the litter pile and stood about me twittering, their whiskers fluttering as they sniffed my presence, drool dripping from their smiling maws. A tall male steped forward, dirty lab-coat denoting his rank as Chief, the machine plugged into it's brain twinkling with lights that cascaded in patterns the closer it peered at me. In a squeaking language I could not decipher it twittered to it's fellows and four of the creatures pounced and tied me firmly within the net till I could hardly move. They then inserted a pole thru the ropes, hefted me up onto their shoulders and carried me off down a tunnel towards the sound of thrumming engines and piping whistles that issued from caverns somewhere far below.

My headlamp had been knocked aside and in the guttering candle flame I glimpsed Butch jump from the dark in murderous fury, managing to rip out a few throats in the melee. But he was outnumbered and banged on both his heads with stout clubs by several Rats till he collapsed in a heap and left for dead in the shadows while I was carried off to meet my fate, probably on the menu yet again, for all carnivores, intelligent and moronic, lusted after sweet human flesh in this world at the end of history.

I was heaved thru an endless maze of ruins and trash, down, down, down, till I lost all sense of direction and the fearsome noise of metallic clanking and machine murmuring drowned out all other sounds. Then we broke into architecture that spoke of order and purpose, weird glowing tubes in the ceiling lighting every corner, and I was dragged along corridors of gleaming white tiles with walls of shiny metal cabinets, thru room after room full of benches and shelves littered with glass beakers and jars, many of which contained monstrous body parts or horrid alien creatures floating in their own juices. Stacked everwhere were elaborate spinning, churning contraptions that spewed forth smaller devices and I was amazed to realise they were machines that made machines.

Finally I was carried into a vast auditorium with gyrating paraphenalia covering the side-walls where multi-coloured diodes blinked rythmically and readout windows spun numbers hynotically. A huge crowd of Rats gathered in the centre all facing an altar at the far wall and they twittered and crouched in genuflection to some obscene godhead. As one the throng turned to witness my arrival and the squeaking invocations rose in pitch till even the cranking, clunking machines seemed just the background beat to a hellish choir of ullullating demons. I was manhandled up to a podium whereon stood a trully huge Rat, his lab-coat pristine white and head-dress more elaborate than others in the worshipful crowd, twinkling and flashing with a myriad of tiny lights, spinning wheels and coloured wires, all as gorgeous as the crown of an ancient priest-king.

It raised it's arms authorititively and the mob fell instantly silent, then it turned to bow down to a mummified corpse of a wizened Rat seated in meditation in an intricately carved stone coffin placed high on the altar, it's lab-coat in filthy rags but archaic head-dress twinkling still. On either side of the sarcophagus illuminated boxes flashed images that mesmerised me and as I sunk into their fascination I gradually pieced together the story they told while the congregation of Rats behind me again started up with a religious wailing, the head-priest beside me leading the litany in a piercing, squeaky sing-song.

It seems that long ago their great ancestor, the mummy on the altar, had passed some threshold of creative intelligence due to implanted computer chips and genetic modification by experimenting human scientists and, while the holocaust raged above, for generations they had kept the knowledge alive, passing on the techniques as a religion and as a lifestyle to his most promising offspring. I watched flashing images of archaic rats transmogrify from down on all fours to standing on hind-legs like kangaroos while small fleshy buds on clawed hands grew into functioning opposable thumbs that allowed tools to be picked up and weilded while intelligence sparked in beady black eyes.

Natural selection had armoured them with the ability to survive the human cataclysm raging above, they continued with a science and civilization all their own, from all the buried stores seeking out foodstuffs, water and fuel with their superior olfactory and digging skills. Thus they procreated and kept the machines running, and schemed to one day overtake homo sapiens as the rulers of the world. At the end of the slide-show one image loomed large and repeated as if it was the central icon, it evinced much hysteria from the crowd as it flashed and glowed, a huge Rat on it's bent hind-legs morphing with the form of a perfect physical human, the legs and back straightening, hands grasping, snout receding, the creature growing tall, flexing it's limbs, the perfect Rat-man with mad eyes agleaming.

My hair pricked and my flesh quaked as I grasped the horrific import of this historical legend while the Rats reached a crescendo of wailing and shrieking, they leapt about in an epileptic-like dance, a few with devices whirring on their brains fell to the floor and shook spasmodically, frothing at the mouth as if in some religious ecstacy. To the sides I saw uniformed Rats pour some kind of reeking fuel into several machine's unplugged gullets and then much rumbling and clanking ensued. The crowd parted and a tall female Rat, dressed in lab-coat with many shiny medals glinting on her chest but not sporting a head-dress, was carried up to one throne-like machine and placed within it. While the congregation reached a fever pitch in religious sing-song a helmet-like device was lowered over the smiling bitch's ratty head, many cogs whirled, diodes flashed and whistles piped, then a glittering tiara-like appliance was stamped into the Rat's brain, wires flaring like wings from behind her ears.

I swear I then saw a sudden explosion of light in her beady eyes, a look of triumph and intelligence shone forth, she glared about her in a knowing, commanding way and thrust both her thumbs up in that age-old signifier of success, then turned her malevolent gaze upon me and pointed with one Rat's claw straight to my heart, squeaking out a demonic invocation. Several drone male Rats dressed in tatty simulation of Security Guard uniforms rushed forward, untangled the ropes and backpack confining me and, picking me up roughly, carried me towards the Queen Rat, who now stared at me smart and vengeful. She was lifted gently from the embrace of the machine and placed upon a cushioned palanquin while I was seated on the techno-throne in her place and Rats in lab-coats pulled on levers and pressed at buttons while engines groaned and diodes twinkled.

I looked up and watched the helmet-like device slowly descend and fit itself upon my head, adjusting till it was snug and, thru my dreadlocks, I felt pin-pricks of needles scratching at my scalp and clammy lotions applied to the skin, then the sharp laceration of a scalpel as it dug into my flesh. I heard a buzz-saw whine and felt my skull reverberate like a bell being rung. A wave of euphoria swept down from the scalp-wound to flush my whole being, I rolled my eyes up in ecstacy and saw an apparatus plunge down thru the helmet and stamp a glittering device into the back of my brain, wires trailing behind that tickled my neck. Too late, I flashed, I have been enhanced, for a Ratty purpose I dreaded to contemplate!

Kaleidoscopic patterns exploded in my mind's eye, whole universes of stars were born and scattered across my infinite mind, quantum particles coalesced to atoms that formed molecules that built chains that evolved and streamed thru my conscious cerebrations, a gnosis of eukaryotic cells uniting with symbiots and crawling from an inner-ocean to grow as big as dinosaurs that then morphed into furry mammals with intelligence beaming from their hungry Rat eyes. Cities grew and collapsed like mushrooms in a compost heap and tsunami waves of epiphany, cognition, deduction and speculation swept thru my hyper-intelligent awareness in psychedelic waves of light and euphoria. I snapped my eyes open to find the Queen Rat peering at me expectantly from her bed of cushions.

I glanced about the cavern and realised I could see in the shadows the glowing forms of uniformed Rats, for my eyes now saw in other waves of the light spectrum, infra-red and x-rays. Not only was my sense of hearing heightened so that I could hear sub-sonic wailing, I also quickly deciphered the squeaking jabber-jabber of the Rats and understood their language and what they were all shouting in idolatrous rapture. To my shock it was that archaic human mantra, "Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!" mimicked here by humanity's unctuous, furry acolytes. The Queen was crooking her finger at me, indicating for me to join her upon the palanquin, a look of lust distorting her beastly face.

Oh no, not again! The usual over-ruling imperative to procreate and evolve at any and all cost, no matter the individual's free will or personal proclivities. This monstrous species actually planned to mate me with their Queen so as to bring about their age-old promise of growing superior to homo sapiens, not just to emulate humanity's wondrous science but to improve upon the genome, for what could be more glorious, more god-like than Rat DNA, enhanced and humanised? Two of the uniformed Rats disentangled me from the machine and carried me to the Queen's bed and threw me into her lap. Chanting a hym of praise they proceeded to connect the gizmos on the end of the coloured wires that trailed from the back of my head to the female receptors on the glittering wires that fanned out from the bitch's jewelled crown while I went into a sweat. They must have designed some techno wonders that manipulated and spliced DNA and overcame the species barrier.

I searched about the auditorium with my new x-ray eyes, particularly taking in the machines blinking and chugging away near me, and quickly figured out how it all worked and the few switches I could throw to bring it all down upon their ugly heads. The Queen Rat embraced me, digging her claws into my flesh and our connecting wires crackled. I struggled in her arms and computed the possibilities of my escape but I needed some miracle to divert the murderous congregation. And, just when I needed it, as if from mental telepathy, help arrived, for Butch my trusty dog burst forth from a hidden recess behind the altar and took the high-priest by the throat, chomping into the creature as if it was a Rat-burger he was having for dinner.

A crowd of Rats rushed forth to tackle the ferocious dog, all falling over each other in their hysteria, getting limbs torn and heads crushed in the fierce battle. It was the very distraction I needed, I snapped our connecting wires loose and wrapped hers around the screeching Queen's neck and throttled her amidst a rain of sparks, smoke wafting from her nostrils and ears. I then leapt from the palanquin and ran about the front of the machines, bending levers, pushing buttons, breaking gears till explosions burst forth, cogs crunched and metal ripped, smoke and flames billowed out filling the riotous cavern so that I might escape under it's cover.

As the walls of machinery exploded and fell upon the screaming hordes, I snatched up my backpack, clambered up onto the podium and ran to the back of the altar from where Butch had appeared, throwing over the sarcophagus as I passed to see the Ancestor's mummy crash down upon a mob of pursuing Security Guard Rats and send them into disarray. The cavern lit with detonations, even the ceiling collapsed in parts as I rushed down a secreted passageway, Butch following close by as if he knew my very thoughts. The tunnel caved in behind us and thus I was assured I would not be followed for awhile, enough time to make good my escape, me and my faithful dog.

After a long scramble thru a maze of ruins and fallen refuse we burst out into the chill, desolate air of a starry Wastelands' night and kept running for our lives, leaving the centre of Rat society far behind and hoping to never fall into their clever, monstrous traps again, if we could help it. For I was now much smarter, not just wiser for the experience, I had that dammed contraption buried in my brain that seemed to enhance my ratiocination, for better or worse, only my further adventures in this devastated post-human world would tell.

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.

Friday, April 11, 2008

From the Bunker of the Dammed.

There's a pyromaniac on the loose at Northcott ghetto, for several weeks he/she has put a match to the mountainous garbage pile at the dumpsters 21 yards from my front door, usually on Saturday nights, a true Saturnalia with devils dancing in and out of the flames. The fire brigade should park here permanently, they're here every second night with false alarms and ice-zombie melt-downs, the shrieks, wails and detonations makes me think it's the end of the world, I hear it as I hide out in my bunker and sweat on the panic maybe crashing through my door.

My neighbour Eric the schitzo viking has been taken away by the police, after 21 years of howling till dawn, shitting in his pants and masturbating in front of little old ladies, someone's finally figured out he's socially inept and needs assisted care, they've put him in the caged yards of Caritas Psyche bin and he's not coming back, thank nogod. On the other side of my bunker I hear Cursula and Bawl express sorrow at his incarceration, they'll have no one to bludge cigarettes off, he was a perfect match for their retardation, he made them look good when they got together to natter bullshit saccharine humanisms, like they really care.

They still live their brain-dead lives on my doorstep, they can't sit comfortably in their flat because it's filled to the ceiling with the trash she's rescued from the burning dumpsters, and so I hear endlessly all the drivel they've got to bawl to each other. Cursula shouts to any zombie whose ears aren't plugged about her miraculous job interview, the first she's ever had, she's past 40 and a drug-daze has been her main occupation. Yet there was that one time she tried out at the Black Hole brothel on Elizabeth Street, when she'd heaved her vast breasts, that normally hung about her knees, up into a dirty corset and sat all night staring cow-like into the mugs of countless desperate punters and not even got a whiff of a job, looked upon with disgust so that she trudged home at dawn penniless and moaned loudly that it must be because they were intellectually her inferiors. "No!" I shouted from my bunker, "it's because you're a fat ugly slag!"

Yes, you guessed it, I've gone mad, from a life of being beat up, shat on, put upon and bullshitted to, surrounded, swamped and trampled by an army of misfit lumpens from the guttersnipe demi-monde. I've even been thrown out of the Lifeboat for Losers Cafe, the Pick Your Low Piccolo, for starting too many arguments, and there's no lower level of Hell to flee to, that Venus Fly-trap hothouse was the lowest. I've been very ill of late, my leg infection and anti-biotics making me so weak I can hardly walk and still I dragged my sorry arse up to the Dick-o-low Cafe naively thinking it the last refuge for the dispossessed and dysfunctional. Though I knew it wasn't the kind of place that would lend a helping hand, I was shocked at the relish taken at putting the boot in while I was down.

First Bobby Dogcart abused one of my girl-friends, calling her a smart-mouthed bitch and a drug-addict who was always bludging off everyone, a perfect description of himself and the opposite of her hardworking, generous soul. He kept on and on till I screamed I'd throw my coffee in his face if he said one more bad word to her. All of Roslyn Street tuned into the drama as we were sitting at the tables outside, a hundred eyeballs popped at me and once again I was the loudmouthed villain in the endless melodrama that was the Dick-o-low Cafe.

The next day was Good Friday, always a bad day for me, and Vitto had a fit trying to rip his gift Easter eggs from Knobby Israel's clutches declaring they weren't for old regulars, they were for the newbies who he was still honeymooning with. I pissed myself laughing till the retarded assistant cook rushed out from behind the counter and for no good reason picked on me, calling me a free-loader, a bludger and why don't I get a real job like him frying eggs and baking tasteless cakes nobody wanted. He demanded I fuck-off, while Vitto stood there like an Italian hobgoblin and let his employee abuse me, a regular of 30 years patronage, who'd gone through every high and low with him, when he'd been bashed, robbed, sacked, raided, insulted and abandoned I'd stuck by his side and fought off the demons with him. As far as free-loading goes, I've done a lot of artwork to promote his dump and never even got a free cup of coffee for it, that's how tight he is.

I think senility is taking over the old fairy, he's slaving away till the point of collapse and in fatigue taking out his bad moods on us loyal regulars, I suppose because he feels safe in so doing, and I can wear his insults gallantly, but not get evicted by his half-wit assistant. The ditzy old queen is gonna drop dead behind the stupid coffee machine and we just have to put up with his grumpy mood swings, that's the way he is, an old turtle stuck in his shell. He insists the cafe needs him 24/7 when I've got the sneaky suspicion he's a millionaire, with property all over that he could sell off and live like a king for the rest of his decrepit days, but instead he cries poor and eats the left-over scraps his customers leave on their plates, like he's stuck in World War 2 and the Nazis are over-running the Italian neighbourhood. I'm absolutely livid, the cold abuse has built up over 30 years till the feral cook's insults are the last straw that broke my much humped back and I'm never going back to that black-widow spider's lair. I feel like the djinn released from the grimy, old bottle, I'm free, free at last!

(I was reading Richard Dawkin's "The God Delusion" and got riled up by a few of the cafe's regulars who were shocked I would read such offensive propaganda, for atheists are the devil's footsoldiers! Charles Gropin, like a pontificating pseudo-intellectual windbag, tried to convince me religion has only brought beauty into the world and certainly never caused any harm, those twin towers in New York would've fallen even without the Moslems and Christians hating each other! He's just trying to get up Peter Pumpkin's bum, who comes across as a brainwashed religio-maniac, together they're composing an aria of Mary Magdelene's love songs to Jesus, it seems Charles would sell out all history and ignore "gay" oppression just to please his obsessive lust object, Peter. That medieavil leftover superstition, God, still rules the lower levels of Hell, especially at the Pope-mobile Cafe, and I just don't think I can take such moronic nonsense any more. I've been driven MAD!)

I'm now reading "What Happened to Gay Life?" by Robert Reynolds and it makes me realise I'm not the only disaffected old queer bemoaning the lost funkiness of Sydney, distressed by the fading of a Utopia I'd struggled so hard to head towards. I think I'll even quit Sydney, for me it's become like a purgatory of no-hoping disillusionment, sucking me down into depression, a glitzier version of the old convict colony of masters, slaves and overseers, everyone stripping flesh from their fellows backs to get on top of the shitheap, afraid the next fellow might get there ahead of them. Everyone feels to be in a panic, shoving each other out of the way, desperate to hang onto what they'd worked so hard for but it all slipping down some gurgle hole of religious terrorism and economic and environmental collapse. Anyway, Social Darwinism suggests old flakes like me should be discarded in the race for survival, I'm just taking up space.

Maybe Darwin town will provide a new start for me, or at least a change of air, and if I want to find out what "a hole" really is, there's no better place, it's like a frontier town out West and I'm a cowboy refugee from the Brokeback Cafe of Kings Cross. I need a change of life, or it's suicide if I remain stuck in my bunker, I've had Sydney and Sydney has had me!!! But do I have the courage to flee the false-security of my bunker and start all over again? Who fucking cares? Goodbye cruel world! If my body is found comatose in my bunker like a catatonic shitzophrenic then you know I've gone off to live in the future.

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.