Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Devil in Me or Is It You?

My sorry-arsed saga with the uncaring healthcare system here in Auz continues. I've often been warned there's a chance going into hospital will kill you rather than cure you, I guess time will tell.

I eventually made my escape from the St.Vinnies but I have to go to out-patients every day for a month to have a rare anti-biotic given intravenously to kill the hardy bug I picked up in an operating theatre somewhere along the way. THEY should've treated the Golden Bug 5 years, 2 years, 1 year ago but somehow it got overlooked and I had to suffer the consequences. My paranoia nags me it's because I'm a deadbeat bum, a queer freak and a misfit rebel and THEY just didn't give a shit about me, but I probably just got lost on the battlefield.

After I moaned to the doctors about my ill treatment from the grumpy night nurse and the reason for my running away, not one person of authority questioned me over the affair, it seems THEY don't want the boat rocked, even tho the nurse's fabrication of assault was egregiously slanderous. If I really had threatened him with a knife, why weren't the police called or some censurious edict whacked upon my head? He's hoping his lie will counter any complaint I may make about his incompetance, like in some devious game of chess. But when I next went for my doctor's appointment I found 2 thuggish Security Guards standing by the treatment room door, and my name was mentioned. "Why, what's wrong with him?' "We don't know but we've been told to watch him just in case!" Bloody Hell!!!

All my life ogres like this have stood over me, insulted me, tortured me, ripped me, I'm heartfelt not kidding about this, maybe I've got a persecution complex. Because I've always stuck up for myself, spoke up with an articulate cutting tongue, sometimes hit back when rudely smacked in the face, then I'm told I've got the Devil in me and IT must be rigorously exorcised, usually with a good beating and then expulsion. My delerious brain thinks it's because there's no room for free will and individual quirkiness in this world of herd mentality and population control. Every one must stay in their slave's box, not even a little toe to be extruded or a peep of protest made. Many people have the job of 'overseer' in all it's guises, policeman, teacher, nurse, bureaucrat, politician, priest, busdriver, doorman, whoever, some gronk trying to earn a buck stripping skin from my back, and they don't mind applying the electrodes to sensitive parts if it's needed to keep the individual in line.

Give a person 1 cent worth of power and they'll use it, to give themselves a buzz, it makes them just that bit higher up the pecking order of the vast morass of clutching humanity, and they do what they're told, no questioning, no matter the cruelty of the orders. Many of the petty power-mongers I've met in my life have gone straight for my jugular, there's something in my manner that triggers their wrath, their prohibition, maybe it's my piercing "Midwich Cuckoo" blue eyes or my punk sneer and lacerating tongue, my ugly, rebellious disposition: the world is built on shit and the unenlightened will stand on anyone to climb it.

Yeah yeah, harsh words, as per usual from the Punk Poofy Cat but I'm fucked off to the point of madness, to the edge of oblivion. The little I had to offer, it always got ripped off, to reiterate: scumbags will harvest their grannies' organs if it gets them money, cudos, power, survival in a world where the ruthless have to claw their way to their goals over heaps of dead bodies. Who takes any notice of the loser's story? It's always been winning that counts, to win at any cost, history can be rewritten.

Even way back in kindergarten as a tiny-tot I threw a temper tantrum when my free will was denied and I wrecked the art-room in response, my grandmother was told to come and get me and not bring me back. At Primary School I was spanked at morning assembly for supposedly lying about black-board chalk found in my possession, I'd found it in the playground but was accused of stealing it. I was given a dishonourable discharge from High School for being a bad influence on a gang of robopath Prefects. On and on, every job, every landlord, every club, I was eventually thrown out, like a reprobate Bukowski punching up the pub, only I didn't have his cute irascible genius.

There are many names for that supposed devil in me and I'll run thru a few of them, just to be bullshit poetic: miscreant, misfit, fuckwit, malcontent, rebel, renegade, retard, freak, fool, bohemian, hippie, punk, larrikin, bodgie, drop-out, outcaste, outsider, fringe-dweller, anarchist, iconoclast, tramp, dharma bum, one-per-center, poofter, loonie, loner, raver, Luciferian, deviant, dissident, brat, non-conformist, alternative-lifestyler, wastrel, emotional cripple, disaffected, disassociated, dispossessed, dysfunctional, bipolar..... blah blah blah. But is it really me?

One friend told me long ago that I was one of the last true individuals left in this post-modern world of manufactured socialised personalities. She was kidding me, all I know is I'm a fuck-up from way back, from being damaged goods in infancy, my parents didn't have the abilites to bring me up properly and civilised society is a machine that has to have everyone be a perfectly fitting cog or otherwise one gets jammed on the slightest slip-up.

Yet many poor souls I sit down with tell me a tale even more horrifying than mine, I'm an angel in comparison and have led a charmed life, mostly of escapism from the real terrors of work, family and responsibilty. The Piccolo Cafe Bar is a classic flop house at the cross-roads of misery and injustice where I hear so many woeful stories even the output of Edgar Allen Poe wouldn't cover it. Toothless Ken lost his young son in an auto accident and has been homeless, on the drink and drugs, ever since. Goldy is in court trying to get custody of her grandchild from her nasty junkie daughter who has falsely accused her of prostituting her since childhood. Old Joe Blow has bowell cancer and has had his operation cancelled over and over and will be dead before they get around to him. And cantankerous Vitto, ringleader of the freak circus himself, is beset with demons scratching at his cafe's creaky doors.

I was wrong to think old Vitto was a secret millionaire. He does indeed own property but it's all mortgaged to the hilt and he slaves 24/7 to pay it all off and keep his tizzy head above the murky waters of insolvency. On her death his sister Maria left her apartment to the Piccolo business but she also left two sons behind, like twins of folklore, one a hardworking angel, Lorenzo, who runs the cafe at night, the other, Luigi, a veritable roustabout demon who drinks and smokes and scrabbles for money any way he can, is in a biker gang called "Life and Death", who seems to have gone thru any money he was left by Maria but continues to demand sustenance from the labours of the rest of the Italianate family. They could sell Maria's flat and pay off all their debts only Luigi has placed a caveat upon the sale, unless he gets a big hunk of the proceeds, it's a no go.

He often snoops about the cafe on Roslyn street, giving all us regulars the willies with his dark glowering looks, one never knows when he'll go on a murderous rampage. It's Vitto's slavery that any family wealth is based upon and yet Luigi feels he deserve's a share of it, he's drained the family for years, and I have the dreadful vison of the biker-gang crashing their 'hogs' thru the plate-glass windows in retribution. But the last straw was when Luigi got drunk in a nearby pub and made threats to a bum he didn't think was listening, to the effect that he was planning to kidnap little Theresa, Lorenzo's seven year old daughter, and murder her if he doesn't get more money. He was asked to repeat the threat twice to make sure he said it, then it was related back to the family. Luigi has already done time for manslaughter, years ago he killed a man in the heat of anger and so it can't be ignored that this nutter might still be capable of doing something ghastly in his brainless lust for cash.

So Vitto is running away to Europe for 2 months, taking his niece with him for her own protection, at least it will get him out of his prison/box for the first time in umpteen years, let him see that a world actually exists out there and give Theresa a tour of their ancestor's homeland. In the meantime the family will deal with Luigi's outlandish demands, they've put an AVO out on him, he can't go near the Piccolo, maybe he'll do the world a favour and run his bike off a cliff and solve all their woes. And all us freaks will get time out from the Piccolo sweat-lodge.
As for me, I won't have Vitto for awhile to whinge about my broken-arsed follies, the Piccolo is a refuge for us existential derelicts, I'll just have to swim thru the muck of my problems alone or sink without a trace, but not without a smart-arsed poem of protest. The world is on fire, 7 billion souls cry out in despair and I can only beam out into a chaotic universe at the watching silent stars, peace, peace, peace, peace... and hope not only my own devil will be exorcised some bright and sunny day but also the demons plaguing the entire world, tho they be as countless as those uncaring stars. Some hope!

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.