Tuesday, April 26, 2011
14) Reflections in a Vegemite Pie.
These stories, that have been available on Blogspot for 10 years for free, will now only be available on Amazon at the address above. They are contained in “Vagabon Freak”, the 1st volume of a trilogy titled “The 7 Lives of the Punk Poofy Cats”. I have been the archetypal starving artist in his garret, painting, drawing and writing, writing, writing as if I were some waif crying out in the wilderness. Now I need you, dear reader, to hear my cries and go to Amazon and buy a copy of my book and keep me alive. There you will find my complete tale, from beginning to end, in one place, for you to hold in your hot little hands. When you read it straight through, I assure you, it will blow your mind.
Below are introductory paragraphs and some pictures that I still retain to illustrate this story, hopefully to give you a come-on to get my book. Thanks for giving me a go, TZ.
Arthur sat with his back against the wall, legs folded in the half-lotus position, spine straight, his mind focused upon his breath. As his breathing slowed he intoned the mantra he would use for the rest of his life to reign in his restless thoughts and concentrate his consciousness, “Aaauuuuuuummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.”
But it wasn’t long before his mind strayed to reflect upon his life, of yesterday, today and tomorrow. In 1968 he was eighteen and he knew his life path was about to change, radically. He’d come to visit his father Frank before he moved on and was now sitting out the back of the block of flats in the Olympic Village; he’d slept the previous night in his old bedroom and it was a harrowing experience, childhood nightmares flooding back in.
Frank’s old mother, Bertha, had been run down by a car outside her nursing home and they’d gone to visit her deathbed the day before. She laid upon her bed a broken, bloody ruin, unrecognizable, for the car had dragged her seven hundred yards and shattered every bone in her body. As she lay dying Arthur was asked to kiss her forehead goodbye, in a delirium she had croaked his name, “Is that you Artie?” Though she scared him with her imminent death he felt great love for her as she had cared for him when he was an infant when no one else would.
That night Frank had wept unrestrained and it shocked Arthur to see his once strong father fragile and very human, no longer the bully, just a poor defeated man with all he’d loved gone away, leaving him alone to haunt the Housing Commission flat with his confusion and regrets. His habitual response was to get drunk, then late in the night sleep-walk semi-naked in his underpants, wandering out the door and down the street. Just as he had done all through his childhood Arthur rushed out into the night to lead his zombie-dad back into the flat and put him to bed, the father now become the child.
Arthur was eighteen, he could legally drink alcohol, drive a car, go to war, vote and fuck legitimately, but only if he was a law-abiding heterosexual, something he definitely wasn’t. Whatever he was, he was going to make a concerted attempt at lucidly directing his life, he was now his own master or so he fervently prayed. News of the Stonewall riots in San Francisco hadn’t make it to his “gay community”, only an oppressive silence could be heard, he swore to himself somehow he’d cut through it with his own howls of pain.
“Auummm... Auummm... Auummm.” Some yogi he was, dying for a cigarette! He’d had smoke blown in his face all through childhood, at the dinner table, watching TV, driving in the family car, and gotten addicted to the second-hand smoke, stealing his father’s fags from the age of fourteen. He remembered when he was fifteen riding on a bus and had lit up a Marlboro like some hoodlum from the streets of New York and an old fellow leaned across and slapped him very hard across the face, knocking the ciggie from his mouth and growling, “Ya’ll stunt ya growth with that shit and then ya won’t be so tough ya little bastard!” If only he had taken note.
(If your curiosity is piqued please go to the WEB address above and buy the book to read further.)