He has this funny way about him. I don’t know. And what is going on between them anyway? You always see them together. I mean, there must be something going on between them, you know? I don’t know.

He ‘d been having problems with the phone for  three weeks now. He knew all about the neighbours vaginal discharge, that the husband stayed out too late and always came home drunk, that the neighbour, that was me, had funny ways and must have been having an affair with this woman she kept seeing him, or me, with.

His tee-shirt had ridden over his belly and he pulled at one of the hairs there while he listened to the neighbours. Better the devil you know, he thought.

Fried  up some eggs and took his tablets and looked out at the street, the garage, road signs, men, women, dogs and thought ‘fuck this’. He was desperate for a piece but feared that it might fall off. Some people have irrational fears about tsunamis, his was about spontaneously detaching genitals. The thought horrified him enough not to pursue the urge.

*    *    *

“What do you do without a teevee?” Someone at work once asked him and he felt the need to scream. It was as though the world had really turned into the hell feared by some it might become. Somehow, he thought, the ad men have convinced us – by using sinister techniques – to buy things we don’t need, in order to convince us that the world had not died. We were all mourning, alcoholic widows clutching the ad men’s bottle of gin; popping pills and wearing strained, awful smiles.

He imagined these men as a little mournful themselves. But it was their job to lie and make-believe everything was fine. What was the alternative?

The war of despair…a return to street massacre for no other reason than boredom and frustration…anarchy on a level to turn the stomachs of the anarchists…lawlessness…disease…malice…

So, instead, we gaze a our dream-boxes and pray to a god with fake tan and tippex white teeth for a fresh trinket to distract the brain from setting the sky alight with madness, sheer ‘I know that one day I shall die’ madness…

*    *    *

He checked his watch; two hours later; he popped another pill, sighed and went back to bed.


Special Bomb

We watched UFO’s together, the indigenous ones and I. They were triangular and buzzed with red and blue neon. I felt my face. I was one of their kind and I was not. The reservation was quiet. The uniformed men were gone. They had cut a deal, these white skinned men in suits, with the other men in the red and blue neon. The white men took one of our women at a certain stage of pregnancy and stole the baby inside her and gave it to the people in the UFO to do with as they liked.
And, over the years, our numbers have dwindled.
I think about my brothers and sisters that have died. I think about my wife and child.
I think about the bomb and wish I’d never learnt of its exsistence.
It’s a ‘special’ kind of bomb. Like a cosmic firework of brilliant blood light. It kills everything that moves and leaves no trace of its detonation save for a collection of amber clouds above the point of impact.
I don’t know why, but I tell my wife and child that they will be okay. I insist on them accompanying me to watch it go off.
So we drive to the site in my Ute.
‘It’ll be like bonfire night,’ I tell them.
I feel the bond between us and sense that my wife knows that, if it’s going to happen, we should be together.
We watch the rocket fizzing its way towards its target, a modest residential area on the outskirts of the base, its tail burning like hell.
Behind the wire fence we watch in the dusk; the eucalyptus, delicious on the breeze.
The trees are flashed into silouhette as the bomb detonates into the inevitable mushroom cloud.
The child is is jumping up and down and clapping and shouting for joy.
My wife looks at me with tears in her eyes.
‘Another, another,’ cries the child.