Your eyes are very strong
They try to cripple me
You put all your strength
into your eyes
because you do not know
how to be a hero

You have mistaken your ideal
It is not a hero
but a tyrant
you long to become
Therefore weakness
is your most attractive quality

I have no plans for you
Your dangerous black eyes
fasten on the nearest girl
or the nearest mirror
as you go hopefully
from profession to profession.

– Leonard Cohen.

I have spent this week hauled up in a wee office at the airport, training for a new role, under the most prosaic of circumstances.

It has just been myself and another man of 50 odd years, bashing away at a computer and watching the planes take off from the VIP landing pad.

He’s a curious case, this other man.

I’m sure you’ve met him before.

Life’s knocked him off his platform a bit, and as such, he has this built in criticism mechanism. He calls himself an idiot a lot, and then turns on me at regular intervals.

He’s changed my posture in the space of three days.

He makes me drink a lot of black coffee.

So today, today I decided that was all going to change. Enough I said to the morning as I threaded on my stockings and straightened my hair. Enough. Today will be different. I will make certain.

He picked me up from my local cafe in Darlinghurst, as I bundled in to his car with a latte for him and a soy flat white for me.

He name dropped all the way to the airport, pointing out warehouses and mansions and “friends” of his.

His driving was stilted and a little scary to be honest, a near miss on Botany road marked the beginning of the end.

So I asked him.

“Hey, do you recall a defining moment when you first thought you were a real fucking idiot?”

He stared at me and said nothing, the car didn’t move, and I began wonder if I should’ve waited until we were safely parked to pop his brain in half.

“What do you mean?” He asked.

“You put yourself down a lot. I’ve noticed. A lot. And it’s not real. This idea you have of yourself. It’s fiction. Why do you make it up?”

His face broke out in to a big, broad smile and he responded by saying, “No ones ever asked me such a thing. Ever. I really don’t know.”

“Sure you do. Think about it. And then once you’ve thought about it. Fuck it off. Honestly. It’s a waste of fucking time. Can you remember?”

We spent the remainder of the journey to the airport talking about his childhood. His absent father and all the put downs from all the Dial-A- Dads he’d accumulated over the years. He mentioned some more famous people he’d met, all the beautiful women he’d had over the years and some lewd sexual encounter on an aeroplane. I said I didn’t care about things like that. I said that what matters to most people doesn’t matter much to me. I said that I didn’t think ones genetic lottery was any real achievement worth mentioning. I said I was a little more private about my sexual conquests. That I had broad hips and as such had no real need for a belt or to make mentions of notches there on.

By the time we were inside the building he’d managed to criticise the coffee, the air quality in the office and the speed of the old, clunky PCs we were sentenced to wrestle with for the day. He complained of his aching neck and his sore back. How he’d aged. And how tired he was.

I asked him if he’d ever had his liver checked.

“Pardon?” He chortled.

We discussed Chinese meridians and anger. What drinking does to rage. And what rage does to bad backs.

I proposed that we not talk much today, get as much done as we possibly could and skip lunch in lieu of leaving early.

We went wine tasting late this afternoon and he was like a little boy in that liquor shop. All fresh and shiny new again.

He dropped me off on Oxford street and thanked me for kicking his ass. I laughed as I bundled out and made light of the fact he’d been doing that all on his own since he was three.

As he drove off I felt a real abundance of love from every which way. Even the homeless guys by the post office were smiling broadly this afternoon. Even them.


5 Responses to “Power.”
  1. Yoshi Singapore! says:

    Cause’ your friend don’t dance,
    and if they don’t dance, well, they’re
    no friends of mine 🙂
    Send photos taken with Nick to my gmail!!!
    Tell him about my 50mm 1.4 prime lens repair and he will rejoice!


  2. Nova says:

    There’s a lot of fiction floating about in people’s heads, it seems. It’s high time mine fucked off too. Your sincere honesty without cynicism and put-downs is what makes you able to get through to people that way. Oh, and your flat-out guts to ask the hard questions. Love it. N xx

  3. Jayde Turner-Ledwidge says:

    LOVE this

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