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The Time I Met a Giant

Winter is on its way. The weather is colder and the days are shorter. Rather than slow down with the onset of the bitter season however, I feel more alive every minute.

For as long as I can remember I’ve lived in the same place, but all that is changing. I’m leaving and never coming back. I don’t know where I’m heading, but I feel the urge to move, it is the purpose of my life. The weight of countless generations is urging me on.

My journey takes me through landscapes I don’t recognise. The inhabitants I pass by are strange. Some are threatening, but it doesn’t bother me. I’m on a mission and nothing can make me turn back.

A rocky coastline comes into view, the water is shallow. Although I don’t recognise it, it feels familiar. I’m sure I’ve been here before. I realise I’ve reached my destination and I have one goal in mind.

A female drifts by. I change the texture of my skin and transform my colours into a remarkable display of flashing blue lights. She seems impressed but continues to float away. Damn. There are so many males here. They must outnumber the females at least ten to one. This isn’t going to be easy.

Humans in bizarre black suits and breathing equipment, circle above me muttering something about “giant cuttlefish” and “amazing mating displays”. I don’t care. They pose no immediate threat to me.

Another female appears between the rocks.  This time I raise my skin into a series of pinnacles that cover my body. I change colours so that black and white stripes pulse and mesmerise anyone who cares to look. She’s keen and heads in my direction, but another male swoops in. I attack and use my eight muscular arms to conquer him. As he swims off defeated, I turn back to the female, only to find that a minuscule male has snuck in and stolen my prize. I’m furious, but it’s too late. I drift away beaten.

My genes must be passed on to the next generation of giants. I search for another female and find one just around the corner. I approach her, my skin flashing lights the colour of the rainbow, and my shape morphed beyond recognition. I’m awesome and she knows it. We embrace intertwining our arms. It’s a beautiful, breath taking moment that’s over as soon as it begins. We part never to see each other again. The bobbing humans seemed thrilled.

I’m at peace with myself now. I’ve reached the ultimate goal. I feel tired. I know I’m beginning to fade. Other males gather around me looking similarly unhealthy yet content. We reminisce about the past, and philosophise about the future. Someone mentions that humans are building a machine that will change our world and kill our children. It’s heartbreaking but I’m too tired to act.

I hope for the best. The light fades. In an instant I am no longer.

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Nothing beats a summer evening on the balcony with my dearest friends, sharing some stories, having a few beers, talking about everything [and nothing].

I’ve been “friendless” for over 4 years. All my friends have been forced to work overseas.

One weekend, everybody went to bed, I was sitting there alone with my cup of coffee, talking to myself thinking that I am on the verge of losing it.

My thoughts started rushing and the usual strangulation feeling kicked in. The thought of how lonely I am took over me, the way life was going was too much for me to handle. I was suffocating, I became automated to do several tasks, I was a lifeless robot.
Physically I was very alive, mentally; morally I was way beyond dead.

I laid my cup on the table and took a deep breath. I crept slowly to our room, opened my drawer, shaking, sweating, tongue tied, lips numb. I take out a small bag and a few pills that I had hid before my marriage.
I go to the kitchen, open the bag and stare at the dust and the pills.

Images and conversations run through my head. Every single phrase that hurt me, every comment that scarred me for life.

As I take everything in one hand just to gulp it all down, I hear my dad asking if I am alright. I just close my eyes and pray he doesn’t get any closer…I mutter “yes. it’s just the usual headache,I’m taking some Advil and going to hit the sack”

He wishes me good night and walks back to his bedroom.

His voice just snapped me out of it.

Literally two families count on me, depend on me, I can’t do that yet.

Love doesn’t feed people. If she can’t bare with me so what? If she’s better off with someone else why stop her? Why worry about anything?

I walk to the toilet, flush everything, head to bed, kissing my sleeping wife on her forehead and drift to never land.

Everyday is a struggle, what keeps me hanging in there are huge responsibilities, and the scarce hope that drains me day after day.

Evil Barry is not a hero. He is not a sap either. He’s not ordinary, nor is he extraordinary. He doesn’t have a 12-inch dick, however his is uniquely shaped like a banana (when erect) and is quiet thick.

At the age of 21 he finally got circumcised because his former girlfriend (first love), an ex-gothic, overachieving, Gemini repeatedly told him his foreskin was too tight. It was true.He was never able to pull his foreskin back as one might ordinarily do with an ordinary uncircumcised penis.

One day in childhood after a family vacation, he and his younger sister were jumping on their parents’ bed as one does during the boring commercial breaks on a Sunday afternoon.

Somehow, mid jump as his sister was coming down and he was in the upward cycle of a jump, she managed to scrape her foot into his groin.

The incident somehow pulled the base of his penis away from the body – partially ripping off if you willy (oops!), will.

Father and mother came in as he ran around like a headless chicken.

Father wasn’t impressed at the sight of seeing his only son, the only son of a string of only sons in the generations, in this precarious state.

He took his frustration out on sister.

With a few stitches and a bandage at the local hospital, all was well again.

It seemed his sexual desire began to emerge early on, and around the same time as the above tragic incident.

Playing kiss chasey at school was a typical game which he enjoyed.

During some lunch breaks he and a few of the other boys and girls, would go to the back of the playground behind the bushes. The girls stood up while the boys sat down. The girls would then lift up their skirts and dresses and pull down their panties and the boys would sit there and admire.

In kindergarten class it was possible to reserve a special cubby-house from time to time.

He and a girl had reserved it one day. They ensured the wooden house-like structure was completely covered by a blanket on all sides so that the children playing in the vicinity couldn’t possibly look in. They went inside and waited a moment, then embraced and touched one another.

I had worked behind bars in local clubs in my hometown for well over four years.

It wasn’t too exciting, I’d witness the occasional bad drunk, desperado, and hunter, I rarely saw a fight.

That was till one night when I saw the mother of all fights.

It was around three o’clock in the morning and the first floor of the club was closed. Tania the barmaid, and I were cleaning up the bar when the club owner, with one of his personal bodyguards, stormed in screaming.

“I am gonna fuck his mother, I am gonna fuck his sisters!!”

I jokingly commented,

“an orgy and I am not invited?”

All of a sudden a guy enters the bar and the owner and his bodyguard run like hell to his office.

“Where the fuck are they??” The guy grunts, waving his gun in this air.

I literally throw Tania behind the bar and take cover. Then the guy fires his loaded gun.

The bullet rebounds and the last thing I hear is a few bottles shattering.

Then it’s quiet apart from Tania screaming, and the gunman grunting and shouting.
It was the longest 5 minutes of my life, my ears were ringing, I could feel my heart skipping beats, the smell of the alcohol was taking over my nose.

When the dust settled down, I got up, gave Tania a glass of water and tried to calm her, then I poured myself a drink.

It was only on my way home that I started to sweat. All my limbs went cold and numb, and sweat was literally pouring down my neck.

Understandably I couldn’t sleep that morning, so I had a long, long shower. The brief yet long scene playing over and over in my head.

I arrived in Bolzano thinking I could find cheaper accommodation than the places I had called earlier from Austria.  It was going to be difficult with the tourist office closed for the day, but surely AUD$50 for a bed in a small town could be beaten.

I walked to a few places but all of them were full, so I felt my next option for finding a private pension was to head to the nearest Irish pub.

After looking through the phone book that the barman had given me over a pint of Guinness, I was starting to get desperate. Just as I was explaining my situation to the barman, a guy at the bar interrupted. “You need a place to stay, here take these keys” he said in broken English. I assumed they were the keys to his apartment so I thanked him. When I asked him why he gave them to me straight away, considering I was a stranger, he replied that his name was Klaus, and he believed he could help with my situation.

This started a conversation where I explained that I didn’t want to impose on his generosity, and that I was cautious to accept an offer from a complete stranger. During the conversation, I began to realise that Klaus had “a couple of sheep missing from the paddock”.

“Are you good with electronics, yes or no…..? he asked.

“Well it depends on what you are talking about….”

“It’s either a yes or a no….” he insisted.

“Well, yes” I replied.

This was when he announced he had a computer for me. He pulled out a small, compact, metal box, which opened into an international world clock [complete with a demonstration of the incorrect time in Sydney] that he wanted to GIVE to me. This, coupled with an incessant need to be 4 inches from my face when he spoke, had me a little worried, but he was my only option.

I decided, “what the hell, you only live once” and I agreed to meet him back at the pub that night.

That evening,  I caught a taxi with my gear to his house while he followed behind on his scooter. At this stage, I’m not sure if he was intentionally trying to freak me out, but he started saying things like “we are alone now”, which I think was meant to be reassuring. Ready to run, but still going along with the plan, we arrived at what was his parents’ house. “Thank god” I thought, at least his mother would be a witness if anything happened to me.

Klaus was eager to show me the house, which started with a tour of his bedroom. This is where the true extent of his mental condition become apparent. First he showed me his CD amplifier, with no CD player. When I asked him where it was, he said it was being fixed. When I queried him further, he told me quite abruptly that it was “top secret!” Next he showed me his picture of Julia Roberts, and in true serial killer style, Klaus had made a collage in a picture frame, with the picture of Julia in the centre!

Next was his account of Pink Floyds “Living in the Machine” some of you may know it, I think it’s the right title. Well, apparently it’s actually a song about Klaus because he was in a huge machine about 5 years ago. A computer. While he was telling me this, he got out his tennis racket. It had no strings and the head was taped back together. He said when he could afford it, his goal was to have it restrung. Finally he pointed to the cable TV box, and began to tell me how the president of the USA talked to him through it.

Thinking that perhaps I was losing something in his broken English, I asked him about the president’s recent speeches on CNN, and got the response:

“No… He talks TO ME. He tells me things”

It’s about this time I decide to get some sleep. I decline Klaus’s suggestion that I sleep in his room, and find there is a room downstairs.

The next morning, waking up alive, I bump into Klaus in the hallway who tells me he needs to go for coffee. I expected to leave with him, but when I reemerge from the bathroom, he has gone.

After a brief moment of reflection, feeling like a very lucky man, I write Klaus a thank you note, and get back on the road again.

The London Marathon (all 26.2 miles) runs every year in April.  It is recognised by many as the world’s best mass participation marathon. The amount of money raised by participants for charities and good causes reaches the tens-of-millions of pounds.

In April 2007, in a moment of vanity [and probably complete naivety] I decided aged 40 something, to give the Marathon a go.

That meant for the three and half months beforehand, I became a running bore, and my wife a marathon widow [as in golfing widow]. In London, this meant battling gales and heavy rain, and running in the early in the morning darkness.

But was it worth it? Well, marathon day was hot.  I remember sitting on the grass in Greenwich Park near the start line, sweating in just a running vest. It was unbelievably hot. Thousands of competitors squeezed into the holding pens and waited in good humour for the start … and then we were off! With all the competitors it took seven minutes to cross the line! The crowds of spectators and live bands offering sweets and drinks was inspiring. I felt for an older man who at about mile 13, tripped, trying to avoid a crowd of slower runners. He fell full length – blood oozing from his grazed knees and arms. Seeing my friends and family at miles 16, 18 and 25 was fantastic, I really needed the boost.

The small matter of £2,500 I managed to lodge out of friends and family for my chosen charity kept me going; there was no way I was going to miss out on the satisfaction.

The finish was incredible.  Huge crowds surrounded both sides of the Embankment, around Parliament Square and Green Park. As I staggered along, a little disappointed not to get around in under four hours, I passed a man who was holding up his mobile phone talking into it, making a live diary.  How I wish I had thought of that!

Would I do it again?  Not unless I have complete leave of my senses. But I do hold onto the adage, that there is a marathon in everyone.

My friend’s wife “Alison” is good friends with my wife “Kirsty” and the four of us hunt as a pack on evenings out, and even holiday together – two weeks in Florida the summer before last being the biggest and best.
Kirsty and Alison often meet up on their days off for girlie chats and shopping. Sometimes I’m sure it is to have a good moan about their respective other half.
Alison is tall, thin and a very keen athlete. Even after having her two children, she is more confident and outgoing than she has ever been.
Kirsty always thinks she is fat when she stands next to Alison, but the reality is that Alison is too thin. None the less, there is something about Alison that I find attractive and alluring, and it makes me rather guilty when I dwell on it. Kirsty is the love of my life, the mother of my children and my one true soul mate.
Recently our families met up for a meal. These events are normally loud with eight of us round the table, no one is beyond ridicule in a good humoured kind of way.
The fact is that when I was [again] topping up our wine glasses, I stood behind Alison and lent forward to pour. She looked up at just the right [or wrong?] moment and gave me a terrific view down the inside of her scoop neck top. There was very little left to the imagination. Now she isn’t the most endowed woman in the world, but what there is was eye catching from the angle I stood at.
I enjoyed the view more than I should have, but I think she knew exactly what she was doing because she didn’t shriek or laugh when I made a quick comment about having done so. She simply smiled, looked me straight in the eye and said quietly that I was a “bad boy”.
I may be making it all up, I don’t even want to think about where we would end up if I pursued it, but it was one of those moments in adult life when restraint, knowledge of responsibilities and self-control, all kicked in to avoid certain disaster.