Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Shouldering 2009

The audience will meet me when the book comes out. It will be published through Text Publishing. I love Text publishing. It will be marketed. I will trudge and talk and appear at things and on things. If it does well I will have three months of this and then I will be dropped back into relative obscurity.
Still, this is a book about me. It is a book about my sex. My physical sex, the furious vagina that I have described in such intimate detail. You know the scent and the texture of it. You know that one labia is slightly larger than the other because of an early fall onto the box of a speaker. All this you know or you will know when you read the book. I will stand in front of you all at festivals, on television, if I am lucky, on radio. I will talk about fucking and being fucked. I will talk about the times that were hard to write about in the privacy of my rainforest retreat.

I am prepared for this, and yet there was that unsolicited comment on my blog post that I have deleted now. There was that other comment that greets me every time I look at my blogger account. There are unkind remarks that paint me as a slut, or an old boiler, or a piece of meat that might be feasted on by any passing bogan and his pit bull. I will have to stand up and soldier on through all that. Then, of course there are the bad reviews, so many of them and I would be better off not reading them, but of course I will. I am already hesitant about my own abilities. I read a bad book and I think I may be a bad writer. I listen to a podcast about bad apples and I think that I might be poisoning my workplace. I remember how one or the other of them said that I was unattractive or too playful to be loved and I believe every bad word, somewhere deep inside, a splinter worked in through thin skin and lodged somewhere like a clot travelling through my bloodstream, waiting for a small pathway in the brain before it will unseat me.

I am prepared for my audience to comment on my looks, my weight, my brashness, my craft and find me lacking and yet, I know that I am not so strong that I will remain unaffected by this. I have built a wall of people around me to protect me from them, Anthony, Christopher, Katherine, and Chris, with your new strong pillar of support I feel like I might be ready to stand my ground. Too late if I am not because I will be naked in front of the world. I am shovelling the cement of care around my base and I know that you will all stand by me.

Here in a new year, I nod towards the sure fort that I have chosen, take a deep breath, and I begin it.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

things I talk about when I talk about sex

Lubricate A then insert into B or alternatively C. Keep D and E handy in case you become exhausted by the mechanics of the thing. Repeat, perhaps, if you can be bothered. Refer to diagramme or instructional video if the thing runs out of steam.

Simple. That is all there is to it.

There are other things of course that I have spoken about when I was talking about sex, but here, I have removed them for the purposes of this demonstration.

Monday, December 29, 2008

things I find sexy

To start a book and finish it.
To sit in a cafe working on a story.
When my writer friends are recognised for their work.
To come across something beautiful in an unexpected place.
To see a small gesture of care from an adult to a small child or to someone they barely know.
A flower opening
Insects in the act of pollinating
fish and eels and earthworms
snail trails in early morning sunlight
The first mouthful of a meal that has been prepared with care
lying in the shade and looking up at the sky.
Fresh mown grass
Jelly, silken soft tofu or the flesh of a lyche
wind on my skin or a variation in temperature
vanilla scraped out of the bean
sticky rice balls with black sesame seeds
the scent of a rose and the feel of a rose petal on my upper lip
watching dark gather.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sad people in other people's houses

Itchy in the world. There are people who know how I feel. Chris Ware, Adrian Tomine, Annie Proulx and sometimes you although only in your stories and not in the real world it seems. I move around the world and I see other people pretending. They mostly rely on cliche. There are conversations that occur and nothing is really said but everyone leaves and seems relatively happy with the empty words and the pat responses. It is how we learn to be in the world. Sometimes I play the game for a while until I cannot bear it anymore. Then the honesty returns and people stop and stare and change the conversation.

With you I am always honest. I have never lied to you intentionally. I have started as I hope to continue.

I wander lonely in a world of other people's houses. Even my own home is not mine, it is slowly being transformed into somewhere where I must be restrained. Clean surfaces. Pristine benchtops and nowhere for me to hide the crime of my clutter.

I retreat to the complicated honesty of our conversations, a shelter of sorts, and one that I have built up over a steady period of months. This is a place where I walk naked and won't be judged. I am not judged. I am astonished by this because I judge myself so harshly.

Outside the shelter of our conversations, outside the warm hug of my marriage, outside in the world of other people's houses, I walk, lost and lonely and misunderstood.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

sexually aroused by your story

So I read your story and I am aroused by it.

It is a story of two brothers and neither of them spend much time undressed. There is a shower scene but I didn't even imagine him naked. There is one passing mention of sex but it is just a word without images attached. Still, I am aroused by the sense of distance that you have managed to capture so perfectly and by the slow stages of editing, each word removed making the whole thing just a tiny bit better, the blossoming to perfection like an overblown flower abandoning it's petals leaving something stark and lean and almost perfect. I am aroused by your potential to write more stories and perfect them before my eyes, a strip tease of removals that I will be gifted with. The idea of a novel by you makes me physically tremble. I read Chris Ware and I say, there you are, in the panels where there is nothing but the edge of a sleeping face.

And if you touch my work, if you undress the over-wrapped novels that I am so fond of, it will be impossible for me to contain myself. I may become annoyingly hyperactive. It will be irritating and I apologise in advance, but I am aroused by the thought of being edited by you. The idea of your careful knife slicing back syllables has me undone. Is there anything more intimate than this act. Is there anything harder than the anticipation? You have read a paragraph or two and I am ready to drop any adjective I own at the ground before you. I am ready to stand bare and lean and vulnerable.

I wait.

I shudder.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Stuart's underwear

Stuart's thighs drip sweat into the coffee-scented heat haze. His arms tense and strain as he packs coffee grounds, hefts the implement, pulls another thick dark shot of coffee. It is all clang and clash and he reaches for yet another short black glass and the scent of his sweat is acidic. Viral rabies snarls in his blood stream, gnashing it's cellular teeth, causing him to twitch and groan as he sets down a cup of coffee in front of a particularly insistent customer.

Somewhere beneath his shorts there is a damp layer of cotton, ripe with the exertions of a barrista on Christmas eve. The air conditioner has started to blow hot air, and the customers are worn thin by their chafing against family members they rarely see. Stuart's underpants prop up the hurly burly of yet another day. It is their second outing and he is itchy with the juices of 48 hours of stress, but it will be worth it.

Later, at home he unpeels the whole sordid dampness of them from his skin which has begun to chafe and scab up. He opens the zip lock bag, deposits the underpants into it, seals it, dates the little white label on the outside of the packet. 23 & 24/12/08. Christmas Eve.

He deposits the bag on top of a pile of other similar bags each with their own crusted over pair of underpants. People will pay good money for this. He shakes his head and slips into a fresh pair of knickers.

Ours is not to reason why, thinks Stuart as he cracks another beer.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

religious holiday

The mono-religious holiday where there are more instances of domestic violence than at any time of the year. When more people in rural Queensland clean the family rifle a little more vigilantly than usual and blow their own head off. When people crash their cars. When emergency rooms at the hospital are run off their feet. When children cry because of their disappointments. When adults cry because the are reduced to children, when old wounds are ripped open and new ones are created. When people wrap overpriced presents in green and red because of a marketing campaign by Coca Cola that suggested that these were Christmas colours. When shop assistants snap at each other like tethered dogs. When sex is performed drunk and without adequate protection leading to a rash of september babies labored over in the heat of a new season. When husbands and wives grit their teeth at the oddness of in-laws and crack their jaws over the failings of their own parents and siblings. All this because of a biblical story. A religious fairytale that I have never actually believed.

I know I am all ba humbug and I know that people start to be nice to you on Christmas Eve and that is nice of course, but I am feeling sad about my family. A strange and haunting distance that is just underlined by other families who come together and act like they really like each other. I feel more like an alien at this time than at any other.

So merry Christmas to the orphans and the outcasts among you. Stay off the roads and don't play with weapons. Drink a little, but not with any gusto. Look at art. Listen to music. Read a book and remember that there are people out there who you have chosen to be your friends. We will survive the season and I will see you back at work after two days of public holidays.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

keeping sex out of it

So how do you keep sex out of it. I do try. I know that this friendship is not of a sexual nature ultimately. I feel a kind of familial pull towards him. I have the kind of attraction that imagines whispering together under a sheet or lying on grassy spaces pointing at clouds. This is a clean kind of love that has that longevity woven through it. It is a connection built on a love of solid things, colour, sound, texture, words and ideas. There is no possibility of complications. And yet I still misinterpret a little twang of admiration, feeling it turn deep in my belly where it becomes all mixed up in the visceral juices. A quick acknowledgement of innocent care is spelled out by a pulsing contraction. I am all mis-wired but I have learned now how to live with this cross-communication. You do that thing that I find iresistable, flexing your powers of nerdy concentration as if you would not know the effect that it has on me. I turn, predictably, into the restless swell of sexuality which develops hot and steady like dough rising. But that is fine, of course, because that is a feeling I can live with. I turn back towards my ever-beloved boyfriend and use that swell of pressure in a relationship that is maturing like fine wine. This is about me and not you but I enjoy you anyway. You make my skin peel back and feel naked. You make my mind rattle. You tolerantly turn back and make contact despite my worst behaviour and I feel like I might be made of the same stuff as you. And I want you to remain with me for many years but that is your call. For my part I will continue to keep sex out of it. It isn't hard. Have you seen my boyfriend? But I hope I never let go of you and I hope you never run off, forgetting me, and I hope there is a happy ending after all, even though I don't believe in happy endings at all.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


so I am still jealous of his way with words, and his heart which is so much more constant than mine. I read about his love and longing and it is completely free of bitterness. My insecurities betray me. I am a creature of jealousies and erratic passions. I spend much of my life wondering if I can be liked at all. He seems so ploddingly solid on the earth. One foot in front of the next, one story following another and I admire him for it. And I wonder how he can be so good to me when there are a crowd of people hanging on his every word.

Monday, December 22, 2008


I do remember.

Kneeling between the speakers and the sound connecting with all those tone-shaped spaces in my spine and my joints and my groin. Little connections in my head, cells clapping hands and sticking, like the stuff of addiction, the music fusing physically.

So this is sex. More so than the furtive masturbatory moments which is physical and nothing more. This closing of eyes and opening up to sound is like romantic love. It is the taste of shapes, or colour that is all olfactory delight, it is the mixing up of things that is more about sex than sex itself.

He leaves for a while and I run for the colours that sink into the tips of my fingers and make my fingernails smell blue. I plug my headphones in and play music that is love. Love is how I feel and has nothing to do with anyone except myself. This big echoey space inside me large enough for music and art and literature to squeeze in beside my lover and the handful of friends I have picked to stay with me. You and the music. Today there is the music. Today therefore there is love and I said it to you in passing. That word, love.

I love you anyway without all the rest of the mess I make of things. That word love that is only about me ultimately and the giving over to something that is akin to song.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Laura's Underwear

I have seen Laura's underwear. It is just a thing really. You stand beneath someone, holding the chair that is perched on the table and she is wearing a short skirt and you get to see her underwear. This is how these things happen and seriously, there is nothing untoward about it. They are just white knickers, hiked up over one cheek like any underwear and I feel nothing special despite your quips that I might blog about it. Perhaps it is disappointingly romantic, but I am more likely to find an erotic charge in the coy glances across the coffee machine or over a nice afternoon scotch on the back deck. More interest in fact when I saw her art and understood that she had more to say than I had expected.

I know that she is young and beautiful and that I am nothing but my own sexuality hardened to a brittle crust around an empty place, but I can't bring myself to make any more of it. Maybe it is the season, the pummeling of the customers, the fact that I am an old leery lady by comparison. Maybe it is because I am making an effort not to sexualise my friends. Still I saw Laura's underwear and she knew it and he made a joke about it and it did indeed become a blog post and here that post is now.

lick it

I almost licked their computer screen. Ridiculous as it seems. I was lost in thought and the flat screen fell casually into my line of vision and the silver edge seemed soft and somehow textured and I found myself leaning forward. The shop smells like fuel and the men all have bitten-back nails the colour of tar and there is a certain disorder to their paperwork that appeals to me. This and the heat. It is probably the heat, but I leaned forward and I knew suddenly that if I hadn't caught myself then I would have licked the computer screen.

Am I alone in this? Is this some rare psychosis that turns every inanimate object into something I must taste or touch or take into my body? You are one of a kind, he tells me on the telephone, reminiscing. There has never been anyone like you. This is not comforting. I like to be unique but I do not like to be lonely. One of a kind, no one like you, when all I hope for is a little friend who speaks in my voice and nods and understands and does not judge me. Still, I have a suspicion that every once in a while, everyone has the urge to lick the computer screen at their motorcycle workshop.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


one face bleeds into the next. One lover might as well be another. One crush relived, refined, revisited until I have sorted myself out. So this is not about you ultimately. As my memory of it fades I wonder how it could have swelled to fill up all the space. This balloon of otherness buoying me up against the drag and drown of a long and enduring relationship.

I see you again and I am not undone by you. I am tight wound and contained. I do not need you, but I like you anyway. In other circumstances it would be nice to have you around but tonight I could take you or leave you. You, him, the one before and the one before that. You are the necessary parade. I watch you leave with them and I hope you will not speak about me. I hope you will leave me undamaged as I leave you undamaged. This thing is just practice and play. The conversations about books and art and ideas are the currency that we will deal with in the long term. I build this play house on the firm sure ground of my own relationship. What we plant together may turn to weed or flower. We will pick what we grow but know now that it was planted in the sunlight and at a very sweet time.


I mean no harm.

I like to think I am more dangerous to myself than to others, but you have thrown me. You have drawn me in an image that I do not recognise which is only appropriate as you do not recognise yourself in what I write.

Perhaps I am a bad person. Your message to me has made me question my own intentions.

I meant no harm. I can only repeat this mantra but it doesn't fix things.

Please let me learn from this. Please let me change into someone made of soft foam. Someone who bounces off the people in this world effortlessly, breaking no one. But we never change. We die the way we are born. We are tight packed unflinching piles of personality. I hunker down to my fate.

So I read your message and I fall apart again and I remember what being apart is like. I was apart so often when I brushed up against you. I cry, publicly, humiliatingly, ugly red eyes and cheeks flamed with embarrassment. I wonder if I should have walked away from therapy before this scene played out. I wonder how many more scenes I will have to live through. The girl who hates to be touched will be pummeled. All the people I have ever butted up against each with their thing to say, each with their hands reaching out to slap or hug or push me.

I meant no harm. Know this now. I meant no harm. I meant no harm.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

leaving me

I have not forgotten him. I have not completely let go of the potential to lust after him. The fact that we cross paths nearly every day makes my thing for him less urgent. I still get to brush past him, touch him on the back or on the shoulder if he is kneeling down. I still get the visual rush of seeing him open the door and enter the shop, all silhouetted half-mystery half-familiar. I still want him at my side but we have moved on from the pointy end of my desires. He has taken it away from me with that sticky patch we hauled ourselves through together. Now it is almost always easy honesty, collegiality with a bit of visual stimulus thrown in.

Still he will be leaving soon and I have a little wave of anxiety because when he is gone I will miss him like an organ ripped out and donated to someone else before I am ready to part with it. I can feel the gnawing hole of the lack of him. The emptiness of heading to work each day. The possibility of an afternoon beer taken out of my reach.

I will work hard, I tell myself. I will slave over the jobs I have before me and then there will be no room to miss him, but the truth is I miss him already and I have flashes of potential goodbyes, a quick duck into the cupboard for an extended, and not quite chaste kiss, a pressing against him while we are counting the tills. All this can and should be re-interpreted in other ways of course, my careless expression of lust may actually just mean "you are going, and I will miss you terribly".


It was good to reconnect. It was good to talk and know that I was not completely faultless. I embrace the guilt, like a good catholic although I am not one. Hair shirt. Cat o nine tails. I am sorry for your pain. I am sorry that all these years later you use the word 'damage' and remember the bad things just as vividly as I remember the good. There is no truth. There is only he said, she said. We take the story apart and facets of it slip easily into memory. Flat little slithers of truth lodging in us like a clot. Nothing passes easily.

20 years. A blink. A tired sigh. All of it dissolving into the beginning of what might become a friendly banter. And we have not changed, we two. And I have not changed. I am spike edged and full of hurt. Careful of me. I am not a bad person but there is poison in the spines and you should tread cautiously.

Monday, December 15, 2008

treading water

I avert my eyes. I could look but I don't. This is how you will know that I am relatively harmless. I could look and hold your gaze and the moment would be imbued with meaning, but I turn and make the coffee and there is time for you to do what you need to before I turn back. There are times when I have been impolite but this is not one of them. I am telling you now that I am mostly bark. I have bitten less times than I have fingers. And then, rarely to leave a mark.

I wait, hoping that you will remember the times when I could have pushed it oh so much further. I wait hoping that we will return to some kind of equilibrium. I wish that the warm rush that I have now associated with the thought of you might one day harden. I have leaped again, not for the last time, and I am in way out my depth.

Except you are there, a small stone suddenly, enough to rest on in this game of treading water, and our talking seems easy and full of warmth. I distrust it, of course, but I pause here in this brief conversation, and for a while I can breathe more easily.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Three hugs

The first hug, all spike and prickle and the bicycle between us to give me room from him and the echo of regrets dogging my wheels on the way to work.

The second not even a hug, but a hand offered over my shoulder and an irritation. Just a quick grab of my hand, a shake for politeness, but you hold my fist in yours and you squeeze it and you are drunk but you hold my fingers as if it were all of me and suddenly it is a hug, this little moment of extreme contact. Suddenly, with my back to you and the cab driver and someone else in the cab with us, it is an intimacy that could make me uncomfortable. You have rescued me from the inevitable dissatisfaction with this gesture.

Third is the easy way we pressed sweat to sweat and I knew that this was a lasting thing from the casual way we said 'see you later' and the nice sweet smell of you in my clothes. The smell on my couch, the smell of you and my fondness surpassing the possibility of sex that is in the air between every one of us if you think about it carefully enough.

These three hugs and more. Please more. Each one easier than the one before. Multiples of three. And all the love that we grow with each little press of the flesh.

Friday, December 12, 2008

You as sexual stimulus

You as friend. You as sexual stimulus. These things can coexist and I need not let the one impact on the other. You say you don't mind and this is a pattern repeated. How can you mind what happens secretly and in the privacy of my own loungeroom? In a past life I would meet the boy I had a crush on and it would take a moment for me to separate the sex from the real world relationship at hand. This new thing is clean that way. I sit at a table opposite and of course there is that physical association, you equals pornography equals orgasm and a quick return to a fairly heightened state of contentment. But this is nothing hidden or dark or worth beating myself up over. The image of you is a useful tool. The reality of you is an easy friendship. You smell nice and you have nice eyes and you are sharp and energetic and each time we meet you seem to look more beautiful. I lust, but it is nothing. I can hug you now without flinching. I could lie beside you without needing something from you. I have gathered you into myself and I imagine that we will sit comfortably for many years, separate stories, touching spines, but remaining within our leather bindings.

I tried the web again, hoping for a more suitable dance partner for my evening alone at home but it was all veneer. I closed my eyes on the mechanics of yet another coupling and you were there, just a ghost of you, not naked, not lustful, just you, sitting opposite across a table, and I was done.

But you don't mind and I don't mind and you are old enough to tell me if you did, and I am old enough to know what is a breach of faith. There will be other versions of yourself as sexual stimulus. I will move on to someone new and untarnished sooner or later, but for now you will do. Thank you for yet another evening's entertainment. Thank you for tolerating my imaginary romance. Thanks again for all the years of friendship we have embarked upon, because when you as sexual stimulus fades, there will always be you as friend.

Monday, December 8, 2008


I have returned to my sadness. I have returned to my regular masturbation. I am sad today, and because of this I did not politely log off before reaching for the comfort of it. I found a book and scanned the pages for something sexual. It was a book of sex but there was nothing of interest there. I heard the flat beep of another message and clicked over to read and answer it one-handed. The banal chatter, and me breaking my own rule and the sadness of it.

I became distracted by the search for sex that might also be beautiful. It was just words words words and he said 'so what do you think' and the fact that he asked was perhaps more erotic than the yellowed pages with their dog-eared corners and cracked spine. 'Should I do it?' he asked and so I put the book down. There was the flashing grey / blue of the square on the screen, a new colour, because you can change the colour now. It had a rhythm to it in counterpoint to some music I was playing on the laptop. And then there was his question. And him, oblivious. It was enough. I broke my own rule. Not in any earth-shattering way, just a quiet little blip and a rush of chemicals in my brain and I blinked and switched the little whirring thing off and typed, two-handed now, 'I don't know, I suppose so.'

And I felt less sad.

'got to go'

and I said



I have things to do but I can't focus. I have a book to read and make notes about. I have things to plan and things to get done and I have become all slug and hibernation. I feel like I have done bad things and thought bad thoughts and now I have broken my own rule and I should be feeling bad about this too, but I am all full up with bad, and any more badness just slides off the top along with all the other things I could be sorry for.


This is how a friendship forms, embryonic thing defined by what we don't know about each other. There are little intimacies, raised eyebrows, small twitches of our lips, smiles or grimaces or winks that comment on customers or communicate one thing or another and suddenly it is clear that we have a shared understanding that removes us from the rest of the staff. I forget that the boy is a boy. His age slips from him like a cloak he was wearing and he morphs into a person, a friend. I notice when he arrives at work. There is always a silent nod. We close the shop together and it is an easy thing to ask if he needs a lift home.

At first he is frightened of the motorcycle, he clings to me and I am a prickly creature but I tolerate this kind of physicality. He is light and barely impacts on the bike's maneuverability. When he settles into the speed of the thing, he relaxes back into the pillion seat and his hands are light and comforting on my hips. I drop him at the top of the hill and he slips off the bike easily I reach over to help him with the helmet.

"So what are you up to on Friday after work?"

Thursday, December 4, 2008


and check this out here


My mother will be reading my memoir as we speak. A crash course in Krissy's furious vagina. I wish my mother could just be happy for me for creating something unique and kind of interesting, but I don't believe this is the case. This is the final big hurdle before the fun part, the edit and the race towards marketing and publication. I love my mother very much. I would like her approval. I would like the approval of my grandmother as well, but I won't get either.

I am vaguely anxious.