A white woman in a Jamaican hat is doing laps inside the restaurant like she’s being reunited with her three year old princess self. She’s never felt this good, each moment a new epiphany too profound not to share, piling up on eachother and jabbering out incomprehensibly. The staff don’t seem to even notice, they must be used to it at 6am in Northbridge. This guy in the line is hale-beaten and rambling to the kid behind the counter, calling out babe over his shoulder trying to calm her down like he had nothing to do with it. He’s much older. I just realized it’s the breakfast menu. “How am I supposed to fill my spiritual void with the FUCKING BREAKFAST MENU?” The kid looks puzzled, but the pimp hands me a gold-bracelet asking if it’s real and turns back around. What kind of night soil is now on my hand? At least I can still be trusted.
I’m texting Davo gulping this fake food.
“I can’t control myself”
I was back in town on leave many years back walking up and down Lake street after the clubs had shut. A puddle splashed behind me “What the fuck are you doing?” Blue and white checkers, Davo is in the passenger seat. I couldn’t look at him he knew what I was upto. He says to his partner something like he used to live with me and I’m scared of going home alone. “Go home dickhead!” The window goes up and his white asian teeth are laughing at me. No point suffering if noones watching.
I like his stiffness, dryness, blackness – tough love. Unsympathetic empathetic.
I’ve been waiting all month to see the Nerve Quakes. Their vinyl uplifting me clawing me, convincing me to cut myself or something. I’m teary, riding fast down past the old barracks, I play these I don’t care I don’t care games with T junctions. The car skidded, the dog leads went tight and I came off running. I screamed fire ecstasy and rode on getting my teeth out zigging. Something white came towards me I ducked it. “Thems the brakes!” I heard, it was Ascalon!! Fancy talking to infants like they’re adults. I wake up in the night you know with severed kangaroo heads going through my garbage.
I tried to get money out but dear customer due to upgrades. Riding up in front of the long glamourous line and locking my bike, I felt like the dog that’s ripped the washing down. Act cool act cool, I have a right to be here just like anyone else, plus I have a septum piercing now. No-one showing their socks turmoil. Mullets? Has it been 20 years already? No Eftpos! I felt like crying. On the kerb, hoping the door girl takes sympathy, sitting at an unusual height, skirts, legs, blondes, “Kiera! I’m coming with you!”
Some lawn mower man had signatures of all three singers from Iron Maiden tattooed on his forearm asking me about The Bird.
“It’s the coolest place in Perth and I can’t get in”
“Fuck it, I’m off around Australia in a coaster bus next week, c’mon’ I’ll shout ya.”
The door girl waved us in for nothing. I blame you for the long ride here. At the bar they asked my friend what he’d like, they didn’t want him there. He said, “I’ll have some fresh multi coloured popcorn.” I loved how he didn’t say please I hadn’t grinned like that all week. He told me, “Skate-boarders don’t like non skate-boarders riding skate-boards.” We drank $10 pints of Sly-Fox and through the gap in the curtains I saw a 10 year old kid get in a car and drive away. No-body was looking so I didn’t bring it up. His name was general and he hated the witch music but it would have been ungrateful to ditch him. I often stay when I want to go which seems to trigger sharing highly personal details about my life as a coping mechanism.
“And here I am buying you beer, why are you doing if you’ve got a problem?”
“Because maybe it will be different this time.”
I went out back trying to get to the toilet and all these high pants were standing right in front of it in a circle. They could see the trouble I was having trying to limbo underneath their arms but they wouldn’t budge. “Excuse me,” said one of them as I save my beanie from being taxed.
“Do any of you have a blue car?”
“It’s just been stolen.”
Surely I mustn’t use manners if I want to be cool. If you’re hopeless in business invest in your image.
The Nerve Quakes are the coolest band in Perth and are already post streaming. You have to buy the album to listen to it, what have I just posted? What if they stop liking you? I can see how this shit makes you stupid. It’s not even that good, neither is coffee. I’m cooler without it, melts my ice. Looks great on my wall though, a grown man taking selfies. No replies from those girls either. Serves you right. That’s funny I’m starving yet I’m not even hungry. Is that because when you put unnecessary stuff in, it pushes necessary stuff out? Then returns home like a sorry husband.
I rode to the moon because I’m dqunk and wanted to write. It’s the coolest café in Perth – more like a diner. I used to say I’ll go in there one day when my hairs k but they started remembering me since I became a fisherman. Douglas was in there, just woken up out the back under a lampshade with a head like a brown splattered paint ball. I like sitting in the centre of the room, just a second. In the reflection of the mirrors two older men are kissing her hand.
“You love so and so,” says Douglas.
“I do not. I’m just intrigued because she has a shaved head. And because I love the moon. Plus I’m too old for her, she would be hard work anyway. She’s too popular.”
He’s nodding his frizzy head.
“Yep, you love her.”
She comes over and kneels down next to me.
“That looked interesting.”
“I used to work at a deli and I knew them by their cigarettes.”
I’ve already looked her up. Two years ago she was a normy now she’s a punk and got all the likes. I got 80 once. I should get a photo with her. When I get rid of this rash I’m going on tinder.
There was a laugh coming from another table, which I vaguely recognized. She said hello and I deliberately mistook her for someone else so she would think I was hot. She was wearing pristine jeans with those factory holes in them that people with credit cards buy for nirvana. She joins me and starts the think and grow rich talk, asking what I do for money. I told her I was a private investigator but it was a lonely job. She said she had heaps of friends and flicked her hair. She was wearing mustard. I picked up a french fry and said “Look, chutney!”
I knew Douglas would come to Pho’s 24hr after the moon because he woke up at nine and is lonely like me. I do actually have friends but you don’t count the ones who love you. Pho’s is the coolest in Perth because they never kick you out. Even that women who jumped in my car at a stop sign squirting breast milk is allowed and she starts fights. It’s a real niche with the other’s who struggle, the hum my record player makes even when the needle is lifted asleep, people asleep with their heads in soup, the couple nodding in the corner and the vines searching for something to grip, anything not moving. Oh and the strippers. They come in after their shifts across the road. How can you tell they’re strippers? Same way you can tell a cop. They’re always scanning for criminals. I want to get close to them but I’m eating a whole carrot cake while Douglas is scrollimg, the green light flickering on his grubby little wireless modem. I’m a wimp, I have no drive no potency, not even for sex. Biscuits are the only thing that get me excited. Why do you want to get close to the strippers then? Because their lives are secrets to me, I want to fix them and I want biscuits.
We went to his place, a homeswest flat up on the Kings Park hill. You could see a bush fire raging from his balcony. All he had in there was a pile of wooden instruments and a mattress. He told me some lefty couch surfers stayed with him and gave him a bad review saying he had cockroaches and was suspicious of society. They also implied he was a loser for eating at Annalakshme everyday which is where I met him.
So I left him for macdonalds, Mcdonalds. The exploiters of us with no control, who see that sign and can breathe for a moment as the dread lifts and the sky turns orange juice. The sun coming up. A worm drying out on the high school footpath. Cops here for the mad women. Where do you live? Ballajura. How did you get here? I swam.
“Why am I here!”
“Because you’re a piece of shit,” says Davo.
It’s like I just wish he would say there there, noone has it as hard as you you’re so good at being a fuck up. And then I’d go home. Wait. That’s it!
“Hahaha your right man! I am a piece of shit. The biggest and the best, the coolest piece of shit in Perth. Goodnight.”