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an introduction to... CHAPTER ONE

Where did you go Leigh???

Children never grow old

they just sprout wings

and fly away

"It's not all that bad - being a parent, actually it is really almost quite easily accomplished. Just put Them out in the garden and water Them once in awhile and They'll grow up just fine".

I believed that once. Don't any more.

Last night when the policeman knocked on the door, or did he ring our doorbell? It was so confusing at that moment. Two am - dog barking, head-butting the door. My girlfriend pushing me out of bed as she escapes under our sandalwoodstainedsatinsheets.

Dreams dissolving into dissolution. My son says, 'I didn't do it! Sorry dad', as He goes off to His room followed by two 'friends' I have never seen before -

One of which could possibly be a female. Perhaps they both were.

Why is my life like this?

Back in '78 - 1978 that is. I lived with Lynn and her eight year old daughter. Lynn and I weren't really lovers. Oh, maybe on the odd occasion when snow had newly fallen fresh and we didn't have a date we would pretend we were each other with someone different, wanting us more than we really did each other, but that was not usual. All I ever wanted in life was to live in a world of usuals. I never have. We lived in a small house in the country not far on a clear day from Baltimore to Washington DC Leos, pretending we were in a mansion, or just a small weekend retreat in some foreign alps. I was kind of happy. Maybe Lynn was too. Her daughter was, she wasn't an adult. How could she be unhappy? Use to tell Lynn that some day I too would have children. I would be a single parent...the only way to pretend the world is different than it is is to do it alone with no one there saying it isn't. Lynn wasn't happy being a single parent but I would be. I had a feeling. It would be great. me and my Children. Having a wonderful time frolicking through life. I would live in a two-story house somewhere in New England with two children, a story for each child that I would change as they got older and I would write novels as snow climaxed outside. Somewhere this story changed when without me paying close enough attention it changed and I didn't with it. Now I have been a single father living in a foreign country with no nearby alps for fifteen, longer than would have been if I had not done them here, years, while too poor to buy paper to write novels to my two Children reading them if there was snow to read them against down here in Australia.

Lynn committed suicide in 1984. Me in Australia her Maryland. Never got to tell her the joys of parenting single handed. Two hands tied behind my back too. Dreaming of developing my beingness in lightly falling snow that never here has known.

Snowfall warms the heart

and freezes the feet

That is why we were born

with boots on.

It keeps happening. The noise and clutter. All my Son wants to do is to beautiful the neighbourhood - the ugliness of suburbia is just too much for him. A few cans of spray paint can do wonders for these parts. I decide I will learn to understand. my Children. My my my how will I ever understand? Home from the library. Arms full of books, articles, magazines. Graffiti. Hip-Hop.

When my son first said he was into Hip-Hop. He was eleven. Year six. We were living in Victor Harbor. A tourist destination when there is nowhere else to go. After fifteen years in Australia I am beginning to think that most of this big island is a destination. It was originally a destination for convicts...excuse me, that is my Americanised colonial self perceiving deceptive perceptions... of course before it was a destination it was home to non-convicts, the real owners of this land. Such intruders we whites were. I was a convict of mis-guided love, and now I am imprisoned, gently raising my children on this island floating out of Dreamtime. Kangaroos. They use to hop across the back of our farm when we lived in Mt. Compass before starting over again in Victor Harbor. We would go out to the paddock and watch our dog chase them. Hip-hop. Hip-hop. Sacha was not into kangaroos suddenly. It was Hip-Hop. Hip-Hop is a culture: rap music, graffiti, skate-boarding and anti: Anti-everything. I wanted to know more. Did my Honours thesis on 'Graffiti as text'. Read. Talked. Observed. Even did some myself.

my Children Graffitied

the face of time.

This is going to be longer than I had expected it would be should be could be. I started writing this in 1978 when I didn't have children - just the imagination of how easy it would be. Having children. Well credit to where credit is due. Of course I wouldn't have the children like in those comedy films that come out every so often. Arnold what's-his-name having a baby.

Yeah! Right! Let's be realistic. Some woman would have the baby for me. I would get her pregnant in the normal in the back seat of my Chevy, underneath a voyeur moon in Scorpio. A beautiful act in itself. I wish I was Mosses or Noah or one of those people who God told to populate the earth. Solomon. No wonder he was so wise. What a guy. Seven hundred wives as well as 300 concubines Why hasn't Hollywood done a movie on him. Speilberg's 'King Solomon' see randy Soloy seduce one-thousand pin-up broads. Nakedly. Then wham. Christianity comes along. Guilt. Guilt.

And more guilt. One woman. One man. Or burn in indignation.. Wow! So I wrote that first few lines at the beginning of this chapter long ago. Kept adding to it. Then one day I had some children. A wife. Actually the wife came first, then the child then I moved to this foreign shadow. The wife was foreign to begin with, she was just returning to her shadow with me in chains crawling behind. Suddenly, I was divorced. It was like having a toothache in the middle of the night and even though I pulled the tooth ou sometimes it still hurts. I couldn't leave the foreign shadow. My family and friends were dying one by one in America. I was dying one by one in Australia. I was very very poor, not very smart and losing my clinically classical Neanderthal mind. I had two children - babies actually, in the year of their Lord, 1984. I had no friends. The wonderful South Australia Family courts said, "here, hear, have a couple kids, just don't leave town with them. Don't you leave either". I threw away all that I had written about the joys of parenting except for the first few lines. Now I will start all over again. About being a single father. Or single mother, grandfather, aunt, uncle, grandmother - I am them all - unto to myself, unto THEM - my father my dead mother, my dead brother, grandfather, aunt, uncle, grandmother. I have changed attitudes, switched gears, toward raising children. I hope by writing this I will realise what that changed attitude and in what gear it is. And my children will not be dented in their attitudes toward life needing perpetual undenting by future new-age therapists in the future, as they laboriously try to explain:

"Dad? Well he just kept slipping further and further away from reality. Spinningly. We tried to pull him back. So did his girlfriend. Then she slipped and fell too. But we were worried that we would become sucked into the same vortex, so we sent him to the 'Jimi Hendrix Nursing Home for Lost Shadows'."

Today, my son is preparing himself on the other side of me - - upThere in the sTaTes. Middle of the night here when I will hear, if my listeners are listening, whether he pitched the bronze medal game or slipped across someone's fallen karma and along with Australia came in fourth.

I often come in fourth especially when there are only two places. I create two more losing places just as a protest against bronze medal winning life styles.

Wouldn't you?

Hip-Hop. Graffiti. Fences. Next He will say He sprays the morning sky. "It's all Your father's fault". Lying is part of a post-modern continuum anyway. Creative story telling that only disintegrates if found to be untrue. Lying. Words tossed against the canvas of life. Some red here. Read between the red lines so well read. A bit of a collage there. Meaning constructed up in the middle lower. Frameless. Hang it in the museum of the subconscious for unconscious masturbating Freudians to sneer at. Legends. Myths. Dream Times. "And this mountain fell in love with this river and they had this island." "The great One took a handful of stars threw them at the East Wind." 'Burp!' "Jonah spent three days inside of the whale." 'Fart!' Eve shafted Adam. My son has painted all the suburbia trains and buses in Adelaide. "When my Children first came to this suburb, back in the old days...there was no visible graffiti. Then the cans appeared. Messages. Meanings. Graf-gods blessed the suburbs. But then the evil forces of the unhappy adult authorities looked upon the suburbs.

The wars began..."

I had a room in heAven once

But I left the door open

and all the bugs got in.

In my room in heAven now

the door is closed.

My room in heAven

has been given to a stranger.

One who will keep out the bugs

I once let in.

So I tell my children

"Close the door

Keep out

the bugs"

Just in case

they ever get a room

in heAven.

 

These two girls at the door. Thirteen Fourteen. 'Is he there?' He isn't. They leave. Girls don't visit my children too often. My children say they'd be embarrassed to bring girls here. I think it's so cute. Girls interested in my boys. I try to remember movies and television shows I've seen. Doesn't the boy - dressed nicely - go to the girl's house and meet the parents and ask to take the girl out. They say have her back by ten. Father sternly looking at the boy - "keep your hands off her if ya know what's good for ya matey". I rarely went on dates when I lived at home. Bowling sometimes. My father would sit in the car. We lived in Clifton Park - Upstate New York, population about twenty horny frustrated Christian children and a handful of adult entities. No public transport so my father had to take us. I would sit in the back seat feeling my date up and down all the way home. Presumably my father had his eyes on the road. We can't do that here. The fact that our car doesn't even always get us to where we are going or sometimes to there but not back is not a fact to consider. I can imagine, though I shouldn't, taking one of my boys on a date. Get half-way to where we are going, car breaking down. Broken. RAA towing us home. Me explaining to the girl's parents that our car broke down them not believing me thinking I'm some pervert making up that we were stranded on a country road with their daughter late at night.

It's all wrong. I want a proper life. A proper suburban car. A Volvo. Maybe a four-wheel drive station wagon. Something foreign like me. Take my Children and Their dates to nice places, with my Children dressed fashionably. Shoes not worn - with toes trying to escape out the sides, like they do now. Sneakers. Good ones. Like the ones in the commercials where the guy is jumping over buildings. My Children jumping over their karma, their legacy - me. Pants that aren't worn through to the knees. Up to date stuff. I'd take them to a nice restaurant not drive-thru-eateries like we do most days today, where we try to get extra free food on out of date vouchers. Maybe a movie. I would go to the library, read USA Today while they felt each other up in the darkness. Bowling would be o.k. Miniature golf. Now my Children have no money for dates. I have none to give Them. Can't drive Them anywhere anyway. I have been with my girlfriend for almost a year. We haven't been on a date yet either. We met in the park she bought some of my

Happy Bi rthD ay picture poems when I was trying to make money as a street artist in Glenelg a resort along the coast to the left of Adelaide. She came to my house a few weeks later. We ended up in bed. I still hope to go on a date with her. I need to be a role model for my Boys. Teach Them about dating and romance. I don't think I'm doing a good job of it so far. Time is slipping by. I don't know anything to pass on about dating. And now in this politically correct new age we live in I search for another proper political movement to be correct in. Maybe the girls will do all the date teaching stuff, I hope so, it would get me off the hook. Two girls at the door - I wonder what they would think of our house that I have yet to clean this week. It's Thursday already. It is good my sons aren't home. Always so much to do. We will all die of embarrassment...

 

11 MAY 1998 12:28:43 PM 650 pages later and still going strong. available end of 2001 somewhere.

a particular slice of the final chapter

1997 terrell.neuage@unisa.edu.au

 

Other poems: COLLECTION ONE ~ COLLECTION TWO ~ COLLECTION THREE

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Please note: this is an autobiographical fiction with some truths and some not-truths as it is an assignment in autobiographical prose fiction. Any part that resembles any particular person, LIKE MY EX-WIFE FOR EXAMPLE, event or situation is but coincidental. It has been submitted as part of a Masters Degree at Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria. 1997. Last fiddled with - July 19, 1998 :Hackham South Australia

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