See the man on the tram with hands holding his face, bent forward, earphones in. Pithy has been replaced by self-pity. He can’t forget, but he don’t remember. Today he wants nothing – nothing – more than to retreat, to bed, pull up the covers, disappear awhile. That is not an option though. Not now, not today. (“You got to be number one. Win, win, win! You sonofabitch.”)
Too long riding the upswell, had to crash. Should have known / couldn’t have anticipated it. Coulda shoulda shoulda shoulda. Self-blame. Pity. Confusion. Head bursting.
You made it up to Coles minutes after they opened. Driving in the dark to a playlist like a best of upstairs on that creaky chessboard floor at 229 Queensberry St, late 1994/early 1995 (Rob Zombie, Filter, Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana). That was fifteen years ago, but it’s a time you will never tire of re-visiting. It was the time you defined yourself, alone in the dark, trudging home in the small hours to that one bedroom ground floor flat in Prahran East. The rage, the desire to express yourself, to be yourself remains unchanged.
You wish it could be as simple as being thankful for the good things you have: the wife whose commitment is unwavering, the healthy daughters you adore. But still it’s not enough, is it? There’s something inside, something still burning, even if it’s just embers. You don’t know whether it’s a poison or a prize. Sometimes it feels like both.
When you told your wife what had happened, she said she knew it. You were shivering at night, talking to yourself like a rabid man. “That’s why you need to have that appointment,” she stressed. And so it goes.