Tuesday, August 24, 2004


I trundle in my sleep like I'm working a potter's wheel, each night building a new pot of regret on the tournette of a dream. And nothing smells edible anymore: when I walk past a chip shop, it smells to me like a pet shop; freshly sliced bread tastes like the dead skin pumiced from a foot during a pedicure. As a teenager, I chipped one of my front teeth when I kissed the full-length mirror in my bedroom, seeking succulence in my own reflection; but now I'm chipping my teeth on the all of life! I remember a sunny day when I was a much younger boy, watching a crop spraying plane swoop over the field adjacent to our family home. I cycled around the house, leaving tyre tracks in the lawn, feeling the refreshing coolness of the drifting crop spray on my sunburnt face; and then I cycled headlong into the wet clothes on the washing line, deliberately failing to duck so that I could catch the polyester line under my chin, allowing me to balance on my racing bike. I remained there for some minutes, in suspended repose, initially keeping a single hand on the brake, and then managing to rest both hands on my knees. The smell of pesticides and washing powder was quite pleasant, as was the mild choking feeling. Eventually, the bike rolled – only a little, but it forced me to alight, and the washing line pinged upwards, lifting my top lip and scraping against my gum, causing me to bare my teeth involuntarily, and I heard one of my eyelids make a curious wet sound as it slapped my eyeball, having been partially flipped back for a tiny moment. I stood there for a while longer, steadying the bike between my legs, gingerly running my tongue over the graze in my mouth and gazing at the amorphous, fiery garden through the fabric of a red beach towel. O' where is that red beach towel, now!? Does it still show the stain made by my younger face? Might it eventually turn up, like the inkblot sudarium used to clean and cover the face of Christ after the crucifixion, so I can look through it again, once more seeing that vision of my childhood?