The Bourgeoisie Will Always Be With US
“She was no good for your future, Craig.” He said.
“I have no future,” I responded, quoting the Sex Pistols.
He just gave a dismissive sigh.
I know he was right to drag me away
From a chaotic house of drug fiends
And associated parasites,
Because I wouldn’t have left on my own volition;
The woman I love lives there
And love is blind.
I’d just cooked a fabulous veggie curry and rice
For the household, which was on the stove.
The night before I’d cooked Aussie bolognaise
And the kitchen had taken days to clean.
He arrived and I showed him all my good work
“Would you like some?” I asked
But he declined, insisting that I accompany him
To his place for dinner. It’s a spectacular house
With an ocean view stretching north along the coast.
More rooms that you could poke a stick at
In marked contrast to where I’d been staying.
Three of us sometimes shared the lounge-room
Joey and Zoe, the co-ees
And myself. Sometimes I’d be woken
At four in the morning by Joey searching out more drugs;
He’s only sixteen. At five oclock one morning
He was telling me that Zoe,
Asleep on the couch, wanted to fuck him.
“She must be desperate.” I disparaged.
“I’m not desperate.” Came her groggy reply.
That stirred her up, I thought.
Biz, who now runs a very successful architectural business
Was cross examining me about why I’d returned
To the South Island after an absence of twenty three years
“It’s Kate, isn’t it?”
“Yes,” I was forced to concede. “I’ve always loved her
And when she contacted me on facebook I just had to see her.
She’s the greatest woman I’ve ever met.” I added with a touch
Of hyperbole. Although I did and still do believe it.
He began to list the reasons why I shouldn’t get involved
With her and her posse of homies.
“Her fourteen year old daughter is shacked up there
With an eighteen year old loser.” He reminded me.
“If she was my daughter I’d have him locked up.”
“So would I,” I replied. “I have two of them that I never see.”
He has four sons, so we don’t see eye to eye as fathers;
Boys are the enemy as far as I’m concerned.
Some day somebody’s sons are going hurt my babies -
I wish I could wipe all teenage boys off the face of the Earth;
I’d even consider going back to teaching if it were possible.
After a nutritious vegetarian meal and a glass of wine
We watched some telly. He was going to watch football
But my eye caught a four letter word on the screen: Head.
“Take it back,” I asked. And sure enough he had a recording
Of a Monkees movie I’d seen years before.
Fantastic, and utterly subversive.
It was rare for me to get to watch anything as remotely interesting
And poignant as this film.
I slept in a real bed in a separate room
But was awake hours before daybreak.
I was going to book a bus ticket
Back to Christchurch a week early.
The logic was that if I stayed any longer
I would never leave.
I’d be throwing my life away.
Like I cared.
It was too cold to sleep anymore
And his offices were remarkably warm
So I took refuge in there
Making cups of black tea
Staring at the view of Dunedin by night.
Biz was up and in his office by six a.m.
And opened up a computer for me
To check my email, which proved fruitless.
I went to facebook and composed a goodbye letter
To her, telling her that I loved her
But had always been too scared to tell her
And that I adored her passionately
But a middle class intervention had taken place
The night before and that I would be leaving that day.
It was pretty hard to write. Biz was in the room
So I couldn’t exactly shed too many tears;
That would appear unmanly.
The sun came up
And he gave me four dollars for a bus back to town
Where I would book a seat for my journey that day.
I was too scared to see her, as I am a natural born coward
And as she began work at nine.
I thought I could kill a bit of time
Before going back to her place to collect my possessions.
Of course she was there. She can read me like a book
The very dull one’s you read at bed time to make you feel drowsy.
“I knew you’d be back for you stuff. You left your harps here.”
She was pretty fucking angry.
“Did you read my reply on facebook?”
“No, I haven’t.” I suspected it would be fairly cruel. It was.
“Why do listen to them? I thought we could do something
“I assumed you’d be hitching back down to Kai
To see your young man.” I venomed back at her.
“I only went down to stay with him
Because he was going to be
Sentenced the next day.”
“And he got remand anyway.”
The ugly side of me was emerging swiftly.
We cried and hugged on her bed.
I kissed her for the first time.
She told me she loved me too. It was a fucking mess.
We spent the remaining hours we could together.
I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her
But I still had a lot of work to do
For it to be possible. Winding up my house.
Selling all my possessions.
Getting rid of the cat.
It was a long and complicated list.
We had coffee and a snack together
The closest we’d ever had to date, I guess
And walked over to the nakedbus depot.
We kissed and hugged tightly.
I didn’t want to go. I really wanted her so much right then.
I told her I loved her again and she did the same.
I waved goodbye to her from my window
And watched her wave back with a hurt little smile
I felt like a complete prick for trying to sneak off
Without a word of goodbye.
I shouldn’t have told her that I loved her so much
But she knew anyway.
“I knew you’d rush over on your charger and try to save me.”
I resent being so predictable.
As that’s exactly what I had planned to do.
Why did I leave?
Was it because my love for her is too strong
And I feared falling into an emotional abyss;
Or was it purely self preservation?
I hate myself so much for running away
And just want to be with her every waking moment ’til demise.
Why couldn’t I have told her that I loved her years ago?
Probably self loathing and fear of rejection.
She is all I want right now.
I want to yell out to the driver
“Turn the bus around;
Fuck the other passengers.”
But it is entirely my fault that I’m ruled by fear.
I miss her like Hell already.
I feel more like sobbing each northward kilometre
However unseemly that may seem.
I didn’t have to go, or want to. Or need to.
But if I’d stayed another day
I would never have left.
Why not? I thought.
Fuck the cat
Fuck the house
Fuck the rates
Fuck the shitty town of Coolamon.
I’ll cancel my return ticket
And head back to Dunedin.
I know she loves me
She knows I love her.
Why not? I thought.
I just want to be happy
And I want to make her happy
If I can.
I know she’s a mess
But so am I or I wouldn’t be here.
Fuck the cat
Fuck the future
Fuck all of my concerned friends.
I love her.
Why not? I thought. Why not?
I don’t pretend to understand love
And reading Freud’s Psychology of Love on the bus
Is not helping one iota
Confusing it with sex as he does
But he wasn’t a romantic like me
Nor a poet, just another bogus scientist.
I’m not claiming to be pure or moral
Or even remotely decent
Just old enough to know that sex changes everything
And isn’t worth risking and sacrificing a friendship
That has survived three decades.
Having said that, it still would have been nice.
Q: What’s the difference between an egg and a beetroot?
A: You can beat an egg.
But we have the rest of our lives
To avoid intimacy with one another.
Besides, I never ask. It should just happen, unspokenly.
Predatory men appal me, frankly. They have no class.
And loveless sex is fine for animals and adolescents,
Whoremongers and the mentally challenged I suppose.
And if I have to accept sexless love
Well, at least someone loves me
So we might as well get married.
But I know I’ll never see her again.
Back in Christchurch at Jim’s place.
Biz flew up from Dunedin today
And is staying here too.
I should really get the Hell out of here
And fly back to Australia on an earlier flight.
I feel really awkward and know I am intruding upon
The domestic equilibrium.
Biz’s partner in Dunedin can’t stand the sight of me
And Jim’s partner up here possibly despises me.
I have no business here. I’m not a businessman.
They are, however, and good and caring fathers.
I don’t know why I seem to be such a threat.
My reputation as a maniac has obviously preceded me.
And here was I thinking that I am a good man.
Obviously not. But we all go back a long way
The three of us; to about 1980,
And it’s only a few more days.
Not even I am capable of destroying their domestic bliss
In such a short space of time.
Probably alter the calm irrevocably
But I don’t see their separation as imminent.
And I have to go back to a life of loneliness and despair
Knowing I will never find anyone to love me again.
It’s all comparative. Get over it. I won’t be here forever.
It’ll just seem like it.
Now I just have to hang here for a few more days.
It’s not like I’m bludging. I cook when I can.
I buy the necessary staples: bread, milk, tea, biscuits and wine.
I bought a tiramisu for dessert yesterday;
And it’s not my fault that all these women are vegans
And random health fanatics
Who fear being deserted if their arses grow too big;
That is their insecurity. Mine are very different.
I suppose I’ve encroached upon their sacred ground;
But not out of malice
And not out of choice.
I should stay at a backpacker's hostel for a few days
Where it is freezing cold and the young people shun me
Because I'm old and ugly and boring.
I wish I hadn’t told her how much I love her; but I had to.
I could have just lied and left on a false pretext
But I wouldn’t have heard her tell me she loved me
And I would have been spared all this self inflicted pain.
© Copyright 2017 Craig Davison. All rights reserved.
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