Told you post back bout a guy i picked up on the highway, car had broken down. You dodge squashed crows on the tarmac of Australian country town roads/highways, maybe spent beer bottles by the side of the road on occasion,ruffled by ute drivers perhaps when the ute veers slightly. None of us veer slightly because we don't caress our ears with mobile inattentiveness these days now do we? It's against the law. So is dumping spent fridges, worn out junked king size queen size discarded mattresses bonked springless? But then that's just a figment of my imagination i s'pose. Imagine if doonas sheets and mattresses were transposed to human thought/voicedom, the stories they would be able to tell about their love lives or mundane 'lack of' in a "pillow talk" tell all?
Rang Kelvin, told him i'd meet him down at his local about 20 miles away as the crow flies, or lying squashed in some instances, by inattentive steerdom. Staring blank, a black flattened caricature of flight. Red streaks,black brushes, ironed out by countless car tyres. Don't get me wrong, there's regular highway clean ups, that's what we pay our registration for, at least some reg monies infiltrate there...the rest these days because of unemployment which threatens; probably already has embraced most families, goes to unemployed essentials, smokes, ice for a few that deem it an essential to face the daze and furtive nights, petrol, and nappies for the kids born out of love? Boredom, desire to escape oneself?
The pub was easy to find, there's only one, not far from the ubiquitous supermarket. Even drunks have to eat. If i could just digress briefly. Was talking to a young lass,who,like me, had come back from the city to live in the 15,000 inhabitant town i now live in but not by choice. My choice that is.She is a hotel worker,slots fixer upper etc, like my daughter was. I mentioned to her the lack of patrons must surely be a drag on the owners. She would have been 26, had the latest dark swish hairline she constantly flicked off one eye,bobbed at the back hairstyle, attractive black rimmed glasses which accentuated her squarish jaw line, but didn't make her look like a regimented secretary. Far from it. Usually most employees say, "oh we do okay." She flicked ash, "yeah, it's a bit of a struggle, things are well..." brushed her hair back, twisted her smoke hand emphatically...bit of a struggle,the whole town."
Then she grimaced, "it's quiet here..." Flick. I picked up my coffee cup, "wish you hadn't of said that girl, you just took the words out of my thoughts." "What do you and your partner do on the weekends? There's nothing but lawn bowls and i'm not real good at bowling lawn." I assumed she had a partner, if you wear a dress round here or tight black slacks like she wearing, then the world,or at least the men's whirl, is at your hi-heeled feet.
"She laughed, "i live with my parents, my partner and i go into the city (one and a half hours away) and just roam round. She leaned forward brushed ash off the wrought iron table set in the outdoor decking, "having withdrawal symptoms...but it's cheap here." "Me too." She smiled, "you should travel,it's been nice talking to you." I was born and shifted round towns, she was half my age and felt that same estrangement, the pull of the social and it was hard for both of us to adjust. Some people would die to live in these pristine towns, some have been forced by circumstance to live and die here but i aint going to embrace or have the last dance with death here. A lot do. Depends what magnet attracts i guess. You can be lonely in a crowded boom, but the boom times are over all over the world to be overtaken by crowded thoughts, breakups, and just plain longing for something,anything, to break the cycle...but somehow we all just keep peddling, wondering why,afraid sometimes emotion will tip us over? Money doesn't bring one happiness, but it could bring happiness within reach perhaps, start a spark? I don't know, then it depends once again on the participants i s'pose.
I walked into the bar, two young people playing billiards. The young guy sat slumped, looking reflectively at his cue, as if on cue with two other guys who had just come in out of the light, the 18 something young girl picked up her stick, kept lifting her leg in an over exaggerated stance, like "look at my cuteness as you can see i'm a lousy shot but i can showoff pretty good." The guys pretending to take no notice of her antics muttered, agreed. Turned and smiled into their beers.
I said to the young girl who seemed to be running everything including the beer taps. "Big crowd today, when you've got the time could i have a light beer please. Is it always this crowded?" She grinned. "We used to have a dance but..." There's always a but in these towns, or butts leaving,or butts downsizing,having to shift from the big smoke. Kelvin came in, limping. Six foot, 58, thin, slight paunch probably through what he'd been through, ran his hand through his tousled hair, looked a little bit like the aged Robert Redford, shook my hand, "shit man, you driving a rocket! i thought you'd still be coming." I ordered him a beer.We only had three ambers over two hours. LOOK! if you're a bit squeamish don't read on but you will because Kelvin had been to hell and back...still in it. We think the same, we talk the same...exactly the same thoughts about women. We could have been brothers.
He was employed in the railways working all over. His first marriage ended, he had married a virgin, said he wished she had of had another guy first because on occasion he sensed she should have, so that she wouldn't be wondering what another guy would be like. Even so, they were hot for each other. Had two little boys. I was amazed at his honesty and forthrightness,no bullshit, just straight from the hip. The young barmaid was leaning wiping the stainless, she had been listening as she too i think was drawn by Kelvin's frankness. He was talking matter-of-factly-softly. Not a braggart. He had been working away, came home one weekend, house was empty, just a kitchen table. Missus had vanished. Found out where she had gone, waited two days for her to turn up, she didn't. He rang her some time later, he was devastated. He pleaded with her to come back, broke his heart as it does. They weren't arguing bed was great, she hadn't a yearn for another guy. She was just plain bored and couldn't stand him being away, though for some reason she didn't ever elaborate. Lack of communication? Kelvin said he would have quit his lucrative paying job had he known. Bit like partners who are apart for work reasons, they just drift apart through that very thing, distance. Some dude presents. Pretty strong woman and faithful to stick to one guy i guess and most would. Maybe distance isn't the evil, but maybe it's a sly catalyst, waiting the for leak in yearnings to spring? The lady in question still hasn't hooked up with another guy, hence the expression "WOMEN! what the hell were or are they thinking? And how many marriages relationships falter through misunderstanding whether it be sexually related or just for the sake of a better understanding that went down the drain perhaps when a stranger pays a compliment in a weak moment and the husband though near is some distance away in his mind's eye, preoccupied by the thought that "naah...my missus wouldn't wander...now maate! Why would she for God's sake! I mean, (wipes froth off his chin,and his mate's) ...why the hell would she!" I mean why would she? I mean he's got everything a woman doesn't want in a man who takes her for granted perhaps...but that's a damn ridiculous unqualified statement that certainly wouldn't stand up in a court of divorce,let alone a lonely bedroom with two single beds.
Not for me to judge. I don't believe the heart grows fonder from being absent from someone you love. Bullshit from where i'm thinking. Kelvin remarried, a real nice spunk, had two more kids, she was a shrink nurse, and general. Loved money. More about that later. Kelvin got over his first virgin, he looked away when i said, "yeah right." I didn't dwell on that bogey man...woman? He was a bogie mover. Train bogies did at the time (they're carriage type things pon rails) have to be lifted off by huge forklifts because the gauge of the rails they run on differ. This particular day a piece of railway bogie was sitting suspended on four 5 tonne screw jacks. The shunter through misunderstanding, shunted the train into the setup, the whole deal collapsed. One of the five tonne jacks fell on him as he tried to dodge. As i mentioned in a previous post, it split him from his crutch to his midsection. Pushed most organs aside, plus the main femoral artery. Just flattened his body. It left a gaping hole near his crutch, the size of a football. Several workers ran to him, shoved their T-shirts in the hole as he started to bleed to death. A huge crane nearby swung into action, lifted the jack off. They all thought, Kelvin also, he was as good as dead. Sometimes God for some reason smiles, i don't know, surgeons six minutes away were waiting, my friend heard one ambulance driver say, "he's gone!" 33 operations in 28 days. 55 operations all up over 9 months on his back. Infection, pus everywhere. Removed three pieces of his pelvis bone he has at home. Had to cut his leg bones to reposition his legs straight as in his own laughable description, "i walked like a cowboy just down off an overweight horse!"
I bought him his second beer. I won't go into any specifics in his rehab, cept to say the poor bastard copped it. The surgeon whom declared he would never walk again was astonished when through sheer guts he got out of the rehab chair and did a Lazarus. He now has rods in his legs, plates in just about seven places, i counted. Because he can't get one leg to support sometimes as it hasn't the muscle or sinews, he has fallen over, smashed his ankle, broken arm, elbow, shoulder bones etc. But to look at him, you can't really tell. He's on morphine tablets for pain, but i think the residue pain from both failed marriages is still there. These events happened back in the late 80's. He received a once only offer for $240,000 which at the time in his confused state,his missus urged him to take. He did. Today, with good lawyers,i reckon you'd get millions. One of his workmates had a less traumatic accident, but is confined to a wheelchair, he received $60,000. In other words grin and bear it. Piss off. Society,caring, takes the easy route, leaving the victim, rooted,rootless, and in a lot of cases, sitting on the razor blade edge of madness.
Lovely compensation world we lived in, continue to do so. Today,scam artists slip on a banana and get one mill of fruit for their acting. I didn't even say "i'm so sorry Kelvin, life is a bitch..." Too trite. He read my mind. "Speaking of bitches, my second money grabbing missus took my compo via a house, land, tools, car, bus, camper, etc." I nodded in sympathy, we both laughed. Chinked glasses. She worked while he looked after the kids, she wasn't a real kid's mum and they didn't see a lot of her. He wasn't running her down as such, just cold hard facts to match her demeanor the way he told it. Don't get me wrong, i don't hold anything against women and their breakups for whatever the reason, and as Kelvin agreed with me some dickheads are out and out pricks, for the want of a better analogy. Kelvin agreed, "yeah...they meet a woman on the net, bring 'em over bonk 'em silly, they fall in love with them,then one night the potatoes whatever are overcooked and they slam the plate in their face and worse. Gutless wonders, and it happens. Maybe they tire of the relationship, start mucking round with other guys." I shrugged, "agree totally...any guy hits a woman for whatever reason is an asshole." I ordered another beer,a third, legal limit. I sipped. His ex, may i point out briefly, already mentioned before, had a stroke after an orgasmic night when they met once after the split, i mean he wasn't after her split, sorry for the rudeness- but it just happened. How? How the hell should i know, lust? Pity? Pity it didn't lust? I'm being stupid,my ex used to say that all the time. Funny, she always could be laughed round.
We started comparing near misses. His missus was cold hard calculating even in bed. I was puzzled. You don't have to read on if you're a prude and believe love, end result of lust, foreplay, caressing, etc, has anything to do with a relationship, just a quick "do i have to?" prelude perhaps to have a kid or three so it gives mum something to do? To play 'dress up' dolls and match the girlfriend's baby for baby? Naah...that NEVER happens. Women are just not like that. I'm being cylindrical. Cynical? In a round about way? "Kelvin from what you are telling me your marriage did break up over money didn't it?" "Nup, over sex." I don't believe in prying. "How come with you?" "That was just it Ralph, she didn't want to cum with me!" This guy's got a sense of humor even after all he's been through. "See," he finished his beer, right from the get go, the first time we bonked there was no foreplay, i was halfway way through banging her, she pushed me away, then finished herself off!" "You're kidding." "Nup."
"How bout you?" "Opposite mate, completely opposite,out of our heads." i shrugged. "My problem is a BP daughter stuffed everything,won't let go mum who is at her wits end, and i'm not going to pick up the pieces when she drags her down with her, i'm sick of it. Whereas your missus sounds selfish, sexless, at least with a guy, and self centered on money which she has now got and you're living in a renter? Go figure! Maybe in deference to your ex cold fish...go finger? not figure...seems to be the order of the play? The barmaid smirked. Walked away, served a skinny bikie chick who stood weighed down with a few kilos of assorted chrome trinkets, wide studded belt. She looked tough. Or maybe she just liked to give off that aura. Go figure, we all have our preferences. She may have been a uni student. Lacks or lack of, can be deceiving.
"So what are you doing now Ralph" "Annoying the shit out of a woman." "And..." "It's a long long story mate." I told him. "Do you want to go down the road for a coffee i have to get back, going to the laundry." We had to drive even though the coffee shop was only 100 metres away. His leg was playing up. A bikie friend of his came over, they talked about Kelvin's son. He spent $100,000 to set him up in dirt track bike racing,but he didn't make the big time as his son was a mid runner. Kelvin was a racer but when he came up against a mad top racer from New Zealand he gave it away. The NZ guy, 40 something won everything. Does age really count?
Kelvin's mate shook my hand, walked away. "You drink much coffee Kelvin?" "Got a $2000 machine, drink about 30 cups of coffee bean distilled a day man...love it." "Shit, you'll kill yourself doing that!" "Ralph bring it on, if i died tomorrow, great...just great!" I was waiting for him to justify his statement with a laugh. His face was calm, there was no self pity. "I have some pills if things get to the stage i can't look after myself. My ex worked with these people, in an old folks home. She lost her love of humanity. It hardened her in a bad way, she was downright callous, maybe that affected her in our relationship. She would actually tell someone they had a dire problem,no sympathy,no tears, like some doctors, you do the training but incessant death, the delving in it...the wretchedness, despairing, the "nothing more we can do next please" blank wall. It takes its toll." I nodded.
He continued. "My mum was in an old folks home, she was already dead. These homes are bullshit mate. The staff spring into action when the relatives turn up. The bell rings and the cattle stumble to the broth trough. My mum told me she was lonely,desperately lonely,no one talked to her...bastard of a way to finish your life...the older kids just waiting,waiting." "I agree with you mostly Kelvin but mate there are some good people out there who care and kids who love their grandpas and grandmas with a vengeance which i believe promotes longevity. And some caring very caring staff, but it's still a job and at the end of the day as opposed to caring for newborn it's a different scene i guess...so much more hope,so many things to look forward to despite tragedy at times also. I picked up a napkin, wiped some spilt coffee. "Speaking about death at the worst end though you say you welcome it..." I stood up, shook his hand, "i'm not a shrink and you've suffered greatly, and i'm not going to bang on about not attempting suicide. People bang on about it's a sin, God didn't have a five tone screw jack fall on him either, or a child with an abnormality like you did, to one of these stinking unprecedented diseases and i believe stress and worry encourages them, so stay cool man, you could be my brother brother." I shook his hand he limped upright.
"Listen man, if ever you're a bit thing, ring me, just ring me. You want money,we'll rob a Bank. You want love we'll rob a bank!" I know a bank manager. You're a good guy there's plenty of women round would love a guy with your outlook on women,they respond to someone with sensitivity, you never know." He laughed. "I'm not like you i'm a bit shy round women." "Bloody rubbish Kelvin, when you're talking to a woman just visualize you're talking to a man, there's only make-up, hi-heels, credit cards, and sharp nails the main difference you know...oh, and shrieking at times. Calling your name, if they can remember it"
"Good luck with that woman she sounds wonderful..." I cut in, "she is man." Kelvin wound down his window and shouted, "Maybe you should chase up a shrink?" "Naah mate, i don't chase shrinks." He drove off in his ute. I gave him the thumbs up. He rang up today, we were talking about Bathurst an Australian car mountain race that would beat circular racing hands down. I invited my brother over, race is on tomorrow, his antenna had broken in the wind storms we've had lately. Guess i better fold up my T-shirts, i don't know for the life of me why women iron anything,they only get creased again when they're folded. So do the things they've just ironed. I'll never understand women. I've got a question, if women are from Venus and men are from Mars then where the dickens do they meet to conceive little Mars Bars? Honestly some people are so rude they're not worth reading. That's my excuse. Think about it. Have a great day, don't be too hard on one another. I've heard it might grow on you. /:>)