i walk along the
terrace, see the flat
i lived in for years
i had no cares, back
then, beyond knowing
where the next CD
was going to come from.
my flatmates thought
i was mad.
and these were people that
cheated on their girlfriends,
took carving knives with them
for late night walks – you know,
just in case.
one of them tried to kill
a mouse by smearing peanut
butter on a golf-putting return-machine,
one of them drank cups of
tea while shitting,
one of them watched
pornos while doing
i wanted to shout – “and i’m
the bad guy” like michael
douglas does in that film (hang on,
maybe i hadn’t quite seen that, just
it was madness though. that’s
for fucking sure. no one carried a
key and one day when the window
wasn’t unlatched, for someone to
open and step through,
someone just threw his drink bottle
through it, pushed the glass
aside – and stepped in…
when it was my
night to cook – i’d write
a cheque for the pizza place
and disappear. go elsewhere.
(possibly in a bunker, because
the cheque would likely bounce).
i had a room full of music
and cigarette smoke, a head
full of – possibly – undiagnosed
anxiety (or more likely laziness)
and i had about 50 or 60 square-grid
maths books that i wrote poems in.
(the others in the flat could not
the time when i found a guy
taking a piss into an electric
frying-pan on my bed seemed
reasonable – particularly when he
explained that the drinking game in
the other room had it that no one
was allowed to urinate. several of
the others had pissed themselves
in front of each other, probably mid-swig,
but this guy had standards…and a
and this wasn’t even the worst thing
that could happen of a night.
we rode a shopping trolley down the
stairs and into the wall, missing a giant
window that could have launched at least one
of us into a waiting hospital bed,
we drank a 5litre bottle of whiskey on a
pouring frame in one night.
someone got laid out for denying
and all of this, and so much more
comes flooding back to me, on
wednesdays, after lunch, having
finished one job to get to another
and then from there down the road
to collect my son from his school.
i look across the road at the house – somehow
still standing – and think of tom waits and
bukowski and teaching drum lessons
in the lounge, while my protesting flatmate
tried to watch tv at the same time.
his arms folded, his brow knotted.
i think of baxter and sam hunt and lauris edmond
and the one-night-stand that was referred to
as a spear-chucker, presumably because of the
colour of her skin.
and that any of these sins don’t come close to
the very worst of the behavior back then.
i heard one of the guys is a merchant banker – well, why
not, he was rehearsing for that gig
when he was sleep-walking blind-drunk to shit
on a couch.
the other two, i have no idea.
and they graduated long before me.
we’re all lucky to be alive.
and beyond that, to not know anything
much about each other anymore.