fbpx

STEALING FROM A RICH FRIEND

According to some friends, she came from old money but also owned some tech startup, and according to some friends, she’d just raised one hundred million dollars… So began my plan to find as many ways as possible to rip her off.

tunnel drive

LOVE LETTER 2020

Sometimes I still think about you. Sometimes I imagine you looking at my Facebook profile and being a little impressed and a little jealous that you’re not the one doing that thing with me, or being in that place with me, or posing in that quirky restaurant photo with me. But sometimes I imagine you being relieved that you’re not …

sunset on water in distance

HOW TO BE HAPPY: THE 80/20 PRINCIPLE

Lately I’ve been trying, with much laziness and distraction, to conquer depression—to not only conquer it, but to brutally torture and murder it with repeated and frightening strikes of joy and laughter. One exercise I gathered from reading The 80/20 Principle was to think of the things that made me happy, and to spend more time and effort on those …

scorpion and snake tequila

HOW TO COMFORT PEOPLE WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO COMFORT PEOPLE

I committed the next three months to not drinking alcohol. What I miss about alcohol is how much easier life gets when you drink it. With alcohol, it’s easier to embarrass yourself, it’s easier to make friends, it’s easier to laugh, it’s easier to hug people and it’s so much easier to get away with doing the things you’ve always …

drinking coffee in bed - the balcony

THE BALCONY

The poor guy and the rich girl had one thing in common: their mutual hatred of each other. This was unfortunate because of two major reasons: One: they believed themselves to be generally good people. But running into each other brought out each other’s worst characteristics, characteristics they found difficult to disguise. And they often ran into each other often …

building your castle

BUILDING YOUR CASTLE

I used to always fantasise about meeting a classy woman in a bar, overseas, while drinking a cocktail as some pianist played Fly Me To The Moon in the background. I pictured it being just like the movies: she’d be sitting across from me, and I’d glance up at her and say something witty, and she’d say something witty back, …

looking out the window

THE ARTIST

I met the artist a few years ago. I didn’t know how serious of an artist she was then—I thought what she drew was merely a hobby: she showed me sketches of a couple in a park, a guy with a scarf, a cloud wondering if it had done the right thing over the summer. She never dressed or looked …

this happened a long time ago

THIS HAPPENED A LONG TIME AGO, BUT…

This happened a long time ago, maybe ten years ago, back when I was studying. I didn’t know that many women but there was one I met in class one day. She wrote this on my notepad: What’s your name? Dean. Want to have lunch? Okay. And we had lunch and I instantly fell in love. I was so desperate …

getting old whiskey bar

YOU’RE GETTING OLD AND THIS IS HOW YOU’LL DEAL WITH IT

It was with great disappointment that I found myself at peace. I hadn’t been clubbing in years, and I refused to go, so instead I drove Vail to the clubs and just sat in my car, in the Valley, on floor five of the parking lot or something, and making sure all my windows were closed I looked out towards …

old dark alleyway

FAT GOOD LUCK CHARM

“Have you met Brisbane’s good luck charm?” Jude asked me. “No and I don’t want to,” I said. I turned to Vail: “Do you want to meet Brisbane’s good luck charm?” Vail had her sunglasses on and she was driving. “Dean,” she started, sighing, “your stories… have I ever told you about your stories? They need to have an arc. …

Artistic eye background - love

BURNING ALL EX-GIRLFRIEND MEMORIES

I used to be a hoarder. I used to never want to let go of anything. Whenever time would try to drag something away from me, I’d pull onto it for my dear life. The other day, I decided to let that part of me go. Especially the part that clung onto old loves. I had too many memories of …

stripping it all away

STRIPPING EVERYTHING AWAY

And my mind was muddled so I asked Christie to help me out. “Here,” she said, pointing to a spot next to her. I sat down. “Close your eyes.” I closed my eyes, and I waited, and just before I began to ask Christie what I was doing she put her hand on my lap. She told me to breathe …

the chant of the penises

THE CHANT OF THE PENISES

Life would be a lot happier if our penises didn’t get in the way. Penises are like that vegetarian friend of yours who always attends your birthday gatherings — even though it’s inconvenient, you have to go out of your way to make sure they’re happy. This is when I told my good looking friend about the Chant of the …

looking out from a window towards shibuya

THE LITTLE MAN WHO TELLS YOU THINGS

I was drinking Sapporro Beer with Christie in a hotel room. “You know, it’s fine to drink with someone you’re already with, but what annoys me is why we have to drink with people we’re interested in with the sole purpose of getting them drunk enough so we can get dirty with them. Why don’t we just say, up front, …

madman in the mirror

MADMAN IN THE MIRROR

The quality of my writing started to drop at the same time the quality of my life started to increase. I hadn’t had alcohol or drugs in months. I had found God. I was in a stable relationship. I regularly exercised. I took protein shakes. I hadn’t masturbated in over sixty days and whenever I caught myself in the mirror …

clouds and tim tams

DELICIOUS TIM TAMS

As I parked my car and as the sky shut its light and as the world closed its door ever so slightly I found myself adrift, both internally and externally, whatever the hell that means. I was confused. No, I wasn’t confused, I was muddled. My mind was fog. I was walking in every shitty direction and ending up nowhere. …

Light bulb ufo - visits from annabelle

VISITS FROM ANNABELLE

Annabelle’s boyfriend had left her so for a while, she became my best friend. Sometimes she’d come over at eight, or at midnight, or at two in the morning, or at noon when I wasn’t even at home. “Tell me,” she said, “why are men so cruel?” She never got used to how much food I didn’t have. She came …

THE WINDOW

The first great short story I ever wrote was written in a small room in a small apartment in Singapore, and it was so hot in there that I’d constantly be drenched in sweat. There was no air con, and all I had was this square window – that window, that stupid window! You’d open it and all it would …

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT

Four years ago I was angry at love because it hadn’t turned out how I wanted it to turn out. It wasn’t constant roses. It wasn’t a dream picked from the stars. It was jealousy, and yelling, and money, and hanging up the phone. I travelled with Donnie, a boxer, to this laser light show in Adelaide somewhere, and he’d …

CONVERSATION WITH THE SKY

  “What’s your worst secret?” Jude asked Graham. “Tell me, don’t be shy.” “I have none.” “Tell me your secret!” Graham slumped to the side, trying to wave Jude away. “I steal! I steal!” “The hell you mean you steal?” Graham’s eyes were closed, but by the way he was raising his eyebrows you could tell he was trying to …

BUSTY WOMEN WHO SWALLOW SWORDS

Christie and I watched LIMBO UNHINGED, this burlesque show in the Spiegeltent during the Brisbane Festival. What I remember most was Heather Holliday: this beautiful, curvy lady with lots of tattoos who put all sorts of things in her throat and pulled them back out. One of the first things she put down her throat was a sword of some …

THE PURPOSE OF VAIL

The scene started off like this: Vail and I were on Jude’s balcony, and the sun had been down for a while and Vail, wearing something black, was humming something I didn’t recognise. “It’s so, so easy to do what’s easy,” she said. “That’s why it’s called easy.” Vail said nothing to that. She looked out, at the traffic. I …

CRUMBLING APARTMENT WALLS

I wanted to tell her about a lot of things: how I wanted to kiss her in front of a zoo, how I hated the loneliness, how I wanted to face my fears yet flee for them – but I’d been told, repeatedly, that happiness could never be found by obsessing over oneself but that instead you had to give …

M DOESN’T CARE ABOUT YOU

M doesn’t care about what people think of her physical appearance. She’s a round person with a solid gut and stocky arms and stocky legs, and when it comes to her hair, it was as if she found the angriest person in the street, gave that person scissors and said, “Cut my hair however the fuck you want.” Her moustache …

SUPER POWER MEDITATION

  People try all sorts of things to get rid of their woes. Sometimes they try alcohol, sometimes they try meditation. “The worst form of meditation is masturbation meditation,” Jude told me. “You think that when you masturbate, you’ll be in a constant state of bliss, but you won’t be. Firstly you’ll always want to change the video you’re watching, …

FINDING THE PERFECT PEOPLE

“There aren’t many perfect people in this world.” This is what she said as she had some wine. “What do you consider as perfect?” She shrugged. “I don’t know. Tall.” “Tall?” I inspected the bottle of wine that stood between us. I ran my finger around the label. “How tall?” “Seven foot.” “Seven feet tall?” “Yeah.” “Okay,” I said, putting …

THE LONELINESS

My loneliness can be an unforgiving piece of shit sometimes. I don’t want it to be there, but it lures me out when I don’t want to come out. It kisses me with its sour breath and proceeds straight to my heart, and it lingers there, and it gets comfortable there, and it calls it home and refuses to leave. …

I MET HANNAH AT A SOCIAL GATHERING

Hannah momentarily entered my life while Christie and I were not in good terms. I met her at a social gathering. “You know I researched scientology for an assignment once,” I told her. “I wanted to be like one of those clever types who make fun of odd belief systems. So I went to one of their presentations so that …

FORGIVING THE BAD PEOPLE

“Have you ever read the Book of Jonah?” Christie asked me. “The guy who got swallowed by a whale?” “The prophet who was swallowed by a fish.” “No, I haven’t.” “Well,” Christie said with a slight smile on her face, “Jonah was a prophet who kept running away from God. God asked Jonah to do something, but then Jonah ran …

HAPPINESS, JOY, SMILES, LAUGHTER, WHATEVER

“What is happiness?” “Happiness is a BJ that never ends. Just constant swallowing.” “Happiness is being in bed.” “Happiness is having her back.” “Happiness is being with God.” “Happiness is being rich.” I was with about four people who were all discussing happiness. I remained quiet. Nothing I said or what anyone said mattered, really. To me, the definition of …

THE PERFUMED GARDEN

“Dude, you’re wrong. You need to read The Perfumed Garden.” This is what a friend said when I ignorantly asked him if Muslims were always so conservative about sexuality. Instead of actually reading the The Perfumed Garden and coming up with my own opinions about it, I Googled it and found this summary: “Written between 1410 and 1434 for a …

YOU NEED MORE MONEY

Sometimes I see the earth as this tiny marble occupied by these even tinier dots called people, and all these people are looking up at a giant sun made of money, and they’re all bowing to it, talking about it night and day, thinking about it night and day, and when they’re not talking or thinking about money night and …

MIRACLES IN WEST END

I had become a mess so Christie told me to visit a lady in West End who performs miracles. Apparently, she helped cure a lady of her cancer, she helped cure a friend of his chronic back pains, she returned joy to a broken person’s life. I went to the hall and sat down among a small group of others. …

SELMA HAD LONG LEGS

Selma had legs that could kill a football team and all the guys loved her, and they all flirted with her, and one day, when we were all walking towards the Pancake Manor I lifted up her skirt, and she had this lacy thong on, and poking out of the thong were both sides of her pad, and everyone roared …

SOMETHING IN YOUR STOMACH

Someone from work once gave me a moleskin, and for some time I just let it sit at the back of my car. “If you don’t want to write in it, why don’t you draw something in it?” Christie asked me from her hospital bed. “Yeah okay,” I complained. “Like drawing is so fucking easy.” She got mad, so I …

GUYS IN AN ALLEYWAY

Christie and I were walking along the city and this guy snatched her purse. “Let’s chase him!” she said and we ran and found him in an alleyway, where about five or six of his friends were waiting. “Let’s get out of here,” Christie said and we ran off. It was a quiet drive home.   _ Book I’m reading: …

VALENTINE’S DAY LOVE

Christie told me that she fell in love with Barry Edgar about four years ago. He didn’t know that she’d fallen in love with him, and understandably so: she didn’t tell him and she didn’t change anything about the way she treated him. Barry Edgar was a waiter who once travelled to Europe. He also once travelled to India. He …

LOVE CHECKLIST

“Being in a relationship is an easy yet complicated process.” This is what Christie started our conversation with. “Really now.” “At first it’s easy because there’s no checklist yet. There are no rules – you’re soaked in this, this unshakeable high. But then, once you get comfortable with the other person, a checklist emerges, and all of a sudden you …

THE END OF EVERYTHING IN THE ENTIRE WORLD

Are there two Christians with the exact same ideals? Are there two atheists who believe in exactly the same things? I wonder how Jesus meditated. I wonder how he prayed and what he asked for on a daily basis. I wonder what Buddha would’ve looked like, if he would’ve been taller than me, and if he was bald and always …

LOVE IN EVERY LINE

“He loved her,” she insisted. “No, he’s in love with her.” “No, no, no.” She still wasn’t listening to me. “This is what he said: ‘I loved her.’ It was love in the past tense.” “People don’t say things like that unless they still love them. Once you stop loving someone, you never mention them again. They’re not even a …

DRINKING WINE ON A BALCONY BEFORE CHRISTMAS

“Have you ever spoken to God on Christmas?” This is what Christie asked me as we sat on my couch on my balcony. It was some time in the evening, and beyond us, beyond the railing, were buildings and trees and lights, and beyond that was the city, and beyond that was the universe, and beyond that was time, and …

LICKING FOR FIFTY THOUSAND

We ended up hanging out with this woman who cut my hair in South Bank once. She was this loud ball of fire who loved to talk about sex and dildos a lot, and that night, in the back of an Uber, she described her dildo collection like a guy would describe his sword collection: she had this proud, dazed …

I KNOW THIS IS A TYPICAL THING TO SAY, BUT…

I know this is a typical thing to say, but I like to look out at the stars. I look at them when I arrive home at night. Some nights they’re barely visible, and other nights they’re like ash tapped from the tip of a cigarette. I stare out at them while not really thinking anything. Some people tell me …

LAST DINNER WITH CAROL

I’ve been writing about Carol for thousands of years now, and tonight will be the last time you hear about her. I’d only promised to write about eight dinners, you see, and you’re probably sick of her by now, and you’re probably wondering what the hell I’ve been up to. What the hell have I been up to? The last …

WATCHING CAROL SPIN

This is my second last story about Carol. It starts off quite simply, and it ends quite simply. It starts at South Bank, during an evening, a Wednesday, with the both of us in a large Ferris wheel. I’d been with Carol since the night before, and during that time I’d made her breakfast and she’d helped me buy some …

FIRST DINNER WITH CAROL

And then I ruined it all by saying, “I don’t want a relationship”. You shrugged and said, “That’s exactly what the previous guy said,” and you told me about this guy you met on Tinder who was in a long distance relationship. You told me that he was a decent guy with a pretty good body and pretty big dick, …

DINNER AT CAROL’S PLACE

Carol lived with a few people, so I would always enter her place through a back door. She had one of the biggest rooms in the house, and I liked it because unlike my cramped room, she had a large bed with plenty of floor space. In the dark, from her bed, a few things would lay huddled in the …

THE TRUTH

There’s a particular spot I like to drive to near the Valley. I won’t tell you exactly where it is, but if you turn right at a certain traffic light and keep driving straight you’ll end up in a private area full of expensive apartments overlooking the river. I like it because of the view, and I like it because …

DINNER AT MY PLACE

For some reason I was thinking of high school during the first time Carol had dinner at my place. I was thinking of how my classmates and I would always look out of the windows, at the cars passing us, hoping that someone would be doing something sexual. We spent hours in silence, our eyes scanning for a girl giving …

LOVE

“I don’t believe in love,” was what Carol told me when we were at Carol’s home, having late dinner that she cooked, listening or not listening to music that may or may not have been playing from a small speaker in another room. “You believe in love,” I told her. “I don’t.” “You do.” She sighed. “You can’t just dictate …