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I DON’T BELIEVE IN MAGIC

“I don’t believe in magic,” Carol said. “I just don’t.” “Why the hell not?” Carol looked at me like it was something that didn’t need explaining. When I didn’t say anything: “Where have you seen magic? Tell me, where have you seen magic, Dean?” “I saw it the other day.” “Really? What happened?” “This guy.” She scratched her arm irritably …

8 DINNERS WITH CAROL

I knew that things were never going to work out with Carol but I went along with it anyway. I met her at some place I don’t remember and she was drinking some drink I don’t remember. “We won’t make a good match,” I told her, showing her a photo someone took of us. “We just won’t.” “You’re right,” she …

PART 6: GOING HOME

There are some days when I have great dreams and there are some days when I have no dreams at all. Once, when I was a kid, I lay in bed, fantasising about becoming a magician. I thought about how I was going to become the greatest magician in the world and how much sex I was going to get …

PART 5: THE TRUTH ABOUT CHEATERS

This year has been all about cheating. I cheated, I helped people cheat, my friends cheated, I was even cheated on for a while. Funnily enough, there was a brief period of time when the loads of cheating seemed abnormal – immoral, even – but the more it absorbed me this year the more it seemed like a natural, expected …

PART 1: DRIVING ONE MILLION HOURS TO REACH HOME

“Life will kick you in the balls, and when it realises you don’t have balls it’ll kick you in the pussy,” Jason laughed, even if what he said wasn’t funny. Jason is my childhood friend. He’s stocky and angry looking and something about his face makes him look racist. We were in his kitchen, talking, and he was drinking beer …

ABEL’S HAIR

“I just spent fourteen hours looking for the right shoes to go with my new chinos,” Jude said. “No you didn’t.” “I did.” “Fourteen hours,” I said. “Fourteen hours,” he repeated. “Fourteen hours straight.” “Yes, fourteen hours straight.” I faced him, thinking about how stupid he sounded. “It’s impossible to spend fourteen hours straight looking for shoes in the shops.” …

SILENT PERIOD

It was a few minutes past midnight, and this guy, Bill, whose boyfriend was supposedly a “scam artist slash DJ slash art dealer from like, London who had like, fifty thousand followers on Instagram,” had some kind of cover of Earned It by the Weeknd playing loudly from a gigantic iMac placed on a pile of magazines, and I was …

ANAL

Things I liked out about Anna: she loved The Weeknd, she loved mixing music and had a following online, she brought Surface Children with her wherever she went, she regularly bought her parents dinner. Things that annoyed me: she secretly loved chaos, she loved destruction, she enjoyed the drama in walking away from the flames. I walked out of work …

THAT PLACE BY THE BEACH

   

ANNA AND THE BREAKUP

One day I might stop writing about this bullshit. One day I might settle down with one woman. One day, when that woman decides to eventually stop showing me her vagina and I realise that I’m stuck with the same job and the same person for the rest of my life I’ll write a children’s fantasy novel. Or a crime …

ANNA: THE GIRL I WILL END UP HATING

Anna and I continued to text each other every five minutes or so. I learnt that she was twenty years old and got engaged when she was 19. She worked at a dollar discount store and didn’t know what to do with her life and didn’t seem to have any ambition to find out any time soon. She thought that …

ANNA: THE GIRL WITH A MEATY P****

Dear Carlos Fuckface,   This started a couple of months ago, and I haven’t really told anyone about it yet, but given what’s going on right now I think now would be the perfect time to let you be the first person to read this story. You see I was sober, and it was a Friday evening and I was …

INSTAGRAM

The sun wasn’t rising and it wasn’t setting, either – it was about three in the afternoon and time was what it was. Jude was smoking and Vail was typing something on her phone. “We’ve changed, but we really haven’t, if you think about it,” Jude said. “Want to go to Alfred & Constance?” Vail asked without looking up from …

ENDING IT WITH MANDY

Mandy and I had a fight right after coming home from one of my book signings. She yelled and I yelled but to be honest, none of the things that came out of our mouths were actually new. We fought about what we always fought about: money. We (she) decided then and there to end it, and I walked over …

LOVE AND MONEY

“Have you ever thought about God?” The pretty hostess asked me. I was with Jude and this guy named Alfred or something, and we were in a private room with four or five or so hostesses. They were all pretty, and they made love seem so easy and so accessible for men like me. All you need for them to …

WHERE DO CHEATERS GO WHEN THEY DIE?

… and we somehow made it to the next morning – we were in West End, eating overpriced breakfast. It’s painfully hot in Brisbane now, and Mandy acknowledged this fact by telling me, “It’s painfully hot in Brisbane now.” I didn’t reply. She then spent about twenty minutes complaining about a colleague before trickling off into a silence that I …

KNIFE FIGHT WITH A GIRLFRIEND

Mandy was kicked out of home when she was twenty-two years old by both of her parents because they hated the fact that she was dating someone from China. Although her relationship with her then boyfriend never panned out, her relationship with her parents was never the same again, and I knew this because we’d spend hours of our evenings, …

ONE DAY YOU’RE GOING TO LOSE ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS

“If you have the weight of the world on your shoulders, then why are you standing so upright?” Mandy told me a few stories and I told her a few of my own. We were in some place around the Gold Coast, and we were in a hot air balloon and I hadn’t seen anyone but her for the past …

NUDE AND CHILDISH GAMBINO

“It’s July,” she eventually said. “Like, well, it’s like Saturday, and we’re near the end of July.” “Let me ask you something. Have you been hurt before?” “That’s such a typical thing to ask. Are you a typical person?” “I like to think that I am.” She stood up and put some underwear on and tapped on her phone. “Here. …

EVERYONE WANTS TO BE RICH

I know it was only one post ago, but things with Sara went downhill quickly. Whatever the hell we had ended for no good reason, but that was fine with both of us – we walked out of a two-week romance unscathed. But something about all the real estate and business stuff she kept going on about got me greedy …

THE GIRL WHO WANTS ME TO MAKE A LOT OF MONEY

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I suppose I haven’t posted in some time because I’ve fallen into the trap of working, and of boxing, and of reading a fuckload of books, and of promoting Surface Children, and of writing for a magazine. I also started doing things that writers shouldn’t do: I lessened the drinking, I began reading books …

OUTSIDE THE BALCONY

Break up a bit after Easter. Lost for a while. Happy for a while. Nothing much for a while longer. April comes. Excel at work. Make a few thousand dollars. Make a few friends. Meet a few people. Learn a few new songs. Nearly complete a book. Look at photos. Buy food alone. Buy clothes alone. Buy alcohol alone. Watch …

The Key To A Happy Life Is –

  I was busy, but we were under the moon. Or the sun. Or whatever was floating above us at that time. Sam has a small office in the valley. Sam is about forty years old and has more wrinkles than most forty year olds. They crease deep, deep and hard. Sam’s a bookkeeper, and I’d known him since I …

EVERYTHING ALWAYS ENDS UP IN YOUR BATHROOM

Life has been stupid lately. I was hired by the luxury car dealership to be their copywriter/designer/marketing person/driver, and as I happily accepted their offer and happily accepted their stable pay slips everything else outside my working life began to deteriorate: I wrote less, I saw friends less, I boxed less, I woke up at five in the morning every …

JUDE RETURNS FROM AFRICA

Jude returned from Africa on Wednesday. Nothing about him seemed that different, except that maybe he’d lost a little weight and his eye bags were deeper; he tried to hide some of it with foundation. “I saw a video online of twins making out,” Jude said after putting his drink down. “Like actual, biological twins. I mean the idea is …

HOW TO LOSE SOMEONE YOU CARE ABOUT

Some people move forward in life, some people get worse. Some people, like me, are trapped in a cycle between both. I’d get a job, get a woman, and then I’d lose that job, and then I’d lose that woman, and then I’d get a new job and a new woman all over again. In between all of this I’d …

A POINTLESS THEORY ABOUT LOVE

Things weren’t going so well for Ariel and I so she flew us both to Melbourne for two days. We caught the SkyBus to our hotel and checked in and when we dropped our bags on the carpet we looked at each other and laughed for no reason; she said she was tired, but the day was never coming back …

JUDE GOES TO AFRICA

While everything else with Ariel was going on a lot was also going on with Jude, who, as the days went by, became more and more of a prick. “You know sometimes I wish I was someone else,” he said while driving us to some party in the west. “But then sometimes I don’t. Shit, I don’t know.” He pulled …

THE PIMP I’LL NEVER SEE

Ariel was a lot of things. She was smart and she was ambitious and she was the most jealous person I’d ever met. “I know this is unfair, but if I see you with a girlfriend I will shove my fist down her throat and kill her.” Some part of me actually wanted to see it happen. When we first …

PAYING ARIEL A VISIT

In my lonely times I think about life a lot. I think about that moment when I’ll stand under the sun ten years from now, and then that moment when I’ll stand under the sun thirty years from now, and then that moment when I’ll stand under the sun fifty years from now. I wonder if the stupid little things …

BUYING LOVE AND HAPPINESS

On the surface, things were getting better. My vision was improving, and thanks to the pills, I could sleep a lot easier. On some days I’d wake up, write for a few hours, take a pill or two, and then sleep a dreamless sleep all over again – it was perfect. I also found decent freelance work: two women in …

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU’RE BLIND AND PEOPLE COME OVER FOR A DRINK

It’d been about a week since my PRK laser eye surgery and things had improved: I could walk around with my eyes open and when things were good, objects in the distance looked clearer and crisper than when I used to wear contact lenses. I’d also become slightly addicted to the sleeping pills they gave me, Hypnodorm – it was …

WE’RE ALL SLAVES TO SOMETHING

I know I’ve been writing about women a lot lately but my story with Natasha is a story I just had to finish. You see, Natasha and I met again a few more times: we had dinner once in a while, we went to an event once in a while, we texted once in a while. “You know what I’ve …

A BAD CASE OF INSIGNIFICANCE

I had a thing with a girl once. Her name was Come Here. I met her at a car park, and I met her again at a party and I met her for the last time on her uncle’s kitchen floor. There was nothing wrong with her but there was nothing that right either. Her face curved strangely and she …

HAPPY NEW YEAR AND AN UPDATE ON MY BOOK OF SHORT STORIES

As I stumbled around Jude’s pebbled driveway at the end of the 2012 countdown and as some guy kept playing “Love Will Tear Us Apart Again” from his iPhone 5 I thought this: it feels exactly the same as last year. 2012 ended too quickly. I wasted a shitload of time but still managed to be productive during some of …

WHAT WE WANT FOR CHRISTMAS

  “I want three naked girls and a huge bed to use them on,” Jude said with a cigar in his mouth. Vail rolled her eyes and dealt the next round of cards. “That’s disgusting.” “You’re disgusting,” he snapped. We were in Victor’s or Samuel’s or Michael’s or Whatever His Name’s house playing poker. I looked at my cards and …

THERE’S ALWAYS SOMEONE COOLER THAN YOU

There’s this family friend of mine who has always been better than me. We’re the same age but he’s taller, better looking, more athletic, more successful. He was always the one who easily found a job; he was always the one with cooler looking friends and even better looking girlfriends. I sort of stopped talking to him when we were …

IF YOU’RE SINGLE AND YOU KNOW IT CLAP YOUR HANDS

In the end there are good things about being single and there are shitty things about being single. When I’m single I have more freedom but less goodnight kisses; when I’m with someone I’m happier more often, but I’m always cautious, always fearful of a looming pain or a stupid mistake. Anyway after the breakup and the receptionist I was …

CRAZY RACHEL AND HER CRAZY TITS

  Until this year, I never really pictured myself as some kid’s dad. How the hell was I supposed to take care of someone when I couldn’t even take care of myself? Rachel called me at regular intervals, telling me that I’d cursed her with some baby and some disease. I’d sit there, listening her to cry and tell me …

FOREIGNERS IN A CHINESE WEDDING BANQUET

Jude and I were invited to a friend’s Chinese wedding and the first thing I made was a mistake: I didn’t bring any money to give to the new couple. I didn’t even bring an impressive gift. I brought a box of two small wooden dolls I’d made for Eva once that I’d never ended up giving, two little dolls …

THE SKINNY GIRL IN THE POOL PARTY

The annoying part about the pool party on Thursday was that there was no pool. I was tricked. It was a party in some guy’s house in Carseldine and in it were about four hipsters, three bogans, five goths and about thirty well dressed twenty-somethings. Two people stood out. The first person was this really loud guy who kept slapping …