In Da Clubs

AH Goddamnit!! What the fuck is that?! My corneas! How has this happened again?

Stumbling out of another club into broad stinking daylight. Is there any more horrible a feeling? What the hell time is it anyway?

This is becoming a habit that I am more than willing to let die a sudden, quick, jolly-sharpish death. Nights fuelled by subtle handshakes and long lines for toilet cubicles. Bing bang chatter chatter drink smoke drink smoke drink drink drink.

And now it is the morning and I need to be home. Where is a taxi?

Tips for meeting people in a new city:

  1. Have an existing friend there to introduce you around (this may not be entirely feasible – if so you’re on your own. Go sit at a bar and wait.)
  2. Agree to stay out and see all the clubs and drink all the drinks despite lack of suitability to personal tastes and personal disliking of general patrons.
  3. Visit the cubicles.
  4. Chat bullshit safe in the knowledge you are only passing through this city and don’t really care what happens here.

Extra tip: GO THE FUCK HOME AT AN APPROPRIATE TIME. Like when all the people you know or met that night have left. No good comes from fraternising with those last in the club, cant or wont go home, wait till the lights come on type people. You don’t even like this shit! And is that Jaeger we can taste? When did you drink that?! (I may be talking to myself).

Good. Get into a taxi, mutter one of the two phrases I know in Mandarin (conveniently my residence), walk up the stairs, pray I have my keys in my pocket, bundle myself through the door, pull blind cords, push slats shut extra tight, hell cement the fuckers to the wall if I have to! Paste over them with wallpaper! Anything just to stop that bastard sunlight from seeping through, and try to sleep.

I succeed almost instantly.

Mere several hours later I am woken up at 3 in the post meridiem by my landlord bursting into my apartment to show his girlfriend his great design style. I yell many expletives till he fucks off (pretty instantly) babbling ‘so sorry so sorree so so sorreeee’ – which he better be – and promptly go back to sleep, stupefied at another China moment.

A Song

V1

He still whistles to himself,
Walking down streets when noones watching,
Sun rises inside,
He looks around so they don’t see him.

Its his pride, he’s tried,
But Donald Trump is on the rise,

And cynicism’s all that he’s got left (riff)
While they all shout out that refugees cause theft (riff)
And the terror he feels supernovas the sun in his chest (riff)

C

He scowls and he smirks,
Cause the world is full of jerks,
And it’s easier to mock them than to reason with their simple brains,
And he groans and he moans,
When he’s at home all alone,
Cause he knows it isn’t likely they will change,

Irate, afraid and fucking stupid,
Easily persuaded.

V2

Sometimes he smiles at strangers,
Looking for a connection,
But they all pick up their pace,
Go to grab their Smith and Wesson’s.

People like him can’t be trusted,
They said so on the news,

Broadcasting you fears, no longer truth defenders (riff)
Who can you trust when objectivity surrenders (riff)
Tweets, likes and hashtags become their only agenda (riff)

C

He scowls and he smirks,
Cause the world is full of jerks,
And it’s easier to mock them than to reason with their simple brains,
And he groans and he moans,
When he’s at home all alone,
Cause he knows it isn’t likely they will change,

Irate, afraid and fucking stupid,
Easily persuaded.

Don’t Put That Hate On Me

ribbons_by_azurushka-d809pp5

img by Azurushka

I think lots of people (even Simon,who knows me well) would initially respond to the question “Is Elise a cynic?” with a resounding “Do bears shit in the woods?” It’s understandable. I am not a very nice person, often assume people aren’t as intelligent than me and I love a good conspiracy about the capitalist patriarchal overlords pulling the strings behind everything from shampoo commercials to the gentrification of inner city night spots. Despite my arrogantly caustic persona, I am not, in my heart of hearts, a true cynic.

Though I have my doubts about the intellectual capacities of the swarming masses, I do not doubt that human beings are generally good, community minded creatures. I think at their very core, people want to be loved, and they want to be surrounded by people they love. To me, the fact that guilt and shame are among the most common negative emotions experienced by human beings is sign that we care deeply about the way others see us, and we genuinely want to add value to (or at least not detract value from) our small corner of the world.

I don’t know if it’s because I am a teacher, and so work with developing humans day in and day out, but my default position in an instance of insult or injury is always to give the alleged “perpetrator” the benefit of the doubt. “Grace before judgement” has been my mantra for a few years now, though I wasn’t always like this. I used to react angrily rather than respond rationally, but I have seen too many of my colleagues scold students for their disheveled uniform, only to have it revealed to them by a superior that the 13 year old’s mother has taken herself interstate for the fortnight, leaving him with AUD100 pizza money and no tutorial on how to work the washing machine.

Situations like this occur every day. The rushed and apparently “rude” waitress. The bus driver who sent the puddle spraying across your new coat, leaving you soaked. The housemate who hasn’t done their rostered chore again. The coworker who didn’t complete their share of the project, making you look like a fucking idiot in front of your manager. The cynic assumes the the worst: these are all examples of deliberately hurtful actions borne of inherent selfishness or defiant disinterest in anyone else’s needs. I don’t know if it’s “idealistic”, but I truly believe that most of the times when people upset us, they just have five million things going on in their own lives, and we just happened to get in their way at the wrong time on the wrong day.

I do think I am an idealist in that I always try to see the good in people. Not everyone can be highly intelligent, competent, perceptive, charismatic and generous. There is a reason why those traits are admired in great men and women throughout history: they are rare. The vast majority of people are just mediocre, and that isn’t a bad thing, it’s just a human thing. You don’t have to be friends with anyone you don’t like, and even your friends aren’t faultless. Everyone has something beautiful about them, it just may not be as obvious and golden. Seeing the goodness in others makes my life better too. When people whinge about everything and only focus on the negative aspects of their world and those in it, the person who truly suffers is the whinger. When someone consistently disappoints me, I just do my best to avoid them. I don’t need the negativity of being constantly shitty with their inability to be better.

My dad used to tell me, “If you meet one jerk a day, the world has plenty of jerks in it. If you meet ten jerks a day, then you’re the jerk”. I think that is good advice for the cynic. A cynic assumes the worst in people, and cannot accept any goodness or beauty without the caveat of an assumed ulterior motive. It must be an exhausting life, to be constantly reading between the lines like that. They are missing out on the myriad genuinely kind and lovely moments of humanity. Cynics do not realise that by believing in essential selfishness, they are just as ugly as the underbelly they are constantly convinced is lurking just below the surface of things.

I write tonight knowing that the blows and buffets of the world may one day lead me to believe that it is an awful place, full of awful people. I hope I can read over this post and be reminded of my (perhaps deluded?) idealism at this moment. If that dark time does come, I hope these words will make it clear that things are, actually, all right. I just need to move beyond the disappointments which inevitably occur in the crazy realities of a human life.

Philosophised You Good Al-Ghazali

I could lose all of my friends; call them wankers, insult their mums, change my usual greeting from a fist bump to a face slap, and I’d still have my beard.

I could go into debt, have my home repossessed, sell my remaining possessions for a sandwich and then drop it somewhere entirely objectionable, and I’d still have my beard.

I could go insane, lose my memory, my marbles, and my memory, drool myself into oblivion, and I’d still have my beard.

(Unless someone shaved it off…)

So suck it, Al!

Instead of Diamonds

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image from arefin03 at deviantart

Instead of diamonds,
my darling,
I’d like you to let
the light dance
off the bottled shelves,
glittering back at the
glint in your eye as
you explain
the intricacies of
your opinions on
nouvelle cuisine.

To Hell with trinkets!
I’d be taken by
tiny plates
carefully chosen and
shared, rubbing shoulders
as we delight in
devouring. Make me
giggle into my wine glass
and wish for
not a morsel more.

Forget the flowers,
I’d like to be led through
forests, or along the beach.
Feathered company
astutely observed and
erosion patterns explained.
Pointing and poking each
prized discovery,
show off as if you’d
scattered the stars
yourself.

Don’t bother buying
labelled leather.
Kiss me! Full, close
hard and hot
against the backdrop of
somewhere spectacular.
Slip your hand
across my skin,
exult in the sun’s blessing
and accept
my surrendered limbs.

Forget the gifts,
give me memories that
inspire absent-minded smiles
in supermarket aisles.
They excite me still,
when such days are
left to stories, and
leave me longing for
the next time you
treat me
to your company.