by Samm Sutton
In the green slice across from Scout I lay with my head and heels flat on the ground. I look directly up, through the canopy of green leaves, through the blue sky to the place where existence meets imagination and I ask the same, recurring question- what the fuck am I doing? I yawn when I’m nervous and I fall asleep before I find the answer.
As a kid my dad would take me boxing. I wasn’t bad so I had a few fights and before the fights I would yawn and fall asleep. The old men from the Below the Belt association would say, “this kid’s about to be in a lot of fucking trouble,” but I’d wake up and get into the ring and win because I was scared of being hit. In my last fight I fought a little Aboriginal kid and he hit me a lot. He hit me so much that my face was all fucked up, bleeding and teeth all over the ring and I lost for the first time, but I wasn’t scared of being hit anymore.
In the car on the way home dad told me he was proud of me. I didn’t say anything because my mouth was a golf ball of disconnected flesh and when mum saw my face she cried and asked my dad why he did this to me and I said it wasn’t dad it was a little aboriginal kid and she knew this but found relief in blaming dad and dad found relief in marrying her twenty-five years ago, but I’m not sure if relief is something she gives him anymore.
I woke up in the green strip across from Scout missing my parents and thinking of the Korean girl that was found dead in the same green strip weeks earlier. “People don’t just die”, so the rumour spread that she was brutally murdered. The papers and fear mongers labelled the attack, ‘racially fuelled’, and the girl quickly became a unifying topic of conversation. My friends felt “sorry” but I didn’t subscribe to their pity and went on to explain that the city needed more crime like this so as to drive down the unreasonably inflated house prices. I was berated for being insensitive but really I should have been berated for being jealous of an unidentified dead Korean girl.
I stood up and focused on the traffic at the bottom of the steep bank that ran off the edge of the green strip across from Scout. I imagined throwing my body down the bank towards the traffic and I imagine a blue people mover speeding through the passage, meeting my body with enough force to turn my flesh into a mess of bitumen and hair and aluminium and cotton and tears. I could see people rushing from their cars to see the spectacle of a mysterious boy who rolled down the bank and when they saw my fucked up body they started vomiting and crying and screaming and feeling wet between the legs at such a sick-fucking sight. I could see my picture dressed in bold font on the fifth page of the newspaper beside an article about a local MP who used taxpayer dollars to purchase his wife Chanel perfume. I could see, that in death, people would remember me and appreciate the sacrifice I made in the fight for cheaper rental properties and I hoped that, in death, I would feel better than I do now. My phone rang from my pocket and it was Paul explaining that he was ‘on’ and everyone was coming around so I skipped my afternoon class and rode to Paul’s.
At Paul’s, Paul, Jesh, and Camilla sat around a Nintendo 64 and a bowl of pot. Paul and I shared a joint while Camilla and Jesh played Super Smash Bros and Paul explained that he had picked, from his parents property, enough mushrooms for about twenty people to take and he was going to convince everyone to take them tonight. Over the next hour ‘everyone’ started to flood into Paul’s basement room and the room got louder and smaller and the conversation got senseless and I hadn’t said anything for half an hour before Amanda asked me why I wasn’t saying anything to which I replied I was exhausted.
All sixty of the mushrooms were taken by 6pm and by 6:15 half of ‘everyone’ was dancing to Nina Simone in the basement room and the other half of ‘everyone’ was somewhere else, probably waking or walking around aimlessly or talking silently all in the name of ‘tripping’ and I was with the first half of ‘everyone’ dancing to Nina Simone before my shirt became heavy with sweat and I walked to the bathroom and ran the shower. I undressed and stared at my wet naked body in the mirror and I stood under the shower and the beads of water felt bad against my skin and my mind screamed dizzy images all over the room so I plugged the drain and ran the cold only and lay myself down in the pool of water filling the shower well.
I closed my eyes and tried to un-crack notions of solipsism while repeating, “all the kings horses and all the kings men” and the water distils me and the room and space gather me among what I have gathered and suddenly I am a kid again. I am back in the ring standing opposite the little Aboriginal kid and I’m yawning. My body is awake and my mind is ready and there is a bell and immediately the little Aboriginal kid begins to hit me. He hits me over again, white flashes of light followed by red flashes of glove followed by red splashes of blood and I try to hit back but he is too quick and the bell rings again and it stops. I regather perspective and my face hurts and the bell rings again followed by white light red flash red splash red flash red fuck red teeth blue face white floor fuck vomit and my face hurts and my face hurts and I’m back in the shower and there is vomit all through the well and my face hurts and my face hurts and I stand from the well and move to the mirror and my face hurts, and my face hurts because I can’t stop smiling.