CREATIVE WRITING

50 Shades of New Farm

Even though he wore suits tailored cheaply in Hong Kong, his business card said he was the Assistant to the Associate Director of Commercial Leasing, and I was impressed. Despite being engaged to the second oldest son of the best cosmetic surgeon in Brisbane, I hungered for him to fill the empty hours between Bootcamp and designing my own jewellery line.

I watched him make his way down James Street, greeting all the people he saw at every social gathering as though they hadn’t spoken in years, and I knew from his dilated pupils he was high on more than corporate success.

As I stood at Cru bar, trying to remember whether it was at a Fashion function, a Food & Fashion function, or a Fashion, Furniture & Food function I’d first noticed him, a familiar smell filled my nostrils. It was a mix of cigarette smoke and Bundy rum. ‘Private school boy’, I whispered to myself. I turned around and there he was, Johnathon, fresh from watching Australia vs. Wales at The QA.

Our eyes met and soon we were driving his 1 series BMW back to his Woolstore apartment.

As he opened the front door, I tried to remember what Lorna Jane had written on her blackboard that morning. Was it “I move, I nourish, I believe” or “I earn my chocolate one step at a time”? I was so confused. Oh, why could I not hear my idol’s words when I so desperately needed them?

I took a deep breath and reminded myself that, thanks to Bikram Yoga, I was more flexible than the girl in Lululemon’s window.

I stepped inside, knowing that if I managed to make him fall in love me, I’d be drinking gin with his mother and aunts at The Moreton Club in no time.

A MOMENT

“Hold your hand up.”
“Why?”
“Just do it. Palm facing me.”
I held my hand up as she asked. She pressed her hand against mine, aligning our fingers and wrists.
“Do you feel that?”
“What?”
She pressed more firmly.
“That.”
Slowly I began to feel the gentle pulse of her blood and mine beating at my fingertips.
“Yes.”
“That’s our hearts beating together.”
I lifted my head to look at her face, and watched as a tear slid down her cheek. As I moved to wipe it away, she clenched her fingers around mine.
“Leave it” she whispered. “It’s happiness, that’s all.”
by caz.

MY FAVOURITE THINGS



Music – Richard Rogers, lyrics – Oscar Hammerstein & Me.


Drinking at lunch time and long into night time

Partying all night and trying to score a line

Not going home to the fat lady sings

These are a few of my favourite things

Walking home barefoot with high heels in handbags

Thinking you’re hotter than models in fashion mags

Falling asleep in a taxi driven by Singh

These are a few of my favourite things

Girls with their tits out and bums out and fake tan

Vomiting in bushes while the blokes drain their beer cans

Ordering kebabs and pizza and chicken wings

These are a few of my favourite things

When the glassing starts

When the cops come

When I’m arrested with the lads

I simply remember my favourite things

And then I don’t feel so bad.

by caz.

A Problem For Writers

You know what I find the hardest part when I write something? That people always recognise themselves, even when they weren’t the inspiration in the first place. And that when I write I risk hurting people who aren’t in fact the target.

When I write it’s because I feel the need to get something out, and obviously there was an event or a memory that has been a catalyst for that need, but it’s not that simple. I rarely write anything specifically about one person or event. There’s always ghosts of other people, other memories and other moments.

Writing, for me, is working through flashes that come into my head, but those flashes are often not related to present day. For a start, it takes me time to work through and process things.

It’s like this blog. Much of what I’ve posted was written a long time ago, but it’s only now that I feel ready to ‘put it out there’ as it were. Old journals have been pulled out, dusted off and ripped apart – metaphorically speaking. What has been interesting to me is how little changes, when I was wholly convinced so much had.

So, my message is this:

If you recognise yourself in someone’s writing, relax. Chances are it’s just an apparition.

 

You

“I thought you said you’d never done this before.”

You shrug. “I haven’t.”

Yeah, perhaps.

I feel sweat run from between my breasts, down my side, under my back. I shift onto my stomach and you try to look shy.

“You seem to know your way around a woman’s body pretty well.”

“And you said you don’t like complications.”

You’re nodding towards my bedside table. A solitaire and a plain gold band. It’s my turn to shrug.

“I don’t. Doesn’t mean I don’t have any though.”

I reach for water and you get up. Two minutes later, you’re dressed and picking up your keys.

“That was great.”

You run a finger down my leg and squeeze my toe. As you leave, I see you’ve left your jacket behind. I don’t call out. I want a reason to see you again.

 

Two days later and I’ve hung your jacket away. Paul hasn’t seen it, wouldn’t have noticed it was new if he had. But I don’t want him to know about it. It’s my secret. You’re my secret. When I’m alone I bury my face in the suede and inhale your scent, your hair, your skin.

I am taken by you.

 

A week goes by and I can’t get away from you. I dream you, I see you everywhere. I am obsessed. This isn’t the way it should be. I hadn’t considered falling for you. It was always just for fun, women always were. I married Paul for the other stuff. Security, companionship, his love – not so much mine. And if I’m honest, for his money. And for the sake of my parents. Marriage got them off my back. We were so young.

I never saw a future in women until you.

Damn you!

 

A fortnight later, you ring my doorbell.

“Hi.”

“Hey.”

“I left my jacket.”

“Yeah.”

 

You’ve cut your hair. I tell you I like it, though I think it’s sexier long.

I push your fringe out of your eyes. You take my hand away from your face.

“I don’t know what I’m doing here.”

“You came for your jacket.”

“You know what I mean.”

I raise myself up on one elbow and look at you. Your cheeks are flushed from heavy breathing, bare skin, breasts touching breasts, wet fingers, soft lips.

Such soft lips.

“Why did it take you so long to come back for your jacket?”

You wave your arm around the room.

“This. Him.”

I draw my leg back from where it lies touching you. When you leave, you double check you haven’t left anything behind.

 

You send me a bunch of white lilies. There is a note thanking me for looking after your jacket. It’s ridiculous of you, but they’re beautiful.

 

Paul arrives home, sees the flowers. He asks where I bought them. I wink.

“Secret admirer.”

He laughs, goes for a shower. While he bathes I caress the petals and imagine I’m touching your lips.

Those soft lips.

I have it bad.

 

In bed I feel Paul moving closer to me. I no longer like the feel of his scruffy beard on my back. I try not to pull away. He wants me but I can’t. I feel like I’m cheating on you.

 

The next morning, Paul doesn’t leave as early for work. He’s lingering. I know he’s bothered by last night’s rejection, though it’s not as though it’s a first. I don’t know what to say. I don’t trust myself to speak. His hurt is making me feel dirty.

I wish I could see you.

 

My sister has left her kid with me for the day. She wants to go to the park, and the dog needs walking. I am happy to escape the house.

Sitting on the seesaw, she watches as two teens in school uniform walk past holding hands. She says her teacher makes her hold the hand of a boy in her class when they walk to the library. She wants to know why they hold hands now.

“They’re in love.”

“Yuck.”

I tell her I agree.

 

Paul is home from work early. He wants to talk.

“Is everything okay?”

“Yes.”

No.

He looks around my office. He pulls a book from the shelf, flicks through a few pages, puts it back.

“You’ve got so many books. Have you even read them all?”

I shake my head.

“I’ve never really looked around your office. Strange, isn’t it?”

I try to smile, but I’m scared I’ll cry. His pupils quiver as he searches my face for a sign of, what? Guilt? Innocence? He knows, he must do. Or is my conscience just working overtime, making me panic?

He shivers.

“It’s cold in here. Want a drink?”

“Yeah.”

 

I follow him downstairs. The back of his neck is still handsome. It was the first thing I noticed about him, sitting behind him in class. His neck was beautiful. It still is. He’s starting to go a bit grey now. I like what it adds to his face.

 

Later, Paul and I make love. It is love, I love him very much. But I need to think about you before I can come. Afterwards, I lie awake thinking about you and Paul. He’d like you, if he didn’t know you’d fucked his wife. I fantasize about bringing you home, living with the both of you, a threesome. Guys love that shit, don’t they? Paul wouldn’t want to share me though. And I don’t want to share you.

 

I listen to Joan Armatrading in the car, hearing the torture in her lyrics.

“I have a lover…who loves me…how could I break such a heart…and still you get my attention…”

I want to scream.

I know! I get it!

 

When I get home Paul is sitting on the lounge room floor slugging a beer. I don’t think it’s his first. I assume he’s watching television, until I see the petals scattered over the carpet. He’s destroyed my flowers.

Your flowers.

He knows, I see this now. Maybe because I was different in bed. I tried not to be, but I know I was. Less connected, slightly distant. I know I’ve changed.

Paul is desperate for answers, but he isn’t asking any questions. I sit next to him. He offers me his beer, grabs my hand as I take it from him. He kisses my ear. The intimacy makes me cry.

“I’m scared.”

“Me too.”

He doesn’t want details. Just reassurance. We lie on the floor, bodies intertwined and stay there, just feeling each other breathe.

I can’t keep seeing you. I have too much to lose.

 

Before bed I gather up the crushed petals, and throw them in the bin. This can’t go on.

 

Months later, I still think of you. I wonder if you know why I had to let you go. I’m sure you do. I tell myself I made the right decision.

It wouldn’t have worked anyway.

 

My mobile rings and I know it’s you before I even see the number.

“Hi.”

“Hey.”

“I probably shouldn’t be ringing you.”

 

We’ve been at this place before.