Wednesday, January 30, 2008

THEY CAME BACK



Yay!

Yet, my inbox remains lacking in emails from people who work for the CIA.

It was the chocolate, wasn't it? Wait a minute, let me see what else I can tempt you with...okay, for some reason there isn't any awesome food to be found in this fridge. Maybe you're not a food person. Let me find something else- aha!



They're blue whales, the biggest animal to ever live. Bigger even than dinosaurs. Bigger even than my ego. They're for you, mystery CIA worker. Hope they make your day bigger and bluer, and maybe make you write to me.

Years from now, they'll ask how it all started...

I sent this picture to Matt for his birthday. 'cause I'm a nice friendly person like that.

That Vanderdude saw that (admittedly crappy) drawing of a penguin, and left this comment.

So I sent him this picture,



CLEARLY, I HAD NO CHOICE.

He returned fire,



(I don't care what he says, that's chest hair on that penguin.)



GAME ON.

I would like to invite everyone with a spare minute and a pen to please draw angry penguins and put them online. Feel free to sent them to me if you don't have a web page, and I'll put them up here. I want a damn penguin army. With war paint.

'cause I'm a nice friendly person like that.

ETA: The first recruit! Aanimal found this furious little bird and pressganged it into service. Dun look too happy. Peck your toes off.



ETA: Jaime discovered the penguin army's super sekrit covert ops squad. This penguin did the stunt work for Tom Cruise. This penguin is totally about to mess with your porn stash.



ETA: Matt found a serious freakin' giant gladiator viking warrior can of penguin WHUP ASS. And notes "the penguin does not need thumbs to wield its morning star....It has been beneficially mutated by global warming."



ETA: Jeff found a penguin with less chest hair, and a hell of a lot more teeth. And what looks like halitosis. Very useful trait in close-quarters combat, that. Except when fighting walrus. I understand walrus are pretty rank.



And hooooly crap. Matt also found the penguin who washed out of basic.



ETA: I do believe Matt is trying to kill me, because I just burst something else on sight of this. There'll be a feature film CARNO PENGUIN VS SHARK PENGUIN, featuring Godzilla as commentator!



ETA: Selena brought this guy in shackles and a hockey mask. She wrestled him, one on one, and survived.

Actually, I lie. Killing one of your next of kin is a necessary induction into the penguin army, and Selena is a canny report who unveiled this terrible fact to the innocent public. Oh, the horror, the horror!



ETA: Nadine is a very practical, sensible, foresighted woman. Very practical. Very sensible. Very foresighted. And knows exactly how to make Sir Tessa swoon.



Ren found the penguin to lead the charge, fire the first shot, etc.



And was also thinking along the same lines as Nadine. I suspect I'm going to have to start considering things like logistics, supply lines, and how to keep a million penguins from getting bored and pillaging the world.



ETA: Malatroit found a penguin bowling skittle, and I do believe it's main offensive capability is completely disarming the enemy by being overwhelmingly adorable.



Joyelle pointed out the existence of a mutant penguin soldier army, with this most disturbing evidence.

Cynarion found INIGO MONTOYA PENGUIN. FOR SRS. I'm pretty sure that makes him invincible. And popular wth the ladies.



And Gillian pleaded lack of drawing skills and sent thought-penguins. Thought-penguins are somewhat alarming to ponder. I hope you're alarmed.

I should state, for the record, that stating lack of drawing skills will not be considered a valid reason for bugging out. You have MS Paint. You have the intrawebs. Unleash your inner angry penguin!

ETA: I have contracted out the organisation and distribution of supplies to Arthur Miller.

No, really.

Sir Tessa,
It has come to the attention of the unctuous obnoxious salesperson (who has never sold used cars) that you having issues supplying an army of penguins. While this difficulty is somewhat unique the OU Salesperson has, as ever, a solution at hand. Be advised that our despised company can lease you a division of crack penguin krill suppliers (see attached jpeg). While they may not look it these birds are tough - their training is so rigorous that they can listen to Crazy Frog up to 23.67 times before breaking down.

As to your problem of keeping them occupied - The OU Salesperson suggests devising increasingly elaborate and nonsensical war games. That is, after all what we do with our staff.

The OU Salesperson thanks you for your kind consideration of its offer and is hoping to do as little business as possible with you (however it is not so cruel as to wish a hard drive implosion on you).

About your personal salesperson: Arthur Miller (1915-2005, 2006-) was a respected playwright who would like to think that he is most famous for his play Death of a Salesman. He is actually better known for being married to Marilyn Monroe. He was resurrected by the OU Salesperson in 2006 and has since been paying off the enormous costs involved by indenture to said company. He has since attempted to sell things to a large number of people without so much as a response. He got a woefully inadequate reply from tupou gangster but at least it wasn't a drive-by shooting.

He will pay a bounty to anyone who can explain the term mechcarmen.


About the OU Salesperson: While not selling used cars founder J. Edgar Hoover (1895-1972) noticed that putting the emphasis on customer relations was getting him nowhere - at the same speed as the cars he was not selling. He decided to take a leaf out of the insurance salesman's handbook and became an irritating, conniving bastard. After a successful career in the FBI selling improbable ideas like the domino theory he returned to his first love and created the OU Salesperson.




Magpie located the R&D - Mad Scientist Division of the angry penguin army in Austria. They were looking for a suitable ruined and ominous castle to set up their lab in, for the appropriate atmosphere.



She had to send a crack squad of penguins to invade Austria to bring them back. Austria had NO IDEA what hit them.



Kenn Perkins recruited my moral officer. That's Commissar to you. Smile like you mean it, dirtbag!



ETA: Xavie recruited an utter BRUISER of a penguin. Look at that beak! That's a beak that has been in so many drunken brawls, it can't peck properly. Also, being all corkscrewy like that, it'll do more damage going in. The Fu Is Strong In This One.



Timblynod recruited a top notch killer to do all the angry penguin army's wetwork. And, quite frankly, I do not sleep well at night knowing I'm his boss. Eeek.



Magpie discovered yet more Austrian penguins. In the newspaper. (I suspect these are members of the crack squad I sent who went AWOL. They shall be reappropriated shortly.)



Chris Billett yoinked from his friend Edward Monkton this fine, fine example of a penguin soldier. 412. Exactly.



ETA: No recruits today (the recruitment office took a day for stress leave).

Gillian pointed out an angry penguin literary movement. Australian, no less.

From JKS via Jeff a...something. Actually, I have no idea what it is, as the network here has blocked it as exceeding the weighted phrase limit (the bane of my life), but I'm sure it's interesting, enlightening, and highly relevent to your life.

ETA: StrangeShe had to hire all sorts of tanks and helicopters to bring us this recruit, as she is pretty damn amazingly spectacularly astoundingly OARSUM, and every angry penguin army needs a giant glowing mutant penguin.



Scientists believed the giant 5-foot tall Peruvian -Icadyptes salasi- penguin was extinct (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6239846.stm). What they didn't know is that it was busy in its underground lab conducting experiments into top-secret weapons development for the angry penguin military. Caught in the blast of a gamma bomb, the -Icadyptes salasi- was transformed into the angry specimen you see here.




The other penguins had to resort to more traditional methods...


Libra has supplied us with some nasty munitions. Oh yeah. Grilled sardines tonight, suckahs. (This unit will not ever be deployed on ice.)



Mike went on a long and arduous expedition to the far reaches of some where far away that has far reaches, and discovered all sorts of penguin army activities, including what looks like a street punk penguin army. Hmm...











I did visit the penguins at the Melbourne Zoo over the weekend, and pictures were taken, but I am not yet decided on whether or not I wish to recruit them. One of them in particular was giving off a very strong Jabba the Hut vibe.

ETA: Jeff just can't help himself.



He's trying to use my own penguin against me. Ha! We laugh at this aborted attempt at the perversion of the truth.



ETA: Gillian found an infiltration of penguins at the Canberra Show, which I must publicly claim ignorance on, while waggling my eyebrows in a knowing manner.





And check this out: the biggest creche in the world, and it's all penguins, millions and millions of penguins, making abstract art of the landscape.

ETA: Keyan Bowes (photo cred: Jerzy Strzelecki) sent us a nice piece of recon.

Yeah. Jeff is royally screwed.

Further penguin developments received their own posts;


And then there was the infiltration of the VanderMeer household by cunning and stealthy operatives.

They're staring each other down...Mr P is so stealthy he has no eyelids with which to blink.
I, PIMP

  • That most wretched wench, Nadine, has been writing for firefox.org for some time now, and appears to be having a gay old time digging up creepy stories. The last article scared the shit out of me, and because I'm a suckah I listened to those clips over and over. Jolly old town!
  • That most torrid trollop, Deb, has roped a two book deal with Angus & Robertson. Which is old news, but my pimping has been lacking of late. PR MACHINE GOGOGO. I had the honor of reading her baby before she sent it out, and it was one of the best things I read last year. Unfortunately, I can't tell you when it will be coming out. Or what name she'll be writing under. Or what the title will be. BUT IT IS MADE OF OOOOAARSUM. (Also, 'ware her blog, she keeps posting large photos of spiders AUGH)
  • That sordid scallywag, Jeff, wrote a Predator novel, which I also had the honor of reading. It is also made of OOOOOAARSUM, but a different sort of oarsum to Deb's novel, being as there are no golems in this, nor any Predator's in that. But there is a GIANT FUCKING CROCODILE, how can you resist? September for birth, I think.
  • He also wrote this other thing, 'The Situation', and fed me a copy of that too. It's exactly the sort of thing you don't read at 4 am, because, my god, it's a nasty horrible piece of work. Beautifully written and fantastically fucked up. It deals specifically with the horrors of office politics, but sits solid upon the more general theme of bullying. It's powerful stuff, took me back to primary school. Love the beetles. Love the fish. Love the headfuck. Had to watch The Wizard of Oz as a chaser.
  • That rascally rascal, Ben, has a weekly comic going on over at his livejournal. Nowhere Near Savannah needs more attention. It amuses me greatly, methinks it'll do the same for you. If you haven't already rubbed your nose in it, I recommend you do.
  • A mysterious stranger emailed me after my a softer world reference, and said I "might also enjoy the webcomic "Tiny Ghosts", which has similar sensibilities." The mysterious stranger was right. I ate the archive, which was too small, and made me sniffle and snort and smile, sometimes all at once. Thank you, mysterious stranger.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

/end nightshift

- for them to finally drop the bomb.

A truth and beauty bomb. They’re quite distinctive. No other bomb explodes like a bag of flour, sending great clouds of pink, blue and yellow gas billowing out through the grid that is Melbourne’s streets. It smells like bubblegum and regret.

Some people run. They drop their briefcases and mobile phones and run screaming from the fairy floss cloud come to swallow them. I stand to one side, and watch as the world around me is hidden by a rainbow.

It’s already too late.

A stranger emerges from the cloud, one of the emo kids from the steps of Flinders Street Station. He stares at me, wide eyed and wide mouthed in horror. Unable to stop himself, he points and shouts that my breasts are enormous.

I point back and yell that he’s too fat for skinny leg jeans, and wince when I do. The truth will out, and it isn’t always beautiful. He bursts into tears and disappears in a waft of pink.

Time, then, to do what must be done, and quickly. The containment plan, set in down legislation more than a year ago when the first truth and beauty bomb hit and incapacitated Auckland in New Zealand, would have wound up before this bomb even hit. Somewhere, the RAAF is scrambling all the combat jets it has. It has been proven, time and again, that civilisation cannot function with truth and beauty. Nations have collapsed under their weight. Australia has no desire to suffer the same fate.

I duck into an internet cafĂ©. The attendant, hidden behind a gas mask, charges me significantly more than normal. The truth is, he’s a money-grubbing opportunistic jerk, and with the gas thick in my lungs, I have no choice but to tell him so. He shrugs, amused, and after taking my money begins his escape from the city.

It starts as a letter to my family, a last good bye before they cut the power and concrete the lockdown, but the truth will out, and out, and out, and it grows to be a letter to everyone, then a blog post, then a forum post, on every forum, in every journal, anywhere I can say-

They dropped the bomb. The world is changing. My eyes are changing the world. I’m already dead, I just haven’t stopped moving. The truth is,
you drive me fucking crazy
you made me cry when you didn’t call
you made me cry when you wouldn’t look away
you made me shy with your consideration
you’re awesome
you’re awful
i miss you even when you’re here
i want to get to know you better so i can miss you better so i can abuse you and lose you
i would have stayed up all night
you were too cool stylish amazing for me
i wish i'd just kissed you
you’ve never listened to a word i said
i didn’t say i like you can we hang and i should have
you take yourself too seriously
i tried
you should have said sorry
you’re boring
i should have asked you why
you’re not the friend i wanted you to be
i lied
you disappoint me
i made a mistake no several mistakes with you and i’m sorry
you’re my favourite person
you did me so much damage and you didn’t even notice
you should know better than to ask
i admire you and your clarity and your strength
you stopped being gay for her why not me
you crushed my dreams
you make me a better person
i don’t know how to be happy
i can make you happy
you’re adorable and fuzzy
you make me feel worthless
i was right
you need to shut up and learn about silence
your normality puts me off kilter
i was afraid you’d say no so i didn’t ask
you need to stop coming on with an agenda
you hurt me every day
i did that on purpose
i don’t know how to say thank you for letting me stay in your life
the delight you take in the world makes the world delightful
you’re a pathetic whore
i want to hold your hand on a winter’s night
you need to lighten up
you should be nicer to me
you should just go ahead and do it trodden toes be damned
you think too highly of yourself
you’d be a kinder person if you could read minds
i was never as important to you as you were to me
i deserve nothing any of you have ever done for me
you make me what i am
you don’t know me
i don’t know you,
nothing changes.

The truth is-

Press send. Press send. Press send. The power disappears. It is beginning.

I go home.

I open the window, and stand with my arms hanging out, and watch the pigeons flutter across the narrow alley from my sill to the opposite. Sunlight reflects on the birdshit and dust streaked glass. Little feathers, city grime, the sound of hundreds of people crying as they have no choice but to be truthful with themselves, maybe for the first time, certainly for the last time. The pigeons bob their heads madly, and chase each other along narrow filthy ledges. Here is the fast growing roar of jets thundering low overhead. There is the concussion of bombs, real deadly damaging destructive bombs tearing the city apart, wiping Melbourne and everyone drowning in the truth and beauty of the world off the map.

It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

- for a pony.

No, wait. For a triceratops.

With a comfy saddle. I could ride him all over town. Like the maharaja and his elephant, me and my triceratops. It’d have to be a fancy saddle. With sequins and ribbons. Probably glitter on velvet. We could paint his frills, put tassels on his horns. His name would be something stalwart and resistant, like, oh, I don’t know, Bert. Bert the drag queen triceratops. He’d live on a farm. A dairy farm, with the cows. They’d get used to him. They’d love him.

No, wait. A flying triceratops.

Not some dinosaur twat with wings, no, Bert would fly like superheroes do, with his legs stretched out. We’d fly to the beach, somewhere empty and clean, and build enormous sand castles. Me and my triceratops.

Tourists would look up and point, and cry, what on earth is that?

That, the locals take one look and shrug, that’s Tessa and Bert the flying drag queen triceratops.

Do they fight crime?

I don’t think so.

Then what do they do?

Mostly, they just zoom about dropping confetti with bad haikus written on them.

But Bert, the flying drag queen triceratops, he’s lonely. He tells me he’s all alone in this world, and when I reply that we all are, each and every one of us, alone, he shakes his head sadly. You don’t understand, he says, you can step outside and see hundreds of people who look and move and speak like you. There are no other dinosaurs. I am alone.

I rub his nose. He likes that.

He tells me he’s leaving.

No, you can’t leave.

I am. I’m going to find some dinosaurs. I can’t be the only one.

But where will you go?

The moon, he said, and takes off into the sky.

Wait! Take me with you!

But Bert is gone, a plump silhouette shrinking in the disc of the full moon.

And I am alone.

Later, men knock on my door. Men without uniform or ID. They inform me that the ISS has been destroyed, and show me a satellite picture of the wreckage. A mess of metal still in orbit over the Earth. Amid the glittering shards of mirrors and ribbon strips of foil and mangled twists of girders is a frozen triceratops, legs stretched out.

We believe that is your dinosaur, they tell me.

The ISS cost a lot of money, they tell me.

Do you have insurance, they ask me.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008



TESSA = RAW POISONOUS FISH





PUTTING A STORM IN A TEACUP DOES NOT MAKE IT VERY SMALL.
PUTTING A STORM IN A TEACUP MAKES IT VERY CONCENTRATED.
AND NO DRUNKEN SINGING WILL SAVE YOU.



IT'S ALL GOING DOWN ABANDON SHIP ABANDON SHIP

Etc etc etc. Nightshift. You get the idea.

I appear to have caused some concern with my last post. You don't have to believe me, but know that even when I'm not okay, I'm okay. I'm sorry for freaking you out. Thank you, for pokes and elephants and stuff. I have some nice fluffy chasers planned to make up for it. Rainbows and sparkles and marshmellows. No, really.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Your alarm goes off.
You hit snooze.
Your alarm goes off.
You hit snooze.
Your alarm goes off.
You hit snooze.
Your alarm goes off.
You get up.
Your face in the bathroom mirror has puffy eyes and deep shadows.
Your jaw aches.
You shower.
You start getting dressed.
You pour a glass of juice.
You drink.
You finish getting dressed.
You shamble around the corner to the free wifi. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t.
You check your email.
You read your sites.
You shamble back to your nest.
You put dinner together. Instant noodles and sundry. Again.
You do the dishes.
You put the washing away.
You brush your teeth.
You walk to work.
You sit at your work station for eight hours, processing reports of sexual assault, family violence, drug trafficking, stalking, assault, and people who are generally worse off than you are.
You plan to write this read that dance naked in front of the windows when you get home.
You walk home.
You close the door.
You sit. Sometimes on the bathroom step. Sometimes on the bed. Sometimes on the floor.
You cry.
You cry.
You cry until you retch.
Then you cry some more.
You stop long enough to brush your teeth.
You turn off the lights.
You undress.
You crawl into bed.
You cry.
You cry.
You put on a movie. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t.
You watch the clock count down the hours till sunrise.
You’re too tired to cry.
You’re too tired to sleep.
You hear the garbage trucks at three am.
You toss.
You turn.
You sleep.

Your alarm goes off.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I had a head full of poison so I took a sleeping pill around 3.ooam to stop it.

It's 7.32am, I'm at work, and it's still stopped.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008



“After a hard day’s work assassinating political targets and people who talk at the movies, the last thing I want to do when I get home is kill some more. That’s why I use Mortein Surface Spray! It “lures ‘n kills” cockroaches for up to six months, leaving my carpet a noxious killing ground of death and horror. The decomposing chemical orange smell covers even the scent of murder and blood on my hands. For wholesale insect slaughter, I always turn to Mortein! Thanks Mortein!”

- NinjaTess, Melbourne

Me, Great What Hunter?

Part II

There was a giant roach beside my bed. Giant. Fucking huge. The size of my arm, I tell you. I exaggerate. The size of my thumb. Which is huge. Giant, I tell you.

I didn't want a repeat ordeal of roach guts smeared into the carpet, which mean avoiding having to make any spectacular lunges across the room, which meant making sure it wasn't going to run. To do this, I built a wall of toilet paper around it. Then, with another wad of toilet paper in hand, I stood over it, ready to smite the little enormous bugger.

My brain froze.

Beingsillybeingsilly. Roaches aren't poisonous, and they don't charge at you furiously like some spiders do, but AUGH! I freaked out anyway, not unlike Mulder and his girly scream in that episode of the X-Files with Baaaambi.

And then I smote it.

It turned out with was just a husk anyway. Which I nevertheless took great pleasure in flushing down the toilet.

Part III

I could hear it. I COULD HEAR IT. It was bumping around the boxes stacked by the window, and it sounded ENORMOUS. AND IT WAS ENORMOUS. AND IT WAS RUNNING AROUND. The nerve of these creatures! Very well, if that's the way it wants to play, then ninja-fast smushing on the carpet it would be. Armed with toilet paper, again, I set on luring out where I could crush it.

Holy. Fuck. I think it broke the sound barrier. Did you hear a sonic boom as it just zoooooomed straight by me? I did. It dashed to my chair and disappeared.

How does a roach that big just disappear? I kicked the chair. I turned the chair over and poked it. The roach was gone. Vanished. Poof.

I was writing. I'm a sensitive artist you know, and I was in the moment, and I simply can not work under these conditions! I ain't putting my bum on a chair in which a giant roach has hidden in!

Disgruntled, I packed up and went to bed.

AND FOUND THE GIANT ROACH IN THE SHOWER.

It moved so fast I didn't even see it get that far. That's alarming. But it had made a tactical error in its retreat, as it couldn't get out of the shower, and I had no qualms about smushing its guts all over the tiles. And I did. And I took great pleasure in flushing it down the toilet, me, TRIUMPHANT.

AUGH! I'm used to possums. I'm used to mice. But not giant mutant alien super-sonic cockroaches. I'm going to buy some surface spray, right now, and turn my apartment into a seething toxic miasma where roaches fear to tread. Old roaches will hobble around telling the little ones not to go out onto the Charcoal Plains of Tessadom, those poisonous grounds will keeel you, I say, keeeel you, and then the great ogre Tessa will crush you, I say, crush you, and throw your remains in her great porcelain altar, and then pee on your corpse, I say.

Pee. On. Your. Corpse.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

that's just me running in the wrong direction

You see, I posted all that from the State Library. The lack of pianos had to be because I was inside, and the State Library is rather thick. No grand piano is going to bust through all the marble floors to kill my headache. This notion lodged in my mind.

As a result, I was some what hesitant about exiting the building.

That's just silly, I told myself, and walked home without having my skull crushed by falling pianos.

But then I wondered if maybe time zones were coming into play. Most people get online after dinner. China is only a little behind Australia in time, and Greece and Egypt another handful of hours on top of that. Maybe they hadn't checked their 'Requests From Foolish Mortals' email folder or blog feed for the day.

That's just silly, I told myself, and walked to work today without having my skull crushed by falling pianos.

But maybe they don't have any grand pianos. They're not really traditional chinese/greek/egyptian instruments, after all. Maybe they have to order them first, from the 'Requests From Foolish Mortals' Workshop of Divine Intervention.

Um.

Someone get this nonsense out of my head.
Preferably before I walk home tonight.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Fah. Fine. I'll do it myself. HEMLOCK AND CRUSHED GLASS FTW.
and that Jade Emperor guy, he's up in the Heavenly Kingdom. That's pretty high up. They're always swanning about in the clouds.

OY. YOU.

YEAH YOU.

THE TOFF IN THE SILLY HAT.


PEE

AAA

NO
what about Ra, he's a sun god right, up high and all? yeah, he'll do-

HEY RA MUTHAFUCKING PIANO PLEASE
HEY. ZEUS. STOP TURNING INTO WHITE BULLS AND PORKING YOUNG WOMEN AND THROW ME MY DAMN PIANO.
Some Things Sir Tessa Would Like To Have, Just In Case Anyone Is Listening, Who Might Care Enough To Do Something About These Things, Which Is Highly Unlikely, But You Never Know

Firstly, I would like this headache, this back-off-regroup-fuck-my-head-with-a-spatula headache, that I have been carrying for a week, to go away.

If I cannot have that, then I would like someone on standby to make the appropriate sympathetic noises when I gripe about said headache.

Failing that, I would like someone to teach the pigeons to sound symathetic.

And if I can have none of those things, then I'd like a grand piano.

Preferrably dropped from a great height.




Actually, never mind. I'll just take the piano. It'll save time.

Friday, January 04, 2008

People die.


I'm tired.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Me, Great White Hunter

Cockroaches are fast little devils, and when you don't have any insect spray, there's nothing else to do but hunt them across the bathroom tiles with a wad of toilet paper and ninja-fast reflexes. The trick is the manouver them into a corner, from which they cannot escape mushing.

The other trick is, not to let them get on the carpert, and then mush them, because roach guts are kinda...sticky.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

(I walk along the tram tracks on Flinders Street, because I can. The sun is gone, and didn’t take the heat with it. People everywhere, so many I can’t see the faces any more, just people people people. I get home later than usual, strip all clothes, pour a large drink, sit down, and start editing this, this tirade. this manifesto, this recap.)

(This great big long self-absorbed, self-infatuated, self-involved wank. Holy crap. What a steaming pile of horseshit. Mock mock mock.)

An Open Time Capsule Containing Three Photos, Borrowed Lyrics, And A Letter That Isn’t For You

(Die, pretentious title, die.)

/2007


osorezan, shimokita-hanto, honshu, japan
windmills left by the parents of dead children


(Yeah. But selected 'cause it was pretty. Heh.)

i think i’ve reached that point

(Lyrics. Oh Tessa, I mock you. Sweet fuck. You emo twat. You might as well get your lip pierced and wear black eyeliner. You’re quoting The Cure, FFS.)

(Don’t start listening to emo bands though. There’s only so much dignity you can strip before it isn’t funny anymore.)

(Wait, what am I listening to now? 65DaysOfStatic? Haha, PSYKE! THERE IS NO HOPE FOR ME. We shall retract that statement. You may listen to any music you like, provided it’s good music.)

Let's talk about 2006. You need to remember 2006 before you can understand 2007.

2006 was a good year. Nothing bad happened. At all. It was smooth sailing, punctuated by a fantastic trip overseas containing mountains and hilarious friends. You were financially secure, well clear of unemployment and no one’s financial burden, lived in a good sound home and possessed all your teeth. The perfect year to get your act together, and little girl, you tried. Every. Single. Fucking. Day. You pushed yourself to be happy, bright, cheery. You looked for little joys to bolster up your days. You beat yourself senseless for falling in a slump and dragged yourself back out. You sought and found wonder in everything, even when there was no wonder to be found. You made up more reasons than you’d ever need as proof that you should be grateful to be alive. You did everything you could to be the person you wished you were.

You tried.

where giving up and going on

At the end of this easy, good, smooth, unchallenging year, you looked back, and realised that despite all your efforts and a distinct lack of any real obstacles, you were only ever 'okay'. Look at that. 'Okay.' One of the worst words in the English language.

And you were exhausted. Fighting yourself everyday does that.

(This sounds distinctly like whinging. Are you whinging? “Oooh, I had a good year, POOR ME.” Insert my total lack of sympathy here.)

(And don’t give me that crap about how you only ever have the life you live, and your misery can only really be compared to your previous states of misery. That’s justifying feeling sorry for yourself, and a lousy justification at that.)

(Oh shut up. I was there too.)

The few people you tried to relate this to missed the point. They congratulated you on how strong you were, without realising this so called ‘strength’ was driving you face first into the ground. (“OH I’M SO MISUNDERSTOOD WAAAAA.”) Oh, but you’re not strong, you never were, you’re just good fooling the people around you (…or not). Even better at fooling yourself. (OR NOT. I WAS THERE TOO.) You’d convinced yourself that you would not fall apart, and then couldn’t fall apart when you needed to. Quite frankly, the thought of being strong made you sick. The thought of carrying on this ridiculous fight every day for the rest of your life made you sick. The thought of all this effort just to be 'okay' made you sick. Sick, sick, sick.

(Well, that bit’s true. I’ll give you that. You’re still being a bit dramatic though.)

You realise you’ll never be the person you wish you were.

(Cry more, noob.)


utoro, hokkaido, japan
no buses leaving


are both the same dead ends to me

Let's talk about 2007.

and i’m going nowhere fast

(Oh well, at least you’re now quoting Patrick Wolf. You’re still being emo about it though.)

The first couple of months were spent in deadpan panic. What to do. Continue the fight, every year, month, day, hour, minute, second stretching into second for the rest of your life? Fuck that horseshit. (Damn straight.) Get help? Stupid, stubborn, wilful, mulish little girl. You’ve never asked for help, you’ll never ask for help. (Damn straight.) Counselling? Not your cup of tea – you’ve already mastered the art of self-manipulation and single-player mind games. (Damn straight.) What’s left? It's quite easy to spend a couple of months brooding over crap like this. You’re a worldclass champion brooder, you are. You could out-brood Hamlet. (Damn straight.)

a darker day has hold at last

Oh, but there are always new single-player mind games to try on yourself, and you found this one by accident. (Your tone here is getting a bit…er…ridiculous. “Oh”, what do you mean, “Oh”?) Reading about space, planets and stars, generally clicking around wikipedia in the long hours of nightshift, researching this novel you know will never go anywhere, you fixate on the size of the universe, on the span of time, and it reminds you of mountains.

deep in a dream i

In grade 1 you had this moment: sitting at your table, looking out the window, thinking about the solar system. It was overcast. Elbow on the table, chin in hand. You were going through a space phase, like little boys do. You weren’t listening to the teacher. You were thinking of the distance between each planet, the time it takes for the light of the sun to reach them, and for an instant, you held that distance in your mind. It’s enormous, too big to hold for any longer than an instant, and you let it go quickly. It frightened you. In that great span, you saw how small you were, and how irrelevant everything around you was. You were 6 years old. You let the teacher’s voice in your head then, and she filled that vast space, but you never forgot.

(This is true, but irrelevant.)

set the compass

(Doggamn with the lyrics! NEVER AGAIN.)

You remember that feeling, twenty years later, and this time, you don’t let it go. The people who study astronomy, the immensity of space, the agonisingly slow tick of a geological time frame, you wonder why it is these people do not simply lay down and die, and how they keep the size of what they stare into from overwhelming them. You let it overwhelm you. You see yourself as nothing . You are nothing. You, the city you live in, the people around you, the history that follows you, everything is entirely irrelevant. There’s no point to anything. Nothing matters at all.

(Melodrama much? You should write romances. You’d be ACE.)

It doesn't matter if you’re a miserable fucker. Your state of mind doesn't matter at all.

(DAMN STRAIGHT. NOW GET OVER YOURSELF.)

to spinning

So, you stop fighting.

You stop looking after yourself, stop protecting yourself from your triggers. If you see trouble ahead, (and boy, did you see trouble) you no longer make any effort to steer clear of it, and keep going. Speeding cars and concrete walls. (Actually, I believe the correct term is FACEPLANT.)

Oh, you haven’t faceplanted (Heh, see?) this much since high school! You daft muppet. (Are you talking to yourself? Did you just call me a muppet? Whatever, wiener.) You let a boy in your head, you let him lean on you because he says flattering things and tells you secrets, and you, you’re a greedy, desperate little thing. A sniff of trust and you’ll roll over like a good dog. You tell yourself it doesn’t matter, that you don’t need proof you’re worth trust. You tell yourself it doesn’t matter if you do.

You tell yourself it doesn’t matter if you let him trample your heart.

You tell yourself it doesn’t matter if you let him do it again, and again. It isn’t as though you have anything better to do.

You let him use you like a toy, and like a toy, he gets bored and finds something else to play with. (Holy crap, no one wants to hear about your weird little infatuations. Not even I do, and I was there. Particularly because I was there, actually. Ew. Embarassing.) You tell yourself it didn’t matter. It shouldn’t matter. But you’ve spent years trying to avoid these sorts of messes, and the behaviour patterns that have carried you this far don’t break easily.

What a mess. What a lot of crying in the dark. What an awful lot of tissues. This year, mucous production is up ten fold from all previous years. Ew. (+10 Ditto)

This is how you learn. In those small wretched lonely hours when you’re afraid someone will hear you snivelling, you realise that this misery is, all things considered, easy. It doesn’t matter if you’re miserable, so you’re not telling yourself you shouldn’t be miserable, and my goodness, doesn’t that make all the difference? You’re miserable and (word repetition, muppet) upset and depressed, and you let yourself be just that. What a relief, to be a mess and not beat yourself up about it. It goes away faster, because it doesn’t matter, and you come out the end thinking, well, that wasn’t so bad.

Then you find the catch to letting yourself be miserable when you’re miserable is that-

-you have to let yourself be happy when you’re happy.

Which is harder than you expect.

(Trufax.)

But you’re a fast learner.

(Don’t flatter yourself.)

And you find that doesn’t matter so much either. All that self-loathing doesn’t matter. All the good memories don’t matter. All these ups and downs and difficulties and surprise joys, they don’t matter. Which starts you doing things you wouldn’t normally do, because, well, whatever happens, it doesn’t matter, does it?

(Yeah…well…)

You get a little addicted to new things and risks and you seek out experiences and scars and anything with an ending you can’t see. Why not? It doesn’t matter. Might as well see what happens. You never know, there might be elephants.

(I have to reveal that, sadly, there was a distinct lack of elephants to the year. I know, it’s appalling. Look what the world has come to; mediocre wank with no elephants. Hemlock and crushed glass, I say!)

Another boy happens. You expect it to be a mess, and it is. (Admittedly, not as messy as you expected.) You’ve no idea what’s going on, and you’re a little weirded out to find that’s okay by you. (Haha, do you actually believe that? Is that the sound of self-delusion? I think it is!) Doesn’t matter.

The family divides, again. Your father goes to Malaysia, and over the phone you hear him wilting and tired and at war with the family. Most of the time, he doesn’t say anything. Sometimes he drowns you with everything that’s going on, and hangs up in tears. Does matter.

The first boy pops up now and then, and you eyeball him, and fail to get hung up on him, which is very out of character. You’re impressed. Doesn’t matter. (Actually, I’m impressed too. What’s up with that? Why aren’t you all clingy and mopey and, what is it Helen of Troy does? She pines around the topless towers or something.)

(Well, he did treat you like shit.)

(You could at least get hung up about that.)

(Okay, fine, whatever. Be all reasonable and rational and shit. See if I care.)

You go on a ridiculously long and convoluted trip to Japan, (which rocked the muthafucking kazbar) where all these budding thought paths and behaviour patterns get a thorough work out. Every day, you confront something you’re not familiar with, and you find you love winging your way through it all, bemusing as it is. You conquer that country, and in doing so, conquer yourself.

(That sounds like bull. ‘Conquering’? Oh please. So several years ago.)

Maybe you even come back changed.

(AAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAaaaaa…ah shit, you made me cry with that one. That’s fucking hilarious.)

Doesn’t matter.

You stop talking about it and go ahead and apply for a lease while in the middle of nightshift. You’re no fool. You might be changed, but not that much. It takes a nightshift-induced lunacy to make things happen, and while you’re lying on the floor in the upstairs bedroom in Malaysia, things happen. (You did show some sense there. Well played, that man.)

You loose your certainty. Things matters, things don’t matter, you loose your grip on what is right/wrong, good/bad, polite/impolite, heartless/honest, true/false, real/not. You’ve been down this slippery slope before, and you don’t like it, and this, this does matter. (Yes, yes it does. We are of one mind on that.) You fight, then, and regain some measure of certainty. Still, the world is a little less in focus, and you have these moments, more and more of them, in which you find yourself looking for a sign of the impossible, something to indicate everything that everyone assumes is a certainty is an elaborate farce. This matters, but, less and less. (You get used to it. After a while. Still, it isn’t nice. I think we’ll need to do something about it soon.)

You make the conscious decision to leave your safety net. You know, just to see what happens. You move into a white box in an old tower with a view of an airconditioning vent and pigeons. Your mother isn’t there. Your father isn’t there. Your brother isn’t there. Your dogs aren’t there. You fear loneliness, which leads to depression, which will lead to you isolating yourself, which will lead to deeper loneliness, which will lead to- (Look at those drama llamas run! Run, drama llama, run!)

You surprise yourself a bit. The teething problems aren’t nearly as big as you expected. You take to this white box like a fish to water. Maybe shiftwork kept you away from people more than you realised. Being alone has never troubled you, and it isn’t troubling you now. (Nah, you just had yourself convinced, for a little while, that you were a people person. You’re not. No surprise there.)

You let yourself be friends with people you like. People you like so much they make you shy. They’re hilarious, ridiculous, frustrating, fascinating people. The worst thing they do is laugh at you. The best thing they do is laugh at you. They tell you you’re fabulous, and it doesn’t matter if every now and then you believe it. (Fah. No one cares unless you’re going to name names. Are you? Didn’t think so. Too much doubt that you’re wrong, and they’ll see their name here and be slightly creeped out that it means more to you than it does to them. You talk big about everything not mattering, but you’re not 100% sold on your own mad theory. You’re definitely not fabulous, but you can be amusing at times. At some point, probably sooner than later, you’re going to revert, and they’ll think you’ve just gone and snobbed them all off, and dislike you immensely for it. Eh. It happens. You’ll live survive.)

You nearly turn into an arsehole. (AAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Fuck me, ‘nearly’, did you say ‘nearly’? How about, YOU ARE AN ARSEHOLE. REVEL IN YOUR ARSEHOLEOSITY. BE AT ONE WITH YOUR ARSEHOLE- no, wait, that came out wrong.) It’s easy to throw ‘doesn’t matter’ around. You draw lines; it doesn’t matter what happens to you, but other people, they still matter. It’s doubtful anyone around you is seeking out all the unexplored places on the map, all the here be dragons, as you are. (Wank.) No one else has carefully nurtured a space-induced irrelevance complex. (This is probably true, and probably a good thing.) They matter, to them. Respect that, at least. You’re not entirely sure where all of these lines are, but you suspect you’ll know them when you cross them. You suspect you’re still an arsehole, regardless. (Oh, I know you are.) Doesn’t matter. Sometimes.

You say more. You reach out randomly – why not? – and people say things back! (No. Fucking. Shit.) NO WAI. (Wait, let me underline that.) You collect an enormous number of conversations, and more secrets than you know what to do with. You wonder if this is normal, this large pile of secrets you have, from all manner of people. You imagine keeping them under the bed. The real estate agent comes around for inspection, and screams at the sight of them. What are they, she cries. Oh them, you wave dismissively, they’re just secrets. But they’re staining the carpet! They’re secrets, you repeat, they come out with time. (Okay, I admit I like this piece of wank. It can stay.)

(Just between you, me, and anyone else who has read this far, this isn’t a behaviour pattern that’s going away any time soon. You consider the gift of a secret the greatest compliment you’ll ever receive. They make your ego puff up bigger than it has any call to be. It’s shallow and desperate, this need to be acknowledged as worthy of trust. But you like other people’s secrets. Maybe because they overshadow your own.)

(Where’d that set of brackets come from? True and irrelevant.)

You don’t hold onto the little acknowledgements of your worthlessness as much. This is a good thing. You don’t hold onto the little proofs of your worth as much. This is a better thing. Always thought that was a little pathetic. Neither of these things matter. (+10 Ditto.)

You have a secret. You didn’t know you had it until you tried to let it out. You can’t decide if this matters or not. (Blah, blah blah…)

Probably not. (DAMN STRAIGHT.)

You’re here now, and this is no longer addressed to the second person, but written in first person. Here I am. I am here. Funny old year.

(That is one butt ugly paragraph. Dude, you suck.)

(Also, not ‘funny old year’. Great year. A year with messes and pitfalls and bruises, and yet you made no mistakes. Ridiculous stupid ludicrous dumb incredible hilarious year. That was fun, again, again!)

Used to be, I placed great stock in knowing who I was. I might be a useless horrible worthless sack of shit, but at least I knew who I was. Maybe that was the problem all along.

Now, I don’t know who I am. Things happen, and my reactions are unexpected. My mind works differently, and I keep surprising myself. Some of these surprises are hilarious. Some of them unflattering. I keep looking for something new, something that will push me in a different direction, something to draw out another unfamiliar reaction. I like this unknown thing I’ve become. Let’s see what happens.

(You know what’s happening. It ain’t pretty. Couldn’t really expect otherwise.)

Used to be, I was going to change the world. Conquer it, even. (Yep. Sooo several years ago.) Never even doubted it. Oh, my arrogance can topple towers. It could wreak more destruction than Godzilla.

Now, I’m rather more interested in how the world can change me. Augh, I’m so self-absorbed, I find my own personality shifts fascinating. Heh. Lame. I’m easily amused. And you ask me why I don’t need a television. (About time you started mocking yourself.)

Used to be, I’d consider all this entirely self-destructive.

Now, doesn’t matter. Haha, how’d you like them apples? I’m not writing stories, so I might as well make a story out of my life. At this rate, it will be long, badly written, unbalanced, and with an unreliable narrator. (LIKE YOUR BLOG POSTS?) A narrator who keeps going on about how she doesn’t mean a thing. If I don’t mean a thing, then anything I go through means nothing as well, and I might as well just take that freedom and run with it. Oh, logic traps. Oh, mind games. I loose every time. Don’t know if any of this is healthy, but it’s a hell of a lot more interesting.

But this can’t last. Rubber bands, when stretched out, snap back into shape. Usually with some force. I’m winging it, every day, and I love it, and it can’t last. I can feel it, some old me, a Tessa who couldn’t stand the thought of not being in control, a Tessa who let her insecurities matter, a Tessa who couldn’t have done any of this, she hasn’t gone away. She never went far at all. It’s building up, and soon the fight will start all over again. I’m afraid. It shouldn’t matter. It does.

(Silly little girl. You’re forgetting what started this all. You’re “okay”. Doesn’t matter what you go through, you’ll always, always, fucking always be okay. One of the worst goddamn muthfucking goatsucking words in the whorish English language.)

(Admittedly, before you get to be “okay”, you have to go through the nasty stuff first.)

(But you will be okay.)

(Eventually.)

(Ugh. I’m not even convincing myself.)

To you, the future me who might read this again a month from now, a year from now, remember; you don’t mean a thing. You are irrelevant. You don’t matter.

(I rather think any future Tessa reading this is going to snort, like this *snoooort* and find this disgusting mess of blather both amusing and humiliating.)

There’s no point to anything. The dinosaurs don’t matter. Hitler doesn’t matter. The death of the sun doesn’t matter. Clearance sales don’t matter. The change of government doesn’t matter. Your shift penalties don’t matter. That he didn’t reply doesn’t matter. The depletion of the ocean’s tuna stocks don’t matter. That she doesn’t and has never listened doesn’t matter. The guy who flirted with you in the store doesn’t matter. The secrets you keep don’t matter. Your blisters don’t matter. You sleep doesn’t matter. Your dreams don’t matter.

(Oh for- you know this mind game isn’t going to last much longer. It’s too hard walking the line between pure apathy and reckless, harmful stupidity. This mind game is ending. You felt it, I can feel it. The battle has started, you can see it in this post. How many Tessas are there in here? Never been single minded about anything. I had to ridicule myself before I could consider posting this, because I can only take myself seriously if I’m not taking myself seriously at all. What’s the point, if you can’t laugh at it? It’s all coming down, and one day I’m going to wake up in my usual, old frame of mind, trapped in my head and unable to deal with anything, and I’ll be alone in a white room. I don’t see myself coping with this. At all.)

(Yeah. I’m afraid too.)

(Doesn’t matter.)



little collins st, melbourne, australia
i think it speaks for itself


You don’t matter. Might as well lay down and die.

let’s see how fast this thing can go

You don’t matter. Might as well go out and live.

(Oh, platitudes. You sound like a Hallmark card. Nice sentiment though.)