Tuesday, January 29, 2008

- 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 café. 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.


  1. Anonymous29/1/08 21:37

    It kind of reminds me of paint it black by The Rolling Stones

  2. Anonymous30/1/08 02:24

    yes--very cool. you're a great writer, but you have to not draw penguins. anything but penguins.

  3. Thanks, Colin. I don't feel the resemblence myself, but comparison to an awesome song is never a bad thing.

    Jeff, I'm going to fill your inbox with penguins. Great penguins. Spectacular damn penguins.

    Once I get a pencil and can sketch a working rough before hand, anyway.

  4. Anonymous30/1/08 05:08

    I love it, Tess. What I wouldn't give for a truth & beauty bomb, well just the truth part. It would be good for us all to vent.

  5. Anonymous30/1/08 10:56

    And you try to tell us you can't write.

    I call bullshit!

    I wanna talk to you sometime about the email Ian sentcha. I told him to. 's all my fault. I regret nothing. Poke me?

  6. Anonymous31/1/08 04:46

    This reminds me of a couple Gaiman or Mieville shorts I've read that twisted things in a particularly nifty way for me.

    I'll be pondering this at bedtime for weeks, I think.