Tag Archives: women


15 Aug


as I’m choking to death on smoke, jamming a five foot log into a three-inch fire, sure that the sheer force of my masculine intent will blaze it to life, the conversation turns to women. It’s 3am. That’s letstalkaboutwomen-o-clock.

It’s an old question. Can a man and a woman truly by friends? No. Scratch that. Wrong question. Can a woman and man truly be friends if there is sexual chemistry?


Yes. No. Yes. Yes. No. Yes. Oh. Sorry. No. Yes.

This is the correct answer in the correct order.

So, as the smoke gives way to flame (smaller sticks, not testosterone), I listen as a female friend (there, I said it) ruminates on male folly and foible, madness and light, and I have the privilege of again getting a totally different take on things, BECAUSE I have female friends. No. Scratch that. Because I have amazing female friends. Grounded, compassionate, sensual cyclones.

At the peril of sounding like one of those spoon fed toolfucks who wafts on and on about his respect for women, and the great mystery of motherhood, and the ferocity of the lioness and the yeah yeah I-download-porn-and-whimper-as-I-watch-it-too, if I take stock of my feminine brood, honest injun, it’s wall to wall babe town.

So is that part of the kick? Part of the spark and mischief that I find so invaluable in any friendship? A smite of unpredictability that peppers the secret language all friends have, because, well, secret languages are part of friendships. Part of a much bigger word, intimacy. How can you not find someone attractive when they trust you enough to be vulnerable? To make themselves  available for potential ridicule, but to with steady smile, give you the masculine confidence to not do that. To not ridicule.

To be a man.

Ahhhh. I dunno. Way down there, where my beliefs lie in some still pool untroubled by social mathematics, there’s a little waxed paper boat with the word “Yes”  scrawled in crayon that glides the surface. Occasionally, it bumps into the other little boats with the answers to other stuff like, “Is there a God?”,  “What am I afraid of?” and “Will I go bald?

It’s an important moment, when these boats bump. A yes meets a no. A maybe brushes by a still not sure. A shrug meets a I really hope so. These are the moments when ranges are formed. When men are changed.

So, as much as I really hope that little YesBoat is answering the question, can a man and woman truly be friends if there is sexual chemisty? – I think it’s actually floating upon a much larger question.

Am I a man?

And to that, even a tiny wax covered metaphor seems crudely painted if it bears just one word.



I don’t know.

But I really, really hope so.



Buy this shirt and I’ll shag you

20 Jul


I wander down Bridge Rd, Richmond to peruse the various men’s clothes stores. It’s a Tuesday and nice and quiet; nothing like the rolling maul of Saturdays, where it seems every woman in Melbourne converges here in one hysteric mess.

I’m heading interstate on the weekend, so I think, a tidy shirt, yes, a nice tidy shirt is just what I need. A little sparkle to ritualise the trip.

Anyway, anyway. I skulk into various stores and only get the this would look great on you routine from a couple of sales-folk as they hold up an aubergine skivvy or some godless ‘nam’ flashback of a shirt. I scare a couple off with my barking “NAH. IT’s NOT FOR ME.” I don’t mean to sound like I just got out of Long Bay, it’s just that my social banter skills regress to an eight year old being dragged for a haircut whenever I shop.

If I like – I buy. If I no like and you want me buy – well, we’re both in for an awkward twenty minutes.

Which, in the last shop, is exactly what I got. My bad. Alarm bells went off as soon as I entered and saw I was the only customer and that the stock was in sparse and immaculate piles. Warning!Milliondollarshirtzone!Warning!

Being unnerved by the symmetry, I engaged the enemy with a question about boot cut jeans. I mean, I didn’t want to look like some palooka from Glen Iris in his thirty dollar jeans. The sales assistant, a late thirties Greek gal with crazy hair pinned back, swiveled a glance to my ripped runnered feet and purred,

What sort of boots?

……confused silence…….then…awkward silence…..

Err Cowdy

Cuban heel?


What colour?

Err Dark Cherry?

Where’d you get them?


And then I notice as she’s been talking she has maneuvered her self between me and the door and is starting to remove shirts from a nearby rack. Shirts for me.  All the while she’s still talking.  

You should come back and show me them.

Show her what? Hey…oh….you mean the…does she dig me?

You’re very tall.

A shirt gets laid out before me.

This would look great on you!

And the eight year old now regresses to the level of potty training. I am bathed instantly  in this ridiculous feeling of guilt and a sinking need to buy something. From her. To please…her.

Ohh..errrr..I….its…not….really….ah..errr.         Plonk.   Good boy.

Ultimately, I did manage to get out of there. I did manage to not buy anything, but there are no trumpets for triumph of the will. It was a mercy release. I think maybe beyond the sales glide she did actually have a soft spot for rangy, scruffy types and in some old boyfriend archetype pity projection, she smiled, stepped aside and wrapped it up with a..

well, good luck with your hunt...

and I darted like a flathead.

So, it’s back to faceless department stores for me. Where I can hunt in silence and examine collars sans stalkers. Where I can turn a private price tag and mutter a healthy fuck me!

Where I will not be reminded, that even though I know they are singing a commercial melody upon me, that I feel utterly exposed and adrift before it.

That,  for all my this’s and that’s, where’s and why’s, I remain ultimately, one nervous cog in in the great wheel of jingle.


Oh perfect quixotic pixie girl

28 May

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a movie I need to watch every few months to feel normal. Usually at season’s turn. I can barely fathom, let-a-lone conjure the words for how close to mapping my soul this film came.

I guess the thing about Eternal Sunshine is the leads. I mean, there is also all the visuals, the score, the complete commitment to the human in what could have been a dinky plot device, but truth is it’s Winslet and Carrey that just make sense. He is so clear in his portrayal of boyish doubt, in all its charm and idiocy, that when he extends a sleeve  and caresses a childhood bicycle seat, all things gentle and forgotten come pouring back and things get pretty dusty on my couch.  (Thankyou filmspotting)

Then, there is that woman. I went into the cinema already with a truck sized crush on Kate Winslet. When Leo lets go at the end of Titanic, it’s a travesty of masculinity. You can’t hold on for her?! You deserve to die man.  I hope a shark eats you on the way down.

I mean, she’s such a ….. broad, you know. Fearless. Probably shame me over a pint (Though I’d have her measure on West Coast Coolers) and a smile that just rings, I like men. Really like ’em.

With Clem layered on top, or Clementine, from Clemency as Joel proffers, I pretty much see every woman I have ever fallen for. From that troublesome Russian at eighteen to Cyclone Leah. Clementine is demonstrative, fragile, scarred – wounds that  importantly, need me for repair. She’s volatile as all get out, but retains a hum for the quieter things. Smart. Funny. Spontaneous. Basically, a raging contradiction with me at the core, trying to fix her like a woman’s a shelf.

So, in winter 2009, whilst visiting my gal in NYC,  I jumped the Amtrak out to Montauk just so I could stand on the station where Clementine first flirts with Joel. Well, that’s not true, I think she first flirts in that lovely cafe, but after walking the mile into town, that was all shut up for the off-season.

Location stalking is weird I know. I’ve often mocked the habit in others. I mean I also love Jaws, but unless I’m gonna see a massive shark fin slicing through that Martha’s Vineyard pond, I’m not too interested in seeing that pond. What I demand, in other words, is a complete recreation of the scene, setting and context. A vague shape to squint and kinda nod at is just not enough.

But. But. But. Montauk station delivered in spades.  I stepped off that train, took one look to my right and I was there, buzzing with the same elation I felt when I first saw that orange parker march up the walkway towards Joel. The light was the same, the station the same.


Sure, Montauk in winter is basically gulag with a bait shop and the beach is just sand, not fluttering snow, but this is not real, real life, it’s the magic of shape, shadow and memory…each prayer accepted, and each wish resigned.