"I get along with guys; most of my friends are guys. It's easier to trust men sometimes. I only have a few close girlfriends that I trust."
- Paris Hilton

The door swung open on the studio apartment. The surprisingly comfortable futon couch was always left folded down, mountains of doonas, blankets and pillows piled up atop it. As we walked inside the familiar smell of tepid bong water greeted me as I poked at the ball of blankets. Reaching for the remote I flopped down on the couch slash bed and lit up a cigarette. My girlfriend at the time went to the kitchenette and started unpacking the groceries. Four bags of Chicken Twisties, four Chicken Noodle cups, four bags of popcorn kernels, two bottles of Diet Pepsi and a magazine about famous people. I still didn't know why she bought those things, it was as if by reading about celebrities, she became one herself. I didn't really care, as I took a long draw on my cigarette, as it kept her occupied and stopped her asking about where I went late at night.

As she started preparing our dinner by turning on the kettle and opening a sachet of MSG chicken flavouring, I lit another cigarette. My eyes darted to the corner of the room, where last week we had stuck pins into plastic Happy Meal toys. They were still sitting in the corner of the room, and were more than likely going to stay there until she had a panic attack that made her rearrange the whole flat. So, in the mean time, I took another long draw on my cigarette and admired the sight of a Pixar movie figurine with a sewing needle in its ribs and a Beanie Baby with a knitting needle through its head.

Wrapping myself up in a few doonas and flicking my cigarette out of the window, I started to channel surf. Nothing but sweet fuckall on any of the free to air channels but I was now too stoned and comfortable to want to get up to put a DVD on. If I had asked the crazy bitch in the kitchen to put one on for me, she would complain about having to stop trying to measure the correct amount of boiling water (by the millilitre) for the noodles, and start ranting and raving about how I smoked the last of the weed.

It would be in my interest to just shut up and watch the news.

All of a sudden I felt the need to take a massive shit. I hated shitting here, it was always very constipated and full of drugs. You know the ones, they linger on your pants for ten minutes and everyone can smell it but just acts like they can't. So I quickly hopped up and tried to walk as slowly to the toilet as I could.

"Where are you going! You can't leave yet, I only just made us dinner!" she said, stirring the MSG into the noodles with the handle of a knife. There was never any cutlery in this house. The spoons were gone long ago, either absentmindedly taken by friends or left burnt and thrown away.

"I'm going to the toilet, do we have any toilet paper?" I asked, rolling my eyes at the thought that she had "made" dinner.

"No.." was the quiet response from her, as she kept stirring the noodles with the knife handle.

I decided then and there I had had enough. Without saying a word I pulled my bike lock over my chest, grabbed my hat and walked out the door. After riding my bike aimlessly for a while I ended up near a backpackers hostel, where I jumped the fence and took a shit in the courtyard, wiping my arse with my sock. I don't think I ever saw her again. She might have gotten famous, she might not have. But in saying that, I might have gotten famous, I might not have.


“A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what's going on.” 
-William S. Burroughs

His left hand bandaged up, the junkie pled with his girlfriend over the phone.

"Are we together or what? I texted you first today, are we together or not? Are you sure? Are you sure? I love you too, I wouldn't even fucking, I miss you as well, I just wanna know if me and you.. or what the fucks going on? I'm asking if you, I'm asking if you, as soon as you put the fucking thing on Facebook, you had like a hundred comments like "let's meet up", what the fucks going on?"

The junkie nursed his hand painfully, holding the phone to his ear with his shoulder.

"You trying to make me angry? Like are you saying you didn't meet up with no guys, had no drinks, nothing? You deleted me on Facebook, I deleted everything I had of me and you, now I got nothing.. "

He looked as if he was going to cry until he realised half the tram was pretending they couldn't hear him.

"So obviously you don't love me, the way it's going.. well what the fuck, well, huh? Is there even a point of me coming home or you meeting up with me? Is there? Tell me.."

This thinly veiled reference to giving up, to suicide, to validate his feelings of worthlessness made me sick to my stomach. God gave you a spine didn't he?

"So next minute you wanna get me done in the courts for rape, I dunno what to believe if you say that.. Whaddya mean ya shoulda be, you gonna prove shit to me.. You didn't start talking to guys, what it's about, sounds like you enjoyed it.. You just said youse were flirting, yeah you fucking did! You'd probably fuck off to North Melbourne you would.. "

That's right, get angry. Get angry and hang up. You look about sixteen years old, there will be plenty more holes for you to stick your dick in, a countless number of creatures to profess your undying love to, but not if you keep carrying on like this.

"Have you left yet? Nah you haven't.. Alright.. Are you at the station with ya mum? Doesn't sound like it.. What you mean let you talk, I wanna know if its worth trying to come see ya to patch things up! Huh! I'll call ya when I get to fucking Prahran.. Alright? Yep.. I love you."

Listening to his conversation, I had only pity for them both, and a resentment of the women I had encountered in my life that had been much the same. He had been subjected to so many different emotions in the past five minutes, yet he still had the weakness in his resolve to say "I love you" at the end of the phone call.

He stared me in the eyes as I was getting off the tram, obviously searching for a way to release the emotion he was feeling that he couldn't understand.

"You got a problem cunt?"

"No, but you sound like you do" I replied, pointing at his phone as I got off at my stop.

I watched his face through the departing tram window. It had turned from one of anger to one of sad confusion, as the depth of my offhand comment sunk in.



I can't read books anymore. I can't read anything longer than a few pages before my eyes start scanning for key words and the climaxes in paragraphs and dialogue.

I had learnt to read when I was three years old, and my favourite book as an eight year old boy was One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. In my third year of primary school I used to sit at lunchtime with two Vegemite sandwiches and the Guide to Psychology. I remember telling the girls who wanted to play kiss chasey I was busy.

But somewhere between absorbing 1984 and Brave New World, I just couldn't be fucked anymore. The attention span of modern man has been reduced to four second Snapchat stories and blatantly biased, one sided infographics. My mind will wander, even as I write this, and it goes back and forth to paragraphs and jots down anecdotes, inserting where it sees fit.

My girlfriend suggested the reason I struggle with reading is that my mind has been tainted with life experience. I cannot lose myself in the imagination of another due to the realities and responsibilities of my own. This is a Catch 22, as I obnoxiously expect people to be able to read my work, but I cannot read others.

I can't believe I'm the only writer who has had their mind numbed by the modern age. Are we all just writing stories, painting trains and acting for an audience of others who are just as empty as us, or at least appear to be? Does our own perceived importance in the cult of the personality outweigh the things we yearn to master?

Reality TV as we know it was born in 1992, and heaven help anyone who was born after that.

I took today off work to be able to write a few things. I came down to the coffee shop under my apartment, in a futile attempt to be able to cohesively relay my ideas. But after my third long black, staring at the beautiful people, all I can think about is rolling another cigarette and taking a shit.

I used to sit in bars to write instead, because to be fair, the idea of the writer in a coffee shop is a cliché. The raw honesty of an alcoholic talking to another alcoholic is something that you don't get when surrounded by gluten free raisin toast and feta avocado smash.

Roald Dahl used to be able to go to work, get home, eat some sort of sardine, make himself a cup of tea and write for two hours every night. I get home from work, endlessly scroll through Instagram, listen absentmindedly to pay TV and think about how I have to get up for work the next day.