confessions are self-serving

Tag: french

Leo’s last day

-We do the shit, waiting for the sun, bam, easy life – Leo sits on two water kegs – Fuckin’ hell, thirty degrees to the face, it’s hard, ah, putain, wow – Last day on South Beach, he’s been here almost nine weeks, no licence living in a stationary van, Gang Starr plays, stove set on the floor, the most black coffee hits my stomach, nausea slight, Marlborough  smoke expands like time inside, I lie back on towels, t-shirts, sleeping bag pillow, light comes in strong down the right windows, Luc reaches for watermelon brought in from outside, Leo elbows on knees, nods to bass line – I’m going to start doing my shit – To no one in particular, met with silence, a slurp of melon, turns his head and stretches long tanned arms back to rest on driver’s seat headrest.  Past him the woman I saw topless changing with big dog, bumper sticker – Good planets are hard to come by – Middle aged, whistles to the dog baseball cap purple top no bra, Luc jams to trade – they gonna see-ee – soul singer, bass line rolls away, Michael Jackson style, bottlecap graces the floor, though it’s been swept – In my mind-d – Leo sings, grabs a vest, shunts it into his face, inhales, yelps – One year of stink! Papa was a rolling stone! – Head bobbing like a strutting pigeon, flicks a shirt out and a spray of crumbs and scraps of plastic fly everywhere, scatter my journal – Sorry man – Luc hocking up phlegm, spits it onto the tarmac – Words can’t describe the feeling I feel, oh glory, Hove! – French guy I’ve forgotten name of stands outside reading my copy of Dennis Haskell seriously, hands it back some minutes later without comment. Open sour cream crust paperweights smoked salmon, baguette exposed to the air, joint smokes like a thread from a silkworm into the air, track begins – Is someone listening? Okay … – Dirty towel beige, blue, brown innocent dirt streak hangs over bumbag, tooth brush rests outwards like one side spooning lover. Vested man, 30s, backward cap mirrored glasses and trimmed beard looks in, away as he passes on, backs out in big black late model Jeep, Leo returns, stands outside with didgeridoo 30° into van, Luc flips his guitar to back and tap taps the wood with fast fingers, shouts something in French, Leo back, searches for a lighter, lifts some jumper up four inches, barely glances underneath before replacing it, repeats with the next item the same.

Garçon sauvage



It’s a greasy old Frenchman, A3 charcoal


Portrait of a Teepee



8.41 Sunday morning, Southern Australia.

Inside it is hot and dark. The sun here is like an aggressive drunk. Like the kind that has stayed up all the night and is really proud of himself for doing so. HEY – YOU BEEN SLEEPIN’? HAHA. CORNFLAKES MATE? TRY A SHOT OF VODKA. And here we are. On my back, in a puddle of strewn sleepwear, smelling faintly of dirt and ash. Across from me is Luc. Shoulder length shag of brown hair, uncle eyes peering out of a tan face, and a four month dirt beard which is often filled with food scraps (vanilla wafers and chips (crisps if you’re English) appear to be the most common tenants) and less often with soap. He’s French, and the call for maccas is accented, with a slight intonation as the vibration of the vocal chords disturbs the hangover and the head begins to growl. There is an ongoing rumour that he refuses to brush his teeth (You brush your teeth with that s-? (on discussing floride, Crab and I swallow when we brush in bed) because I am never brushing my teeth. Like, euuu maybe, once every three weeks. I don’t care. (care pronounced keeah)) Crab, who we all know by now, is on the mattress to my right. He begins to cuss and moan without opening his eyes.

Five of us sleep here, on a pentagon of foam mattresses dragged dusty out of storage, clad with itchy faux-wool sheets. My sheet is half off, exposing a sallow mustard underbelly, which reminds me of all the thighs I wish I’d never seen. A box of goon (‘white’ wine, 5 litres) is split, the remainder in the sack spilled sadly onto the wooden foundation. I notice our resident ant, who, like many Australian insects, is unnecessarily large, fighting his way across the six of clubs.

I HATE this S- country

Crab pipes up, grasping at his brow, his fingers porous and thick with sweat and dirt.

No no no Malakaa– 

Danny. Spanish English. A cheeky bastard with a hot tongue, thick moustache and a taste for quality steak, begins his morning routine of denying the existence of the outside world (On weekdays – Time? No, it can’t be. Seriously man? Noo- Okay today I get fired I say okay I say f- that man – Interestingly, when I first met him he made claim of a fine work ethic, which I’m yet to see evidence of – man when I work, I work like a dog, trust me brother). He reaches to his right, knocks over an ash tray, grabs a sandal and launches it across the room. In flight, it smashes over an incense stand before clattering painfully into Thomas’ sleeping face.

Thomas (French, pronounced Tomma)

F- you man

Thomas shall we get brekki at maccas no?

Thomas is the youngest, monkey-esque in frame, wiry, with a stereo-typically French passion for cheese which he continues to consume despite complaints of a dairy intolerance. He also aime le chocolat, and is known, on hearing the rustling of a packet, to emit animalistic chimes (Chocolat? Chocolat?) until fed, at which point he settles back into his pillow with satisfaction and gratitude set deep in his face. Luc, who’s head is practically touching Thomas’ due to the positioning of the mattresses, stares with much gravity at the ceiling while Thomas contemplates the proposition (of course by ceiling I mean the hole where the support poles meet, stuffed in a cursory manner with sheets by a previous owner, in a limp attempt to keep the torrents of tropical rain from washing us all away entirely).

Okay we go

And as quickly as the idea was manifested in the brain of one, it has evolved into the actions of many. Us five, in turn, each stumbling into the harsh light of another day, slap the door flap ‘shut’ behind us, and leave our home to the goodwill of the snakes, spiders and scorpions that roam the grounds, for we have begun our pilgrimage towards a better land. A land of thin brown patties, sugar flavoured water, and golden, crispy fries.