Thursday, 15 February 2018

Some Thinks I Thought When I Was A Kid.




Swallowed an orange seed in kindy and cried so hard because I thought an orange tree would mminently grow from my belly up out of mouth. The teacher could not calm me down.

I thought the amount of children people had equalled the number of times they'd had sex because why else would you do something so obviously disgusting?

My little brainwashed catholic brain thought Jesus could see me while I was in the shower or getting dressed, so embarrassing.

I thought the world was fair and good people always won just like in the cartoons.

I thought I'd never had children because I was a nihilist even at the age of seven.

I thought I was so, so, so ugly. And adopted. (Secretly wished I was adopted.)

Wore a size 8AA bra to school when I was eleven. Halfway through maths class the boys behind me were laughing so hard because my secretly stashed toilet paper was half-hanging out. (Thought I'd NEVER grow boobs, finally did when I was seventeen. SEVENTEEN.)

I thought I'd never ever drink alcohol after my father died of alcoholism when I was twelve. Then that fateful night of dollar drinks for ladies at Parramatta Leagues Club when I discovered Midori and Lemonade. Ended up pashing and being groped by some random guy outside in the bushes and there was so many bright lights going past. When I sobered up a bit I realised I was half-naked sitting on the fence next to a McDonalds drive-through. The bright lights were people putting their high beams on to get a closer look.

I thought menstruation was "menustration"for so many years. It just sounded better.

I thought if I was going to hell for being bad .. then I REALLY may as well be bad. (I was bad.)

I thought my brother was going to get kidnapped so I'd be on guard outside his bedroom door for hours at a time, creeping in to look in his cot, make sure he was still there.

I thought I didn't have a voice.

I thought if I'd helped my stepdad wallpaper my bedroom the week before he killed himself then he might not have killed himself.

I thought friendly guys had nice motives.

I thought I was the only girl in the world who had discovered females could orgasm.

I thought there was someone growing up in the world the same time as me and when we met we'd live happily ever after.

I thought there was something dreadfully wrong with me (I possibly still do.)

I thought huntsmen spiders were gods punishment.

I thought I'd grow up to be a journalist. In a way I kind of did?

I'd think to myself over and over and over: "Eden don't EVER forget what it's like to be a kid."

I've never forgotten what it felt like to be a kid.


Monday, 12 February 2018

My Brother Cam Killed Himself And I Don't Write About It Much Anymore Because In Western Culture Grief Has An Expiration Date.


Uploading that photo of him (above) just then was uggghhhh. Rare these days that I ruminate on the utter shittery annihilation of his suicide but every once in a while it hits me like I hit the wall when he left.

He left. It wasn't right.

What if his t-shirt startup business fully cracked the market and become red-hot successful and he made a shitload of money? It didn't. He bid me goodbye after living with us for about a year in our big family home that is now up for sale. All those memories. Cam moved to the mines in Western Australia to make his fortune to impress a cold cold short-term snob girlfriend which didn't work and it was literally the last nail in the coffin. A coffin that got burnt in his non-attendance cremation anyway. (Hey do coffins go in the human oven too? Waste of money. Unless they get sneakily get recycled. Mmmm nom, shared human juices.)

"Ede, if she doesn't go out to dinner with me for my birthday I'll kill myself."

"Well sweetheart that'll grab her attention but .. you'll be dead? Just fucken stay, you never know what's going to happen. Life holds good stuff too. Promise."

A month later he was dead as a doornail and the day after he died when we saw his body on the slab in the morgue ... the coppers walked us outside. I'll never forget one of them said, "Ok, well have good day."

I was too stricken to say something Edenified like "Oh yeah we're having a GREAT day!" But now when I think of that I laugh, wryly. Dark stuff has got to be funny when you keep getting thrown dark stuff. It's the only way to cope.

Cams father was my stepfather and he mysteriously made this fuckload of money so we lived like kings and queens for almost a decade I mean we're talking Ferraris, Rolls Royce, fake Tudor-style mansion (new money lol.) Crates of Dom Perignon, trips overseas, diamonds. Sounds amazing, hey? It wasn't. At all.

The money was ill-gotten, my stepfather was busted for being a crook and instead of going to jail he killed himself good on you hypocritical cockhead. His death was a death knell for 8-year old Cam. Broke not just his heart but his spirit and I tried to keep him alive till I couldn't. I been parenting my three sons for years now what if my fuck-ups have impacted them and I can't keep them alive? I've never said that to anybody. We tend to keep our darkest fears in the dark for fear of bring them to fruition if we drag them into the light. Bring out the spotlights, I say. Better than bringing out your dead.

Cameron was under pressure to make money, be an alpha male, succeed, provide, be normal, get married career babies blah blah. He thought he failed. He didn't. He was the most kind, compassionate, sensitive guy. The patriarchy fucks men up too.

There's my post for today, welcome! And I don't care if it's too full-on. Life is too full-on. I doubled over and wept and wept for a while today because my beautiful baby brother is dead and it's shocking and it hurts. I often think "Well, I got over that!"

I won't ever get over that. And that is exactly how it should be.

(Hey you guys: talk to each other.)


Friday, 9 February 2018

You Can See Half The Moon.

That's what Rocco said to me the other night: "Mum check it, you can see half the moon!"

It reminded me of something but I couldn't quite place it ..

.. then I placed it. He said something very similar in 2012 when he was just four and I wrote about it. It's not happy reading but it's how things went down and I have no sugar-coating gene.

I'm tired tonight so this is a repost and kind of carrying on from the whole "dead dad" theme. I never asked for such a theme unless I came back to this earth just for shits and giggles as a fucking joke between me and God to see how much bullshit could happen until I completely implode. (Haven't imploded yet, don't intend to #Lagertha) Then when I get to the afterlife me and God will hi-five and I'll say "Well THAT was hard you arsehole" and God will say "You asked for it, Eden! Here I made you a new Garden. Rest a while before you go back." 

And I'll agree with God that I'll come back again to earth to evolve my Soul more but next time, I'm going to be calm and sedate. No mental health shit, no succession of funerals. I'll be some boring marketing manager and live near the beach and be. Learn how to do my hair nice. Listen to jazz, have matching underwear and even eat antipasto platters. (GAG.)

(The comments on this original post of "Half The Moon Is Gone" were breathtaking. When I get scared about what social media has turned into, this shows that people care. People will always care.)

::

                                          JULY 2012

I'm sitting in a library. There's only old people here. The rest of the world is at home living their lives on their computers. What's going to happen to libraries, in the future?

When I was 21 I quit my ice-cream scooping job in the city and moved back home. My stepdad Jim and younger brother came one morning with a truck to move all my stuff but I'd gone to bed at 7am and didn't answer the door. They came back an hour later and I was frantically throwing shit into boxes. Hungover as hell, pretending I didn't hear the door. Jim knew but didn't get cranky. He never did. I brought with me a host of cockroaches that plagued their house for years because alcoholic stepdaughters are thoughtful like that.

Last week a motley crew of doctors found cancer in Jim's pancreas and liver. And abdomen. Blood clots on lungs and pneumonia. Finding cancer is sometimes like the worlds most fucked-up game of hide-and-seek. SURPRISE! We were in here all along! He has been in pain for months. His pain has escalated this week to the point of unbearable. The past few days we have had to be his advocates. Stuck in a stroke observation ward and badly needing to be transferred over to the cancer ward. Nurses were not equipped to deal with his unique case. My mother has a look in her eyes I haven't seen in many years. Everything's happening so fast and what's going to happen to the libraries?

Artwork in hospitals is as lame as ever. A deep-sea marlin, a landscape, and some kind of bullshit abstract. Seeing Jim in this much pain is hard to witness. Imagine being him. There should be more nice art. Someone should do something. I clopped over to the cancer ward in my Africa boots yesterday and cried to the head nurse for a spare bed. You know it's a hard day when you're begging to be let IN to a cancer ward. She asked me to sit. There was a commotion. I love commotions.

A cancer patient was going nuts, because her boyfriend had been busted shooting her up and was banned entry. She's a blonde skeleton, about to die, kicking up a stink, treating her mother terribly. Junkies get cancer too.

They still couldn't take Jim. Don't they understand what kind of guy he is? How hard he's worked? Send me somebody to blame, Universe. It feels nice when there's people to blame. I drove around town for heat packs while his biopsy got cancelled again and it's the end of the world as we know it but people still honk when I drive too slow.

Sometimes, the idiot driver in front of you is slow because she's lost and trying to find the right way back to the wrong ward. Sometimes you need to have more compassion, earth people.

I check twitter and want to tell everybody to get the hell off twitter and go out and do something constructive for the love of sweet Mary and Jesus.

People are grotesque. Cancer is the $2 shop chemicals, the vegetable section of your supermarket, the food dye in your cream bun. Cancer is the salt on your fries and the fake-leather tassels on your brand-new pair of whatever the fuck you just bought but didn't need while children die from hunger. Cancer is the smokestacks of China and the grease-traps of fast food.

We live in a dying world but there's still hope because libraries. The books are whispering to me like the wisha-washa of the Magic Faraway Tree.

Jim loves reading.

Last night they forgot to bring his dinner and his bin was overflowing so I changed it and vowed that it would be his last night in that ward. Directly out his window they are constructing a whole brand new cancer wing and I wanted to run and shout to the workers HURRY UP HURRY UP HURRY UP.

A few hours ago he was transferred to the soft, muted colours of the cancer ward. Cancer wards are where it's at, people. Leather couches and soft carpet. There's no money in stroke wards. One of the stroke guys was vomiting so loudly this morning that it sounded like he was having an orgasm and I kind of wished he was. THAT'S what the stroke unit needs .... blondes giving hand jobs.

We don't have to fight for pain relief anymore. He's finally going to receive the correct care. Much, much classier art in the cancer ward - framed photos of melancholy beach sunsets, brass plaques inscribed in memoriam. If I ever get cancer and die, my art is to be a huge inappropriate Norman Lindsay print that is directly representative of my life. With demons and nudity and fear and bacchanalia.

Doctors are talking about months.

So.

All PR people emailing me can stop now, thanks. All people questioning my integrity please take a ticket and have a seat, I'll be with you later. Anyone who wants to visit the hospital needs to check with us first. The person who emailed my mother yesterday: go fuck yourself, leave us alone, when you told my sister on your blog that "I'm done with her" it meant you were done with my whole family.

If any person in the whole world has a problem with this blog post then please fax 1800-BLOW-ME.

If anybody would like to help out, you can start by joining your local library, and buying wholesome vegetables. For yourselves.

If there's anybody left, I'd really appreciate a favour ... leave a comment for my mum. Lie to her, and tell her everything's going to be ok.

::


This photo was taken on the day we found out last week, he fell asleep in the chair in the hospital room. Rocco, four-years old. Had to take him back to mum and Jims house in the dark. Rocco is currently obsessed with the waxing and waning of the moon. How it can be a sliver one night, and full the next. We were walking along the pavement and he looked up.

MUM! HALF THE MOON IS GONE!

I didn't look up I just said I know, sweetheart.

I know.



Won't You Come Home, Bill Barrie?



My father, William Barrie. He was eighteen years old in this photo, taken in 1955 just when he'd joined the army. I only found this out the other week, worked out the dates and age on my calculator. He was a paratrooper which I kind of knew but only lately it's dawned on me that if he was a paratrooper in the army then - he must have been in the war? So I assume that would have been shit, being in a war. He was in the Red Berets .. whatever they are. I tried to find my cousins in Scotland and even though I have a PhD in detectivism I gave up looking. Their last names were Smith so whatever. At least I walked through the streets my dad would have walked through. It's like when Buzz finds out that Zurg is his father and they go off to bond with each other except my name isn't Buzz and my dad is dead.

I keep zooming in on his face in this photo and it absolutely makes me feel a feeling that doesn't have an adjective for. I can and will never be able to explain the feeling I get when I look at photos of my father, Bill Barrie. Maybe if I look hard enough I'll finally find out what he thought about life. I know he was a literal genius, worked at IBM in the late 70's early 80's.

He died when I was 12, he was forty-six years old. My stepfather of eleven years died when I was sixteen, he was forty-seven years old. Trauma trauma recovery motherhood marriage IVF pregnancy, my husband gets cancer in 2008. Doctor told us the chances were very slim, his tumours were aggressive and the chemo almost killed him but didn't. My second stepfather of over twenty years died when I was 40, he was seventy years old. My brother killed himself when I was 41, he was thirty-three years old. My brain split and I couldn't function, marriage break down, pain, oh my sons, blah blah blah.

Still here but no wonder I'm limping. And tired - soul tired. When I tell people I can't do something with them because I don't feel well they assume I mean physically. I never mean physically. my body is strong as an ox.

Anyway getting back to Bill: how do I have his posture when I hardly knew him? I know he brewed his own beer. He got on really well with my grandfather. He had the reddest reddest hair, he played tennis, he was completely haunted by black mood swings and he drank himself to death.

I just got so many questions when I zoom right in on his face - he looks proud to join the army. Did it fuck you up, Bill? Did you miss Scotland when you moved to Australia? Did you ever think of me and who I might grow up to be - I doubt it. Absolutely no shade to him at all anymore. I'm proud that he served in the armed forces, I'm also 100% sure it would have fucked him up. Poor guy. In a few years I'll be older than he was when he died which makes me feel a little .... victorious? Women are strong. (So strong.)

And yet there's a dusty room for him locked up in my heart, a room I never go in. I refuse to feel a fatherless ache, I do not like green eggs and ham and I will never open that door no fucking way. I've packaged that particular open wound up quite nicely thank you very much. Yeah I yearn but my theory is whatever gets taken away from us in life, the Universe replaces it with something to the equivalent or usually even better. It's some kind of karmic science or some shit.

PS Bill don't call me daughter. Not fair to .. the picture kept will remind me.



Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Anyway, Too Much Is Better Than Not Enough.

I was brushing my teeth tonight, looking at myself in the mirror. A few times in my life I haven't been able to bear looking at my face in the mirror but now I can and I do.

Brushing away my mind pondered around to itself. Maybe there *is* somebody out there for me. Maybe they're all ready to meet me but I'm so mired in "Nuh I'll be a spinster and I don't care. Writing and a dog and my sons and Netflix and poetry and books and a vibrator and nice linen just for ME. And cheap coffee sachets, yoga, maybe a tap dancing class."

My kids ask me if I have a boyfriend. I've never introduced them to anybody new and if I did, good luck on passing the Rocco bullshit detector test. When Max asked I told him I'd just like somebody to sit next to on the couch with, you know? Maybe even hold hands.

I seriously doubt it, though. I'm too much - men (and women) like the idea of me but when they get a bit closer they can't handle me and how could they. *I* can't even handle me. I'm too much - too loud, too feisty, too angry, too sad, too crazy, too manic, too traumatised, too tough, too closed.

I'm working on being cool about it. Because this is not a fairy tale and there are no happily ever afters. I mean we all die in the end, right?

"They lived happily ever after until one of them died leaving the other one grief-stricken and fucked up until they died too, maybe they were reunited in the afterlife or maybe there's no afterlife. Nobody knows." 

Good night, I am SO cheery today you're welcome.




Tuesday, 6 February 2018

"I'm in the WORST maths class."


Right as I snapped this photo of the two of us on the plane he puts his hands up to his face, saying he had a VERY bad feeling about this plane trip. I said mate I'm usually the worrier, don't worry, it's going to be fine.

He just looks at me: "You don't know that."

I changed the subject even though my brain was screaming WE ARE GOING TO DIE. After all the countless plane trips I've been on in my whole life (maybe about a hundred?) .. I realised I've never taken notice of the emergency procedures protocol!!?? I *literally* have no idea what to do if the oxygen masks fell from the airplane ceiling. I wouldn't know how to connect it, where the proper exits were. Is there even a crash position? I've watched the hosts and hostesses perform the actions over all these years but I can't learn just by looking and listening. My head just gets carried away with stupid shit like "Oh man how does she get such glossy hair?" So I sit there wondering if her lifestyle really is glamorous until the show's over and yet again I'm ignorant about emergency procedures. Besides: of COURSE I'd put the oxygen mask on my kids first even though you're not supposed to.

Passengers getting into their crash positions in the film Flying High (Airplane.) Why don't they make movies like that anymore?

::

So he went back to school last week, he's going really well, and tonight was one of the best conversations we've ever had and man we've had some doozies.

"Mum I'm in the WORST maths class."
"Oh no, mate - why?"
"Because it's the worst. Like, worst as in the *easiest* maths class. I'm not in the hard class anymore."
"Well how is it?"
"IT'S SO GOOD!! The teacher lets us play maths games that are so easy. So so easy."

Should I have interjected, told him that obviously he can go up a level in maths? Possibly.

I don't care what grades my kids get or what classes they're in, I just want them to be ok. If it's really bad I'll look into getting a tutor in high school. Maybe. After everything my kids and I have been through, their mental health, wellbeing and happiness is more important than their schoolwork. I flunked school so badly, failed every single subject except English. And I don't care, because I'm so not dumb.

The things I want for my kids aren't in textbooks they're the things that make them who they are. Self esteem, confidence, empathy, happiness. I somehow always remained curious and hopefully they will too because there's always something new to learn.

I said: "Hey mate don't ever think you're dumb. You're one of the smartest people I know."

"I don't think I'm dumb. Oh, and also I accidentally left my lunchbox at school today but I promise to get it tomorrow ok bye!!" (Runs off to make himself a snack leaving crumbs all over the bench.)

I love him.

There's only two chances of him finding his brand new lunchbox - slim and none. 

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