06 12 / 2013
Kujira called me the other day. We haven’t spoken in awhile. It wasn’t that he chose to go to Melbourne instead of coming to my birthday – or the hidden hope that he was actually trying to surprise me like Arunuldu said he was- it was the fact that he tried to justify his actions to my sister by telling her all the things that he had done for me in the past, like none of the things I did for him were relevant, that hurt. It didn’t matter that I fought my mum to see him every time I came down to Sydney. Or that I defended him on multiple occasions under the assumption that he would do the same thing for me.
He called me to tell me that he was coming to Brisbane in two weeks. He asked if Mister Marvel had mentioned it. I said yes. He asked if I was working. I said yes. He asked if there was anything new in my life. I said no. This is a story of how, by punishing my best friend for his transgression, I punished myself instead.
Kujira was my confidante. I told him things I couldn’t tell my sister – and only begrudgingly tell Mister Marvel. He was, up to his betrayal, the best friend that a human being could have never imagined. And I say betrayal, because of anyone in this planet, he is, or was, the one person who knew my tragic obsession with loyalty and my intense fear of abandonment. He doesn’t see it that way, either through guilt or a lack of understanding, preferring instead to attribute my anger to an irrelevant party. It’s not even that he doesn’t understand. It’s that he tries to justify his actions.
He asked me if there was a way he could make it up to me. No, I said. There is no way that he can rebuild my trust. I know that I said this when my sister and I had our three year separation but it’s true that until this day, I don’t fully trust her. The difference is that my sister understands. She knows because, without my having to tell her, she felt the hurt and betrayal. She knows because, without my telling her, she understood the loneliness I felt when I turned my back on her.
Because isn’t that what this is really about? Loneliness. It’s such a terrifying word and an even more terrifying concept. The fear that no matter how much you dedicate yourself to the people around you: friends, lovers or family, they do not feel the same.
I don’t even know if he feels the same way. It seems as if he has moved on, as if our friendship was a slip of paper that he misplaced on a windy day, and the futility of chasing after it is too great for him to endeavour. I would like to think that I have learnt something from all this, a motivating message to weather me through life, but I haven’t. I miss him. There is no but. There never was. He was, and continues to be, a great friend, just not to me.
But I remind myself to be grateful of what I do have everyday. I have Mister Marvel, whose affections for me fluctuates based on the season, who allows me to be myself and to love myself and to treat myself kindly so that I may do the same for others. I have my sisters, the only people in this world who understand my motivations. I have my mum who loves me through the disappointments that I heap upon her. I have my dad and Rage who have been my biggest supporters in my quest to be eternally unemployed. And, to an extent, I have Foo who is the one constant in my life: acquaintances may ebb and flow; lovers may lay and flee, and memories may fade, but Foo is always there with a well-placed anecdote for inadvertent but, much needed advice.
Thank you Kujira, for all that you’ve done and all that we’ve shared. I wish you the best in your endeavours. I only wish that our time together had been longer but it’s for the best. You and I are too lazy, too full of excuses, and, in the end, we weren’t brave enough. I wasn’t brave enough to fight for our friendship and you weren’t brave enough to fight for me.
20 11 / 2013
"When I say, “I love you,” it’s not because I want you or because I can’t have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try. I’ve seen your kindness and your strength. I’ve seen the best and the worst of you. And I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are."
18 7 / 2013
I said that I would finish my novel before I turned 27. I finished the first chapter and handed it in for an assignment. I got 27/50.
So I haven’t written anything more because it’s so fcking depressing.
Then I had an epiphany.
Why am I handing in an unedited chapter for an assignment?
I literally don’t understand why I felt like I failed when I haven’t actually attempted anything.
See this is what happens when you feel like you’re entitled to things. The universe turns around and shows you that you’re just a speck. You have no right to feel the way you do.
So now I have 2 months to finish my novel. GODDAMN YOU UNIVERSE! (I wish I had a Vader suit when I said that.)
10 7 / 2013
03 7 / 2013
Here’s a writing tip. Don’t insult your audience with empty writing disguised as something profound.
Here are two articles that are better than this article by Rolling Stones about Miley Cyrus’s video for ‘We Can’t Stop’:
By Sasha Hecht
03 7 / 2013
We live in a world increasingly dominated by science. And that’s fine. I became a science writer because I think science is the most exciting, dynamic, consequential part of human culture, and I wanted to be a part of that. Also, I have two college-age kids, and I’d be thrilled if they pursued careers in science, engineering or medicine. I certainly want them to learn as much science and math as they can, because those skills can help you get a great job.
But it is precisely because science is so powerful that we need the humanities now more than ever. In your science, mathematics and engineering classes, you’re given facts, answers, knowledge, truth. Your professors say, “This is how things are.” They give you certainty. The humanities, at least the way I teach them, give you uncertainty, doubt and skepticism.
The humanities are subversive. They undermine the claims of all authorities, whether political, religious or scientific. This skepticism is especially important when it comes to claims about humanity, about what we are, where we came from, and even what we can be and should be. Science has replaced religion as our main source of answers to these questions. Science has told us a lot about ourselves, and we’re learning more every day.
But the humanities remind us that we have an enormous capacity for deluding ourselves. They also tell us that every single human is unique, different than every other human, and each of us keeps changing in unpredictable ways. The societies we live in also keep changing–in part because of science and technology! So in certain important ways, humans resist the kind of explanations that science gives us."
28 6 / 2013
See betrayal doesn’t come with ostentatious gestures. It comes in silent tendrils that pierce first the nerves that encompass your body then your organs. It begins as an interval shiver that develops into a convulsion. I would like to think that I am reasonable enough to admit that I am being selfish. But I am too selfish to understand. I will not understand and so I run away.
I have one enemy in this world. And for my ‘friends’ to choose him over me is the last straw.
I have no friends. I would rather be alone than have to pretend that I am okay with people lying to my face.
28 5 / 2013
There once were walls here
Walls as high as evergreens
There were thorns that pricked
And canopies that blinded
There once were chains here
Chains that held white lies
There were good intentions
And kind deception
But you came with your fairy tales and sunflower kisses
And you brought a thousand burning stars to light up the night sky
But you came with your serenades and pistachio gazes
And you brought a symphony of butterflies to dance in the burning sky
You are not perfect but for the promises you’ve kept
You are not gentle but for the heart you’ve tamed
There is nothing in this world that means more to me than your smile, your love, your joy.
I wish you the happiest of birthdays for you deserve nothing less than happiness.
Happy birthday pumpkin!
22 4 / 2013
In his response to Lev Grossman’s response to his article, Easy Writers, Arthur Krystal reawakens the age old battle between the canon and popular culture: the same battle that accepts If on a winter’s night a traveller as high art but American Gods as low art, the same battle that makes the distinction between Alice’s adventures in Wonderland and The Graveyard Book. As many of you know I am a great defender of popular culture/genre fiction, but what I didn’t expect to happen while reading Grossman’s article, Literary Revolution in the Supermarket Aisle: Genre Fiction Is Disruptive Technology, is to come face to face with my own prejudices against genre fiction.
I am a great lover of crime fiction, comic books and children’s books. So much so that I have a bookshelf comprised entirely of these three genres. I am however, tainted by the curse of the postmodernist. I question the very nature of reading, the act of writing, the existence of meaning and although, I fight for the struggles of popular culture, I am a willing participant in criticizing the purpose of conventions in writing: conventions that apply to genre fiction. How many books have I passed over in the bookshop because they were true crime, or because they weren’t Ernest Hemingway or Thomas Eliot? How many times have I said that I wouldn’t ‘sell out’ and write a commercial novel while defending Batman as a metaphor for Caravaggio’s ‘dark night of the soul’? How many times have I, in different words, espoused Krystal’s assertion that ‘Commercial novels, in general, whether they’re thrillers or romance or science fiction, employ language that is at best undistinguished and at worst characterized by a jejune mentality and a tendency to state the obvious’?
Grossman’s article was depressing, not because he was clutching at straws, but because here was my inner conflict set out in words. I agreed with Grossman that plot ‘is capable of fine nuance and even intellectual power, even in the absence of serious, Fordian prose’ but I also agreed with Krystal’s assertion that: ‘A good mystery or thriller isn’t set off from an accomplished literary novel by plotting, but by the writer’s sensibility, his purpose in writing, and the choices he makes to communicate that purpose’.
But, and this is where my inner conflict escalated, what I didn’t realise was that I found Neil Gaiman, Arthur Conan Doyle and Jeph Loeb to be sensible writers. Clearly, Krystal and ‘I are not splashing in the same shoals of language’ but we are also not that different. While Grossman found conventions to be ‘more like the rules of chess: a small set of constraints that produces near-infinite complexity’, I also found myself agreeing with Krystal that ‘genre… has its limitations, and there’s no reason to pretend otherwise… When we open a mystery, we expect certain themes to be addressed and we enjoy intelligent variations on these themes.’
And I think this is where most readers sit, something that Krystal doesn’t acknowledge. He talks about what readers expect like ‘Reader’ is an all encompassing title that is static and shapeless and without duality. He believes himself to be the arbiter of the literary canon, when all he really is, is a reader, just like everyone else. And that is all a literary critic is. And it is all that I am. All those people who keep the canon are just readers. It is Grossman who ultimately comes out with the last words, not because he is right, but because he is accepting, ‘I don’t argue — as some critics do — that literary fiction and genre fiction are merging. They have their own generic [sic} identies, their own distinct sets of conventions, and to smoosh them together would be to sacrifice some of our precious literary biodiversity’. All fiction, literary and genre, begin the same but they shouldn’t be judge by the same criteria. You wouldn’t love a child any less because they weren’t serious and articulate. This is how you raise great works of fiction by acknowledging differences and accepting them anyway.
25 1 / 2013
I think in all debates about fidelity, the most overlooked aspect of the equation,regardless of whether it is acceptable in society or whether it is a biological compulsion, is that ultimately you are breaking someone’s heart.
How little or how much you choose to ignore it does not change how soul destroying one moment of stolen intimacy is for the other party. When did we start forgetting that?
11 1 / 2013
What a wonderful year this has been. Thank you my darling Mister Marvel for being such a wonderful partner. Every time I doubt whether or not this will last, you always have a way of re-affirming my love for you. I hope that this new year will finally give us a break financially. I would rather be poor with you than have all the batman paraphernalia without you.
28 12 / 2012
I come from a large family who value Christmas and the holiday season above all else so my absence weighed on me heavily. I spent Christmas Eve preparing my dessert for Mister Marvel’s family lunch and trying to get some sleep for my graveyard shift that night.
Here are the highlights of my holiday season. I hope that yours was more exciting and that you got to spend it with your loved ones.
Mister Marvel’s present to me. How I love him dearly.
My wonderful parents got me the Blackmilk ‘The Force’ swim for Christmas to go along with my Adidas x Star Wars Darth Vaders.
My present for Mister Marvel.