Friday, November 17, 2017

Bring them to Australia because it is the right thing to do, it is the humane course of action, the current system is a huge waste of money, refugees shouldn't be used as political footballs, and Australia can stop being looked at as the country that shirks its responsibilities.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

I went walking in the rain, it was that sort of day

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

I bought a bottle of red wine for the risotto I am going to make for dinner. I put the bottle of red wine on the kitchen bench when I got home from the supermarket.

I got the fan out of the cupboard last night using it for the first time since last summer. The fan was covered in dust, so I leant over to the power point to unplug it, so I could take it outside to brush the dust off it.

My arm moved as far as it takes to pull a plug out of a power point. How far is that? A few centimetres. My elbow just caught the edge of the top of the bottle of wine. Looking over my shoulder, I watched the wine bottle rock one its base, in slow motion, backwards and forwards. Then it rocked back, and over it went.

I watched the neck break off the bottle as it hit the granite bench top.

As though the jugular vein was severed, it was suddenly a crime scene, blood seeping quickly out from the body. I had wine going in all directions. Away from me, heading to the far side of the bench and the carpet in the lounge room. And it rushed back towards me. One water fall, two waterfalls, three waterfalls, as I caught one, another started to flow, down the kitchen cupboards and onto the kitchen floor.

I grabbed kitchen paper towel, unravelling huge strands, and dumping it in clumps on the kitchen bench to stem the flow of wine heading towards the carpet, as the water falls gushed over the kitchen bench pooling in great lakes on the floor at my feet. Looking back now, I think the ‘great lakes’ stopped the flow of wine onto the carpet.

“Ah! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!”

Buddy ran to the back door thinking I was yelling at him.

I madly started lifting things out of the sea of blood. My phone, the wooden garlic bowl, the onion basket, envelops, jars with pens in them, tea tree oil, bills, biros, tweezers, scissors, air freshener, my wallet, a plate with Buddy’s red meat defrosting. I pushed the red wine paper machete towel dripping mess towards a supermarket bag I had grabbed, it clumped together as if it was clotting. More paper towel, more murder scene bandages.

The cupboards were streaked and I scrubbed them madly with a sponge so they wouldn’t stay that way.

The base of the wine bottle still contained wine, and it was cracked down all sides. I picked it up and it crunched and ground, like a body with all of its bones broken, a bag of skin threatening to let go of its remaining bodily fluids at any moment. Then there were the splinters of glass, shattered fragments spread across the bench top. I picked at them one by one. I got the vacuum and sucked them all up, once the fluid was gone.

Our bins hadn’t been collected by then, so I was able to take it all out to the street and have it taken away. Just as a side note, when I was out at the bin disposing of the mess, these two hot guys approached me, dressed in singlets and shorts. Hello, I thought, who are you? They were the rubbish guys. We have really hot garbage collectors in Fitzroy. I watched them collect the bins, momentarily… with a whistle on my lips. A silent whistle.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

White roses on my morning walk. It was hot today, 35 degrees. I had to walk early, then I hid inside. I only ventured out to get cherry pie, for my afternoon coffee. Tomorrow, I will have to walk twice as far.

I Stayed up Late

I stayed up late and wrote poetry until just after midnight.

Monday, November 13, 2017

I've been walking every day. The weather has been great. I walk for an hour every day, that way I can sit on my arse for the rest of the day. That's 5 hours per week, sometimes more, like I walked last Sunday, but I don't think I walked every other day, now I think about it. But it must be good? Surely?

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Out on the street. Is that a tragic story of loss? Or is it just rubbish put out for the council? Is that someone losing their money, their family and their home? Or is it just trash?
Hard to know?

Apparently, you aren't supposed to walk across here, there are a plethora of signs telling you not to.

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?

Walking through Carlton, crossing Swanston Street by Melbourne uni.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

How Many Hands?

I saw a guy walking towards me on Gertrude Street with a white stick texting on his phone.

That is not something you see every day, I thought.

He had a take away coffee, and a violin, and his white stick, and, of course his phone in his hands. I didn’t really notice until the last minute. I had just started walking, and I was just settling into my music choice, and I was just waiting for the pain in my right foot to subside.

As I passed him, I looked at my hands, how many hands did he have? Stick, phone, violin, coffee. Waving the stick and texting, all at the same time. What? How many hands? (Was he a blind octopus in disguise? How do we know they are not hidden amongst us. Momentarily, I saw through his disguise.)

I didn't want to look back, I thought that would be rude. Then I laughed to myself, he was blind. He was out of sight by the time I looked back.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

First World Problems

I go and have a shower, today it was a shower, but other days it is something else, during which time Sam starts using my computer.

He never really understands why this might make me cranky, when he has exactly the same laptop just sitting there unused.

"Can I have my laptop back?"

"No, busy here."

"How long are you going to be?"

"A few minutes..."

"Does that mean ten minutes?"



"More than 10."


"Lean some patience."

"Ah! Learn to use your own laptop."

Sam is having trouble with his new Google assistant, he made adjustments for a 6 month offer from YouTube to have no adds and it blew all the setting on the voice activated Google assistant, so he is on the phone to some call centre somewhere. He's trying to get off the phone because yours truly is getting hangry, but the call centre professional in the Philippines, or Myanmar, or wherever the fuck,  is being conchie and persistent. (Can you tell I am hungry?) What a time for that?

It is grey and cloudy, threatening rain. The wind is blowing. What happened to summer?

We're going out to eat sloppy American sandwiches in Smith Street. American food, not usually the best on the planet, traditionally large, tasteless serves, but what the hell. We had it once before and it was okay.

Now, Mumbai, wants a promotional code. Go away, I'm hungry.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Just Another Mass Shooting in America

Another mass shooting in America. I'm sorry, but shrug? What are we supposed to feel? I don't even read the news on these shootings anymore. I know this is harsh, but America gets the mass shootings their gun laws promise them. I thought they were a smart country? They claim to be a smart country.

Until American changes its gun laws, why should we even be that interested in their gun atrocities? Surely, by being interested in these atrocities, we are investing a certain amount of energy in wanting a solution to the problem of mass shootings? However, when 26 kindergarten kids are blown away by some nutjob with a gun, and that still does prompt any action, I'm not holding my breath for change.

There will be all the usual arguments about gun laws. The pro gun lobby will say all the same nonsense, yet again, and nothing will change.

There will be another mass shooting, soon, that will probably be worse than this one, as sure as there is mom, baseball and apple pie. Shake of the head. Only in America, is that what they say? 

It's like watching an idiot parent's toddler continually banging its head against a wall, eventually you just have to look away.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

We walked into town and ate sushi train. We bought a case for the new iphoneX, because phones always need cases. Myer only got them in today, so they said.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Buddy's Swollen Face

When we woke up this morning, Buddy came in with a swollen face, he looked like a boxer who had done 12 rounds. We both looked at each other and then looked back at Bud. 

"What the hell?" 

So it was off to the dog hospital first thing to have him looked at. It was not a good way to start the weekend.

It is most likely that he was stung by a bee. The upside is that it most likely means that he is not allergic to bee stings, as dogs can be, otherwise, I am assuming, there was a good chance we  could have woken up to a dead Buddy. So, at least there is that.

He had some injections, antihistamines and a steroid shot, and he is fine now.

Friday, November 03, 2017

iPhone X

Sam and I decided a couple of days ago to get up and do the phone queue thing for the iPhone X. Sam suggested it, kind of half joking, and I think he was somewhat surprised when I said I go and wait in line.

"But you'll never queue for anything," he said.

"I won't queue an hour for the Russell Street Ramen shop, when there are many good Ramen shops in the city. I won't queue like that. people queue for dumplings and I automatically thing loser.

But, a one off, for a new phone, a few hours, why not. The fact that I am getting Sam's iPhone 7 with double the capacity of my now short of capacity iPhone 5 has little to do with it. No, it doesn't.

The first tram was 5.15am, but that was too late. So, we got up at 4.15am, drank coffee, and walked into the CBD. Of course, it rained as we headed into town. Of course, it did.

"Really? Rain? That wasn't meant to be a part of the deal." I kind of wondered how much later the tram would have made us.

We both had on black hoodies, so we pulled the hoods up over our heads and water drops sprinkled down upon us. Did we look like a couple of crims passing through the shadows of the morning? There was one girl dancing on the footpath, completely out of it, looking at a bin as if it were her dance partner. “I guess Thursday night out is still a thing,” I said. Sam shrugged. There were a few other guys tripping along as thought they’d had too much to drink, appearing like lost souls in the murkiness of the night turning to day.

The homeless people seemed to be increasing, they seem to be in every second doorway. It is a very sad indictment on a wealthy city like Melbourne. The most liveable city in the world, I wondered if the homeless would agree?

“If you were homeless, wouldn’t you make your way to Brisbane where, at least, it is warmer to live out in the open.”

“Do you really think homeless people have those choices?”

“I think, I’d be able to manage that…”

“If you had no money?” said Sam. “Really?”

“I’m guessing it would be a one way trip,” I said. “Surely, I’d always be able to afford a one way trip to Brisbane?” I wondered?

It was cold and wet in Melbourne, being out in it would be miserable. Then I wondered which part of homelessness wouldn’t be miserable?

I tell you what, though, 5am is the time to go to work. No traffic, no people, none of the really annoying things of the usual morning traffic. Yes, I know, that is the people.

We'd were in the city last night to eat dinner and check out what was what with queuing for a phone? The Myer staff told us they had 200 units and that people needed to be lining up, physically present, chairs with bags and notes on them weren't good enough. People were already lining up last night.

It was still dark when we got there, at 5am, this morning, and the line was around a different way to last night and there were many seats, some with people actually sitting in them. We were informed by a couple of people who were assuming captainship of the whole operation, it would seem, that there was now a list and we had to put our name on it and the list would be checked by Myer staff at 6am and if your name wasn't on the list, you were out, or if you weren’t there, your name would be removed from the list.

That seemed very different to what we'd been told last night, but we reluctantly complied. We were 57 and 58.

Who put you guys in charge, we thought?

There were lots of people, playing supervisor, with lots of people giving their opinions. There were nice guys in the queue who were chatty and friendly. My iPhone 5 was probably the oldest phone in the queue. It was the first time I have queued.

“There, you get to hang with the nerd boys,” said Sam. “How was it?”

Eventually, the lovely Myer Apple Lady turned up and, after that, it all ran pretty smoothly.

In due course, we were given numbers, we were 49 and 50 respectively. And when we checked there were 60 units of the phone we wanted, so we were going to get what we wanted. Yay us! Yay Myer!

The Myer staff were lovely, they gave us coffee. Anybody who gives me coffee is alright in my book. The whole process was relatively pleasant.

So, 4 1/2 hours from getting out of bed, to walking up Bourke Street with our new phones, we bought one for a buddy, I didn't think that was so bad.

Sam went to work. I've been home half an hour.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

The Body Count Is Growing

Seems to me that I am ditching friends like I peel off soiled jocks and discard them, there now seems to be a trail of them across the bedroom floor of my life. I really do have the ability to turn my back and walk away without ever glancing back, I know that about myself.

Mark seems to be the latest. I think that makes all my ex's estranged now. He hasn't contacted me since we had our falling out, a week ago. Nothing. No messages. No emails. No phone calls. I'm guessing this is serious then. I did send him a terrible message telling him exactly what I thought about the situation, which I now feel was regrettable. I so wanted to send him another message telling him how sorry I was for the previous message, but as you can tell from the last sentence, there has been too many messages and I decided that it was time just to keep silent, so I have. (My judgement isn’t always sound, of course)

I still haven't told Sam. I haven't told anybody.

I'm no longer friends with any of my ex's where I used to be friends with all of them. Like ducks in a shooting gallery, bang, bang, bang. I'm wondering what is going wrong? We've been friends for so long and then bam, bam, bam, not friends any more. I can tell it is serious with Mark this time, I can feel it.

My sister and brother last year. They pissed me off with the winding up of all my mother's stuff. They just didn't seem to care about anybody but themselves. Get rid of everything, like it was a poisonous rag needing to be disposed of quickly.

Perry. You know, and I shouldn't say this, (I’m not exactly sure why I shouldn’t say anything on my blog, but there you go) but Perry was always just too much of a country hick for me. We persisted for 20 years, yep, 20 years, but really his simplistic look-at-me antics really are just nauseating, if I am truthful. His goofy attitude is why so many people like him, but, for the most part, it just made me groan.

Sebastian, well, maybe not Sebastian, not yet, he hangs on to our friendship by a thread. We'll have to see how that one pans out, when Shane gets back from OS. I do feel sorry for Sebastian really, but not sorry enough to call him up and say let’s do coffee. He fell out with David (another friend I've still got) when David fell out with Tully, which meant David fell out with Shane, because Sebastian can't keep his mouth shut and he reported back to Shane and Tully what David had been saying, or something like that. I never really did follow it in the first place, but I digress. Sebastian has lived with James Wang ever since I have known them, 25 years, and Sebastian and James were a part of our group when we were younger and drug taking party queens, 20 years ago, back in the days when it was all more clandestine, and way more fun than it is now, I can only assume, as I don't do it now. Well, James was one of the ones who didn't make it out of that period unscathed. There were a couple, James, my ex Anthony and Fergus who died. (almost an ex, Robert Gamble, although he is still around, but damaged. Sexy Robert Gordon… and beautiful Anthony Orrontello, both dead) Collateral damage to lives lived large. Well, anyway, James has been in mental decline ever since, for years and Sebastian has really looked after him for all this time. Well, apparently, Sebastian has finally had enough and wants out. Poor Sebastian.

Dante. Except Dante isn't going to be around for much loner, did I tell you, he got busted for dealing ice? And with the current mood, the alleged ice epidemic, that ain't gonna go well for him, I am thinking. Dante lost his business, and pretty much everything else, in the GFC. And while he had a job for a short time after that, more recently, he has not been able to get a job. Long term unemployment led to dealing, you know, as it does. (I don't really mean that, but that is what has happened for Dante.) We had a misunderstanding, more recently, so I headed over there on my bike to sort it out, one sunny morning. The last time I saw him, actually. Perry came to get a deal and Dante pulled out this box from a lower section of his coffee table, which had rocks of, I guess it is called, crystal. I was a bit surprised at the time, I remember thinking, I'm guessing that is an awful lot. I don't know, I don't know what a lot of that stuff is, I've only ever seen it like salt in a small plastic bag. So, if he had that much when the pigs kicked in his door, I'm guessing he'd better be getting a really good lawyer. (I’m guessing Perry’s friend Pug, the lawyer in Sydney, who defends all the gay boys who get caught has been wheeled into action)

Adrianna told me (there's a friend I still have) about Dante, she'd had lunch with Sebastian who told her in the strictest confidence, and she told me and Sam. "Don't tell anybody, will you?" said Adrianna.

That is one thing I have always been good with, if you tell me not to tell anybody, my mouth is like the Bank of England (I walked passed it earlier this year, it is still like a fort) I won't tell a soul.

Which is quite a shame, as it is the goss of the year and I can’t tell David. Oh well. (David is in Italy with Italian Sebastian) Earlier this year I told David, straight-faced. “Dante is dead. Drug overdose.” And David was so shocked. Then I said, “Ha ha, kidding, you should have seen the look on your face.” And we both laughed heartily. And now I have the real goss and I can’t say anything. Grrr! 

I so wish Tom was here, he’d have a lot to say about Dante. He’d call Dante up without any hesitation. “Sister, what’s going on with you?” he’d say. I so miss Tom. (I tear up when I think about him)

And then there is Josh and Manny and Jude and shit! So many ex-friends. There are some I have probably forgotten too. (You must know that you never really counted as a friend, if I forget you when I am compiling a list of friends I have lost?)

Me and Sam and Buddy and a bag of pot. Pffffff, what else do I need? Except, Sam won't let me have the bag of pot.

"You are too boring for words when you are stoned," says Sam. “I know you think you are delightful, but in reality, you are incoherent.”

Now, if I could just make him a pot-head, he'd be the perfect boyfriend, but alas, he won't be turned. Damn him!

So, the thing is, in a long-winded round about way, I'm good on my own. I am good with my own company. As fat Will Conyers said about me in high school, "Christian is a loner." I was a little shocked as a 17 year old to hear that, but ever since I have taken it as a bitter way of saying that I am very happy with my own company and so therefore don't specifically need the person who uttered such words in my life. Will and I are no longer friends. And, I am guessing, that this is the reason I can walk away from friendships. My friendships tend to be long term, but that seems to be no guarantee that they will survive “forever” as they say. I read somewhere recently that if you are friends with somebody for over 7 years that friendship will last a life time. Leah, Perry, Dante, and now Mark, all friendships that have lasted many, many years passed 7 that seem to be failing now. (Good thing he has lots of friends to lose, good thing he made lots of friends in his social butterfly twenties, he says nervously)

And it is probably me, you know. My levels of empathy are not really high. I don't have sympathy for the usual things for which people seem to have sympathy. I have sometimes wondered if I could get myself tested. I read psychological profiles of psychopaths and sociopaths with trepidation, I tell you. I have never really matched up with any, but I do wonder sometimes which ...path I might be. But then again, that is also why people love me in the first place, because I come from a different place, so people tell me. (I choose to take that as a compliment.) You know how your best quality is also your worst quality. Yep, bingo!

Wednesday, November 01, 2017


I think Facebook is probably a huge time waster. Well, a distraction. An efficient passer of hours, days when you add them up. It is the electronic equivalent of a stocking filler in the great celebration of living. We're glued to it when we should be doing other things. It has just really occurred to me that I have been distracted by it. It doesn't really do anything for me. It connects me to friends, who I should probably be calling, or going and meeting face to face anyway.

I have been on Facebook, every morning, every day, looking for likes, I guess. And that, if it is anything at all, is kind of sad.

I just suddenly found myself mindlessly looking at my feed, at memes, or funny dog videos, or barn find cars on the other side of the world, or some petition, ban Adani, ban the right wing bigot, ban people who say unpleasant things, or looking at some news about America, guns and violence, or racial unrest, or bigotry, or old priests filling with young boys, or, or, and, and, in other words nothing that really directly affects my life, just distractions. Time wasters. I'd be better off jerking off, at least that is meant to be healthy for me. 

I just had a what-am-I-doing moment? You know those small moments of clarity where suddenly you can feel every cell in your body and you can see the world outside in full detail, and you can hear the noises of everything beyond your walls and you think what am I, actually, doing in all of this, right now, here, at this very moment?

I should be writing something, even if it is bad, better than continually hitting the like button on stuff.

What positive things is Facebook contributing to my life? When I really give it some thought, the answer is, very few. Facebook is not really contributing to my life in any meaningful way. 

So, I am going to start concentrating on my blog again. That is what I am going to do. More writing. More poetry. I've got poetry for the whole year that I haven't published, I must get on to doing that.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

I Walk

10am. I went for a walk. If sitting is the new smoking, I am heading for a premature death. So, that hour long walk every morning, must be doing me some good. Mustn’t it?

I listened to Willie Nelson. Stardust, of course.

I am still feeling very upset about Mark. Upset with myself, as much as I am upset with Mark. My response to him was terrible. I got that wrong. I didn't keep my cool. What to do now? It is moments like this that my yellow streak glows in all its saffron glory. I’m basically a coward, I know that. It is something with which I have always struggled.

I could say I was lost in my thoughts, I could say that, and while it is somewhat true, it is not true enough to say it… I ignored the construction worker’s instructions to use the opposite footpath at the corner of Queensberry and Lygon Streets, where they are re-developing the building on the corner. I had headphones in, but I could still hear her repeating the instruction over and over again, as if she expected me to comply. I don’t have the time, or the inclination, to cross the road to use the other footpath, I know it is probably your job, but sorry luv. I walked down the bike lane on the edge of the car lane coming towards me, closest to the closed footpath, thinking to myself, I can look after myself, luv. I don’t think she was happy, even if I didn’t look back.

And then there was another construction worker further down closer to Bouverie Street, where the construction finished. She took down the tape and said, “Would you like to use this footpath?”

“Yes, thank you,” I said.

Then she explained that the footpath would be blocked for the rest of the week and that if I was going to be walking through again, she suggested alternatives to what I’d just done. “There is a laneway just along Lygon Street a bit…”

“Oh yes, I know it.” And I will use that laneway tomorrow, or the next day, or whenever.

She will go far. She will be in charge one day. She did and said exactly the right thing to me… me, who, I admit, was probably appearing to be difficult, but really, I don’t want to put in all the effort to cross the street, and she handled it with charm and grace.

I felt a certain rekindled love for humanity after she and I had spoken. I did, I am not exaggerating. The sun was shining and I felt a certain spring in my step from her kindness.

11.11am. I got home.

I listen to Steely Dan, Aja.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Finances 101

A lesson in finances 101. No matter how friendly you think you are with your ex, no matter if you consider yourselves to be soul mates continuing long after you have finished your relationship, complete the finances, get everything sign, sealed and delivered, as they say. 

We had everything in both our names long after we were in relationships with other people. Mark had access to our mortgage that I had taken over as a part of our break up. He got one house. I got the other house and the mortgage. (We both already owned a house each when we met) He had access to, what was now, my mortgage and he used it as finance when he needed to. Both houses remained in both our names.

"It will be fine, Mark and relationship will never sour," I said to my friend Jill, which used to infuriate her.

"Don't leave anything to chance," Jill used to say. "Better to be safe than sorry."

"We're not leaving anything to chance," I'd reply. "You just don't understand what Mark and I have."

So for the longest time, my ex and I thought it would all be wonderful until the day we were old men staring at our final sunset. Eventually, at least 10 years after we'd split up, Mark got his finances straightened out because he has a kid, well, actually, the kid came of age and got it all straightened out for him. Mark always thought things would be cool between the two of us, as I did.

But, you know, as the kid straightened out all of Mark's finances, my still small voice said to me, as a gentle whisper, "time for you to do the same." I kept hearing this. "time for you to do the same." Yes, yes, I thought, I know you are right. "time for you to do the same." Okay, okay, already. 

And eventually, five years after that, I called our old Jewish solicitor, (we used the same solicitor, always did) Myron Swartz, whose first words to me were, "You know somethink, Christian, I have been vorried about jou for zee longest time."

"How so?" I replied.

"Well, Mark's daughter gave me quite precise instructions of vhat to do for Mark, but vhen I asked about you, she told me to do nothink. Nothink?  said Myron. "Zis vas crazy stuff! But, I hadn't heard from you, my boy, vhat could I do?"

"She told you to do nothing?"

"Yes, nothink," said Myron. "I thought it vas very strange. But vhat could I do?" 

I think Mark and I were Myron Swartz's first gay couple. And I think he kind of liked it, somehow. I don't know why, but I just got that impression. He always seems to take a shine to both of us. Mark always said he took a shine to me. "You know he wants you," Mark would say jokingly.

"There's a Mrs Swartz of 35 years standing." Myron used to tell me, my vife of 35 years. 

"Why do you think he always told you that?" said Mark.

"Don't be ridiculous."

Anyway, we straightened it all out, it took a little time, but then it was done.

Anyway, now it would appear, all these years later, that Mark and my relationship is souring. Mark has a few money issues. Mark is the Hare and I am the tortoise. He spends all of his money as soon as he gets it, and fortunately, he has always had a great talent for business, but, as I said, he never saves any money, never has any in reserve, which usually always works for him. And as I said, he is clever and he gets things done, up and running, in the time it takes other people to grasp the ideas of what they should do. It is, of course, a part of his makeup, a part of who he is, a part of his feelings of success about himself.

Me, on the other hand, I'm the tortoise. Steady and sure as I go. I always have savings, I always have money in the bank. I am very cautious with what I spend and in what I invest. I don't splash the cash around. I don't feel the need to pay for everyone. I don't ever want to spend all of my money. That just isn't something that gives me pleasure. I sleep soundly at night knowing no matter what happens tomorrow, I have the reserves to see my way through even the very worst scenario.

So, as it turns out, we have come to a point in our lives, when Mark is skint, and I am flush. Oh, before you feel too sorry for him, he has assets, just no ready cash. He has a large debt, that he is having trouble paying and he thinks I should have offered to pay it.

And I have said no.

And he is really shitty about it. He has always thought I did better out of our breakup, but again, I save my money, I don’t spend it. Apparently, we have always looked out for one another, (my interpretation of that is that I have always looked after him… and, perhaps, on one of my bad days, I might say Mark has always looked after Mark) and I have now betrayed the trust we have always shown each other.

I say, me paying his bills is not sustainable. He needs to take action to fix his spiralling expenses, me continually picking up the tab, when I no longer work, will only drain my finances as quick as it is draining his.

And besides, I am not his partner any longer, I haven't been his partner for 15 years. I have been with Sam going 8 years.

So, I am now very thankful that I did straighten out my finances and that they are separate to Mark's. Oh yes, I am very thankful. (Laugh) I'm not going to tell Jill that she was right, she would enjoy that just a little too much.

I kind of miss those days, with our Jewish Lawyer, Myron Swartz, and our Jewish Accountant, Asher Leibowitz. "Clayton to Caulfield," the two of them used to say. "Ve got it covered." What those two couldn’t come up with? I tell you. The laid back, well dressed, Myron and the fat, gravel voiced, chain smoking, always with his shirt tail hanging out, Asher.

Asher just smoked in his office, fuck OH&S rules.

“Can I smoke?” I asked questioningly when I first saw him in his office. It stunk like an ashtray.

“If you smoke, smoke. You wanna smoke, smoke. Smoke. I smoke. You smoke. We all smoke. You can smoke.”

“Okay then.”

“Here, let me get you an ash tray.” He’d dig under the piles of papers covering his desk for one. Mark hated Asher because he never stopped talking. Never… stopped… talking.

Myron had a neat desk, with only the applicable paperwork out on it. I’m sure he had vanilla candles burning somewhere.

Asher went to Guido to get his pot supplies. Naturally. I’m sure, Mark hooked the two of them up. Asher was a quite a head. Guido said he was one of his best customers. We were all devastated when Asher lost everything in the GFC and consequently killed himself. We were all upset, each, possibly, for different reasons. Best accountant I ever had. A huge number of pills and a plastic bag over his head, was his method of choice. Is that even a thing? I thought.

“Are you sure that it legal?” I’d ask Asher.

“What’s legal?” he’d say. “Who looks at it? Who decides? We all come up with different interpretations. It is all just a matter of how you look at it.”

I’d look uncomfortable with the explanation.

“Perception?” he’d say. “You just have to look at it the right way, to get the right answer.”

"I... see?"

“The department is too underfunded and too understaffed to investigate anything off its own bat,” Asher would say. “Economic rationalisation, the best financial friend we’ll ever have,” he’d say. He’d laugh his throaty laugh, and lower his voice as if the truth deserved its own reverence. “Everything I do is legal, babe. It is called tax minimisation, not tax avoidance. Use the rules, they are your best fucken friend.” He’d laugh again. “I’m not driving my business into the wall to get some punk a few extra dollars, pay the right amount, but don’t pay a cent above what you have to.” He’d slide another white filtered Kent into his mouth. He was always sliding a white filtered cigarette into his mouth. “Cigarette?” He’d hold open his wooden cigarette box in midair, holding it by the lid.

Myron retired a few years ago. 
(I kind of think Myron put the accent on, but that is neither here, nor there)

End of an era.

So many eras ending.

It seems like a different lifetime.

Love affairs, friendships, professional relationships, they all end, one way or another. You've got to be ready for it, be smart, or wise, and look ahead, see what's coming. (Shrug, hands raised up) Be prepared.