They were strange. They had these things called opinions.
Whenever anyone had asked me previously what i reckoned about something I'd usually say "I dunno", or they'd ask "What do you think about this"?
"I dunno, don't think about it".
This wasn't very good for new conversations, they didn't last very long, and i wanted to talk to girls.
So i thought I'd better get some of these opinions. I knew that they were arbitrary, there was no truth in them. Otherwise everyone would have the same opinion.
A variety of opinions was the go, changing them every time i changed clothes.
Some people wore their opinions persistently.
I had noticed that people argued about them. If opinions weren't throwing bombs at each other, they threw labels at each other.
Trees don't do that. Humans were very strange.
I've had dozens of jobs and have a stack of really good references.
I know that because i wrote most of them myself, having access to company and factory letterheads and the boss's signature.
Apparently I've been gainfully employed for about one hundred and seventy years.
I did have to arrange them sequentially into field jobs, factory jobs, office jobs, and brain jobs, so could have up to four different jobs with the same mob.
The only CV I've ever written was short.
'Grew up as a hunter, learned to sit silently, walk quietly, leave no tracks, and kill swiftly'.
Someone told me later that this was meditation. I got the job.
The other golden rule was to change everything every seven years. Some happened naturally passing through the seven whirling balls of energy inside me, If not, I'd stop doing what i was doing and wait for the next thing to happen. Figured i only had roughly ten septums, already used three up, seven left to do different things.
Sometimes when you did nothing, angels appeared.
At a lock up storage unit.
I was working at my unit where i kept stock for my shops.
Business was easy. Buy something somewhere and sell it for more than paid for it. Employ people to do the work, and pay them a lot more than they'd get working for someone else, to keep them happy. My office was a shoulder bag and front seat of ute. I didn't have a phone so no one could interrupt my solitude.
I'd tell people,
'there's nothing so urgent in my life that can't wait for you to write me a letter'.
Even if a relative died I'd usually find out before the funeral.
I heard a song playing from another storage unit around the corner. It was on repeat, playing over and over, for an hour and a half. It was Dylan's Rainy Day Women. Eventually, curious, i went around and saw her sitting in the middle of the storeroom surrounded by what looked like household possessions and cardboard boxes.
I asked her why she was playing the song on repeat. She said she liked it.
We talked about the lyrics, how some people thought it was about drugs, 'everybody must get stoned', when it was nothing to do with drugs at all.
It was a song of total alienation, of freedom. I told her of my visit to see Dylan in his motel room and how he had talked of how it felt to be so alone, like a rolling stone, a complete unknown.
It was her song for this moment. She was ecstatically high, tripping on freedom and liberty.
She told me some life stories.
After her husband had left for work that morning, she had packed her personal possessions in her hatch, a couple of trips, and was now sitting with them. She had finally left him, a damaged war veteran, after years of violence. After thinking of doing it for a long time. And now the time had come.
She told me stories of an uneasy man, and of a new man, and new possibilities.
A week later she was there again. Still high and happy, experiencing the possibilities.
A week later she was disconnected and flat. Her new man hadn't really thought she would actually leave her husband.
Some weeks later i was sitting cross legged on the floor, a room lit only from sunlight through an open door. With eyes closed i saw the light change and slowly turned my head a little to see a silhouette in the doorway.
It was her, standing still, adjusting her eyes perhaps. I turned away and closed my eyes.
Her footsteps approached, she slid down my back and sat behind me, legs outstretched either side of me, then hooked and crossed them over mine, to lock me in. She put her arms under mine, hands on my chest. I took her hands and held them to my heart. As she leant her head against mine she whispered to my ear, "just be still"
We traveled together, as one, to a place far far away that has no name, and stayed awhile, in that place of light, silence, and love, where time did not exist.
Slowly we came to our bodies again and moved so slightly, to remind ourselves that we were two, not one.
She took her legs away, then her arms, and as she rose she whispered again.
In that timeless time i don't know how long we were there. The sun was still there and i saw the light change again as she walked out the door.
I passed her on the street again. Again we didn't stop or speak. Now the smiles were of friendship and recognition and also of deep gratitude and love.
I can't forget her, though i never said a word to her, and she said only nine words to me.
Orgies weren't my thing, bit too much like free range fucking.
There was a black and white TV in the corner of the lounge so i sat on a chair closely in front of it. The lounge room was dark, lit only by the TV, and i could see dark shapes around the floor. I knew my partner was in an adjacent bedroom, i recognised the sound of her orgasms.
After an hour and a half Lara came over and said "what are you doing. I didn't invite you here to watch TV". I quietly explained that i didn't have a TV, that I'd been in the bush for a few years and hadn't seen TV for five years. Besides which I'd just seen Clint Eastwood in Rawhide and was half way through Kung Fu with that grasshopper bloke who wandered around with a long stick. And, that these were two of my all time favourite programs.
She was not impressed.
So in the next ad break i did my contractual duty and got back to the TV. Had only missed a couple of minutes of the program.
When grasshopper finished she asked me to leave.
"You!?".... "You, loyal and faithful!?"
She showed me more tantric stuff but now it was all theory with no prac work.
She sold Tupperware as well as being a dragon shop steward unionist in the public service. She'd managed to combine Tupperware parties with giving instruction in tantra to some of her customers.
One day she said "you know that perineum muscle weight lifting exercise you showed me. I've got two women doing it". This is the exercise where one end of a piece of string is attached to a ribbed dildo and the other end to a weight. Crouch down a little, resting the weight on a short stool or something like that. Then grip and lift, squat and release grip, in lift sets of one, two, three, six, three, two, one.
Lara said one of her women did her exercises in the kitchen, using pots and pans for weights. After a few months she could lift an iron.
She said the other had found a pile of broken bricks in her backyard. She'd started off with a quarter brick, moved onto a half brick, and now could lift a full brick.
"I'd like to meet her" i said.
So she took me on one of her Tupperware delivery runs. Passing the new footy stadium she reached over to the back seat and passed me a container.
"Look" she said, turning it over, "It doesn't have a recycling number. That's because they last forever. A lifetime guarantee"
"What happens if you accidentally break one, like drop a brick on it"
She was in full sales mode. "There's a lifetime guarantee. We replace it with a new one. Free".
"What do you do with the broken one"
A pause, then "well we recycle that"
"How do know how to recycle it if it doesn't have a number"
She knew that i liked real genuine woman, who don't wear makeup or use machinery to massacre their armpits.
She was wearing a sleeveless top and in a deliberate effort to distract me she pointed past me out the passenger window and said, "Look, that's where they play football every week"
I've visited her a few more times, years apart, visiting her and her husband.
Now we talk about stamps. She's a collector like me.