What the heck am I doing out here? Instinct drove me out here I think. Bugger all else comes to mind. Some sort of self help intuition that says getting out here might assist. Who knows if it will or not? Its true the extrovert in me recharges by being around others. I am not sure I need recharging though. Some reflection perhaps. Something solitary. Now I m here and the fire is burning my knees and the hair has been singed off my hands as I got it going I am less reflective and more maudlin. Which may well amount to the same thing.
Scare the hell out of Dante. Where did that line come from? A roo thudding away in the dark from in front of me perhaps – my torch had conked out on the track into here, sputtered back to life and made for some moments of heightened nerves as I made my way to the camp site. There is no warning from them when they decide to crash away only metres from you in the dark. He’s in for a thumping if I ever catch him, scaring me like that! The place is denuded of firewood at the best of times but somehow there was enough deadfall to get something started and someone has previously kindly gathered some large logs around the fireside as seats. They are burning very nicely now thankyou. I might not be a crano-facial surgeon but by golly I can conjure up a fire out of nothing. That has to be worth something somewhere, surely.
Ambos see worse. Military colleagues saw worse. But Camo and all his post Vietnam trauma was right – it’s not what you can control that does your head in. It’s what is not in your control that messes with ya! And there are too many close call ‘what ifs’ that you know you should leave alone but which sneak up on you anyway. The theory is to talk it all out but in fact I have barely done that. Written notes to be sure. But I have been careful to spare folk the gore and have not actually spoken out the stuff I saw. I touched on some of it tonight with a couple of folk as I headed up here and found the whole thing biting me with acid I was not expecting. Its not the gore (I have seen and dealt with far worse) but the pleading appeal that shone out of that mess which I now feel was inadequately addressed. You do what you do then wonder if it was enough. Oddly it is not an emotional reaction but just a hard-to-put-your-finger-on unsettled disposition that makes it difficult to settle into anything routine let alone something which requires application. Actually the emotion sneaks up on me sometimes too,usually when I am trying to tell the story. Perhaps I had best leave the talking alone for a while yet. Heck, actually I have no idea what I should be doing. Writing. Not writing. Posting. Not posting. Talking. Not talking. And now a creeping suspicion of guilt for being involved in the first place. Go figure.
So the stars are out under a clear sky. A distant coal train groans up the incline to the east and faintly sounds its accomplishment every now and then with its mournful horn. A solitary light aircraft drones across the far horizon with a backdrop of light thrown up from Sydney town. The logs settle into a shower of sparks. Something bumps around in the dark – a foraging wallaby I hope. I had plans to write more. Maybe I should just bury my forehead in the earth and talk to the creator instead. After all he’s the one with the wiring schematic for my head. Time to call in tech support.
Follow on from Cheek By Jowl
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