posted on October 8, 2007 at 1:59 am

the pebbled courtyard
with its native bushes
one rainy afternoon
cmon says terry
lets leave now !
king astral is playing at the aquarius festival in nimbin
these were real people
these were actual events
if anything is a lie
it is me
it is you
the teller of the tale at my desk
the hidden reader where ever you maybe
the words which represent ourselves
the way we re-present our past
the way we were the way we were
close my eyes and i’m living it
delicate truth so fragile
broken into fragments by one ill chosen word
take us back then if you can, story teller
fabricated autobiographical imaginary recollected works
why should you care if its true?
its truer than almost anything else you ever knew
its so true its completed the cycle back to pure fiction
as all extreme beautiful truth must approach and merge in fiction
like the gita
and the story of gilgamesh
like aslan the great lion
and jesus who raised men from the dead
the fiction was so pure so perfect
or the truth so improbable
that it no longer matters what actually happened
the effect is created
it is enough
i know you can feel that soft downy rain falling
in the courtyard of the dream holiday house
terris reading the paper
im skimming through a surfing magazine
quite frankly i dont have whatever it takes to surf
i always see my legs hanging off that board under water
i always see the sharp fleshtearing reefs
the dull blow of the rock against you in the waves
the pull of the water as it takes you down into itself
a swirling green maw
the fish smell your blood
as you go under
youre gonna come in the ute with us steve he said
i chucked my knapsack in the back and climbed in
i was sitting between them
i could smell terrys salty faintly tobacco odour
and terris perfume
we were driving to nimbin for the aquarius festival
the afternoon before today
we’d watched king astral on a show called gtk
there was a thing on this years festival
and theyd played king astrals filmclip
which was them in a botanic garden all sped up
and running about
terry in his white clothes and dark tan and white hair
looking like someone shot in negative
he wielded his bass the way he surfed the waves
the detached confidence of a master
i was already jealous to share the twins with the world
i was already envious of all the people who knew them better
the other lads in his band
their schoolfriends n cousins
their parents and lovers
i was jealous of the way they knew each other
now i sat here between them driving along
through the cloudy humid afternoon
as if i always was on my way to rock festivals
with angelic eldritch twins
driving through the lush subtropics of northern nsw
we stop into a cafe where i have poached eggs on toast n chips
terry n terri have fish n chips
i have a vanilla milkshake
terri has a caramel
terry has a can of coke and a cigarette
i ask them about themselves
terrys real name is john
but as babies the parents couldnt always tell em apart
so he called himself terry too
and it was easier that way he said
a soft laugh and terri nods
is that really true i ask her
is any of this…..true ? she says
gesturing the cafe and the service station
and the tourists and the cans of oil
the mountains and the clouds and the gentle rain
her green eyes caught the light
and it dawned on me
how easily
anyone who had seen that
would fall in love with her
as she sat there in 1973
with her milkshake and her athena like sandals
which wrapped round her calves like tiny snakes
white t shirt
white levis
white teeth
green eyes
tawny skin
green eyes
and on the radio
a light aircraft crashes
and the cricket scores
olivia newton john singing if not for you
we drive into the mistlike rain
i talk and talk about all kinds of things
i’m gonna be a rocker till the day i die i say
terry says yes steve i believe you will
i ask terri if she can astral travel
of course she answers
cant everyone?
terry drives on and on
through towns and forests
we come to nimbin
oh well now my tiny mind was blowing
hippies everywhere smoking weed
longhaired freaks descended down upon this town
flowerchildren and fools
potheads pixies and prampushing beatniks
oh wow let the sunshine in man
wait maybe i got the dates wrong
is this the morning of the earth?
the age of aquarius , waterbabies
the moon was in the seventh fucking house
whatever that meant it was good news
if you like me
thought that rock freelove and dope
were better than anything else
that theyd offered you in your 19 years here
and you felt that you were at the centre
of a new strange universe
and none of the old stuff mattered anymuch
when we got to the wooden house where we were staying
i decided to sleep across the front bench seat of the ute
the place was packed with hippies and musicians
dopesmoke filled the air
and booze too
plenty of beer
i walked away from it
and climbed into the ute
i slept fetal curled up
i was damp and tired and confused and lonely
i fell asleep listening to the tap tap tap of the summer rain
it was like a soothing mantra
talking me down and around and
into my dreams

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