Category Archives: Creative Writing

That than which nothing greater can be conceived

First heard this song begin at the intersection of Edgar and Queen Streets with Milperra Road, in my hotted up V8 Valiant Regal – Boris. Thought O’ My God!

Years later would bother and fret over how to arrange the Grateful Dead collection I sold Boris to pay for.

The longest time spent by a writer (without a professional editor) is spent on deciding the title.

I think the closest I ever came to realising robots in my home was when I imagined building an autonomous train set that would snake around the ceiling cornices of all the rooms and fire peanuts and candy treats from solenoid activated Pez dispensers loaded in the axles at any open mouth it could see.

A couple of weeks before my flatmate moved out–suddenly and unannounced–I shared this crazy idea with her. Well, not all of it. I didn’t want to mention the bit about solenoid activated Pez dispensers until I was reasonably sure I could voice-activate them.

I’d have to be able to program them to aim at the said any open mouth and wait for my command. CATCH! But I knew that my robot wouldn’t be able to distinguish between the open mouth that’s giving the command and any other open mouth in the room, let alone the person I was directing it to; and I didn’t want the situation to come down to me looking right silly when, with my flatmate in the room with all of her mates, I’d whoop out CATCH! and have a peanut choke right down my throat.

The thing is, I think my flatmate would have stayed it through if I had told her about the Pez dispensers in the first place: that I had it figured already that when I said some secret word between us just before I whooped CATCH!, she would close her mouth, and the guy putting shit on her that she’d been politely laughing with would be forced to cough up.

As it turned out, she saw my draft schematic when I wasn’t looking, and decided for herself that what I already knew in my heart wasn’t true of her was true of her.

Somewhere deep down everyone knows they have a story in them

From my own experience I would answer absolutely yes; if it’s intuitive underneath the language, it’s intuitive in any language.

I was building complex currency handling equipment from scratch and intuiting the sources of faults on electronic circuit boards in my late teens and repairing them before my employer sent me back to school under an apprenticeship to learn the language for what I was doing. I don’t think it changed my ability to get the job done, but being able to describe the process I was going through and the whys and hows of it gave me an extra sense of purpose.

I was intuiting music and literature back then too (playing The Beatles’ Blackbird and Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Mary Had A Little Lamb on my nylon string guitar by ear), but the language I had for it didn’t start expanding–beyond what was necessary for building databases, writing DOS text-feedback games out of FOR loops, beep codes, COLOR and GOTO commands, and reprogramming (with Litestep) the Windows ME desktop environment of my triple boot DOS/ME/Win2K personally custom built desktop tower with switch-ably bootable dedicated Linux hard drive–until this one night I invited my brother around for dinner.

We had just finished dinner. I got up suddenly to take the dirty plates to the kitchen. My brother remembered me later as putting the plates down, saying ‘I don’t feel so good’, and falling headfirst into the cold kitchen tiles. I came to with him holding my head off the ground and me groaning ‘ughhhhhh…put my head down!’

It took about 2 weeks for my broken inner ear to recover before I could stand up and go back to work. I’m not sure exactly why to this day, but I lost interest from that day in the otherwise stable job and appreciative employer I’d had for well over a decade and got it in my head that I could be better than that.

Got noticed by a strong, beautiful, intelligent woman who told me what I already suspected – that I could be better than that. Fell in love. Got married. Left my job for an extra 15K per annum.

I never imagined that all wasn’t likely to go well. But I knew the history behind both of us, and somewhere deep down there’s no denying…

I intuited it would come to this.