Location: The Base of Mount Canobolas, Orange, Australia.
Subject: Memories, Parking Tickets & Believing Your Own Eyes.
Can’t hear much out here this evening – there’s just a natural silence that takes me places in my mind.
A few sounds are present, though.
Sounds such as the soft patter of rain against the shelter that I am sitting within, the rustle of tree leaves against this damn cold wind, and the sound of something that resembles a gunshot.
There’s about twelve seconds between each shot – maybe it’s some form of rifle?
Can’t be anything small, definitely got some power behind it.
It’s got a thud to it that reminds me of my old man’s revolver: a big shiny motherfucker 357 Magnum.
Just like the one Dirty Harry uses.
One time our old neighbour, some piece of shit who lived off welfare and sold drugs to kids, and who rode a motorbike through our fence, shouted something rather nasty at my mum who was watering plants in the front yard.
She came inside, shocked – and told dad what happened.
He said nothing.
Just got up with his glass of whiskey and started sliding shiny silver rounds into the cylinder of that gun while she begged him to stop.
I was jumping up and down like I had ants in my pants.
That was rule number one: never let nobody fuck with your girl.
And boy let me tell you, I couldn’t wait to see him fill that walking turd with led – I was almost as excited as I get on Christmas eve.
Wouldn’t have been nothing new to dad, but I’d never seen a man get shot, and this fella would’ve been perfect for it.
One less piece of shit walking the earth.
But unfortunately my mum convinced him to stop and our neighbour got to continue living his worthless life – selling drugs to young kids.
Not too long ago I started writing a novel dedicated to my old man.
It’s about a guy called Pauly from a place called Blacktown, who is torn between his lust for blood and the desire for a more peaceful life out in the country.
But the novel is now on hold because my schedule has changed.
I’ll finish it when I’m a thousand miles from here, someplace quiet, and someplace with a lot of coffee.
It’s definitely coming from some distance away, because only an echo is reaching me inside my hideaway below the mountain.
Tonight I had planned to travel to the very top of the mountain – where I would write this piece.
Once I was done working, I was gonna throw some blankets and pillows onto the tray of my truck and camp out under the stars for the night.
But an approaching storm has forced me to cancel this.
Thunder is in the distance, flashes of lightning are all around and the rain is starting to grow heavier.
It’s leaving little blotches on the screen of my old computer.
Man, I can’t wait to get myself a Macbook because the keys are fucked on this one and it’s slower than a fat kid doing cross country because his mum forced him too.
Hold up a sec, I gotta turn around so the rain stops hitting my screen.
And, we’re back.
Still with me?
My hands are growing numb now because the wind is very cold.
But I have words to write, and art to make – so the rain may fall and the wind may blow as it wishes.
I ain’t goin anywhere fast.
It’s very relaxing out here, too, despite the rain and the cold wind.
My belly is full from eating an entire roast chicken.
And my soul is content from breathing in this fresh air.
The smell of it, the smell of this air filled with the scent of fresh rain – it reminds me of the chilly winters, out in the countryside where I was raised.
Reminds me of camping out under the stars with dad.
Listening to him tell old Australian stories, watching him drink, and watching him smoke.
Often after telling a few stories, he would just sit quietly and gaze deeply into the flickering flames of the fire – thinking about things that I didn’t understand at the time.
He wore either an old checkered shirt or an even older navy blue work shirt.
That was the extent his wardrobe.
And by the time evening came that shirt would be covered in mud, in blood, and in slime from fish.
Whenever I went to give him a hug, he’d smell bloody terrible.
Man, let me tell you, time get’s going and it don’t stop for nobody or nothing – one moment you’re a boy, the next you’re a man, then she’s all over and done, just like that.
Feels like only last week that I was sitting by a campfire with my old man.
And it was during the writing of my last piece that these memories came to me.
Memories of me and him adventuring, out in the bush – fishing, and cooking up sausages on the fire.
Memories of me and my old friend, a dog named Lucky – exploring the country that surrounded my home.
That’s what being a boy is all about.
It’s about danger, adventure, getting hurt, and becoming familiar with the ways of men.
Yeah sure, my old man drank too much and drew blood with his black leather belt if I played up – but he was a damn good man, and he taught me how to be one too.
Taught me things they don’t teach boys no more.
Like the importance of loyalty, and of courage, along with how to be a gentleman, and how to survive a street fight.
I used his eye gouging trick on a fella who was kicking my ass once.
And it worked like a fucking charm.
But above all – he taught me how to be my own man and go my own way in life.
“Never be a sheep my boy, and never follow the crowd, be your own man and do your own thing.”
He said something like that to me once, and I remember it clearly.
So I owe who I am to my dad.
I owe my name to him.
I owe the boiling blood in my veins to him.
And I wish it could’ve turned out differently, but it didn’t.
That’s just life man.
Now out of the many things that my old man taught me, there are a few things that have deeply shaped my character.
One of those things is something that I am reminded of, as I sit out here amongst the woods, listening to the rain and the thunder.
That something is this:
You don’t need much in life to feel good.
But despite that – most men spend their lives slaving away to build great fortunes when all they really need to be happy is a roof over their head, food in their belly, the love of a good woman and some form of profession that is rewarding.
Ain’t much more needed.
Growing up in a little camp that my dad built with his own hands, I learnt the value of simplicity and the importance of living close to nature – if one wishes to feel content and happy.
People of the modern world outsource just about every aspect of their life, and I believe this is a major cause of the widespread misery that we’re now experiencing.
Somebody else makes our food, somebody else makes our clothes, somebody else builds our home, somebody else entertains us, somebody else creates our work – and somebody else tells us how to live in order to be healthy.
The Industrial Revolution is to be thanked for the above: it came with many pro’s and it came with many cons.
When I was a kid though, we depended on nobody for anything.
We produced our own electricity via a diesel generator, we often killed our own food.
And we had the freedom to do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted to do it.
You could drive around in your truck with a loaded shotgun on the front seat, a dog on the back tray, no seat-belt, and no license.
Nobody gave a fuck, and nobody caused any trouble either – because if they did, it wasn’t the cops who sorted them out.
People took care of their own problems, the old fashioned way.
Different world it was, where I grew up.
But as Bob Dylan said:
“The times they are a changin.”
And so it’s out here in the rain and the wind, below a mighty mountain, that I think back to those times – wishing that I could return to the simplicity of the country, free of the bullshit that comes with modern city living.
Just the other day, while sitting in a coffee shop doing some work, I got fined $114 for parking my truck longer than it was supposed to be parked.
Couldn’t believe it.
Where I am from, there aren’t any parking tickets.
People park wherever the fuck they decide to park, and if they can’t find a spot in one place – they go somewhere else.
But in the city it’s a whole lot different, as I recently learnt.
Funny thing, a few days before I received my parking ticket, I was sitting in another coffee shop, reading a book and drinking coffee.
Now while I was reading my book and drinking my coffee, I happened to notice a man wearing a bright green vest, walking along the street and marking the tyre’s of every car with some form of white powder.
Curious, I got up and walked outside to get a closer look.
And with everyone’s eyes on him, like flies on fresh dogshit, he made his way up the entire street – eventually reaching my truck, and marking my tyre.
I turned to the man making coffee inside the shop
“What is that guy doing?”
He glanced up, with a confused look on his face.
“Sorry mate, who?”
I pointed up the street.
“The guy touching all the tyres, what is his deal?”
The coffee man shook his head, then smiled as he went back to making coffee.
“You’re not from here, are you? He’s a parking officer and he gives people parking tickets.”
I nodded and thought quietly to myself for a moment.
Then after watching this dickhead vanish around a corner at the end of the street – I sat back down and continued reading.
A few days later after receiving my very own parking ticket, I decided to have a good think about what I had seen with my own eyes.
I did some research on this parking ticket business.
And I found a statement made by the local mayor on why it is a good idea to fine people for parking in parking spots, on the street.
Here it is:
“Without parking tickets, the city would descend into chaos.”
The city will descend into chaos if people have to find somewhere else to park, because somebody else beat them to a spot?
That makes sense.
Now after thinking about all of this, I realised that most people in the modern world don’t believe what they see with their own eyes.
Their eyes see one thing, but they deny what they see and they pretend that they don’t see it.
I had a look at the consequences of refusing to pay a parking fine and what I found was interesting.
You can have your license cancelled, your car registration cancelled, your possessions taken and sold, and you can go to prison – if you don’t hand over your money for parking your car in a parking spot, for too long.
Unlike most people I choose to believe what I see with my own eyes.
Now in this particular situation: I see the government using fear and power to suck money out of people for something plain stupid.
That’s what my own eyes tell me.
My eyes tell me that we’re resources for the government in the modern world.
As an employee, they stick their dirty hands right into your pay-cheque before it even hits your bank account, taking their share regardless of what you think about it.
As a businessman, the game changes a little bit – but they still come knocking, asking for their share of your money, that you created through your efforts, and your time.
I never liked any of this and it never seemed right to me.
Who are these people taking my money?
I’ve never met them and I’ve never seen them.
If everybody just decided to stop paying them, then their system would no longer work because it’s based entirely on fear of authority.
People will never do that though, and they’ll always pay up because they’re afraid of the consequences.
Now I personally see no difference between a mobster collecting money from a local business, and the government taking money from it’s people – that’s just what my eyes tell me.
And these eyes don’t tell me no lies.
Stuff like this makes me miss the simple life I grew up with – back in the countryside.
Most of the people who live where I am from, don’t even vote – they just live off the grid in the cash economy.
I miss that way of life, and I miss it a lot.
Another thing my eyes tell me is that you simply cannot trust the media when it comes to what’s happening in the world.
The people on the television are just actors reading a script.
The words that come out of their mouths are the words they’ve been told they gotta say.
Only an idiot accepts it for the truth without question.
Recently I was working on an article in a coffee shop and there was a television in that coffee shop, displaying a news channel.
Now I don’t own a television and I very rarely spend my time watching one, but whilst I was in the coffee shop working on a new piece – the news was on, so I watched it for approximately 120 seconds.
What did I see in that 120 seconds?
I seen footage of a car accident, I seen one of the presenters dressed up in a strange outfit talking about what an adjective is, and then I seen somebody trying to sell life insurance.
That 120 seconds reminded me of the reason that I don’t watch television.
Now in this life, on this planet, if you want to know the truth about the reality that you live in – just look at it with your own eyes and forget everything you’ve been taught because that’ll only taint what you see.
Simply look at the world with the eyes of a child and you will see reality.
Would you like to know what I see, when I see somebody giving people tickets because they’ve parked on the street, in a parking spot for cars, while they go to the shops?
I see a sick person.
A sick person making the government more money.
Nobody with a good heart and a good head, will work a job that serves the purpose of making the government more money while ruining the day of regular folks who are just going about their lives.
If you looked into the eyes of an individual who does this for a living, you would see a sick person.
You would not see a happy and fulfilled person.
You would see a very sick person.
Fulfilment comes from having a positive impact on another human beings life.
It does not come from ruining their day and only sick people are able to do that for a living.
Less than ten minutes of research revealed to me that parking tickets in the city which I currently reside within, totalled over $600,000 in one year – and I only live in a small city.
They don’t call her the Department of Revenue for no reason boys.
Anyway my hands are going numb, the thunder is getting louder and she’s getting mighty cold now that the sun has set
I am off home to take a hot shower and write in my journal until sleep takes me down.