Let's Get Real
no idea of real people’s lives
I blink, wonder where your vision
of me comes from. Clouds.
All my pinched youth
I don’t remember, just shreds of it
come back. The yellowed man who gave
me a foreign chocolate each week
to bring us both luck.
The lady whose ankles swelled
on the plane, like walking on balloons,
flying to her daughter in Canada
twice a year while we went nowhere.
Cabbage smell billowing
from our frog-cave hall
as Dad croaked at me
this was the week he’d win
the pools and I imagined
blue waters, pure air.
I imagined towers of learnt facts
taking me storey by storey
out of this suffocating hell,
tiptoeing away from being nothing
up to where the air was pure
but you're born right, let's get real
I have no idea.
It was day three of the Body and Spirit festival. Muszak whined out a tinny Django Rinehart to the crowd. People were starting to gather around her stall. The usual giggling Japanese tourists, men with the look of a Thai holiday in their eyes, and middle-aged women shyly asking questions about the right gemstones for low libido.
She was explaining how a specific crystal could act as a love potion on a reluctant partner when nearby a loud male voice started preaching.
‘ it is ALL bollocks. Life isn’t magic. Let’s get real. Science is the only basis for knowing how the world works’
Outraged she rushed over to a stall three rows behind. The large sign in black and white proclaimed the stall as the Sceptics Shop. A tall, tanned guy with stylish glasses shoved a pamphlet on the benefits of scientific thinking into a young man’s hand.
‘Bros lets keep it real hey! ’ he joked with the teenager.
‘How did you manage to get in this time?’ she demanded ‘THIS festival is absolutely only for New Age businesses’
‘got a permit just like you did Alison ‘
‘So what promise fooled the organisers this time? she asked
‘I told them I would promote the benefits of meditation. Now get out of my stall’.
‘when was the last time YOU had sex you piece of cerebral stagnation!’
‘my body is none of your business. I’m calling security right now. ‘
Tod the security guy scowled in their direction and then decided to come over .
‘He giving you trouble Mermaid’
‘I can deal with Mr Bird’
‘Can I see your permit please?’ Tony Bird slapped the permit into Tod’s hand ‘She is asking me about my sex life’ he complained loudly. 'She's harassing me!'
Tod winked at Mermaid and then tried to descalate their standoff ‘Well she does include cosmic sex in her stall mate. Why not just lie back and enjoy it…?
‘You think you’ve got this place sewn up Mermaid. Well you haven’t I’m calling the Police !’ Tony hissed.
Of course Tony Bird would never call the Police. He had seen it all before. She was the one who was stuck. And it was inside her ‘New Age’ cult. No one in their right mind would call their child Mermaid……. this was a self inflicted name.
All he wanted was for her to revert again to Alison Mueller research assistant at Neuronics. Alison had a sharp mind for science and facts she had a fantastic bullshit detector. She was always offered promotions. And then one day in the middle of cutting up a brain, she crashed,walked out and never returned. Since then she wanted nothing to do with him. He ran back through their time together. It was full of Tedex dates, scientific conferences and papers. Why? Why Alsion? Why commit ‘intellectual suicide? Why leave me?
Alison rushed into the toilets. Inside she looked at herself in the Mirror. Mermaid had emerged from a sea of pain. She saw Tony, heard him, understood his message but she was not going back to being Alison. The laboratory might be ‘reality’. Humans probably are just conglomerations of chemicals and particles but this was no longer enough for her. Life was subjective and she could believe what she wanted!
His stalking her had to stop. Consulting her ‘Guide to Crystals’ she noted: 'Alexandrtite Can cause obsession or over-focus on something the person who enchants it chooses. The person can become delusional'.
Back at her stall she called Tony over and placed an Alexandrite ring on his finger. ‘Here take this as a peace offering’. Sure enough, months later she heard he had become engaged after a whirl wind affair with a woman at work.