Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Dylan Thomas

The roof of the shack is covered in sheets of marine ply. Some very considerate beach bum has created the perfect platform for quietly viewing these dusted stars. We lie under a darkly blazing hemisphere of night.

We've rolled out a couple of swags, a little drunk, a little stoned. It’s Mayhem’s last day tomorrow. Staggering about the rooftop, disoriented and windblown. So this is Colby’s swag, says Melinda. Oh Lordy, do you think i could get pregnant from sleeping in this?

Taking a piss on the edge of the roof, i’m swaying like a bird on a wire. I can’t see anything below me in the dark. I hope i’m not pissing on anyone. A rope runs the perimeter of the roof, looped through four long, rusted, vertical lengths of railway track.

You’ll be right, i say. Just don't walk too far if you have to get up in the middle of the night.

Why? Is that an electric fence?

I climb into the sack, paralysed with a fit of the giggles. With 18 surgical staples in my torso, it only hurts when I laugh. Poor Art Director is coming apart at the seams. Still, better to get a hernia repaired in the Carnarvon Hospital than in some third world brothel overseas next year. Better - but only just.

Today we’ve been celebrating Mayhem’s successful three-month journalistic sojourn in the Gascoyne. With a big breakfast, and a run to the blowholes on the motorcycle. Down the South River Road. Chasing down the afternoon shadows, rushing past the plantations and out across that vast empty river at the Nine Mile bridge. Then the long, flat stretch of road past the Rio Tinto salt mines at Lake MacLeod, winding the bike out into the breeze, the mp3 player keeping us charged inside our helmets.

Cattle gaze ponderously at our approach, before stampeding into the scrub at the sound of the 650. A wedgetailed eagle lifts slowly, majestic, its wide brown wings spread against the setting sun. We run up the last few curves of road before peaking over a hill by the lighthouse.

The ocean effervescing in the afternoon sun.

I stretch my arms wide as the bike soars down towards the coast, Apollo 440 blasting in our eardrums.

At the “King Waves Kill” sign, we turn left onto the limestone road, and feel our way carefully down to the shacks. Down the boat ramp road, pushing slowly through the heavy drifts of sand, in a relentless mad urge to greet the sea. The bike loses traction, and keels over, as if exhausted. We crash-land on the beach, a couple of crazy Carnarvon cosmonauts. I hit the kill switch, and Mayhem helps me right the beast. We've reached our destination - the blowholes shacks, where we meet up with Mickey T, Louie, Chrisso and Kristy for some refreshing Coopers’ ales. Supplemented by a round of huge Pacific Ocean oysters, with alfalfa and Tabasco sauce. Steak, sausages, and a bit of weed. DJ Shadow on the stereo. We light a fire, and haul out an old sofa. Sit around and spin our tales of urban excess, tracing carefully, with our airy words, life's absurd spiral. Until the light fades and the sparks quietly die, flying upwards into that black, unimaginable nothingness.

No comments: