The women taught me things. One showed me how to hold onto the sleeve of my shirt when I pulled on a jumper so the sleeve didn’t roll up and bunch around my elbow. Another showed me how to press the top of a milk carton into a beak so the milk could pour out.
I’d spent the previous week trying to ‘get things ready’, ‘tidy up’ the loose ends of the semester so that I’d be able to make myself fully available to my father’s dying …
‘Regrets I’ve had a few / But then again too few to mention’, the famous song declares. It is enduringly popular: the singer did it his way. This hymn to individualism I heard broadcast the other day to us shoppers, one familiar song following another, in a place of conformity and predictability, a large supermarket, where occasionally a distracted customer, oblivious to others, will sing along or hum. I didn’t—I’m reasonably sure—in that somnambulistic state generated by supermarkets, as shoppers drift down one aisle after another, sing snatches of ‘My Way’ but I did, masked no doubt by an expressionless […]
Magic was important to me for a while. I was strangely tethered to an idol. But it wasn’t a sophisticated connection, nor constant. In contemplating my imagined virus, I was variously confused, frightened, forgetful, fine.
If you think walking alone on steep tracks through Spanish forest overgrown with eucalypt, blackberry and bracken in oppressively humid weather carrying a 12-kilogram backpack for 25 kilometres every day for about six weeks is your idea of a good break from urban life, then the Camino del Norte from Irun along the northern coast of Spain to Santiago de Compostela in Galacia is for you. And if you like barking dogs, walking on narrow country roads and through industrial wastelands then by all means take the plunge. I did. This was to be my second pilgrimage. Having completed the Camino […]
Occasionally, a Stranger to Watch the Stars With by Andrea Baldwin.
I cannot distinguish between the grief and the pain or between what is real and what is not and it has nothing to do with refusing to believe but with an inability to comprehend.
This isn’t the only time I’ve planned to leave Australia, though it has certainly been the most contested. My mother says fate has something to do with it. I was young the first time; I was only 19. The dream was to work in motorsport, a fantasy sparked after watching the B-grade film Catch that Kid. The movie featured a much younger but already sullen-faced Kristen Stewart, and that guy from High School Musical who wasn’t Zac Efron (Corbin Bleu?). The film was picked out by my younger brother, Yasseen, in our local Blockbuster knock-off. It was part of a […]
It was all I could taste, despite not having touched the stuff for hours. It has a way of lingering, parsley, and I could feel it in the roof of my mouth, at the back of my throat, and in the strange unsettling warmth in my gut. This, despite the smells: the splashed urine by the grey metal toilet bowl, the beer from the Germans in the next compartment and the musk of old woollen blankets on that ancient Soviet train. It was dark, sometime in the early morning, although I’d had so much cold and flu medication—and Bulgarian cold and […]
For a few seconds, I’m rendered speechless. I look at the academic hosting our session. She half-smiles nervously, but doesn’t intervene. ‘No,’ I finally answer. ‘No. I will not be releasing an album.’
Meanjin has published some fine short memoir pieces in 2017. Memoir can be an act of reportage, resistance or confession. The late and much loved John Clarke writes tenderly of the commonplace…
Their throats are torn and bellies ripped open.
Tubes and organs, red and purple. Fat green blowflies crawl and swarm in their low army hum …