Steve lives here and there.
Sometimes I wonder why I live where I live and choose to live the life I live.
If I change or move one piece of the puzzle will that make it easier to solve?
When I was pondering on memories of different houses with different people, I wondered why I moved so often. I also remembered
and acknowledged how fortunate I’ve been; I’ve always landed on my feet.
Now I live on the other side of the country and my view is very different, but I think my outlook is the same.
Steve welcomed Katie into his house.
“Well this is it, welcome to my humble home”, Steve said pleasantly.
“Thanks, wow, what a lovely little place”, Kate replied.
“Oh; wow, what a fabulous view”, she exclaimed as she walked toward the balcony taking in the vast uninterrupted view of the horizon and beyond.
This was a common reaction when people first visit Steve’s place. The small one bedroom apartment has a large floor to ceiling window facing north overlooking the tree-tops and small hills of the local area, leading toward a picturesque view of the hills and ranges in the far distance. It is a stunning outlook and brings a lot of brightness and a lovely atmosphere into the little place. It was also an odd point of similarity and contrast to his apartment in Fremantle which overlooked the harbour; – it was often the first thing people would comment on, “wow what an awesome beautiful view”, it was fabulous and it did give Steve a lot of pleasure also.
Steve’s apartment in Fremantle was very different to his current address. The only similarities were that they are both located on the top floor have a great view and have a busy suburban railway line a few metres away. The apartment in Fremantle was quite grand in a simple little way, well it seemed grand to Steve and he hasn’t lived anywhere as nice again. When he moved in it was brand new in a new and interesting complex. It felt great to be in a new place that he could make his own, clean no history and no hassles. It was a spacious two bedroom apartment with great facilities in a fantastic location. Steve felt quite pleased with himself to be living in such a great place. However, as nice as it was there was something missing. it didn’t feel homely. Steve had all he’d needed there and was very comfortable. But, his basic furniture and meagre belongings made the place look sparse and house felt a little empty. Steve knew this and tried to add a bit of life into the place, but never succeeded. He knew what was lacking was some personal touches, something that made it look and feel like it was his place, his home. The only time when it had any colour was when Rae gave him that wonderful painting she did with her daughter and grand-daughter. The painting was beautiful in some many ways and the bright colours helped lift the place and add some atmosphere. Due to his turbulent relationship with Rae Steve often had very mixed feelings about the painting. Steve lived at that apartment for five years and it always had a look & feel that he’d just moved in and a sense of being temporary. he thought he would make it his home one day. But, that day never came.
Now he lives in a small one bedroom apartment in another city far from the ocean and other familiar settings that he had always enjoyed and appreciated. Here he was trying to start his life again. Would he make a home here? Would he find someone to share it with?
“Yep, it is a fantastic view, and I love the colours and the feeling of nature, but experienced from the sky”, Steve said proudly as he took ownership of the view.
“If you’d like to grab those chairs, I’ll get us a drink and we can relax and take it all in”, Steve said while gesturing towards the plastic outdoor chairs while heading to the fridge.
“Thanks; that sounds great”, Katie replied.
Steve was predicably nervous not only because he had invited an attractive bright woman to his house, but, also because he didn’t want to stuff this up, he knew this could be a watershed moment if he just played it cool, keep it real, and remember his pledge to himself and be honest. He hadn’t known Katie very long and had only been out together a few times and only twice on their own without their mutual friend Ted. Steve did genuinely like Kate and was keen to get to know her well and hoped they could build an ongoing lasting friendship. Friends are important to Steve. He currently doesn’t have that many and is becoming less tolerant of shallow mindless people. So, he appreciates the opportunity to spend quality time with bright and interesting people. Kate fits that description and she is very pretty and that’s always a nice bonus when spending time with a woman.
Steve hadn’t had many people visit him lately and never an attractive young woman (well younger than him). He did have a fleeting thought about Lucy and wondered what she was doing now and what she would think of this. He also wondered why he never told her the truth about Sue staying overnight. Even though it was completely innocent and he and Lucy hadn’t spent any time together for such a long time. And, now well he couldn’t remember the last time they’d even had a chat on the phone. So, Steve tried hard to brush thoughts of Lucy aside and hoped that thoughts and feelings of previous dates and exes did not invade his mind or infiltrate his space here and now.
Things seemed to be going great, very pleasant and easy going, with real connections and good laughs. Steve was trying hard to keep relaxed, keep a check on his emotions. He was keen to develop something with Katie and make the most of this date or whatever it was. Steve was also anxious about not trying too hard, not moving too fast, staying aware of where Kate is (practice my mind reading) and try not to hit on her (unless she sends unmistakable signs). Steve is mostly keen create a equal and honest friendship, and if anything else happens fantastic, but, nothing should jeopardies the real true relationship.
After a couple of beers, some laughs, sharing of music and sharing of stories Steve looks for something else to do.
“ok maybe it’s time to bare the soul in a nice and safe way and test my honesty pledge”, Steve thinks to himself.
“I used to write a lot of stories and poems, and have just started up again”, said Steve searching for something new and interesting to say.
“Would you be interested in looking at some?” Steve asked awkwardly.
“I was feeling low a while ago and thought I might be able to express myself in a simple rhyme, I think it’s OK”, Steve said quickly as he showed Katie his first choice of poem.
“I wrote this poem at the time to help me explore what was on my mind and how I felt about things”, Steve added as further explaination.
The black dog bites
When the black dog bites,
You know it’s a bitch
it’s like a slap from an evil witch.
Sometimes you can’t shake it no matter how hard you fight.
The pain can hit you day or night
It’s an annoying scratch you just can’t itch.
When the black dog gets a hold
It can make you feel slow and old.
The darkness may last a minute or hover like a cloud
it can often be an adventurous journey on the dark side of the street
But, maybe I should move from the shadows to the bright side of the road
It often takes courage, effort and ability to be bold.
The Black Dog doesn’t always win
Sometimes I can see the black dog coming and give it the slip.
if I keep moving it can’t catch me, & I won’t let it in.
When I feel the black dog sneaking up
I stare it down and laugh and sing
I won’t let that bitch take over and ruin anything
The Black dog; it’s bark can be worse than it’s bite
Sometimes the fear of the dark which approaching can be perilously paralysing
keeping it away is an ongoing fight,
that often takes all my might.
So, I keep alert (but, not alarmed) and listen out for the evil snarl
if I sense it coming I throw it a black cat bone,
and hope it will leave me alone
The Black Dog, it’s out of mind and out of sight.
My heart is strong and brain is right.
Fun with friends and time in the sun
helps make me feel cheery and bright.
Wont be singing the blues today
I’m OK, if I’m alright.
[SC – Monday, 22 September 2014 ]
“Wow; that’s great”, Katie commented.
“I liked that”, she added.
“I guess you’re trying to say something about depression or something like that”, Katie commented hesitatingly.
“um ? “ she blurted enquiringly while giving Steve kind smile with caring eyes.
“Yeah it is about depression, I have issues with that occasionally”; Steve replied cautiously.
“I’m ok at the moment”, Steve added quickly with a nervous giggle.
Steve gave Katie a brief outline of his experience of depression. He mentioned how he thinks that he may have always had some form of minor depression and at times it can really affect him, but it is never too serious. Steve tried to explain that it is depression in the common sense of the term not clinical or diagnosed, and it is quite often simply situational, and relatively easy to resolve.
Kate smile gave me hug, a little kiss (just a peck – but, stil a nice little kiss on the lips) and simply said;
“yep I understand”.
This poem I wrote many years ago in fabulous Fremantle.
It illustrates that while some things change more they stay the same.
Ah get a job
Wish I could just get a job
wouldn’t that be great
need it now – got no money – just can’t wait.
But, what’s a poor boy to do?
Got no money and need some new shoes.
Can’t go out walking without shoes on my feet
get strange looks from the people I meet,
people say I look like a lazy slob,
and that’s the reason why I’m singing the blues.
Life shouldn’t be this hard.
Just go out and try; you’ve got nothing to lose.
Do whatever makes you happy,
but, what if what makes you happy doesn’t make you money.
Money isn’t everything I hear you say
and it’s the root of all evil, we’ve all seen the perils of that way.
When you think that you’ve been dealt a rotten card,
you probably got nothing to lose
why not let your hair down and sing the blues.
Are you feeling sick and tired?
Got no energy can’t be bothered trying.
Don’t believe all those blinkin lies
people just trying to fool us with their fancy alibis.
Find something that gives you a lift,
stop wallowing in your shit.
Be more discerning with the choices you choose,
If all else fails just sing the blues.
If you find it’s all a waste of time
go for a swim in the clear blue ocean
don’t be foolish by mixing with swine.
With a little bit of trust and a dash of luck
you can see a pearl grow from a speck of dust.
So, it’s all worth cherishing no matter how big or small
Sow the seed, give it a try
who cares what they say about you when you die.
Get off your bum and have some fun
you’ve got nothing to lose
join in the chorus and sing the blues.
[SC – 17/03/06 1:33 PM]
Steve shared a couple more poems with Katie and she exchanged more insights into her life and a common unity was beginning to form.
Steve becoming a little self-conscious said decisively; “anyway enough of all that, let’s listen to a real poet. I feel like listening to some music, maybe Paul Kelly”.
Steve searched quickly through his music library and tried to find something suitable and something that wouldn’t take him to unwanted places or link his mind to anyone else.
“I know”; Steve exclaimed,
“This is simply perfect and a great album, 2 Aussie legends (well Kiwi, but, we’ve claimed him as honorary Aussie) Neil Finn and Paul Kelly – live at the Sydney Opera House”, Steve said in his best FM dj voice as he hit play.
“And, I think it’s time to open the wine”, Steve said feeling quite contented.