Why I went to Texas

Swimwear 1956

First I’d like to say sorry to everyone, I haven’t done any postcards or emailing since I’ve been in Texas but I’m sure this big one will make it all up & you’ll see I have been busy and really living the life. It is a cliché to say follow your dreams but I believe it now so truly. Second I should probably tell you why I ever went to Texas in the first place.

Now picture, if you will, me, i.e., Miss Shitsville, in my abode, sipping lemonade from crystal glasses, redolent on a velvet Roman couch in my bed of lard,  languorous bands of honey coloured sunshine, a field of butterflies, champagne and strawberries, and omnipresent Ray-bans in 90s acid colours to shield my eyes from the glinting splendidness of my self & my villa, and to save my diamond-sharp intellect from the incessant flash*flash*flash of the paps, who are always around, like moths plinking against a buzzing lamp, trying to get to the bright cold heart of me. They are always in my bins like rats and lists of my “garbage” will occasionally appear on Twitter, although I might add that garbage to me is bread-and-butter to you. I am commonly supposed to live rather decadently, and cast a shameful pall on the faces of the self-identified Aussie “battler” (battling rather ineffectually against their own mediocrity and sense of ultimate worthlessness in a worthless world, no doubt) but all I can say is, if you were I: wouldn’t you? Nevertheless I sensed a creeping ennui; here, me, fine, supremely beautiful, covered in diamonds, bathing in the breast milk of first-time mothers to keep my youthful complexion; and yet I had begun to feel the weight of the centuries, or, or, rather, the insidious creep of time, had entered my lovely bones. To explicate is to become philosophical; I ask, I question, in the dead of night, in the velvet darkness, in the void of silence, Who is Miss Shitsville? Or, or rather, who am I? (( )) But for your purposes, and the purpose of this “blog”, there’s a short answer. Inside this cynic beats the heart of a Romantic who should have died a thousand years ago except that excessive use of laudanum has preserved me incredibly well.

So I attained some gainful employment – the less of which is said, the better. It was just the type of job people like you always thought I should get instead of wasting my life. Typically the middle classes are swinging voters unless they perceive that everyone in their electorate is as miserable as they are, in which case they will become dedicated Liberals in order to keep it that way. The offices were on S- Street, below street level. It was a rabbit warren of dark wood, glass partitions and speckled brass bars.

It is always sunny on one side of S- Street, and dark until quite late on the other side. The place where I worked is on the dark side, and consequently everyone there is dyspeptic. Also they wear these green visors that make their faces fishy green beneath them. The people who have been with the company the longest have the palest skin and the weakest, most watery eyes, and I think you’ll rather enjoy the thought of I, Miss Shitsville, spending my blue days underground with a race of people who are slowly de-evolving. Directly opposite is a bright expanse of newish shops, all chromium and plate glass. If you look at them from the low angle coming up into the street, you can’t see into the windows at all: the plate glass reflects the roof of my building very clearly, and TIMR written backwards; if you watch a girl going in to the shops from that angle it looks like she is walking over the roof of TIMR and opening a door into the sky.

In the morning I commanded tonnes of freight to cross the Atlantic with the tip of my pencil. By mid-morning word would have come up from one of the accountants (Bernard) that the figures were wrong and the market wasn’t nearly that strong, so I wiped out six ships and the livelihood of fifty dockers with the other end of my pencil. At my lunch hour I went to the pub and got quite toasty. In the afternoon I went to sleep in my chair with my feet crossed on the desk, wrapped up in my Burberry astrakhan coat. As I awoke the pale beige blots in front of my eyes resolved into the faces of the youngest office boys. They had never seen an upper-class sot before, and they watched me very carefully as I slept, leaning in so close they could have kissed me.

Basically I had a lot of money kicking around but it wasn’t until I was sitting on the floor in my office and going through a 3kg bag of Fan Tales looking for a Heath Ledger wrapper that I realised my life had become pretty shit. So I took inspiration from my favourite episode of the Monkees, “The Monkees in Texas”. It starts with the Monkees sitting in a golf cart, they stop. Peter says, “Where are we?” Mike, who’s driving, says laconically, “Peter, we’ve been driving for five days straight…. We’re in Texas.” I should add at this point that everything I learned in life that was ever worth knowing I learned from The Monkees.

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