A ghost of aviation
She was swallowed by the sky
Or by the sea, like me she had a dream to fly
Like icarus ascending
On beautiful foolish arms
Amelia, it was just a false alarm
Maybe I’ve never really loved
I guess that is the truth
I’ve spent my whole life in clouds at icy altitude
And looking down on everything
I crashed into his arms
Amelia, it was just a false alarm
Saturday, September 20, 2014
leave the place where you work, fairly exhausted. It’s Friday afternoon and
it’s such a relief. In your mind the
weekend is like a beacon of cool, clear water in the middle of a burning
desert. In reality it’s only two days but two days of space and reflection and
leaning and passivity is something.
close the black wrought iron gate behind you and make your way to the Mt
Alexander Road roundabout. You have to find the Essendon Traffic School, an
oasis for kids who ride their bikes amidst mini traffic lights and mini
roundabouts, supposedly learning to navigate the big, bold rules of the road.
There is a party there this afternoon, which you must attend.
cannot remember the exact location of the traffic school. You will need to ask.
There is something about the air this particular afternoon. There is a weak sun
streaking down around you, so it is neither cold nor warm. You are sometimes
prone to OCD in stressful situations, but on this occasion you cannot be
dreamier or more at ease. It is a luscious feeling. You ignore the cracks in
the concrete and the mirrored reflections from shop windows. The position of
your body in relation to the oncoming car is of no consequence. Later you are
unable to recall the linguistic make up of advertising signs and street names. You
are unconscious of: your breathing, cigarette butts on the pavement, the
temptation to feel fence palings, the way you sometimes bite down on the inside
of your cheeks left right left right left right, obsessive useless mental
arithmetic, scratching your left arm and compensating for it by scratching your
are young people in school uniform scattered around in small groups. You begin
by asking this first casual group near the tram stop where Essendon Traffic
School is. Their response is warm, and not very helpful in its vagueness, but
somehow delightful all the same. At 7-Eleven you organise a self-help cup of
coffee. You inadvertently fill a two dollar cup and pay just a dollar.
Smilingly, the man behind the counter asks for a further dollar, and his smile
broadens when he sees that you weren’t aware of your mistake. This time you
receive more accurate information about where you need to go and decide to
catch a tram as it is advancing just at that moment when you need it, and it
will apparently take you half way there.
young people on the tram vaguely know you and they acknowledge you before you
properly see them with another warm smile. The tram stumbles and clanks its way
down Fletcher Street and you disembark about five minutes from where you need
has been a perfect beginning to another weekend. The sun is now somehow
brighter and warmer. There are a lot of parents and kids at this traffic
school. You watch, sometimes fascinated, with the juvenile comings and goings
of bikes flashing past, red light rules broken, kids randomly moving and
merging in different directions. Parents are having earnest conversations and
watching their offspring at the same time. Some seem to be more worried about
their child than others.
evening is beginning to get cooler. The onset of dusk is beginning to invade
the playground. The onset of early evening is somehow making you feel
melancholy. You hear a shriek emanating from some dark place, somewhere. This
animal-like sound sets off a trembling in you, like an intolerable memory of
anguish from long ago. Somebody close to you is screaming. You can see splashes
of scarlet blood over her body. It is evident her arm has become almost detached
from the rest of her body. The sight makes your stomach unsettle and you cry
amongst the frightened children.