1738 c/o Oliver Mol

Cuckoo, Cuckoo

walking home from the park, my friend told me how his mum had called him up and said that all she wanted for christmas was one of them old cuckoo clocks.

he said his mum said, “get me one of them clocks with the bird in the box that comes out and goes squawk sometimes.”

we kept walking.

my friend told me how someone’s throat had been slit under this bridge across from the fish and chip shop near his house the other night.

i said, “shit” but i wasn’t really paying attention.

recently i finished writing this book that i’d worked on for two years and three weeks ago i moved from melbourne to sydney and i haven’t written a thing since.

i’m waiting to hear what happens.

i mean, i’m waiting for something to happen, i guess.

we walked under the bridge across from the fish and chip shop and my friend said, “yep, it happened here. wrong time, wrong place, probably.”

and i nodded, then said, “fuck” because an eyelash got in my eye.

i rubbed my eye trying to get the eye lash out but it wouldn’t come out and my friend said, “do you want spaghetti? i made spaghetti.”

my eyelash kept poking my eyeball as cars made fast car sounds over the bridge above us.

and i felt shitty because all i was thinking about was my stupid eye and my book and whether it was good and whether i’d ever be able to hold it and that made me think about the guy who’s throat was slit and how his family would never be able to hold him again.

i guess if i’m honest one of my biggest fears is failure which means i often ignore people/things around me.

and i turned to my friend and said, “okay, ” thinking: one of the things you’ve ignored today is food.

we walked onto the footpath near my friend’s house narrowly missing a six year old sprinting out from the pub next door holding a plastic pint glass of maybe red cordial.

he was yelling, “iyiyiyiyiyiyiyi!”.

and i saw myself as a little boy excited about clutching something special and escaping to somewhere.

and i watched him run across the road, sort of running in diagonals like he was trying to dodge something being shot at him.

and i wanted him to make it, to maybe run all the way up the street towards kings cross train station, to slip through the legs of people in high heels and to slide down the slide part of the escalator like in “home alone” or some other kids' movie where the kid escapes and people leave the cinema grinning because the kid did the thing where they win and people remembered being kids and remembered wanting to win.

the kid’s dad chased after him and picked him up and when they walked back in the pub i heard the dad say, “i don’t have time for this shit.”

i went into my friend’s house.

we ate spaghetti.

i spilled some on my white t-shirt.

my friend kept showing me cuckoo clocks on the internet and saying, “what about this one?”

i kept refreshing my email seeing if i had a response for my book even though i couldn’t have a response for my book because there was no mobile phone reception in his kitchen.

we listened to “cuckoo bird noises” for a while and then i left.

outside his house i looked in the pub window for the little kid but he was gone.

i ran up the street towards kings cross train station breathing very hard and crossing the road i slipped between two fat guys waiting for the walking man to go green and it felt good to go through them but i kept hearing “cuckoo, cuckoo” and in the train station i slid under the turnstile and did a run/jump thing down the escalators almost falling at the bottom and turning right i saw the train doors close and i watched faces go away on the train and when the train left i just stared at some billboard for a university that said, “invest in your future” and i thought: i want to “invest in right now”.

i thought: is that okay?

and i told myself it would be okay.

i sat down and didn’t look when the next train was coming because i decided i didn’t care.

at some point it would come and when it came i would be ready.