You Are Not Your Fucking Kakhis!

by Gethin A. Lynes

I knew I shouldn’t have done it, trend setters, but sometimes I’m just so caught up in the immediacy of an act, I can’t see what’s best for me… or what’s clearly not. Like that last dram of whisky in the wee hours (that slides down the throat like molten honey, but come the crack of noon is searing its way back up the same pipe) wearing a short sleeved shirt to the office seems at first to be quite the relief from the ungodly heat of the Westralian summer, but reveals itself in hind sight as an early indicator of an impending illness, less regurgitant than the whisky’s aftermath, but no less sickening.

Now, it’s been suggested that wearing said shirt says nothing about my standing as a pube1, being as it is around these parts a climatically appropriate garment. There have also, on a side note, been some spurious insinuations regarding said garment and my status as a sandgroper2; a status I categorically deny possessing. Indeed I feel compelled to oppose the former claim also, for posterity’s sake, of course, and not because I’m a contrary bastard (quiet, wife, not a word out of you). At any rate, it be with no pleasure whatsoever that I come to the realisation that a long, slow descent had begun, into an what could only be diagnosed as an advanced state of Public Service, certain to end the untimely death of the soul.

I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say that I was bound to end up throwing around the word coon, as seems to be rather part of the vernacular landscape hereabouts3, but I have found myself victim to terrible visions, premonitions of a future filled with a greying, serial-killer moustache and the quiet, constant grinding of teeth; a slow degradation of dreams and aspirations; the setting of low personal standards and the consistent failure to achieve them; the steady unbalancing of attitudes toward life, until the whingeing that comes out of my mouth so outweighs the laughter, it resembles the fat kid at the park who jumps on the other end of the seesaw and won’t let you down until his mother calls him for dinner, and then the desire to stuff his sweating, jowly face with whatever deep-fried slop the old lady is dishing up outstrips his malicious enjoyment at seeing you suffer.

There will be brief moments of laughter, passing glimpses of what life could be like, all full of inspiration and challenge and whatnot, like when the fat little bastard, desperate to fill the yawning void in his soul, leaps from the seesaw and runs for his dinner, and for an instant you no longer feel like your stuck in the air, dangling over a terrible fall, but are actually falling, and the adrenaline kicks in, and you feel alive… and then you hit the ground, and your knee slams into your chin and you’re suddenly choking on a mouthful of blood, and serve you fucking right for attempting to enjoy anything about your miserable existence. 

As luck would have it though, seeing oneself in the mirror, clad in the uniform of parochial office workers everywhere, is like catching an operable tumour before it turns malignant. There’s a moment of panic, the dread of a protracted, agonising death, followed by the orgasmic flood of deliverance, the knees suddenly weak with the spilling of all that seed of relief. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the surgical removal of this lackluster approach to life happens to coincide with the blissful turning of the seasons, with the comfortable donning of such finery as a waistcoat, the immediate signifyer of my separation from the rampant mediocrity of pubic office life. The cessation of sweatiness is great, and nice clothes are, well, nice, but neither do a happy monkey make.

Recovery from serious illness can be problematic. There’s all that maintaining a positive attitude bit, and making sure your convalescence comes with a view of trees, and soothing music and all that. And in an effort to engender that very kind of mental space, as well as keeping all those short-sleeved shirts firmly away from my dress-pants and other inspired moves like applying for new jobs and turning all my masturbatory time wasting into constructive exercises such as… er… exercise, I have made the (probably ill-advised) move of ceasing to be such a bibulant. At first glance this probably seems like quite the intelligent way to go about it. Unfortunately, however, along with sobriety comes a proportional increase in one’s mental acuity… a fucking dangerous proposition when surrounded by small-minded bigotry and the sort of meaningless chatter that makes the squawking of a few hens seem like a discussion of quantam mechanics…  It’s enough to leave one in a state of crisis.

What have I done? Sweet Jesus, what have I done? Have I fallen so far, and is the hour so late, that nothing remains but the cry of my hate?image

It’s enough to drive a person to the drink.

And here we are back at the whisky again. It’s a vicious cycle, and vicious cycles, as anyone who’s been living with the same person for any great length of time will understand, are none too easy to break. In fact, one begins to wonder if there’s really any point in trying. Inebriation befuddles, numbs, and yet frays the edges, making for a rather volatile existence, not much good to anyone in the long run. Whisky’s a wonderful friend but a dire companion. Abstemiousness, on the other hand, brings clarity, every detail in sharp relief; it breeds an irascible dissatisfaction.

This is probably a good thing… eventually. In the words of Tyler Durden, “You are not your fucking kakhis!”… um, rather, “Let me never be content.” Let me ever strive for something more fulfilling.

No mean feat, not once you’ve discovered the pleasurable enormity of an 18yr old Talisker, and neither when you’re as impatient a bastard as I am. But as my newfound clarity of mind keeps telling me, you can’t fit an iceberg into your whisky glass. You can, however, have at it with a pick, and the chips you gouge from it’s surface are a great fit… and eventually, without even realising it, you’ll find you’ve chipped your way down to the brilliant blue core of the thing, the reward for all those years of hard work, and positivity and shit.

Mind you, the rest of me keeps replying that “the core of an iceberg doesn’t look so brilliant and blue once it’s exposed, it’s just kind of dirty grey like the everything you’ve stood on in your quest to get to it, and once you do get it, you’ll be dissatisfied, and just have to keep striving for something else… so shut the fuck up… and pass the whisky.”

1 – pube /pjub/ noun 2. Colloquial  a public servant.

2 – sandgroper /sændgroʊpə/ noun 1. Colloquial someone who was born in Western Australia, or who has come to regard it as his or her home.

3 – Note: I refer to use of the word “coon”, not “Coon”, the latter being a brand of Australian cheese – in itself a bit fucking dodgy, assuming the veracity of the story that it is so called due to it originally coming wrapped in black wax. Even if that’s a bullshit story, such branding is tantamount to calling a block of brown-tinged beer cheese “Darky”. It’s just fucking stupid. Or it would be anywhere other than the sort of place that supports the kind of casual racism that ensures the continued popularity of both the capitalised and lower-case versions of the word. At any rate, if the WA Public Service is an indicator of general attitudes (and in my experience, it’s probably not far off the mark) then approximately 25% of the state are in favour of the continued vernacular denigration of Australia’s indigenous population.

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