Human Torch

In my last entry I said I would not walk around. Well, this afternoon when Eugene and I were cycling around, I chose to rage against the dying of the light.

We had stopped in the park for a quick rest and I seized the opportunity to enjoy the playground as always. Instinctively, I looked for physical challenges I might be able to overcome. It’s something I do pretty much non-stop. I check for ledges I can climb, jumps I can make, new ways to reach places by doing a few skips hops and jumps… So I figured a two metre standing jump from one platform to another was a piece of cake, right?

I’d learned a long time ago that rain never made jumps easy. I relearned that lesson today as I landed and slipped. Although I made it to the platform (something I later took noted satisfaction for), my left leg didn’t quite make it and my shin connected with the hard metal ledge. The pain was immediate and very intense. I rose to my feet, sucking in a deep breath and doing my best to shut out the pain, sending my chi (or trying to) to the source of the injury. By the time I opened my eyes and looked down, I realised my jeans were wet. I thought it was water, but after a second, I realised it was blood.

Rolling back my pant leg, I stared at a very nasty cut and a great deal of blood. I saw a glimmer of white, which I ignored for the moment but later found out was bone. I called out to Eugene and reached for my phone, but he yelled back not to call home. Then I explained to him, graciously and calmly, that I was quite badly hurt. He took a look and called home before I could. I called Bethwyn instead and told her messagebank what happened and that I loved her. Then I felt very, very dizzy and realised it was the blood lost. I lay down and then had the good sense to elevate my leg, resting it on part of the playground.

What happened then, simply,  is that my parents arrived and drove me to hospital. I waited for around an hour and a half with minimal pain, propping my leg up on the seat in front of me. The Triad Nurse asked me why I hadn’t bandaged it or applied any pressure to stop the bleeding, and I honestly answered My Mum forbade it. I still can’t imagine why, but I’ll ask her later. So she dressed the wound for me and I was fine with minimal amounts of pain and some numbness. Fortunately, I’d asked Mum for a book and my glasses before we departed, so the time waiting was actually quite enjoyable. After another hour or so, I was called in by the doctor, who delivered a local anaesthetic to numb the area of the laceration. The anaesthetic was the most painful part of the ‘operation’- the five stitches I received were not quite as painful in comparison. A tetanus shot later I was discharged. Then I danced for a bit and ran around practicing Muay Thai on palmtrees.

Actually, I exaggerated that last part, but here I am, safe and home. Can’t get the wound wet for three days (though Dad insists I avoid it getting it wet until the stitches are removed in two weeks) but should be otherwise okay.

And that’s why, kids, we walk around. I’m not sure what I’ll do when I recover. Keep at free-running, or stop entirely? We’ll see in times to come. At any rate, I suspect I’ll be much more cautious, especially when it’s wet. Cheerio then!

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From the Ashes

I realised something today, but it’s something that’s been on my mind for a while now.

My body is becominging increasingly fragile. Pathetic, is the word I was tempted to use, but fragile will serve in it’s place. I’m worried about taking stairs, jumping in general, running, cartwheeling, kicking and stretching because I’m either worried my knees will give out or I’ll do further damage to the tendons of my pelvis. Day by day, I’m losing it. "It"? What is "it"? Perhaps it’s my abilities as a martial artist/free runner. Perhaps it’s my faith in my body. Or perhaps it’s sometime entirely different. All I can tell is that, slowly but surely, it’s draining.

I don’t want to be a young cripple. I don’t want my body to give up on itself. I don’t want to take the escalator, I don’t want to have to walk around, I don’t want to stop training. So I won’t. I’m going to resist the deterioration, imagined or real, as much as I can. I will be the champion  I know I am, deep inside. And maybe, like Bruce Lee, I can prove everyone wrong and get up and start dancing.

You know? Someone once told me that young people think they’re invincible. The older and more ‘fragile’ I get, I see that person was right. But if it means having to take the escalator, I say screw you. I’m better than that.

Note to self

Dear John,

I just had a thought, and it’s something I think would interest you. Maybe you can muse over it for yourself and tell me what you think some time? Anyway, it’s kind of important, so if you’re doing anything else right now, put it down and join me.

The world is not a perfect place, and nor can it ever be. As wonderful as dreams and ideals are, their fruition is almost beyond hope. That’s not to say that the world will never change, nor does it mean you cannot make a difference. All it means is that the problems of this earth are great indeed, and you, alone or with others, may not have the strength or will to change it. To try is to despair with failure.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference. It’s true that you’ll never be able to save the 40 000 children dying of starvation every day. Nor will you be able to stop torture, disease, warfare, homelessness, or any of the other issues you feel people should do something about. Because not everybody’s going to do something. There will probably never be a time when everybody simultaneously decides to tackle the problems you’ve been attempting to solve. And by yourself, all it’s going to do is hurt.

But that’s not why I’m writing. There is good in the world- you’ve heard of it time and time again. Good people doing good things. Not on a global scale, or a national scale, or a state scale or a neighbourhood scale or anything remotely remarkable. But there are people in this world that give their time, resources and love to changing lives. Transforming lives. And a life is all a person will ever know. You can change people’s futures.

Don’t try and change the world. While ideally, it is a good idea, it is one of the sad truths of existence that you and I will probably never be able to swerve. Instead, let’s do what we can, which is more than we have to, and always what we’re obliged to. For us, not for them, let’s do something with the lives we have and make this world, in what ways we can, a better place.

Yours sincerely,

John.

Xenophon

Prose from the infinite mind of the Cheshire Cat.



Blind in invertebrate miasma time; I’m losing days like blood, like a
bird that can’t find its footing and stumbles forward in the air.
There’s no time to make plans for the future. It’s not my fault anyway;
I surrendered control to the gatekeeper some time ago, and if
paraphilic philosophy is a sin then I’ll claim the insanity defence.
What use have I of their laws anyway- God knows I’m not following them
where it really matters. God knows that the law is fundamentally alien
anyway, built around some abstract ubermenschen high fashion idyll of
the human being, but I suppose that that’s the only possible option,
seeing as natural law is impossible because we’re aliens, we’re all
aliens, we are all xenomorphs in each others’ eyes. I am not like you.
And what God knows is irrelevant because God is dead too, right?
Whatever; in any case, this world isn’t going to love me for my alien-
its only that cabaret freakshow (that I studied and memorised from the
earthling silo of culture) that wins me attention. And God knows also
that that alien got lost a while back anyway, and because my aquiline
feet couldn’t find solid ground on this hypershot splintered timescape,
I couldn’t turn around to call back to it. So right now I have no
respect, no integrity, and no time. And if I fall asleep here the flock
will move on without me.

Dumb
and incapacitated with a mouth like a leaky tap; functional,
unimpressive. So while my life and the world goes on in rapid movement
around me, I’m drunk on vault pressure information, drowning in a silo
of it, a silo constantly refilled. The information is colourful like
psychedelics and fascinating like Ebola, and you’re never in far enough
until you’ve had so much that you want to die. At that point, you get
to thinking that every academic discipline is a different lens, in each
of which life exists sort of as a different animal, against a different
colour and landscape. Soon your knowledge is like a kaleidoscope of
useless ideas, fun to play around with like technicolour shotguns but
when inflicted with a leaky tap mouth, they make ugly gifts. That’s why
people think you’re boring. The titanic irony is that this goes against
everything you believe; that ideas are inherently interesting, and that
other people will take the time to examine what you’ve explored. Soon
you’ve become an anachronism, pushed into the wrong time and the wrong
frame of mind, out of touch with what people really live for. It’s more
isolating than any hermit life or any hazardous neurochemical. But as
my alien gatekeeper advises me, at the end of the year, at least you
have your technicolour shotgun ideas to shoot blanks with.

Futureshocked,
stuck with a broken leg in purgatory, regretting every decision you and
everyone around you made, right back until the day you were born. It’s
with this in mind that the great communal alien mind (the one that
informs your existence) asks you to move forward. Right then, you’re
looking at the infinite and the possible; staring at the superflat
horizon, equalised and made zero by the sum of every action ever made
in all of human history. Exploration is inherently futile because at
this point you’ve forgotten what you like so there’s nowhere to start
and nothing to like; you’ve lost track of basically everything beyond
the fact you are a bipedal mammalian fleshpack with sentient thought.
Following this tangent and rising along a linear gradient into the sky,
you consider the life of a jellyfish; how all jellyfish are made equal,
and how no jellyfish is an alien to any other. All jellyfish pulse to
the rhythm of the communal jellyfish mind, with movement decided by
ocean currents and thoughts made icy pure by brainlessness. This is why
psychonauts say that the ability of the jellyfish to be happy makes it
the biggest alien of them all.

Child labour?

I thought about writing this in an email or writing it in my blog and I went for blog, because maybe somebody else can share an opinion.

Everyone who’s not studying seems to be working pretty well every day.

Kind of early, isn’t it? Money’s good and all, and lots of work means lots of money, but… To me, work has always been something to fill in the gaps of non-study, and a way of earning some extra money to spend on things you want but don’t need. So then, why’s everyone so keen to get, keep and work jobs?

A life of working, especially so young, is not a life I want to live. I’m not too sure what kind of life I seek- extreme sports or ultimate lazing (movies/video games all day), or some balance of the two… Whatever it is I want to spend the rest of my days doing, it’s not working. Not for another few years at the very very least. Maybe I’ll just go hunter gatherer and spend a few hours getting food and the rest of my day cruisin’ around making up cool new dances. Or maybe I’ll just go on welfare and hoard everything I have for as long as I can manage. Or maybe I’ll just get on a bike (of the motor, not push kind) and ride into the horizon with my girl, never to be seen again or something. I dunno, all these fantasies are nice (well… kinda), but in reality, I guess I’ll end up working whether I like it or not.

I don’t want to be a social worker anymore. I just want to sit home and write blog entries while going to work every now and then.

Camp 1, July ’08

I guess this is more for memory’s sake than anything else, but Edmund Rice Camps for Kids are really special to me. The camp I just came back from wasn’t quite what I remembered it to be. The first few hours when it was wet and gloomy made me incredibly miserable. The kids wouldn’t listen to anything I tried to make them do, and no matter what I did to try and make them behave or play with everyone else or follow the group activity, they’d just run off or hit someone or something like that. By dinner, I had thoughts about going home and not being able to cope. I’m not sure what changed after that, but when we went to bed, the kids were still being horribly disobedient and causing all kinds of hell. Somehow though, it wasn’t that bad. Maybe it was because I wasn’t trying to make them do what I thought was best, but I’m really not sure how it became amusing. Those kids really know how to cause trouble, and thinking back, it makes me smile.I have to say, this camp was a lot more challenging than its predecessor. The kids I spent the most time with were Hayden, Brandon, Thomas, Logan and Coddi. Each and every one of them was more than deserving of a backhand, particularly the last three. Hayden turned out to be a great kid, and he really opened up his heart at the end. Brandon is Brandon, hitting people in the nuts and wrestling with everyone, but he kind of made up for it by looking me in the eyes and saying “You’re my best friend.” He gave me lots of hugs and even a kiss somewhere, and even though I knew it was inappropriate, it was a little heart-warming. Thomas… Man oh man, whatever happened to that kid? He was the sweetest little guy last time, and in those six months, he’s transformed into a swearing, throwing, hurting, teasing, disobedient little asshole. I felt really sorry for everyone who had to keep in contact with him for group activities and at night. Logan started out as an enigma, seemed to enjoy himself later on, then turned absolutely foul for no apparent reason. He just kept yelling shut up, even to people who weren’t talking, and he got into a few fights with Hayden. I get the feeling Hayden has a lot to defend. As for Coddi… I’m not sure whether it was his hearing problems or his downright ignorance, but he had a remarkable ability to block out everything that he didn’t want to hear. And let me tell you, when you’re on camp to have fun, there is a WHOLE lot you don’t want to hear. I think he played the broken, four-stringed guitar in every single skit on skit night. He was a nightmare to get to cooperate, but I’m glad he had a good time.

Other kids to mention are Elishia, who clung to my arm and pretended to be some sort of abnormal growth. A giant tumour of some form that could control my brain and tell me what to do. I just thought her vocabulary and creativity were well beyond her years so I played along, even if the clinging did prevent me from doing many other activities. Chris is the brightest little kid I’ve ever met. He’s what Annaliese would have referred to as ‘hyper-intelligent’. He thinks like a witty teenager and saw right through all the activities we were throwing at the kids. He knew they were pointless and nothing would happen if he didn’t participate, so he sort of entertained himself with some of the most hilarious jokes I’ve ever heard. I think a lot of the time he’s quite bored with the life he lives, but he played with the other kids to humour them (and in doing so, got some joy out of it himself). Most of all, I saw that he was happiest when he was running for his life or playing imagination games with the other boys. At heart, Chris, despite his precociousness, wants to be a kid, and I’m really glad he got the chance to be one.

I learned a lot from this camp. I learned about my own prejudices, and to look past behaviour to see the real cause of a problem. I learned that sometimes, there really is nothing you can do, and maybe you’d better leave it to someone more qualified. I learned that sometimes, the rules really kinda suck, and as long as you’re safe and fun, what’s the problem?

Although I enjoyed this camp, it really doesn’t have anything on January. I made some incredible friends there. We were family. I miss them, and I love them. We skipped a day and a half of camp, so we lost a lot of leader-bonding time and kind of got thrown into things. I felt we were forced to cooperate for the kid’s sakes rather than worked as a team on the whole. The winding down, final camp debrief wasn’t as majestic either. Rather than go back to camp and stay up all night eating junkfood and being stupid, we headed back to Westcourt for a few hours to play uno and reflect. Although I’ve made some friends, it’s really not the same. Maybe January, ne?

So that was camp! Back in the “real world” life is as busy as ever. Time really doesn’t wait for anyone, does it? Well, I’m about a half hour late for Bethwyn’s house and lunch, so I’d better scoot off. Sorry honey, I’m on my way! Can’t wait to see you again. It gives me chills just thinking about it. See y’all later, I guess! Peace out from Ninjajohn.

~X

Unco

This is just your standard, angsty ranting blog entry. But I’m going to write it anyway, because I jolly well feel like it, yes I do.

One of the things that annoys me most is a change of plans. The more sudden it is, the more annoyed I get. When you’ve planned out your schedule for the week and you know exactly where you have to be at each day at what time, and all of a sudden SOMETHING changes, that bothers me. Everything else has to be reorganised, rescheduled, apologies are made, appointments are cancelled, the whole shebang. And then something else changes, which allows the original plans to take something of their former shape. Calls are made, texts are sent, more apologies and explanations and excuses and appointments. Fine, leave at that, we’ll say no more. But then something else changes and everything falls to pieces. And as the day goes on and the time for the said appointments draw nearer, more and more keeps changing and you just feel like back-handing someone, or just cancelling everything and handing out a big "Fuck you".

So here’s the plan.
-Wait for Bronwyn to get back to me about whether we’re meeting at Fremantle in 55 minutes. How I’ll get there, God knows.
-Head over to Bethwyn’s house to get picked up at 8 or 8:30. Not 11, not 9, but ~8.
-Father Michael’s funeral TOMORROW morning. Skipping the prayer vigil tonight. He’ll understand.
-Dr Mudhar TOMORROW AFTERNOON, 2:10pm. Don’t be late.
-Work at FIVE o’clock.
-Work all of FRIDAY.
-Jack’s partay.

If anything on that list changes, so help you God, I’ll kill you myself. Cheers.