Shuffled up Sixth Street in the rain… I’m on the red steps smoking a cigarette

The fact that the guy ahead of me has been weaving from one side of the footpath to the other for the last four minutes doesn’t stop me from asking him for a light. He almost falls into a jacaranda bush as he regards me, then leans bodily on a fence while rummaging in his pockets. It’s only about four in the afternoon. Normally you’d might avoid starting a conversation with this guy, but he has something I need. By the time I’m about thirty metres down the road, he’s managed to haul himself upright again, a triumph of the human spirit. Walking through Glebe in the rain, smoking a cigarette from a pack I found while drunk in the Wagga pub, I absent-mindedly fish a mostly-empty goon sack from my shoulder bag and take a pull. And then, in an instant as these things happen, I have a sudden flash of how I would look to any external observer. Clothes dishevelled, hair dishevelled, clearly hungover and couchslept, not to mention underslept, entirely damp, my meagre worldly possessions on my back, sucking on a foil deathtrap without breaking stride on a public street in the clear light of day. And for just a split second, I have the “If your mother could see you now” reaction, thinking how far I’ve sunk. But just as quickly I suddenly realise – fuck that. It’s nothing more than a flinch reaction, a buy-in to yet another cliché. Actually my life is fucking amazing right now, and especially in this inelegant moment, I really couldn’t be happier. This moment is true and real and exactly where I want to be. If I took a good hard look at myself right now, I’d just see a guy who’d had a great night, and was on his way into a great day, grinning broadly to himself as he shuffled off into the rain.

The Mountain Goats – Wizard Buys a Hat




Two new articles up on The Roar if you’re interested. Join the conversation.

Timid selectors fossilising Australian team

When I stopped by the Palaeontology Museum in Patagonia a couple of months ago, I’m pretty sure I saw Andrew Hilditch staring out at me from one of the exhibits. The Australian selectors have shown about as much nimbleness and adaptability as the average diplodocus, and under their direction the team’s chances of survival are looking about as good.

In recent years, especially in regard to batsmen, selection policy has become atrophied and rigid. For all the Aussie talk about backing yourself, team selections have been as imaginative and daring as Ricky Ponting’s field placings. My late grandmother lived more dangerously every time she enjoyed a delicious biscuit. Read more.

Is it really just Ponting-bashing?

One extreme says he’s a hack and a no-hoper. The other says that’s nothing but Ponting-bashing. As ever, the truth lies somewhere in between. Ricky Ponting is not in fact the worst captain in Test history. It’s just that he’s never been a very good one either. Read more.

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2 Responses to Shuffled up Sixth Street in the rain… I’m on the red steps smoking a cigarette

  1. Bryan says:

    This makes me feel good in a number of ways – thanks for posting.

  2. Mr Fox says:

    ‘If only your mother could see you now?’ Heck, I’ve seen you in far worse states than the one you just described. In fact in this description you are a proper clean-cut, fresh, well groomed and silently composed individual in comparison to some of your darkest moments.


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