Sam Cutler

I am sitting on the step of my bus having survived the minor traumas of failed brakes on Brown Mountain. I am parked in a friend's bucolic garden, part of the old butter factory that swelters in gothic tin-roofed splendour next door. A creek flows contentedly past and giant silver-bark gum trees lurk on the pasture ready to shed their limbs in the wind and crush the unsuspecting bus had its owner been foolish enough to park beneath their deadly potentiality. Birds sing, the sky is blue, the mechanic will eventually turn up to fix the brakes, and all is right with this little bit of my world. AND, I'm on-line !!

In the middle of rural Australia, in a kind of platypus park wonderland with nothing but cows and crows and the odd rusting abandoned car, it's a miracle if one has mains electricity let alone telephone reception. It's a simple stone cold improbability that one might have access to the internet .. people in rural Australia have been wondering what the hell an 'inter-net' is for years and dismissing it as something fishermen use to catch crustaceans, or something like that. I have been a-wandering for years through the breadth and depth of this beautiful country and, I confess, the only time I have had access to the internet is when I have cunningly located the bus in the parking lot of a McDonalds and had a free burger off their wifi-fi. I wouldn't eat what they sell if you paid me (I have never eaten donuts either, but that's another story) BUT I am happy to avail myself of their free internet. Well, McDonalds and donuts are a rarity in the outback .. as rare as rivers and platypus, so imagine my surprise when someone told me how I could have internet access from my bus. This old technophobe was hogswazzled I can tell you!

A leading phone company, whose name I cannot bring myself to mention (or, alright, Telstra) sold me a new apple cell phone. It 's a long story but I'll try to keep it short, you see when you have the internet in the bush, the bus is 'hors de combat' and all is right with the world; why hurry, AND why worry? The old phone died an unseemly death! First I inadvertently sat on the bloody thing and a slither of glass pierced by glutinous maximus (if that's the fancy name for a butt) and even managed to produce a speckle of blood .. I was relieved to see that my blood was still red, but once again that's ANOTHER story, and we really don't have time, for whilst we might have no electricity we are relying upon batteries, and as even a nincompoop knows; batteries don't last forever. Ask the ladies with their battery boyfriends who have suffered the indignity of running out of 'juice' just before the armageddon of pleasure to which they were aimed. BUT, that's yet another story! (The world, I can assure you is riddled with stories.) Anyway, back to the old phone with the broken screen. It still managed to work and I found myself going to the toilet. Having put the phone in my back pocket and 'lowered me kaks' (as we say in Australia) the phone decided to fall out of my jeans and into the toilet! That was the end of that! A dead phone required replacement and a dear friend directed me to the phone company, who in turn explained that I COULD get the internet, even in my bus, and that I could pay a small amount each fortnight off my pension. The device had a feature .. It was called 'a personal hot spot'. What do I know? It sounded sexy, I needed a phone, all my phone numbers were in i-cloud waiting to be retrieved (apparently) it was time to make the leap and sign the deal.  

So here I am .. to cut a long story short. Via the telephone I can hook up my computer and be on-line and I can be in communication with the world. I feel like I have lost a certain form of virginity .. the outback has been reduced to an extension of 'everywhere'. What was once a form of splendid isolation to be enjoyed and employed in poetic private rapture is no more. Beneath the most isolated trees within the most isolated setting I am in touch .. the ability is at my finger-tips and I can no longer fantasize in absolute certainty of solitude. I am happy with that .. almost. Except my ex wife will read what I wrote and I will have to delete a further barrage of E Mails whingeing about this and that. I don't read them, I delete them, but even that is something I am forced to do here in Paradise .. she 'invades' even this space. 
A so-called friend of MINE, no doubt in some perverse expression of 'feminine solidarity' allows my ex access to her Facebook so that she can read what I write and then harass me with her E Mails. As a wise man once said, I can deal with my enemies, it's my friends that frighten me! There's a woman in Marin County who has a LOT to answer for .. I can't be bothered to go through my huge friends list and work out who it is .. but she'll be reading this, so here's a friendly fuck you to be going on with! And if it's a man, then fuck you too .. mind you the ex wife is probably on that particular case already, but I dismiss the thought with the realisation that it is beneath me, or to be more accurate, beneath him! (chuckle chuckle)

Ah well, the trees beneath which I am parked, tho at a suitable and safe distance, are known in the bush as 'widow makers'. All I have to do is wait. One day I'll be dead and she'll be a 'widow' and all of this will be as significant as a grain of sand on a hundred mile beach. Mind you, put a grain of sand behind a denture and it's the most annoying thing on the planet absolutely unable to be dismissed or ignored. We live, we learn, we die. Do I really want to come back as a Kookaburra I ask myself. To laugh with manic aplomb at the foibles of the world and those strange people who drag the worries of the world with them as they locate themselves in Paradise? Just because some people have bird-brains, and some birds have people-brains, doesn't mean one is tempted to participate. I mean, steady on, next thing you'll be thinking about joining the human race! One love as the archbishop said to the actress, or was it the actress said to the producer? Buggered if I can remember but one love will do. 

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