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The central question

Why do I think that?

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Resupply

dragonfruit

First stop is FreeChoice tobacconists; all chrome and glass and vaping supplies and funky little signs displaying the sort of Philip Morris libertarian slogans David Leyonhjelm spouts in lieu of policy.

“I’m after components for a bong.”

The young woman at the register is instantly wary.

“Rubber grommets.”

It doesn’t help. Now she’s flustered and checking out back for more staff.

“I’m sorry. We don’t sell adult products.”

I look down at the bubblegum coloured vaping paraphernalia on the counter.

“Bongs aren’t adult products. I’ve been using them since I was a kid.”

She backs away pointing towards the exit, stuttering something about a shop past the traffic lights.

The other tobacconists is warmer, gloomier and more ‘ye olde style’ with an overpowering smell of fake sandalwood. Most products on display have a gentle decorative purpose as well as a utilitarian one. The lady serving has green hair and is about my age. She understands immediately.

“I need the little rubber rings you use to join bong parts together.”

“You mean grommets?” She pulls a box from beneath the counter with a sigh of regret. “We’ve only got the small ones. We restock next week. If it’s urgent I can check if Hamilton has any.”

It’s not. After splitting one while cleaning the bong last night I borrowed a replacement from a neighbour. Now I need one to return plus a spare for myself. There’s no rush. Marijuana and manyana go together like chocolate and more chocolate.

Then the supermarket. Always the supermarket. The trick is to maintain a state sufficiently dissociative to inure yourself to the marketing, muzak and rampant consumerism while avoiding the kind of trance that sees you leave the store with bags of interesting looking items bearing no resemblance to those on your list. If the frozen dragonfruit hadn’t been on special I’d have escaped unscathed. In Vietnam we called it thanh long ...

Near the checkout lurks a row of $2 vending machines set to the eye level of a small child. They’re full of brightly coloured products of the petrochemicals industry. Some masquerade as food. I’m intrigued by the little containers labelled ‘Toilet Slime’. Those bacterial marketing campaigns must really work. Why else would parents shell out for something their children provide in unlimited quantities for free?

Emergency procedure

14. Do not remove head from arse until blame is secured and lingering pockets of responsibility dispersed.

Crazed …

cracked marbles

… from whence facets arise.

Half past

Time?

The death-birth of the eternal moment?

Our tattered stories, twisting, turning, in the endless winds of entropy?

Oscillation between complementary binary states?

A determined march into the inevitable?

The merciful decay of dreams into loss into memories into forgetting and darkness?

A meaningless procession of irrelevant accidents?

Thesis, antithesis, synthesis?

Something to kill while we wait out our lives?

Space twisted by gravity?

The chains by which our machines enslave us?

The more we have the less there is.

Mod cons

Now here’s a sign of the times.

Clocky from Hell

“Rest easy. He will get you up.”

An alarm clock named ‘Clocky’ who will evade your attempts to switch him off and run around the floor screaming until you get up and hand your day over to him and all the other time-slicers that rightly own it. Or you can stumble blearily in pursuit as he lures you into traffic; if the promotional video is anything to go by. This is because almost 50% of people have become ‘snooze abusers’ and must be eliminated.

I wonder how many heart attack and stroke victims will have their final moments sound-tracked by Clocky’s merciless attempts to goad them from their deathbeds.

Homecoming

Kali

You don’t choose Hinduism.

You don’t convert. It doesn’t persuade you.

It engulfs you in its myriad arms.

You get up close and have a look and see it has a place for you. Everyone. Everything. Everywhere.

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