Shock Treatment

The embers of nose bloodying wars,
between fanatical player referees,
dimmed to ash.
Report cards were signed, celebrated and mourned.
Steele vividly remembered the dress
the loveliest girl in his childhood universe
wore the last time he saw her.
Her farewell message began with
‘I’m writing on this page because it’s pink.
I am a little color blind don’t you think’
As a siren signaled the end,
Steele was stoic as others burst into nostalgic tears.
He stood alone amidst fervent hugging.

Three years later, in a vast hall of slow dancers,
darkness hid the pain of a solitary teen.
Steele’s mind played pinball
between the dance
and the dying seconds of primary school.
Nauseated by the smug smirks of narcissistic brats,
he crept into the misty evening rain.
Apparently those Casanova wannabes
believed squeezing parts of a girl
was as commendable as circumnavigating the globe in a kiak.

The whisper quiet vehicle closed in.
Steele had heard rumours of a storm cloud grey van,
scouring urban wastelands, in search of slaves.
The vehicle halted between abandoned houses.
Steele wasn’t the dilly dallying kind.
The cinder block he shot putted through the windscreen
stunned the predators long enough
for him to hurdle a brick wall,
vault a paling fence,
and long jump a storm water ditch.

A free roaming Rottweiler dubbed King Kong
and a Pitbull known as Cyclone,
heard the commotion
from their overgrown graveyard playground.
The driver accelerated in a blind panic.
A terrified would be kidnapper’s hand
was jammed in a panel door
and her fingers mauled to the bone.

Steele had covered too much territory to hear her screams.
He felt invincible
as he wrong footed a wallet snatcher
and accelerated down a blacked out street.
The misery of isolation had been obliterated
as emphatically as the torture chamber windscreen.


In my fantasy prone mind
our discreet cuddle in the dark
was as momentous as honey moon kisses.
You were barred from seeing boys.
nocking on your door
would have been like a car thief
dropping in for afternoon tea at the police station,
to have a yarn about that joy ride,
in a patrol car,
he’s pencilled into his diary.
Common sense was called cowardice.

The evening before I finally visited,
I was as manic
as a coffee bean mulching cattle dog.
The moment dawn broke I leapt from bed
as though I were springing from a hot plate.
My mind was flying
like a falcon on amphetamines,
but I was in control, or so I thought.
Your reverberating house said otherwise.

The romantic fantasies faded
at the pace of continental drift.
I wished for the rebirth of our friendship,
until I realised such hopes were more absurd
than poison dart spitting bilbies
piloting purring sting rays,
in a bid to defeat the Spanish Armada.

I imagine you saying ‘never mind,
you only hit brick walls and tree trunks.
That saga thrust into our letterbox,
depicting you as the reincarnation
of an ancient Egyptian Crocodile Man
and the leader of an outlaw pogo stick gang,
in the same story, was a bizarre quest for glory.
The plot was as elusive as you were intrusive
but you were only fourteen, so forget it.’

If I wrote to you seeking forgiveness
would you be as cold as an ice age,
deleting me with all the sentimentality of a crevasse?
Either way I’ll still fondly remember
the girl I once shared my innermost secrets with.

She spoke of Orion and crocodiles,
as I showered in her nectar smiles.
My love was never quite requited
but I was as oblivious as delighted.
Soon I believed unquestioningly
that we were each other’s destiny.
A quarter of a century has elapsed
since those naive dreams collapsed.