The ink

Words. It was my old man who got me into books. He worked for Murdoch.
He was our great ‘Santini’.

One night he took me to his place of work, Southdown Press. He showed me around the plant. Once you smell the ink you’re hooked. It’s a high you never forget. It’s a high that you never want
to forget.

It became my personal drug of choice.

I was fourteen and didn’t know shit. But I thought I knew everything.

I was the goddamn king of my universe.

It was at breakfast when he thumped ‘Mein Kamph’ down between my cereal and toast. Read this smart arse.

My father told me of a magic shop where dreams were born. Margareta Webber in Flinders Lane.

I walked upstairs and opened the door. I was Alice in the looking glass. It was my heaven. My home away from home. It was my refuge from madness.

Books and film became my escape my tiptoeing through the tulips of my youth. Treasure Island, Kidnapped, Black Beauty and the Three Stooges.

It was all so beautifully mad. And in the sixties being mad was being normal. I was Russia, Gorky, and Dostoevsky. A bear shitting in the snow.

So I read like I had one day on earth. To kill a mockingbird, Catcher in the rye, The heart of the lonely hunter, Farewell to arms, Heart of darkness. I was a drunk on words.

And films shaped me with their images and language. Hud, Cool Hand Luke, East of Eden. ‘What we have here is a failure to communicate’. Those words have chased me down every rat-infested hole I ever lived in.

Books and film encrypted into me visions of departing realities. I was a page, a word,
a paragraph. Printed words bled from
my veins.

Books are my friends. Friends that I trust. Friends that will never turn away.

Ernie, Sylvia, Buk, George, Harper , Allen, And Jack ; I can hear them laughing, crying, My room a room full of wild echoes

Telling me ‘hey come here, come here’.

And bookshops like Margareta Webbers was my magicians hideaway from my cancerous misbegotten youth.

Books, books , books. Paper with magic words.

I had fallen through the looking glass to a place

you couldn’t possibly imagine.

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