Posts Tagged With: love

Dung of Darkness – Redux

The journey to Bali in a stolen Indonesian ‘feral’ boat from Broome, Western Australia, took two days.  It was quickened toward the end of day one, when an Australian Navy ship under the guise of Operation Sovereign Borders towed me to the maritime border, unhooked my vessel and steamed back south.  Once the cries of “Tony Abbott says stay out!” subsided, I called back, from my slowly sinking boat: “Thank you!”  Little did they know I’d been tasked by their very own government, albeit confidentially through ASIO, to reach the tourist island off East Java and execute a mission which “had, did and would never exist”.  The mission was simple: an Australian national had set himself up in the Ubud Sacred Monkey Sanctuary as the leader, and in fact king, of a group of monkeys, one white tiger, a kidnapped drop bear and the attractive female host, known only as “Gina”, of failed reality TV show Big Monkey.  It was alleged by ASIO that the aforementioned were all serving as his bodyguards, while he set about recruiting as terrorist foot-soldiers Bali natives disenfranchised by drunken and drug-addled Australian tourists.  Well, I guess that part wasn’t simple.  But my mission was: to kill, with extreme prejudice, the Monkey King of Ubud – otherwise known as King Chewbacca.

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While the sun set over the South Kuta peninsula and my all-but-submerged boat disrupted angry surfers riding swell pounding the beach off Nusa Dua, I realised I wasn’t sure exactly what I’d do when confronted with the strange man who had put himself in such an unlikely position.  To be sure, I wasn’t sure what he’d do, either.  I’d been briefed in Broome that a group of Aussie surfers would be waiting the morning after my arrival outside a Nusa Dua hovel of a hotel.  All six of them, tired but wired from earlier salt-water endeavours, were preparing for a day trip of monkey-business in Ubud courtesy of a north-bound bus.  Five of them went along with my cover story of being a fellow wave-rider keen to innocently tag along to the island’s interior.  Their leader, paid both to ensure the others’ cooperation and ask no questions, did just that.  I asked them about a rumoured Balinese monkey king.  A couple spoke in sweaty whispers of surfing primates in the line-up, who would drop in on foreign surfers and scratch or chuck shit at any who dared challenge them.  The leader simply sat with me up the front of the bus, throwing knowing glances to the driver and me while silently sipping his Bintang beer.  “Someone needs to take care of that guy,” said another of their number, who had thus far remained silent.  And whose face was covered in still bleeding and yellowing scratches and smelled of monkey faeces.

Their leader upended the dregs from the can into his mouth just before the JI. Raya Tebongkang Ubud Road became the JI. Raya Kangetan, and we turned right.  Minutes later and in the mid-afternoon, we arrived at the sanctuary’s entrance.  The surfers were unnerved by the screaming monkeys and lone, occasional tiger’s roar audible from outside the forest.  So they left me alone at its gates.  Their leader threw me a Bintang, which I swilled greedily before walking calmly under the leafy, cool canopy.  Almost immediately I could hear unnaturally wind-like sounds then heavy impacts of something moving from tree-to-tree above me.  “But he’s a great man,” the trees muttered.  And I knew it was Garrett, the displaced drop bear.

“He stole you from your family, your home, your country, Garrett,” I whispered to the leaves.

Whoosh, thud.

“But he has good taste in music.”

“He caused you to miss Australia Day 2014, Garrett.”

Whoosh, thud.

“But there are so many Australians in Bali, not least himself.  So I need not leave.”

“He made a mockery of the drop bear myth.  Garrett.”

Whoosh, thud.  The snap of a branch.  I whipped the knife from my waist and lingered it in his furry neck just as he landed, fangs bared, on mine.

“Dare you mock this!?” he rasped, drooling on my shirt.  The smell of imported eucalyptus leaves and stale beer almost had me reeling.

“And you, this?” I calmly pressed the knife further into his coat, drawing both blood and a stifled wince.  “Help me, Garrett, and I will remove you from this equatorial nightmare and back to your sub-tropical home.”

The pacified koala muttered Midnight Oil, Cold Chisel and even a little Ball Park Music (Rich People Are Stupid), while the forest sucked us further toward its heart.  And my designated, mysterious foe.  I had to brandish the knife again when he began a Killing Heidi number.  Which silenced him.  He was less startled when intermittent growls and flashes of white started coming from and appearing around us.  “Calm,” he urged as we loped through the undergrowth.  I kept the knife handy.  It seemed Garrett was already midflight, fangs bared, not to mention screaming “Thunderstruck!” (an AC/DC number) when ferns to our left suddenly disgorged an enormous white tiger.  I was still running while the vision of a snarling gray ball of fur attached in combat to a growling white behemoth stuck stubbornly in my mind like a heavy footprint in mud.  Distant dog-like howls and pained roars shook the jungle to my rear.  Sensing my prey was near (a heinous smell was growing stronger), I pressed on.

A steaming pile of monkey shit landed beside me as I began my final approach to the promised royal tree house, adjacent the 14th century-built Holy Monkey Temples.  I glanced upward, only to see an angry cousin of my evolutionary family sitting in a tree, stroking a spear.  A baboon, which surely meant Rafiki the king’s head priest and part-time evil wizard.  Presently I saw the first of the surfers I’d accompanied on the journey from Nusa Dua, beside Rafiki.  Head removed from his body.  Attached to a spike.  Face contorted in a strange mixture of terror and humour.  Sploosh: more shit.  Another monkey: sitting spear stroking in a tree.  Mojo, the thief, royal footrest and, reportedly, dunce.  Horror: another head on a grisly spike.  Another three times this happened, much to my regret (as much due to the smell of the shit, as to the fear of the monkeys, as to the revulsion of the severed heads).  Jo-Jo, the King’s Paw; Timmy, the escaped mental patient; and Simeon, the stuffed monkey.  Until I came face-to face, albeit from ground to tree house-top, with the Monkey King – the severed head of the surfer group’s leader sitting prominently on a final bloody spike at his side.  “Word Journeyer,” he giggled, confident in his elevated position and surrounding of me by his minions.  “What took you so long?”  A rope ladder unfurled from above and landed at my feet.

The Monkey King lay sighing, much less commanding than at the moment I’d first sighted him, upon a hammock after I’d finally scaled the 50-foot ladder.  A woman, brunette, green-eyed and captivating, was sitting on a stool and stroking his head.  Meanwhile, a positively ugly monkey so disfigured by some kind of past attack that she had an extra nostril (whom I took to be Scar Face – the king’s obstinate suitor) jumped madly around the room while throwing her shit at Gina – who calmly ducked each acrimonious attack and maintained her attentions on the king’s throbbing forehead vein.  I was unprepared for such a scene.  “What’s the problem?” I asked.

“Oh, y’know, Word Journeyer,” he started.  “Too much power.  And too many crazy, beautiful, and crazy and not so beautiful, and completely insane and hideous women after me, as a result.”

Gina silently nodded, Scar Face threw another clumsily-aimed crap and I insincerely nodded empathetically.  It was then I noticed in a cobwebbed corner the computer he’d been using to organise his kingdom, recruit his anti-atavistic-Aussie-tourist terrorists, and blog about it.

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“You’re a lucky man, Monkey King,” I said, which he responded to by looking wistfully up at Gina, then glancing warily at Scar Face, but ignoring me as I inched toward his outdated Compaq laptop.

“Lucky?”

“Yeah,” I moved closer.  “People either fear you, or want to be you.”

He nodded.

“But they don’t want to smell like you, sorry.”  Within striking distance.

“Ah, that’s ok.  The plumbing in this tree house isn’t. . . .

I plunged the knife repeatedly, viciously into the laptop’s screen and keyboard.  Damaging it beyond repair.  Chewbacca screamed and struggled in vain out of the hammock, Gina silently held her right hand over her mouth; Scar Face threw what was surely her last shit for a while at me.  I ducked, grabbed a vine hooked inside the window, and swung out of it into a blood-red tropical sunset barely penetrating the sacred forest.

Categories: Australia, Bali, BIg Monkey, Humor, love, Relationships, Romance, television shows, travel advice | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

(part 2) Six ways to reject an infatuated monkey

IN THE previous post I mentioned that a monkey called Scar-Face proposed to me, and is expecting me to give my answer this week. She has threatened me with physical abuse if I break her heart.

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You know, this whole thing is absurd. I don’t want to marry her. Even though she is sort of nice. Look at her! But I also don’t want to get beaten up. So, I have six ways to tell a crazy monkey that I’m just not into her, with estimated percentages of success :

1)      It’s not you. It’s me!  44%

How you would probably go about it: “You’re a beautiful monkey, with a scar that has disfigured your face so that you have three nostrils, but it’s just not the right time for me! Even though my advisor wants me to get married, and even though I have no heirs… Please, stop stabbing me!”

2)      We’re not the same species!  78% before Avatar came out, currently 34%

An obvious but popular favourite. The problem is, is that I’m king of the monkeys. I’ve sort of been adopted into the tribe, and I can’t use “I’m a different species” to escape the advances of suitors. Also, I complained to Abu that I couldn’t date a monkey. And he said; “Haven’t you seen Avatar? Where Sam Worthington becomes a big blue alien and gets to have a hot blue chick princess if he so wishes?”

Damn you Hollywood! You’ve made it socially acceptable to marry a monkey. Don’t you have any morals whatsoever?

3)      I’m scared of intimacy!  12%

Oh yeah? And what if she says, “I’m sorry  I’m so insensitive,” and cracks onto me even worse! The last thing anyone needs to see is a sleazy monkey in lingerie touching people in inappropriate places, like on the knee! No. NO! NOOOOOOO! I won’t even chance it.

4)      You deserve so much better! 65%

How you would probably go about it: “I don’t know your real name, so I call you “Scar Face.” So I think I’d make a bad husband. But I’ll still make a good king – ruling over hundreds of your fellow monkeys.”

5)      I’m just not attracted to you. 80%

How you would probably go about it: “You’re ugly. Really ugly. Your face looks like a Mr Potato Head. You have so much fur I don’t even know if you have a belly button. You need to lose weight. You need to be a lot taller. I’m pleased you wear make-up, but it’s the same lot dabbed on from that visit to the animal testing facility. I might get over these issues if you were from Texas. I’ve always wanted to go out with a girl from Texas.  Are you from Texas? Didn’t think so.”

6)      I’m saving myself for someone from Texas 0.5%

No offence.

What would YOU choose?

Categories: Humor, Romance | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Six ways to reject someone who is in love with you

So let me just write a few lines on here so that the “good stuff” isn’t shown on my Twitter and Facebook links. Blah blah blah.

Blah blah blah.

Okay, now I can tell you I sort of lied. This is titled Six Ways to Reject Someone Who Is In Love With You. And while that’s true, I’m talking specifically about a sleazy monkey I call Scar-Face.

Wait! Don’t go. The six ways can apply to humans too! Let me just pop on the music for the atmosphere.

See, I’m the Monkey King. I’m kinda a big deal in the monkey forest. Some monkey ladies are attracted to my glamour or title or charisma or whatever the hell this is.

Kilt

Damn. Wrong picture. Disregard it.

This was the one I meant to post.

Monkey king animation pic

Now where was I? Oh yeah, monkey ladies.

See, the most aggressive monkey who competes for my affections is a monkey I call “Scar-Face.” She has probably been on steroids and resembles a Mr Potato Head. What you assume to be her eye is actually an ear.

Anyway, on Friday morning she arrived at my throne room, delivering 12 roses before she kissed my feet. “Happy Valentines Day, M’ Lord. Will you marry me?” she asked.

“I thought you were already married to Rafiki?” I said.

“You’re thinking of Rhonda. My sister. I still available though. Give answer next week. Rude to keep a lady waiting.”

So anyway,  I have to tell Scar Face she’s ugly without hurting her feelings. If I hurt her feelings in any way, she will kick me out the tree, tie me upside down from a power line, and whack me with sticks. Well, that’s what she told me she would do.

So I have six suggestions of how I can tell a crazy monkey lady that I’m just not into her, with an estimated percentage of success.

And that will be on the next post (sorry!).

Categories: Humor, Romance | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bitstrip War’s final battle: Even Monkey Kings can be losers

THERE’S this girl called Gina. She’s a TV presenter. She’s hot. I don’t think I’ve mentioned her before.

Regular viewers of my blog might be rolling their eyes right now saying “dude!”

Anyway, for a while she was disinterested and tried to ignore me as much as possible. And then we became…well…frenemies by insulting each other through Bitstrip photos. I liked to call the battles The Bitstrip Wars.

I was the happiest I had ever been in my life. Surrounded by the monkeys I cared for in the heart of Bali, and insulting the girl I had the hots for.

But then I got into huge trouble when I sent this photo:

BitstripwithGina7

After a few days of silence – making me sweat my body weight mind you – she sent through a Facebook message.

GINA: You’re right, that is horribly inappropriate! Are you crazy? My fiance checks my Facebook page. He doesn’t want us to be friends anymore. He thinks you like me.

MONKEY KING: Oh Boo hoo! That’s nothing if you snapchatted with me.

GINA: I don’t think I ever want to.

MONKEY KING: You’re a strong, fierce, independent woman. Be friends with whoever you want to be friends with.

GINA: Stop being a patronising jerk. And no more naked photos! Or that’s it.

MONKEY KING: Only if YOU stop sending me naked photos. Chompy finds them a little arousing.

So then she sent me another Bitstrip photo. Except this photo was different. Before, it was harmless sexual innuendo, pen dropping and teasing.

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MONKEY KING: Wow, just a little hurtful, Gina.

GINA: What? That’s hurtful?

MONKEY KING: Yes, I’m…hurt…Gina. I thought we had something going.

GINA: Oh shut up.

MONKEY KING: Ooh, getting angry, are you Gina?

GINA: You really piss me off. Die, you creepy jungle sleaze!

So…ignoring the danger signs that suggested the subtle danger signs had gone from “Irritated” to “Anger” to “Hate”, I posted another Bitstrip to ease the tension.

As you do.

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GINA: Ha ha ha. Comparing me to Jack Nicholson? Oh honey. Is that the best you’ve got?

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You would be surprised how many people have called me “crazy” or a stoner  or “heavily medicated” or like Brad Pitt’s character in 12 Monkeys (love that movie!!!).

After a while you get weary of the judgement. I know I was being a bit sensitive, and was letting Gina wind me up too easily.

So I got a bit carried away, trying to make a joke.

It’s a defence mechanism.

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And it’s been half a week, and there was no sign of what she thought of my “proposal” until this morning, when I noticed she unfriended me on Facebook.

The Bitstrip Wars were over. And I was left with a sour taste and a broken phone (because I threw it at the ground), realising an important lesson: that maybe in war, there are no winners.

Even Monkey Kings can be losers.

Categories: Humor, Romance | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Bitstrip war with my crush (round 2)

I HAVE fought so much temptation since I found my smart phone near the creek. I have not posted stupid Bitstrip photos to Gina, the girl I have a crush on. It’s stupid and immature. I know that now.

Last week we flirted a little using Bitstrip. Though she might say otherwise. She sent the last Bitstrip photo and I meant to send another one, but Jo-Jo threw the phone away so I wouldn’t retaliate.

Anyway, she sent me another Bitstrip photo this morning!

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Okay, so maybe it is true. Maybe I have visited her office a lot lately with a retinue of monkey bodyguards (with the excuse that I have a few hot scoops for her). And sure, maybe there might have been a few pens that were dropped. And sure, maybe she might have seen my arse the seven or eight times I bent down in my skinny black jeans.

But she has just brought on ROUND TWO!

So I sent her a nice photo.

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To which she replied:

Gina: Ha Ha Ha. You have made a powerful enemy, my friend.

Monkey King: Ooh, who?

Gina: Didn’t anybody tell you not to annoy a TV presenter?

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That’s when I probably took it way too far. She never replied to my next one.

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Categories: Animation, Humor, Romance | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bitstrip war against my crush

ON Tuesday I nearly fell off a tree branch in surprise. Gina actually added me as a friend on Facebook.

Unfortunately I got a bit carried away in excitement, and I misunderstood this friendship. So I sent her a Bitstrip photo. In my defence, I’d had a few beers, and I checked with Mojo and Abu before I sent it, and they said…”ha ha. It will be fine. She’ll love it!”

Bitstrip with Gina1

No. She didn’t love it.

Now a normal nice girl might delete me off Facebook, or (more likely) totally ignore it and make me realise my terrible mistake with a “OMG!” when I sobered up.

Instead, she retaliate.d. With another Bitstrip photo.

Bitstrip with Gina2

And it escalated from there.  I said to the monkeys, “wow, she is so hot right now! I’m going to send her another message.” And Jo-Jo (the only monkey with some sense) said, “um…no, don’t do that”.

But the others said “YEAH Monkey King. You’re a legend.”

So I declared my love.

Bitstrip with Gina3

Now, once again, a normal chick might ignore the stupidity of a drunk. Or perhaps (less likely) be flattered. But oh no. She retaliated.

Screw You Buddy!

Bitstrip with Gina4

I was like “Wow, I like her a lot, one more!” and Jo-Jo screamed “NO!” and threw the phone away.  So no more  Bitstrip until I find that phone =(

Categories: Animation, Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Monkey Forest is my home

THE  taxi driver laughs non-stop during the drive from Denpasar airport to Ubud.

“Get this off me, it’s boiling in this!” the drop bear, Garrett, grumbled about an hour into the drive. So I helped him take off the dog onesie (which I put on him as a disguise to get through customs).  It took fifteen minutes before we realised it would be easier to unbuckle the seatbelt first. Rocky Balboa – the driver – was still cackling.

“Ah ha ha ha. Hee hee hee. Ah ha ha ha. You Aussies funny.”

“Stop laughing. I hate you,” Garrett said.

“Hee hee hee.”

“Yeah, this isn’t funny,” I agreed.

“I hate you too,” Garrett said to me as I managed to take the onesie off his pudgy hindquarters. “You blasted animal. This is kidnap! You can’t do this. I am a national mascot. You can’t remove national mascots from their country without permission. It’s international law.”

I ordered the car to stop at a supermarket. We walked in and I bought a few Bintangs, Cheese Tim-Tams,  and a fruitpunch flavoured Fanta (vile concoction that is the closest you’ll ever get to monster blood #Goosebumpsreference)

Garrett stopped complaining after seven Bintangs. “You know, buddy, you’re alright,” Garrett said. “Most people wouldn’t think of getting a national mascot drunk to cheer him up. You’re special.”

“We’re home!,” I said as we pulled up in the Monster Monkey Forest car park.


It was great to be back. I was excited. This is where I belonged. I told Garrett to wait in the car as I stepped out, examining the wall marking the forest. It was a busy day, judging by the number of tourists pouring out of the gates.

It had been weeks since I had been in the forest. I walked through the forest with a fresh eye. I saw the tourists of all nationalities walking in and out the gates, examining the cheap stores across the road, laughing at each other. I saw Sunny (monkey) walk a power line, flaunting as the Japanese tourists below hooted and took photos.

Two lovely ladies (I never learnt their names) guarded a store of bananas outside the gates. Inside the gate I passed two of the monkeys attending our store called Place You Can Buy Your Crap Back. A German with a thick moustache was yelling down at Oscar, the one with the fez on while pointing down at her passport.

“100,000! Unverschämt!” she screamed.

I passed a child eating an ice-cream. Another few trying to lure some of the younger monkeys in for a group photo. Mojo drove past me on his moped. “Monkey King!” he cheered.

“Where’s your helmet,” I reminded him.

“I broke it,” he shouted back as he puttered out the gate.

I passed the monkey trainer – Made – who smiled and gave me a thumbs up. He looked more exhausted than I’d seen him. “They out of control,” he said, “good you back.” As he said this I watched the monkeys in the top of the tree drag some cannons across a log bridge in the canopy. “Where the hell did they get them!” I said.

Meanwhile, Charlie, our arsonist, was lighting a fire down by the creek. Simeon sat nearby, offering cigarettes to some of the local children. As I went down to stop him, Bitey came snarling past with three toddlers on his back.

“Faster, Bitey!” one of the toddlers screamed, kicking the white tiger in the gut with a pink gumboot. “Faster.”

Bitey snarled again but did what he was told, pouncing at Made, who ducked just in time.

“I am the lizard king!” Abu said – from the top of a statue of me – as he cracked a whip down at an American couple. He flashed his butt at them just in time for them to take a photo.

Someone touched me on the shoulder. I turned to face the beautiful girl who was trying to catch my attention.

“You’re back,” Gina smiled, and for the first time, she seemed glad to be speaking to me. “These monkeys are insane.”

“I’ve missed them all,” I said. “I’ve missed my home. And I’ve missed you!” and she beamed.

“Believe it or not, monkey boy, I’ve kinda missed you too,” she said. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go meet my fiancé.”

“Good for you,” I said, scowling at the engagement ring, ignoring Timmy screaming that he was going to stab somebody. I watched a few other monkeys ripping apart a piñata with golf clubs. Mashed banana came bursting out of the paper mache donkey. Another monkey – with a blindfold on – was faced the other direction, whacking a tree trunk.

I climbed the rope ladder to the top of my tree and sat in my throne. I watched the chaos and I smiled. This really was my home. But I decided to have a sleep before I introduced a drop bear into the forest.

Categories: Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lust and the potential energy in Ubud

TWO years ago I am in the bed of a former French supermodel. She is on me, in fact, as we kiss. I am near blinded by her red hair. The only thing that stops us screwing at that point, is a thin black piece of fabric between her legs, still a little damp from the pool.

I am nervous at how rough she is treating me, how she forces my mouth to move to hers to avoid pain. She pulls apart and looks down and in the room’s shadows I see her smile. “You’re a nice boy,” Luce says, and I’m confused.

Then she yawns. We’ve been up all night and it’s nearly seven. It’s catching. I yawn too. When I close my mouth I see she is watching me, eyes squinting. She is thinking about something other than sex.

“Do you want to be inspired to write more?” she asked.

“Yes,” I said, “I’ve love to be able to write better,” and I did. I had relaxed in Bali enough to envy writers, sculptures, creationists. I just didn’t know how to start.

“If you mean that,” Luce said, humping me teasingly. I gasped. “Then I’m going to do something that  seems cruel. But I’m doing it because I like you for more than your body. I like you for the potential your mind can bring. And also because I’m so bloody tired.”

She slowly got off me, dragging her leg to make me feel so good. I understood then I wasn’t getting a screw and I am ashamed now for the glare I must have given her, the frustration expressed knowing that what I’d hoped to happen for half the night wasn’t going to.

Luce watched me with a serious expression on her face, checking for any danger signs. She then stroked her hair and stood. She dressed in bright pants she must have bought from the market, and then settled on the bed back to me. I put my hands on her hips and she let me keep them there.

She fell asleep, but I was too tense. My body was filled with adrenaline and ranting chemicals that screamed “why can’t we leave now?”

I wasn’t angry at Luce. Understood that for whatever reason, no meant no. I still felt wounded. I took it personally. Why would she stop when things were going so well? I forced myself to stay where I was. I didn’t want her to think I was leaving because I was sulking.

A toilet break and a light dip in the pool later, and I had enough. Other writers staying in the same villa were awake now, and they made awkward conversation with each other, presumably wondering “who is this guy?”

I dressed in her bedroom, and squeezed her hand. “Wazz up?” she asked and I told her I was leaving.

“Okay,” she said, not comprehending, and I left the villa and the resort, and walked the road to Ubud. The tension I felt in the villa lessened as my legs stretched, and as I heard the birds and smelt the greenery.

Still, I was confused as to what had happened, and when I realised I felt cheated, I knew I was in the wrong. I told myself I was glad we did not have sex. Luce owed me nothing. I enjoyed her company all through the night, she helped me into the VIP party, made me feel special, made out with me in the ravine.

As soon as she asked me to come back to her place, I didn’t care what she was giving me. I only hoped for what more I could get; the communication between gender that defines success to man. It was only much later – after I took the plane back to Brisbane, after I failed my uni degree, after I had a story published in a magazine based on the events that just happened, that I understood what she had done.

This amazing, generous, wise girl had deliberately given me something much more lasting.

Potential energy. And Herpes.

Categories: How I Met a Woman, love, Philosophy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Loving Luce

Luce parked the moped in front of a resort called Ubud Green. She led me through a maze of pathways to different villas. We entered through a door,  walked through a hallway and lounge to a patio and swimming pool where several other people chatted on a Bali lounge.

The patio overlooked the rice paddies. It was silent out there but for the night time insects and amphibians. The unspoiled and hard workers would wake soon.  But in the villa it was filled with talking, the clack of wine bottles, and the doomed voice of Amy Winehouse. Crime writer Joey shared the villa next door with a few other writers, so he kindly went to get me some surf shorts to wear.

We stripped to our swim wear and were in the pool in minutes. Luce and I broke from the others. She swam to the edge of the patio, and I swam casually in her direction. I was her satellite now. Joey sat on the pool stairs and talked with the others, and though he settled on a frizzy haired blonde beauty to talk to during the 3am blues; still he frowned as he watched us both.

SONY DSC

Luce and I talked. There is much to it when you love the sound the words come from, the lips the sounds escape. She told me why she left modelling, and why she liked photography so much. She was reluctant at first, but she spoke faster and her hands would jump animatedly from the surface of the water, often splashing me in the eyes.

“They used my image to represent other products,” she said, sometime during the early hours, when we were the only two left on the patio. “Sure, I felt beautiful when I saw the finished photos. But I suppose I always wanted to record other images to represent how I felt. Guess after a lot of crap that happened, I gave up the fashion. Put on too much weight anyway.”

I wanted to tell her she wasn’t fat, that she was beautiful, amazing, gorgeous. I am glad I didn’t get the chance to reveal my infatuation. She ducked under the water. Resurfaced and spat the water in my face. “Argh!” I groaned dramatically and wrestled her back under the water. She slid away like an eel, poked me in the ribs and swam to the other side for another Bintang.

We sat on the pool stair, she comfortably between my legs, as we watched the sky lighten over the rice paddies. The palms that marked a ravine in the distance began to colour from dark blues to orange and greens. The air warmed. Once we left the pool we would sweat.

“What about you, Chris?” Luce asked as she stroked my tanned, hairy thigh. “We’ve talked about me all night. I’m so sorry.”

Only now did I start thinking of the degree I had left behind. The assignments that were due. I knew I would have to turn on my phone and answer the many messages from concerned family members. I felt tense now, and perhaps she felt that. She spun around and kissed me.

“Do you write much poetry?” she asked. I knew then she believed I was entirely different to what I was. She thought I was a wandering bohemian writing love poetry and down to earth travel fiction as a way to make a living.

“I never wrote poetry before,” I said, “I never performed. I never wrote any stories. I’m not that creative.”

“Everyone is creative,” Luce said. “You just need inspiration. You need a muse.” She grinned. “Write about tonight, where we were, what we did, what we’re going to do.”

It was now hot above the surface of the water. She slowly got out and held my hand. “I’m tired,” she yawned, and took me into the villa, kept on walking till she opened a glass sliding door into her bedroom. The king sized bed was made; ready; prepared on both sides. Her body was still damp as she lay next to me on the bed.

An air-conditioner hummed somewhere above us. I kissed her, and she kissed me harder. Her facial expression seemed angry in the room’s vague lighting, even when she closed her eyes.

Categories: How I Met a Woman, love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Making out at Bridges

I kissed Luce, and before I could break apart she put a bit of her tongue in my mouth. Just a light flutter; the buzz of a bumblebee wing. Her eyes were closed and she kept them that way until our lips broke away. She put her hand lightly on my chest, almost as if to keep me from kissing again.

Other writers sat beside us – one of them I eventually recognised as a well established crime novelist; Joey Valandana. He looked like a short haired Jim Morrison. “This is amazing!” he said, ignoring what was at that point the greatest moment of my life. “I can’t believe I’m here with Paul Kelly, and some of the greatest writers and musicians alive!” He pointed at an austere looking man with moon shaped glasses, who was talking to an unidentified woman with an afro.  “That’s one of those most influential political journalists in China.”

He followed Luce and I across the balcony. She was stopped by a much older woman, who engaged her in conversation about night time photography.

“And I can’t believe I’m talking to Luce,” Joey whispered as he asked for a vodka. He picked up a stray frangipani from the bar and put it behind his ear. “You know she was one of the most highest paid models in Europe, a couple of years back? Did you read her memoir that came out a few months ago? About her depression and self-harm and why she gave up fashion? You should have heard her interview two days ago.” He gave a lazy sort of smile as he chewed a vitamin C tablet. “Guess a little like us all.” He paused after another mouthful. “So what do you do anyway?”

“I study law,” I said, and he lifted his glass with a moronic smile, and said “cool man. Good for you.” But I’ve never seen someone look so unimpressed with my chosen profession.

I had Luce’s attention again. She waved me back to the corner of the balcony where there was a set of stairs. We followed them down into the darkness. We were at the edge of the ravine. I stumbled on a rock.

“Careful,” she grabbed my hand. We explored underneath the balcony, and another set of stairs going even further down the cliff. We stood at the edge seeing if we could do down closer to the river.

“I guess we’re at the end of this path.” She squeezed into my body. We made out somewhere underneath that balcony, the conversations above eventually quietening as the night became morning. I could see nothing but the reflection of lights above. I smelt frangipanis and perfume. I heard our lips and tongues click, crickets and frogs, the waterfall, and the light scuffling of each other’s clothing as we pawed at the bony and fleshy shapes they protected.  Hip and butt and breast and stomach.

Eventually someone called down to us, “Is someone there? The place is closing now!” I followed Luce to the front where the late leavers gathered for opportunistic taxi drivers to take them home.

“Can we see each other before you go to America?” I asked, and she led me to a moped at the side of the building.

Then she said, “the night doesn’t have to end just yet!” She shouted at Joey and a couple of her other friends. “We’ll see you back at the villa!” and she put her helmet on. “Let’s go and have a few more drinks.”

“Are you able to drive?” I asked, and she said she had not had that much alcohol. That was good enough for me. I climbed on behind on and grabbed her waist.

“Tighter, you sexy man!” she yelled over the engine as she revved past the other writers, and I did what I was told. I should have been more frightened than I was, it was bloody dangerous being driven on a moped at night by a drunk girl, without even wearing a helmet, but I had never been more excited.

Categories: How I Met a Woman, Romance, Ubud Writers Festival | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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