Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Fantastical Journeys to Brisbane

Brisbane is a ghost story. When I first came to Brisbane all I could hear were the rattling of chains, the heavy breathing of the dead. The first time I came to Brisbane, the river rose up and swallowed my guide. My last sight of her living flesh was a pale hand raised in supplication or terror, the fingertips and frantic, sinking beneath the water. Her ghost followed me for days (silently as though I was a map of the underworld, or a moment, a possible passage out of it) I did not even have enough money for a coffee, let alone an exorcism. I could not get a job, potential employers were put off by her presence. She left me one day, and then I had no-one to blame for my failure.

Once I made a living from hollowing out my bones and carrying people's dreams in the place where my marrow used to be. It was a brief and glorious career. Caught in the glamour of such a job, I never saw it coming to a close. I fell deathly ill. My doctor said there was cure in Brisbane.

Turn left and you will find Brisbane. Only left. That is the secret of Brisbane. Turn right and you may end up in a place that calls itself Brisbane, but it is just a lie. Brisbane, like my heart, is always to the left.

The city rises like a dream. But it isn't. Books have been written about it. They say that it is the journey not the destination that matters. We all know that is bullshit. It is the story that matters.

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