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459 Fitzgerald Street
North Perth, WA, 6006
Australia

The Amber Fresh Chronicles

Basic Physics, Basic Signs. How to Win at Super Nintendo with Brown Puppy Eyes

Andrew Ryan

I guess it's time to write about Luke Dux's tadpoley eyes again. I like to write about them about once a year. The other brown eyes I was falling into were of professor Brian Cox, as he talked to me about the difference between a moth and a flame and started the next tv date with the question "Why is water blue". But, it's not really blue. Nothing has colour, only light has colour, so, trick question. Like "Do you prefer hamburgers or pizza?"

I was playing some Super Nintendo at my cousins place with his tiny girl children the other day, down in Margaret River, on a big screen because everyone has big screens now, but the graphics were unlike what we all have now. All the graphics were made a squares in such as way that you could see the actual squares. This screen you're looking at is still squares when it comes down to it, but like the structure of water or whatever you don't see it as patterns until you get v v close or v v far. 

Why are Luke Dux's eyes brown? Well, trick question too, they aren't brown, they just soak up all the other colours, and just send their own particular protons back into my eye. Or something like that, right Brian? 

Well, the girls were playing Super Nintendo, careening cars around the screen. Last night at the drop-in place, a man talked to me animatedly for a long time outside, and one of his eyes looked at me and the other looked at nothing. As in, I couldn't tell until he told me, but that eye doesn't see. The light still goes in there, but there's at some point nobody home. He showed me how to defend myself, using the pen I was using to write people's names down on the list. People who come to that kind of place are used to having to say their name lots of times to get things. Their full name. I don't need to say my full name very often, in fact, hardly anybody knows it. 

But he and the others are used to that. When I went to the prison yesterday before going to the drop-in place it was the first time that day I had to say my full name. I got sniffed by a big black dog that I wasn't allowed to pat, and a man in a uniform asked to see under my tongue and laughed at me a bit when I didn't know which way to move my tongue for this function which is so regular for most of the people there. 

I was at Bandyup women's prison, visiting a friend for then ormal reasons which is 80% our mental health system not working well, and 20% other choices. But maybe more like 100%/20%. Anyway one of the first things I realised was how the signs didn't really tell you where to go, or there were no signs and I guess that that was 1. Because these ppl don't get to have things fixed around them when they're broken, and 2. Everyone here already knows where to go, because their own mum went here, they go here, their daughters will go here. You don't need signs to tell you where to go or how to lift your tongue up or how to stand against the wall while a nice black untouchable dog sniffs you if it's as much part of your normal life as making a latte on someone's home coffee machine. 

Know what I mean? So this guy just had one working eye and one resting eye, and he had one good ear and one ear chopped off from going through a windscreen at some time. He showed me how to defend myself, also using the situation to touch me while the man door keeper was inside, and also using the situation to show me his little weapons tucked around his body. He also had the skill of making a room happy when he walked in, by telling the same jokes, being outwardly thankful, and having the kind of charisma that makes you watch him. 

He was also massaging one of the ladies, who was dressed all in white, who maybe looked 50 but is probably younger, who had her bleached hair up in pony tails and missing teeth. Last time I told you how you can tell where people belong in our society based on their fingernails, but the even better sign to let you know is the teeth. Run your tongue inside your mouth now and you'll know whether or not you've gone to prison or you are going there. 

Anyway, Luke Dux's tadpole eyes were sitting inside his beautiful head hovering above a lap steel as he and the others, the good guitarist I told you about from High Horse, Todd Pickett, perfect man for the job, the other Dux, quiet and true, and Timothy Nelson played at the Bird on Thursday. You can believe Timothy when he sings, and that's the main thing. He's got two eyes, good teeth and good songs, and he picked a good bunch of men to whirl around him, but when I say whirl I mean form the concrete on which to build a house that's not unlike other houses but is solid, good looking, live-in-able, trustworthy. 

And how will I get Super Nintendo back in? Well, colour, light, drums, a different kind of lap steel to move things along a path to a finish line, squares and bars, rods and cones, knives and spoons.

 

Addendum: One of our music friends died last week. He always seemed happy and stoked and full of life when we saw him at shows. Ellen Oosterbaan had just gone to his funeral and then came and played a show at the Moon, and then watched Emlyn play and bawled her eyes out. Me and Eva were singing beside Emlyn, I felt lots of energy flowing out towards her, and in general. It's too weird and sad, our friends that were there just a week ago and now aren't there. What can we do? Just try to be good friends to everyone, work hard and support people who are making mental health systems better, just do our best. Ellen told me about doing gardening, pulling Bridal Vine away from some trees that had had their sunlight cut off by the strangling vines, all under there struggling in the darkness under this weighted blanket. I know she was thinking about her friend Andrew as she took the vines away. That's all we can try and do, and the only other thing we have to do is cry, and one day smile again instead, remembering our friends who leave.