An Exact Map of the Mischief and the Bad Fish
The narrative of a young man who enjoys travelling city trains alone to learn and experience what he sees and hears so he may become guru. He imagines that he is a separate being from the world and he’d rather be a guru than an accountant. And yet he is young and still he has to mow the lawn. More
The narrative of a young man who enjoys travelling city trains alone to learn and experience what he sees and hears so he may become guru. He imagines that he is a separate being from the world and he’d rather be a guru than an accountant. And yet he is young and still he has to mow the lawn. This work is part dry comedy, part fable, part satire and typical of other works by the author such as Simon’s Armbands and Colin’s Head Bumps.
Once out of his house and on the train Googly, that is his nickname, explores his relationship with the world, his junking of its conventions, going out of his way to seek higher ideals. For one born on the peripheral bounds of a vast metropolitan city, it is remarkable that from early in his life Googly has imagined himself a great teacher, who, having renounced materialism, is instead sitting quietly, bearded and homeless and surrounded by students.
Googly’s father and mother desperately want him to be a footballer and an accountant; the career of the first being gloriously brief but built on huge contracts and endorsements, and the second slow and steady, building on knowledge, credentials and experience. Googly decided at twenty two he will have none of it. He wants to learn about life on the streets, and witness the lives of battlers, the lonely, the stressed and all who are not at peace with the world. These are his people Googly feels for, not badge wearers and status climbers. By night he does what his parents wish and he attends night school and goes to footy practice, and by day he does things his way.
What presently alarms him is how people live and work in city noise and its associated stress. To Googly they appear to be like bees at a hive, moving like chaos but always close to the hive. For Googly there is a desert space in the city in which to think and to contemplate, but if one does not see it the opportunity to experience it is impossible. There appears to be no doorway for people to pass through, no space around the hive, and nowhere for individual bees to go and sit and be safe alone. To be alone and be still and observe Googly believes, helps the bee person understand the controlling motives of city behaviour. In this space the lone person is painless. There are no unethical pursuits of pleasure and happiness. There are no rewards for shopping, no kudos for competing. Googly has found such deserts in back alleys and behind trees in parks, and in public conveniences. But when he tells other people they can’t see it. Some yell at him calling him a guru nut.