Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bottled Violence

Aside from attempting to describe the indescribable - like love, or music, or how it feels to ride your bike really, really fast down a really, really steep hill - it's the poet's job to magnify seemingly innocuous events from their own childhood into incredibly meaningful turning points in their lives. And sometimes yours too. And while I'm no poet - as the four uses of the word "really" in the previous sentence attests - I am fond of attaching meaning to events that probably don't have any. As such, today I'm going to talk about the scar in the middle of my forehead. No, it's not a wrinkle.

I've already written about this scar - and, more specifically, the person who gave it to me - once before, in my now defunct zine. So I won't retell the entire story. But I can't help but wonder, however, if somehow this significant knock to my head altered my brain, and that it alone explains how different I am from my siblings, parents, grandparents and other extended family. No real desire for career or stability, terrible tendency to nitpick current affairs, absolutely no interest in reading the Herald-Sun (apart from on Sunday, when it seems to solely consist of cute pictures of animals). I'm patently not like any of them.

Well, I wasn't. While I did spend my twenties roaming around the globe, writing stories about my exgirlfriends for publication and chasing the extremely poetic and not entirely mutually exclusive notions of punk rock and love wherever I found them, now that I'm in my thirties I find myself comparing my life to my dad's more and more. While he had sired four children by the age of 31 - and I, too my knowledge, have sired none - he was a teacher (check) and played a lot of competitive sport (check). That last bit is the clincher. My dad was involved with the Stawell Tennis Club for most of my childhood, either in a playing or official capacity. As his knees gave out this shifted to the Stawell Golf Club, where he has pretty much performed every role possible, including working the bar for a period of time. And as I get older, and more involved in the Brunswick Cycling Club, I'm starting to think more and more about giving something back, about getting involved in the club after I stop racing. The only thing stopping me, at this point, is that knock to the head. Brains are funny things, however, and it seems the older I get the more mine gives in to genetics.

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