A young woman, a young woman one night walked into a bar. She wore white up top and grey on the bottom and a scarf he said later was red but she knew was dark orange. He fixed her a drink, something pretty, something girls like, she took it in her hand, held it up in front of her and said gently “what the fuck is this?” He tipped it down the sink, the pretty fruity chunks and ice clogging up the drain and he reached up for the second nicest scotch on the shelf grinning like a dog’s head out a car window. He wasn’t looking for Audrey, he was looking for Nancy. He was in love.
They sat outside the bar and smoked a cigarette together. This was in a time when the boxes of cigarettes weren’t yet covered in gangrened feet and bad teeth and Bryan’s jundiced face that eats itself more with every durrie you draw. He noticed her pack was a Peter Jackson one, this was another detail he kept close. She remembers his shoes. Black, shiny, Gucci. They were like one of those cars that are driven real noisy down the street to make everyone look. She hated them. She hated them that night, she hated them on the last night, she hated them as she slipped out quietly two years later. If he believed you could tell alot about a girl from what she smokes and drinks she learnt to believe you can tell alot about a man by the kind of shoes he wears.
Some people make a mess and you get tired of cleaning it up and then pretend they are dead and the mess is no longer your worry. Some people make a mess and you get tired of cleaning it up and then pretend they are dead and then you still keep finding more messes even ages after the mourning is finished. The messes keep coming. Keep being found. Messes stuck in her bones. Kookaburras cackle at the same time each night from a barky gum just at the point of the last sliver of clouded mottled light in the sky. They cackle the funny little things, they cackle from a gurgle at the back of their beaks and if you’ve been smoking enough Mary J’s of late you are sure they are cackling at you. Because the Kookies know and you are sure they know. The Kookies know, they don’t have to wonder, someone’s mess will always remain your mess until you dab it up with the mess of another.