Journal » Trout 11 » The Simple White T-Shirt [Mark Young]
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The Simple White T-Shirt

Mark Young

Nothing much constructive going on. I drift
through the evening filling up the spaces
with allocated blocks of time or small
distractions. Coffee & cigarettes as needed,
eat at a pre-determined time. Somewhere
there is a war on. It fills up the evening
but it empties mine. I have given up
reading most of the newspaper, watching
most of the news. Because this country
I have chosen to live in has chosen to
be part of the invading force it means there
is not much else to read, to watch. It makes
spaces in my evening, in my day. I can fill up
the day but I drift through the evening trying
to fill up the spaces. I have learnt how blocks
of satellite time are allocated & take advantage
of it. At 7.07 I put dinner in the microwave. Eight
minutes heating, five minutes eating, then catch
the throw to the sport & weather at the end
of the news as I read those parts of the paper
that have no news in them. I know which teams
are likely to be in the finals playoff, what
is going to be fashionable this coming
winter. I watch the odd documentary. I discover
that once a litter of shrews are old enough
to leave the burrow they learn how to forage
by following their mother mouth on tail, one to
another, like carriages on a train. There is a
war on. I smoulder with anger. I smoke
trying to put the smouldering out. I read the
fashion news. It tells me that simple white T-shirts
are in this year, that they can be worn beneath
a suit or jacket to blend the casual with the more
dressed-up look & give the wearer a subtle hint
of hipness. &, what's more, they only cost $85
when bought at any of the name boutiques. I think
about asking the newsagent for 50% of my money
back. I am only reading half the paper. I am only
reading half of the half I usually read. I am
wearing a simple white T-shirt. It cost me
just $8.50 but it, too, could be worn beneath
a jacket only I'm wearing mine to bed in the hope
it gives my dreams a hint of hipness. I wake up
on the train to the Southern Tablelands. I am
the third shrew in the line. There is a war on.


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