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Melbourne
Monday, June 27, 2022

THANK YOUSE

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“Lucky me, my days are bright and sunny
just because you’ve been
so very good to me.”
         Johnny O’Keefe
To the trusted mentor who saw enough of his young self in me to think I should have the heroin experience too, thank you. It really did expand my poetic vision – for about a fortnight during which I was, sadly, too stoned to write. And for kicking my ass onto the street in the middle of the HSC when you finally figured out I wouldn’t be Rimbaud to your Verlaine, thank you.
            To the dealers: “Hey, where’s the missus? You know, you two are my favourite people. Whaddayou need, a quarter? You be careful now, it’s strong. Take care; I’ll be seeing you – soon”. Thank you.
            To the staff at the methadone clinic, so friendly, so solicitous, so willing to keep taking my money for another decade or two if I’d been willing to keep giving it; your barrage of concerned phone calls, when a guy you set your clocks by for thirteen years suddenly vanished for thirteen days, has been touching, really touching. Thank you, thank you all.
            To my one-time wife, it’s each other we have to thank that we’re both still alive and able to carry on, stronger. Only you know how truly ugly I can be. You’re family, always – thank you.
            To my family and friends, loved ones all, who never let their worry show more than their faith; for having the grace to realise that a life isn’t wasted until it’s over – thank you.
            To old friends found anew, for reminding me of what I was before drugs and chaos took hold – and for not running a mile from a thirty-something junkie – thank you.
            And to the Lady: other half of an explosion that tore my life apart, burning away complacency. Yeah, it’s you – and that ain’t bad. Thank you.
            My mistakes are all my own; my virtues largely learnt from others. I intend to reward the patience of those who’ve suffered for and through me. From the bottom of my raw but healing heart, thank you all.