WORDLY Magazine 'Epilogue' Edition 2016

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EPILOGUE

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The first piece I ever had published in WORDLY, the first piece of work I ever had published anywhere, stated: ‘A funeral is an epilogue, where remaining plot threads can be tied up. A eulogy can act as an afterword wherein the things that remained unsaid can finally be expressed. And then when all is said and done we close the book and put it away. Part of it will stay with us, we will remember moments and lines of dialogue, but the story itself is over.’ And these words here, are the last words that I will ever write for WORDLY. I have always wanted to be a writer, but until I first submitted to WORDLY, I was too afraid to show anybody my work. I knew many other writers starting out, cleverer and more confident than me, who made writing seem effortless. I’ve since learned that the trick is to abandon your ideas; because, as they say, art is never completed. Instead, you leave them for other people to find and own. Sometimes my abandoned words are published and sometimes they aren’t. I’ve learned that it’s okay for my work to fail, however often, it just makes me work harder to have another piece succeed. In these pages you will find many abandoned ideas: What do we do and where do we go when our time at University comes to an end? Can we cast aside our lives or the life of someone else and write a new one? Do the numerous dangling plot threads of our lifetimes ever pull themselves together? What would we tell ourselves when we were younger, given the chance? Should authors reveal what happens to their characters after the final page? What are the difficulties involved with sharing a bed with your girlfriend and her cat? What’s it like to be the only one who never drinks at parties? How would you handle being told that you weren’t real? What do we do when people die when we still need them? For many writers and artists, WORDLY has been a prelude, and as the end of the year and our degrees loom, many of us are saying our goodbyes. But truthfully, this isn’t our epilogue. It’s the beginning of Chapter One. -Paddy, on behalf of the WORDLY team.

WORDLY is funded by DUSA.

WORDLY Magazine - Issue 4 of 2016 ‘Epilogue’ © 2016 Deakin University Student Association Inc Reg. No. A0040625Y All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means (including photocopying, recording, information storage and retrieval) without permission in writing from the publisher. Opinions expressed in this publication belong to their respective authors, and it may not be the opinions of WORDLY or DUSA. Unattributed images sourced from unsplash.com and Adobe Creative Cloud Assets. Want to advertise? Contact wordlymagazine@gmail.com for more information.

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Contents I Was So Close To Being Complete 5 Beginning, Middle and ... 6 Edge of Seventeen 8 On Endings 9 Epilogue 11 Lump 12 East Geelong Pastotal 13 The Infernal Liquid 14 Catharsis 16 Art by Emily Stoll 17 Tomorrow By Any Means Necessary 18 Imaginary 20 Advice I Would Give 21 The Sixteen-Year-Old Me The Story 22 New Message 23 Ghost 24 Sleeping Together 26

Editors-in-cool

Editors

Paddy Amarant

Bonnee Crawford

Aiden Finlayson

Rowan Girdler

Jessica Harvie

Asheigh Nolan

Sos Gill

Designer

Claudia Sensi Contugi

Tara Komaromy

Chloe Consedine Cover Art Viktoria Magdalinos

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Justine Stella

Tyler McPherson

Mel O’Connor

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SUBMISSIONS FOR

EDITION 1 OF 2017 CLOSE JANUARY 3, 2017

LIKE THE FACEBOOK PAGE TO KEEP UPDATED ON THEMES, DEADLINES AND OTHER INFORMATION AS IT COMES! FACEBOOK.COM/WORDLYMAGAZINE

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I WAS SO CLOSE TO BEING COMPLETE By Ari Moore We relish being witness to ‘The End’. Conclusions are neat, and satisfying; the last stage of a carefully crafted ebb and flow through introduction, climax and finally, falling gently to rest like a feather, the final curtains. But only fictional characters are afforded the luxury of manifesting their finales at an artistically ideal moment. Humans? We float in this maelstrom of unfinished business, and it’ll be that way for our eternity; arguments that are never amicably resolved, issues that remain unsatisfyingly open. Unsettled. Incomplete. People exit our lives—or we eject them— and then they appear without invitation on your Facebook feed. You’re torn back into the story. The epilogue is the real fairy tale. The people and experiences we’ve encountered will flicker in and out of our lives, a chaotic and unconsenting swell of present and forgotten. We won’t enjoy the satisfaction of achieving clarity and a resolution that echoes forever; if we’re lucky, the feeling may resonate for a while. But the reassuringly perfect endings literature and movies can offer are where we truly appreciate the beauty. We get to see it all happen in books and films to characters we love. Final scenes don’t need any element of

optimism to be satisfying—the film Fight Club closes perfectly on the main characters watching their city blown to pieces. Grief and joy blends in experiencing the myth of resolution; flawless endings are as likely in real life as chancing upon the Loch Ness Monster. Yet, we crave this imaginary closure for ourselves. You know you’ve wanted it when you find yourself wishing this thing would release you; heavy on your shoulders and stuck in your throat. Sometimes years go by and you’re aware it hasn’t quite left yet. It may never. A friend likened people’s pasts to pieces of paper—you can scrunch one up in your hand, smooth it out and write on it again, but the faint lines of creasing will never disappear. But still, we try. We collect rituals, tattoos or travel destinations, sometimes hoping the combination of symbolism and distraction will trigger that sudden moment of relief. Suddenly, as it is in fiction, you’ll be free forever of what ails you. There are no guarantees that chasing happy endings will get us one, but this doesn’t stop us from smoothing out the creases of our past and trying again. Maybe it would be worth trying to stop striving so hard for closure. Half the strength of the thing is that we’re waiting so intently for it

to leave us. Humanity has bought heavily into this picturesque idea of our lives as stories, with conflict destined to be wrapped up in a single neat moment; but when this fails to occur, we’re lost. Good or bad, something happens, and eons later you’re often still waiting impatiently for that promised moment of illumination where you can look back and realise it all made sense, or maybe it all worked out for the best. Or my love-to-hate favourite, it all happened for a reason. Instead, I prefer the position that we’re all continuous works in progress; a book that George R. R. Martin would likely approve of, unfolding slowly, and maybe without any capacity for completion. In Fight Club, there’s a moment when the lead character visualises his once-immaculate, and now explosion-obliterated, apartment; carefully colour-coordinated sofas matching with imported glass bowls. He laments, ‘I was so close to being complete.’ But the grief quickly fades—the moment you recognise the fallacy of ever being ‘finished’, the pressure’s off. We will never be afforded that moment of having all of our loose ends concluded, and that’s a relief. Lose the chaos and mystery of life and we may as well be living on factory conveyer belts, each stage ticking off a checkbox on the way to completion. For better or worse, humans are more than machines. Embrace your unlimited number of prologues, and stop chasing the carrot at the end of a stick that is happily ever after.

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, By Luke Peverelle

Ding. The bell over the door goes off and I turn my gaze towards it. Who will it be this time? I get all sorts coming down the alleyway and pushing on the doorframe. Maybe a businessman hitting his mid-life crisis? Or a scrawny kid wanting something to look forward to? Or— Irwin sits down in the chair opposite the desk. ‘Hello, Zee.’  —it could be somebody I know who is a certified scumbag and the worst part is that I’m an even worse scumbag than him. Crap.  I give him what I hope is a neutral smile and lace my hands together, trying not to wince from the pain. ‘Hello yourself.’  Irwin’s a big guy.  Not just in size (hands like Christmas hams, that guy). He’s got this ... expansiveness about him. I’m positive whatever he’s here to tell me isn’t good, but I also know he’s good at getting people to come round to his way of thinking. He’s got a way of piquing my interest.  Fuck, I hate that.  ‘I have a job for you,’ he says briskly, opening a small valise. He slides a plastic-wrapped folder over to me; the word ‘DOSSIER’ is printed on it

in angry red. ‘There’s somebody of great concern to the people I work for.’  ‘And you want him ruined, right?’ I ask sardonically, pulling the plastic off and opening the folder. ‘Something like that.’ Irwin gives an impassive shrug.  ‘Ah, my favourite. Sex scandal, maybe? Those never go out of ...’ I see the face of the man inside. It’s a shock, to be sure, but the single, handwritten post-it note next to it is worse.

Termination strongly recommended. Suggest engaging services of end-forger.  I look up at Irwin. ‘Is this a fucking joke?’ Irwin never jokes. It’s a stupid question.  He seems to think so too. ‘If you don’t want to help, just say so. I can do without the sass—’  ‘Oh, piss off!’ I don’t usually get this emotional during business hours— it can mess up what gets written— but his proposition is all kinds of fucked up.  ‘Like you would’ve come here if you knew any other end-forgers worthy of the name! I mean, really, who else

is there? Haskins? Kai? Ahmad?’ I slam my hand on the desk to illustrate my displeasure. ‘They couldn’t find their asses with their hands in their back pockets.’ To my surprise, he smiles a bit. ‘Charming.’  ‘Yeah, whatever. Point is, he’s not somebody you compose an ending for without expecting things to go hilariously wrong. I mean, end-forgers are in the goddamned Yellow Pages now. What’s to stop the feds busting in my front door and hauling me away for murder? Hell, assassination. Let’s call this what it is.’  Irwin shakes his head. ‘No chance. We’ve set a number of false leads for anybody poking around. If need be, we’ll frame another end-forger for the job.’  I scowl. ‘Setting one of us up? Pretty low.’  One of his stupid grey eyebrows quirks upward. ‘You’ve written hundreds of endings, some of them too horrible to even contemplate. All for the almighty dollar. Are you having an attack of conscience now? Over people you purport to loathe?’ He’s got a point, damn him. I said goodbye to my outrage a long time

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ago. But this ... Irwin’s losing patience. ‘I need an answer now, Zee. Are you in? Or should I leave you here with your decrepit little shop and nothing big coming in any time soon?’  Bastard. He knows I’m hard up. We stare each other down. His eyes are the most brilliant shade of blue. Something gentle in an otherwise brutish body. I used to think they were hiding hidden depths. Or morality. Or decency.  I’ve written so many endings. Some of them I’m surprised the pen didn’t crack, that the ink didn’t burn like acid. Violence and pain. Death, occasionally. And, always, a cheque in the mail and no questions asked. It’s a job.  I’ve got to do my job. You don’t pay a lot of bills with morals and I kind of want to eat sometime this month. With a dramatic sigh, I yank a fresh sheet of paper out of the drawer with a flourish. I nod towards the furthest stack. ‘Go wait over there. I don’t like people watching me work.’ He mutters something under his breath, but does as I say and lumbers off, pulls a battered copy of Toll the Hounds off the shelf and thumbs through it. One last look, to make sure he’s not peeking, then I get to work.  End-forging isn’t something you can learn. You either have it or you don’t. Me, I’ve got it in spades. Since I was a kid I’d flick to the back of books, get people to skip to the end of their

stories. I was impatient. And once, that wasn’t anything more than an annoyance to other people.

comes from reshaping reality. It’s a wonder I haven’t turned into an alcoholic.

You put away your childish notions when you get older. Innocence is always taken from you. Call me a fucking poet.

Just as he’s about to head out the door, I clear my throat. ‘Hey, Irwin. Do your bosses know you came to me today?’

I make it short. Messy and final, with no room for ambiguity. Even as I calmly inscribe the words of a man’s doom onto paper, I feel new cuts blooming on my palms and finger pads. Entropy. I’m rewriting the universe, and it’s hurting me back. Once, for a big job, I had to go to hospital; my hands were gushing blood. All of the stitches in the world didn’t help.

He rolls his eyes at me. ‘Of course not. Deniable assets. You know that.’ And he leaves, the door slamming behind him.

That was still a day at the beach, compared to what happened to ...

And, somewhere in a different city, a man running for this country’s highest office will turn over in bed and go on living.

I pull myself out of the past and finish. It’s done. I roll up the paper, seal it with tape and place it on top of the dossier. ‘Come and get it.’ Irwin bustles back over, snatches up the paper and tries to peel the tape. I hiss my displeasure. ‘Don’t. It needs time to condense. Just leave it for a few hours, okay?’  He shrugs, and places it in his valise, along with the dossier. ‘I forgot to tell you. The fee is fifty grand. Might be a few days, but you’ll get your money.’ He purses his lips momentarily and speaks again. ‘Hopefully that soothes whatever reservations you still have.’

Tomorrow, the newspaper will have a story. About a man who was out walking. A man who was hit by a drunk-driver and died at the scene. Whose valise was mysteriously lost and never found.

It’s a job, like any other. But it doesn’t mean I have to be a monster. Even if it still means doing the wrong thing.  Somebody once told me it’s easier to write a bad ending than a happier one.  I have found this to be true.

I wave him away bad-temperedly. ‘Yeah, yeah, whatever.’ My hands hurt, and the dizziness is starting. It

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She dragged me along to the rink. Across the rink, I caught your eye. You’re older, wearing ripped jeans and a leather jacket. I’m in vintage plaid. Stealing liquor from my father’s stash. He’s too plastered or never home to notice. Except the one time that he did, and his belt fell to the floor. Lying on the back of your Cadillac, under the stars. Your hands slide up my skirt. I slap them, hiding them from my black and purple bruises.

By Julie Dickson

You dragged me along to the party. The youngest there, I sit on my own. I catch you two in a room, further than I let you go. Red plastic cup falls to the ground. I turn around and run. You say you’re sorry, and I believe you. You’re not there when you promised you would be. Neither is he or she. So I blow out my candles on my own. High school’s coming to an end. You wanna hang around town working at your dad’s mechanic. I wanna get out of here so, so badly. Standing in the middle of the rink for the last time. I recall all the memories I had here, good and bad. Then I turn around, and skate off the rink. Seventeen is gone. Eighteen is here.

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ON ENDINGS By Tyler McPherson

Content warning: spoilers I don’t know how many times I have argued with my sister over the end of a book or a series of books. The majority of the time we disagree on how they end; she wants her endings closed and happy, whereas I don’t mind if they are open-ended or more realistic. That’s not to say I don’t like closed or happy endings; I am simply content to make up my own ending when needed. When ending a story, it’s hard to decide how much to give the reader. One of the strongest examples of this is the Harry Potter series. The original ending, the epilogue in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, closed Harry’s story by providing only limited details of how Harry and his friends’ lives ended up. In the years since, J.K. Rowling has supplied readers with further information about the series’ characters and the wizarding world. These additions have culminated in the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a continuation of the Harry Potter series, which takes the form of a play as opposed to a novel. The focus of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is Albus Potter, the son of Harry. The narrative uses fatherhood to close out Harry’s story, taking him away from the spotlight as primary hero and allowing Albus to take control of the story. This led many fans to be wary of the new story, believing it to be an unnecessary addition to the original series. However, if Rowling’s intention is to continue the story of the Potter family, then this play is the perfect point to jump from Harry as the main protagonist to his children. Conversely, stories without closed endings leave everything open to readers after the final page. Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series finished with a book that left nothing about the

characters’ futures revealed. Riordan has expressed that he does like to leave some parts of his characters’ stories open to the reader’s imaginations; perhaps his belief is that this allows his fans to participate more with the text by doing so. As it turns out, Riordan later decided that he wasn’t done with the world of Percy Jackson, having returned to it with another five books, The Heroes of Olympus series, between 2010 and 2014, then again in 2016 with the start of another five-book series, The Trials of Apollo. The Heroes of Olympus naturally flows on from the ending of the original series, dealing with the fallout of Percy and his friends’ actions, while providing a fresh set of characters in a new story. Including original characters in both main and secondary roles didn’t seem to draw the attention away from Riordan’s narrative, nor did it provide a complete overview of the lives these characters now live. So the question becomes: who do the story and characters belong to after it is finished? The author or the reader? Rowling’s fans seem to clamour at the chance to get more information, leaving her completely in charge of her world. Fans can speculate, but there is always a chance Rowling herself will debunk a theory. Riordan does the opposite allowing for ambiguity after the final scene. Fans can fill in the blanks with what they thinks fits best, perhaps allowing a different kind of engagement after the final page. Endings are tricky things, and authors do as well as they can to find the ending that they believe fits the story that they are trying to tell. A singular perfect ending will never exist, and because of this my sister and I will continue to argue over how a book ends.

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EPILOGUE By Katelin Farnsworth in nine months, maybe eight if you’re early i’ll wear a thin dressing gown and trace my fingers round the curves of my belly nurses will smile, conversations will crackle

you’ll loiter inside, pulling your body closer to mine later, when you rush out slowly, quickly, in a red strawberry daze, we’ll both wonder where your father is except i’ll know

and you never will

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LUMP By William Vongg Peter arrives at the party still dressed in his work suit. His brother Daryl approaches him from the front porch.  ‘I didn’t know what to do,’ Daryl pleads. Peter glares at him. ‘I specifically told you no alcohol at the party, didn’t I?’  Daryl looks away and nods. Peter follows him through the brightly lit house. Inside, teenagers stand around, turning their eyes up from their red plastic cups and whispering amongst themselves as the two men march down the hallway. When they arrive at the room, Peter sees his son strewn across the couch. He rushes over to him and kneels down, holding up the teenager by his back. Michael’s face is pale and his eyes are barely open as he slips in and out of consciousness. A puddle of vomit sits next to the couch.  ‘Get me some water,’ Peter yells to Daryl, who quickly disappears from the room and comes back with a glass of water.  Peter pours the water into Michael’s mouth until it starts to dribble down the sides of his cheeks. Michael lets out a cough and throws up all over Peter’s trousers. Peter lays Michael back down on the couch, keeping a watchful eye on him as he stands up to wipe off the vomit.

‘How many drinks did he have?’ Peter asks, looking at an empty beer bottle on the ground.  ‘Not sure,’ Daryl shrugs. ‘He was like this when I got home.’ Peter knocks the empty beer bottle, toppling it over with a sharp clink. He turns back to Michael and notices that his face has turned from a pale white to a sickly shade of blue. Peter places his hand on Michael’s forehead and feels the cold sweat on his skin. He leans down to listen to Michael’s breathing; it feels like minutes before Michael takes his next breath.  ‘You called the ambulance at least, right?’ Peter asks, looking back over his shoulder.  Daryl nods his head quickly.  Peter stands up and begins pacing the room wildly. He calls his wife but she doesn’t answer. He is thinking about driving Michael to the hospital himself. Someone places a hand on his shoulder.  ‘I’m so sorry, Pete.’ Daryl says.  Peter takes Daryl’s hand off his shoulder and goes to wait by Michael’s side.  By the time the ambulance arrives, everyone has left the party. The paramedics follow Peter to the room, quickly checking Michael’s vital signs before taking him back to the ambulance on a stretcher. They hook him up to an I.V. bag and place a tube down his throat. Peter sits across from him and quietly watches as Michael’s skin changes again, this time to an ash grey.  At the hospital,

the doctor finds Peter sitting alone in the corridor.  ‘Is Michael alright?’ Peter asks, jumping up at the sight of the doctor. The doctor sits him back down. He breaks the news of Michael’s death to him and goes through the details, stopping every now and then to ask Peter about Michael’s medical history. Peter nods and shakes his head but he’s barely paying any attention. He only looks up from the floor when the doctor disappears down the corridor.  Peter’s phone vibrates, his wife is calling him. He sits up in the chair, takes a deep breath and answers his phone.  ‘Sorry I missed your call, Pete.’ His wife says, yawning. ‘What time is it? You should be home by now.’ Peter clears the mucus from his throat and wipes his nose with the back of his hand.  ‘Something’s happened to Michael,’ he starts. His voice begins to croak as the words topple over each other. His wife sighs and her bed sheets rustle as she sits up, ‘He’s gotten into trouble again, hasn’t he?’ A lump sits in Peter’s tense throat. Whenever he tries to swallow he can feel it climbing back up, trying to get out. He lets out an involuntary sob that catches him by surprise and he kicks the leg of his chair. Over the phone, Peter can hear his wife calling out his name. A car engine starts up and she’s asking him where he is. He speaks long enough to tell her the name of the hospital then lets the phone slip from his hand.

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PASTORAL By Steph Downing She told me about the bouncer who kicked them out last weekend salutations from a stagnant bathroom reapplied lipstick smears on the corner of her mouth, plum red Beads of embers ravished the air eying the piñata hungrily—here, a lolly tiara fit for a king of this grassed and charred domain— balloons hung out to dry on the line Polaroid message in a bottle of Smirnoff tie-dyed liquor, liquefied memories courtly concessions in cramped spaces we danced to the tune of discarded glass on the beer-stained pavement ‘Til the hours were as young as us— To the gracious and inebriated host I present to thee, bent on one knee, a bouquet of lettuce from the backyard the sun rose and we knelt To the porcelain goddess ... drawing the curtain closed on a night melted into a kaleidoscope of memories half drowned in amber liquid and the gin is swimming with the fish.

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When people have one or two drinks, I can understand. They use it as a social lubricant. But I find that for me, every sip forces me to judge my woeful people skills and I can’t help but wonder why I need this steroid to get me through the night without intense self-hatred.

ByTara Komaromy Okay, so ... I hate alcohol. There, I said it. I have nothing against the people that drink it, and especially nothing against the people that drink it responsibly. I just hate alcohol itself. I’m writing this to express my views and how they’ve been formed, seeing as people feel the need to label me as judgemental, critical, dull, whathave-you ... without listening to why. One day I might be able to view a shot as a chocolate bar, or even a cocktail as a cookie. ‘Just have one bar of chocolate, what’s one bar going to do?’ I’ll laugh and I’ll take that shot and slam the glass on the table with a satisfying thud, just as I might enjoy the crackle of a chocolate wrapper after lovingly gobbling up my favourite treat. But right now, the two don’t go hand-in-hand.

See, I’m still processing how this liquid that I loathe so much, that has caused my family heartache and trauma, is an everyday part of Australian culture. A bottle of beer or a glass of wine remind me of pain and tears that I’d rather leave dormant: conversations that play over and over in my head that need to stop. One day I might see things through the same rose-tinted glasses everyone else does. But not now; one day. I’m damaged and the perpetrator is still out there —at nearly every social event I convince myself to attend. So please forgive me if I’m a little shell-shocked. There have been times when I have genuinely enjoyed myself while drinking—although those are limited to three occasions.

1. A close friend’s eighteenth. It was a family gathering in the afternoon (off the rails, I know) and one of her relatives had gifted her some cheap wine. It was our first time drinking. We lost our balance a lot, clutched onto each other and were in a constant state of giggles while the real adults just smiled. 2. My first ‘gath’ with some friends from university. First trimester of my first year, some friends I’d made decided to celebrate after our first assignment was over. The guy I’d been eyeing off was going, so of course I went. It was the first proper time we were able to bond; we had the chance to chat about everything we loved without the nerves of ‘oh gosh he’s/she’s really cute and loves all the same things as me, how do I start a conversation?’ 3. Exactly the same group of friends, about a month after this guy and I (now my boyfriend of one year) had gotten together. There was an element of shame in going to the fateful Bottle-O and purchasing what I knew would leave me broke for the rest of the week—but I forced myself to discard that logic, because that’s what everyone else does, right? Besides still being affected in the morning and catching not one, but two forms of public transport going the wrong way, I have fond memories of that night.

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When people have one or two drinks, I can understand. They use it as a social lubricant. But I find that for me, every sip forces me to judge my woeful people skills and I can’t help but wonder why I need this steroid to get me through the night without intense self-hatred. I have had anxiety attacks at social events because I feel pressured into letting this crap flow into my body and eat away at the organs lurking inside. I fear being attacked on my stance which, realistically, affects only one person­—me. I have had to hold myself from tears or heavy breathing because I hate, hate, hate what I’m doing. I’ve had a simple ‘hey, are you alright?’ force me into the next room sobbing my little eyes out because I felt so constricted. If alcoholism is an island and I’m on the shoreline located miles away, then I refuse to dip a toe in the water. It’s fear that keeps me here. Fear of losing control; fear of addiction. See, if I dip a toe in then I might only step on a sharp seashell—or I might decide to take a ‘harmless’ swim and get caught in a tide that sweeps me closer and closer to this island where I might become stranded. Who knows, I might enjoy my quick swim and it might end there. Or it could lead to certain death. I know I’m being unreasonable, but the paranoia leaves me here, on the safe, familiar side of the ocean. It’s completely

unnecessary paranoia to some, but to me it’s as real as the memories I have of loved ones stuck in that very same rip out at sea, calling to me, as if a little girl could save them. What would I do back then?  Run into my room and hide.  What do I do now? Take a guess.  If I’m invited to an event where I know there will be alcohol and I know it will be the main focus of the night, I don’t say ‘no thanks, I’ve got uni tomorrow, have fun guys!’ or ‘I’d love to, but I’m working that night, sorry!’ because I want to sit at home in a Grinch-like state, cursing you all. It’s because I’m dodging a bullet. A bullet in the form of the three or four hours in which I will feel horribly uncomfortable, stare at the floor and want to leave so I can go to my safe little place with my books and my video-games and my chocolate and my cat. I am an introverted person. And like any introverted person, I have my safe place. If I say ‘no thank you’, please accept that. It doesn’t mean I don’t like you, it doesn’t mean I have better things to do (I’m clearly a loser) and it definitely doesn’t mean I’m judging your decisions. It might come across that way, but I can assure you that those downward glances, silences for

minutes at a time, and smiles without much effort, purely stem from my own personal insecurities and not your decisions on a particular night. They always tell you that villains are just afraid: either afraid of change, or because they’re incredibly critical of themselves. I want to tell you that in this case, if you want to view my opinion as radical, if you want to label me as some judgmental, antisocial villain like the rest of the world seems to, then yes, that’s me. I am afraid. I’m terrified, in fact; terrified that I can’t relate to people my age anymore. But here’s something they also tell you. A hero is someone who conquers their fears through an act of bravery. Maybe I’m the nasty sceptic sitting in the corner of your party, ruining the atmosphere with my sadistic vibes, or maybe I was a victim to events that were out of my control. Maybe now I’m transforming into the hero as I undertake my adventure to normalise everyday social experiences and change the negative views embedded within me. But I guess stories are always up for interpretation.

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CATHARSIS By Andrew Roberts The playwright stumbles home drunk, belly half-full of tequila shots and half-full of shame. She flops down on her misshapen bed, too large for one but too small for two. The amateurish dressings on her hand begin to bleed through, causing her to wince physically and mentally.  The floor is littered with bottles, cans and cigarette packets, each emptier than the last.   An increasingly tall pile of bills sit on her dresser, enveloped in increasingly garish shades of red. Amongst these is a handwritten reminder from the local theatre director of her promise to pen the script for their upcoming performance. The inquiring phone calls of whom she has dodged ever since.  Tossing and turning in this rut of loathing, she figures she needn’t let this self-inflicted suffering go to waste and pulls her laptop down off its shelf. Her hands manipulate a screen and keys which barely show any technological progression since the typewriter.  She writes of tears and broken glass. Types until night becomes late and morning becomes early. When she sees it written there on the page it all seems so small— almost manageable. Then she sinks into the darkness.  • • •  Unexpected clarity of mind greets her as she rises in the morning.  Panic swiftly follows as she notices that her dressings are nowhere to be seen, fearing that they’ve fallen off and she may have, at best, bled all over the sheets or, at worst, be in the final throes of fatal blood loss. Puzzled, she finds the skin of her palm, previously shredded, is unbroken and smooth.  Was the previous night all a dream: the laziest of all twist-endings? But no, she realises as she pulls up the document on her computer. There it all is. Written down.   A sudden noise pulls her gaze and she sees a stranger rummaging through her cupboards.  —Now there’s a detail she’d forgotten to write down: she hadn’t come home alone.  ‘Hey, do you have any cereal?’ this human-shaped nuisance asks. A dark thought burgles its way into her head, becomes a squatter.

types: Enter Stage Right, smarmy-random-douchebag. A few tappity tap taps of the keys, she slams enter and—the cereal box falls, spilling fruitflavoured sugar rings of sin all over the floor of her now empty kitchen.  She nods slowly, as it only makes sense. Since these things happened to the character in her play, there was no longer any need for them to have happened to her.  It was her protagonist, after all, who smoked and drank to ease his anxieties; these had never been vices of her own.  The current draft of her left much to be desired; that would be fair enough to say. Her character was not especially well rounded or fleshed out, a distinct lack of story progression had taken place, no clear goals or motivations, not enough interaction with supporting characters. No love interest.  She reaches in and pulls out moments from her life, one by one like Jenga blocks, carefully at first, but faster upon realising that, once slid free, they’d been superfluous to the integrity of the whole.  Next she begins pruning away old friendships which had begun to fester. Closer to acquaintances, really, closer to strangers. Who for all their complaints of never having anything to do, never had any time for her. People she had spent a lifetime looking out for and catching, only for them to make excuses and leave when it was her time to fall.  A job she didn’t enjoy, spent mollifying the rude and ignorant. Gone.  She writes it all down. Things she needn’t concern herself with. They were only fiction after all.  These parts that made her up.  These accumulated attributions that others would say was ‘her’.  Her averted gazes.  Her gawky limbs.   Her awkward pauses. She could leave them all—bearing no attachment to them—and become something else entirely.  The room is now bare. Like the ones you see in magazines. Bearing the details that would draw acknowledgement that a person could, in theory, live there, but none of the tell-tale signs that someone actually had.  In direct-inverse-relation to the pages of her play, she is now blank, free to be written as she pleases. She stands, because of course this apartment is no longer—has never been—hers, and walks out the door.

She holds up a finger, ‘Just give me sec ...’ then

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P @emilystolldesigns

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By Mel O’Connor There is a line in ‘The Investigators’, which is the 2016 live episode of Welcome to Night Vale, that plays right at the end of the podcast. It goes: ‘Stay tuned next for tomorrow. By any means necessary.’ The popular interpretation of the joke is that it’s only there to disorient you. To so many people, all that line means is that you’ve reached the end of the episode. To me, it was like lightning. In the digital versions of the episode available for purchase, the ‘any means necessary’ line plays in a track titled ‘Epilogue (Live)’.  Live. Do you mean like live like ‘broadcast’ or do you mean live like ‘survival’?  When a student dies at a rural college, everyone loses their voice. Rewind to August 2012. It’s 8:48AM. We’re waiting in the locker rooms trying to kindle a conversation with our lost voices. We are no longer live as in broadcast. The whole school is weighed down by the fear of pre-grief. Some of us don’t know what has happened yet. But there’s a year 12 on the common room steps, at the side of the veranda, with his head in his hands, three welfare counsellors trapping him in an isosceles triangle. Even the staff members aren’t talking.

Content warning: suicide. The bell rings but our lessons don’t start. Our routine has stuttered. Something has misfired in the academic starting-up process. We’re rounded up into groups by year level and the principal walks her sombre tour of the set of buildings. From assembly to assembly, she creeps. Year level by year level, she gives us the same rote script with the same impartial, callous phraseology. The impersonality of it makes my stomach turn over, but her eyes look so scratched out. We can all see that she is as beaten down as the rest of us. ‘Last night a student took her own life,’ she says. That’s where the memory splinters for me. Whatever came out of her mouth next has since been deleted from my catalogue of poorly calibrated early memories. I remember the next moments, though, where a friend of mine shouldered her way out of the room, me following. I remember how our graphics teacher followed us from a distance into the girls’ bathroom. We used to call the teacher Bat Ears. Right before I start to cry, the shock stoppers my tears. It’s when I try to speak that they come. They slip ‘n’ slide out of the little salt factories

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behind my eyes. Bat Ears hugged me in the bathroom. Tears come, they come and they come. What twists me up the most is that depression even exists. As humans, we are capable of reaching that point so low that it turns our own minds into our enemies. In a perfect world, self-destruction would be anathema to us. The idea doesn’t belong in our minds—it should be beyond our consideration. But when your mental health degrades into a mental illness, the prospect is no longer beyond consideration. One in six people will experience depression at some point in their lives. It finds its way through your defences like a Trojan horse. Sometimes the amount of inner strength it takes to reach out for help, with that black cloud hanging over you, is superhuman. But when we were kids, which of us didn’t want to be Batman?  In August 2012, the community I grew up in was rocked by grief. One of the first things they did was redecorate. They painted over the darker walls. Bat Ears started putting up wellbeing posters that she had made herself. Mental health conferences and support groups sprang up all over town in the

aftermath, but a lot of us steered clear: coming to terms with something so devastating is, for the most part, a journey you need to go through on your own. ‘Tomorrow. By any means necessary.’ That quote is still like lightning to me. I really believe that as humans, we will do anything to reach our tomorrow. The only thing that could stand between us and our future is the black dog. But we can even beat that. All it takes is to force yourself to ask for help. It takes bravery, but you are capable of finding the courage. I swear to you, we are never alone. Everyone always says it gets better, but what they don’t say is that there is a way back. There are people you can turn to. You don’t have to choose your last words. You will never have to write your final pages. Burn your epilogue. As people we are finite, but as ideas, we can never be extinguished. Do not reduce yourself to a final sequence. That would be a slight against your memory. That would be an insult to everything you are, both in the flesh and post-mortem. Because you will live for longer than the sun.

If you or someone you know needs help, there is support available. BeyondBlue: 1300 22 4636 Lifeline: 13 11 14 Headspace: www.headspace.org.au Black Dog Institute: www.blackdoginstitute.org.auu

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By Emma Inglis What if I, and all else in life Were naught, but imaginary? A dream from which to simply wake And allow all to cease to be Is the truth I have sold myself A lie, so surreptitious? Could all that is, and will exist Actually be fictitious? Would my synapses dissipate Now they have lost their only muse? Though can it be considered loss If it was never there to lose? Was the countenance once mirrored, And labelled mine, really there? Can talents fashion one anew? Is such a thought one I can bear? Did I envision such wonders— Fire and electricity? Qualifications expansive All miracles nascent in me? My monophobic cognisance Employed such illusion alone, Made insecurities mortar And fashioned them into a home Should I relent to this concept? Leave every fancy to run rife? Savour all sense I can devour In my imaginary life

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ADVICE I WOULD GIVE THE SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD ME By Georgia Ahern

I have officially reached the ripe old age of twenty-three. Which essentially means I am still young enough to go to a club and be hungover for two days, but also means I have to drink bottles of wine rather than blue cruisers. You get me?

3. You have no need to stress.

The twenty-three-year-old me is sassy, driven, and unapologetically myself. However, that didn’t happen overnight.

4. You have no reason to be insecure.

When I think of sixteen-year-old me, I don’t just remember the bad hair and bad boyfriends. I remember how I struggled with understanding my place in the world and the uncertainty about my future.

Things will always work themselves out. The quote ‘this too shall pass’ is something you will grow to live by. Start embracing it now.

You are fantastic. When you are twenty-three you will sit here and wonder why you ever considered going on a diet at sixteen, or why you ever thought that you shouldn’t wear your glasses because they weren’t cool. This will become your identity. Own it.

So listen up folks, here are five things I would tell my sixteen-year-old self.

Side note: you will crash your first car at nineteen and if you were wearing your glasses this wouldn’t have happened.

1. Learn a language.

5. Pack your bags now.

I know you hate your Japanese teacher and I know the class is boring. I know you would rather play snake on your Nokia 3315 but one day you will want to go to Japan and you will be annoyed that the only thing you learnt in class was how to sing the Hokey-Pokey in Japanese. (However, this will come in handy as a party trick.)

You will finish high school and think that education is the most important thing in your life. You will end a relationship and the first thing you will want to do is travel. This will be the highlight of your life. You will deal with heartache in many ways, but leaving Melbourne will be the best thing that ever happened to you. Pack your bags earlier. Because when you hit twenty-three, you will wish you had done more of it.

2. You will outgrow your partner.  The root of all suffering is attachment. Focus on yourself and your own goals. Be flexible and allow for heartbreak. It will make you into the strong woman you are today.

So, sing the Hokey-Pokey in Japanese and start packing your bags. There is a big world out there and you need to go out and see it.

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THE STORY ByJustine Stella

“Maybe it’s not about the happy ending; maybe it’s about the story.” This quote is going to be my next tattoo. It’ll probably only be the last part, maybe it’s about the story, because my arm is tiny, but also because that’s the best bit. I was on the brilliant procrastination site that is Tumblr when I found it and immediately it resonated with the reader and writer in me.  Because I don’t believe in happy endings.  My favourite books don’t have the Disney-approved happily-ever-after—the last chapters are great at bringing the conflict to a resolution, but without the neat little bow. Instead, the last pages leave room for the next stage in the story. The Harry Potter series is my favourite example of this. Each individual book closes with some kind of resolution but there’s room for Harry, Hermione and Ron’s next adventure; we never really have to say goodbye to them.  I’ve tried to follow in the footsteps of my favourite writers and give my own writing these kinds of closing chapters. I’d love for my readers to remember the story that has been told, not only the way it ends. This is how I’m handling my own life as well; instead of chasing the perfect ending, I’d rather pay attention to all of the little things that happen along the way. This has become my approach to uni. In October of 2015 I submitted the last assignment for my Bachelor degree. Upon clicking that ‘Submit’ button, a strange

finished feeling settled over me like a coat that was much too big. Was I really finished with uni? Was this really the end?  Quickly I realised this coat didn’t fit at all, so I decided to do my Honours. This is where I am now, with my 16,000 word thesis due in less than two months. And instead of looking at this final stretch of my Honours as the end of my university, I’m looking at it as a stepping stone to my future.  I’m not sure yet what next year holds, but the possibilities are exciting. I could travel, do a Masters degree, find a full-time job, write a novel. I haven’t figured it out yet, and I think this is because I’m still on the last few chapters of this stage of my life. I used to have this terrible habit of rushing through the last few chapters of a book when I was in the middle of a series. I couldn’t wait for the next book, and in my rush to get there, I completely forgot to appreciate the one I held in my hands. I forgot to enjoy what I had. So I’m not rushing anymore. I’m trying to take every day as it comes, and even though there are weeks where I barely notice the days as they go by, just waiting for the weekend so I can curl up with a book instead of unpacking box after box of clothes at work, I’ve noticed that I’m getting better. Now I’m not missing out as much. I can spend a few days re-writing and re-drafting my thesis until I’m ready to set fire to my laptop, and then I can spend a few days in the company of the people who inspired me to write the thesis in the first place. The end of my Honours is not really an ending at all. Just like my favourite books that close with space for the next part of the story, this is only a section of my story. There’s still more to come. And what a story it’s turning out to be.

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New Message ByJessica Wartski You have unplayed messages in your mailbox.

‘We’ve lost Jon. I can’t see him in the tiger enclosure.’

You have nine new and two saved messages.

Message deleted.

voice

messages

New message: today two zero seven AM.

New message: today eleven fifty-four AM. ‘Hey dude. Things got pretty hectic last night. Looks like I called you a bunch of times and I don’t even remember anything, so I guess that makes my emancipation binge a success, hey? I’m going to sleep for the rest of the day, my head is fucking killing me. Later, man.’

‘Hahahaha, Jon wants to go pat a tiger now. He can barely stand.’ Message deleted. New message: today one fifty-nine AM.

To —— Message deleted.

‘Fucking hell. You won’t believe what I’m doing right now. I’m patting a penguin! He’s staring at me with his little eyes. A fucking penguin! You’re missing out buddy!’

New message: today three zero eight AM

Message deleted.

‘Fucking voice mail again, really? I’m your best fucking friend, pick up! Look, me and Matty need you to get over here. We’re in this park and, I don’t know, there’s a wooden castle and shit. I think we’re close to Eliza’s old Macca’s. Fuck, Eliza ... This is all her fault. I was clean, I was doing alright, you know? And now she’s living it up with that posh fucking ‘Dick’ guy —— what? Nah, Dick’s the fuckwit’s name, you idiot. You met him at her stupid birthday ... Would you listen to this wanker ... Yeah, anyway, what was I saying? Right, what she wanted, hah, what about what I —— huh, whatdidya say Matt?’

New message: yesterday eleven three PM.

To reply, press seven.

Message deleted.

forty-

‘Where are you? Just had the best burger and Jon’s dancing on the table shirtless. Dude. Get here now!’ Message deleted. New message: yesterday eleven thirty-eight PM. ‘ Yo o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooooooooooooooooooo——’

New message: today two thirty-two AM.

Message deleted.

‘Fuck fuck fuck fuck, fuck. I don’t know where Jon is and I don’t know where my house keys are but I heard sirens and now I’m running. Fucking hell, man. I can’t be arrested again.’

New message: yesterday nine twenty-four PM.

Message deleted.

‘You won’t believe ——’ Message deleted. You have no new messages.

New message: today two twenty AM.

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GHOSTS

By Charlotte Milkins Content warning: self harm, suicide.

I heard her crying the moment I entered. The whimpers of pain and guilt pulled at something deep within me.

watched me with steely eyes as though searching for something. The look was gone before I could read too deeply into it.

When I find Katrina, it is as though she doesn’t even notice me, continuing to make intricate patterns with the wounds she has created. This is a scene I have witnessed many times before. Living with Katrina is living with fragility. Sometimes, she is simply vacant, smiling at me like she knows a secret that I have not been let in on.

‘You think I need help?’ Her question is almost childlike.

‘Kat ...’ I moved as though I was approaching a wild animal. She glanced up at me.  ‘What are you doing here?’Sshe often lashed out when she was upset. ‘I heard you crying.’ Katrina snorted at this and shook her head. ‘Why do you even care?’ She folded into herself again.  ‘I’ll always care. That’s what best friends do.’ Katrina sniffled at this. ‘You need help Kat, I can’t do this on my own.’  I was usually careful when I bring up the topic of her illness, dancing around it as though it was the largest elephant a room had ever contained. But not today. Today, I needed her to understand that one day she would cut too deep or bleed too long and there wouldn’t be anything I could do to help her. I was not a doctor; I was merely her best friend. Katrina

‘I want you to be happy.’  ‘I’m scared.’ A tear rolled down her cheek and I wiped it away.  ‘I know.’  ‘Will you come with me?’ she looked at me and I nodded encouragingly. ‘I’ll do it.’  Katrina hadn’t seen her parents in the longest time and she never spoke of them. Her brother sometimes visited and he would beg her to give their parents a call. When this happened, it wasn’t long until Katrina relapsed. It was as though she was trying to pull out her feelings from whatever skin she could reach, never quite finding the right thing to make her forget the demons of her childhood. The waiting room of the clinic was cliché at best. There were motivational posters framed upon the wall and the receptionist looked at Katrina as though she was a child. I wanted to lash out at her judgemental behaviour, but I held my tongue.  ‘Katrina Adams?’ I recognised Doctor Jeffrey Wilkerson from the clinic website. I wasn’t spared a

second glance as he led Katrina away. Afterwards, Katrina found me outside the clinic, smoke trailing out of the cigarette I had snuck. She looked at me oddly, her eyes still rimmed red.  ‘Since when do you smoke?’  ‘Since forever.’ She looked at me with a raised brow. ‘Anyway, how did it go? ’  At this Katrina pulled her shoulders back, ‘It went, well ... really well.’ We shared a soft smile. It wasn’t until later that I noticed the quiver in her lips.  ::  I didn’t notice anything wrong until a few weeks later. Katrina had been making regular visits to Doctor Wilkerson and it seemed his guidance was helping. Slowly she started gaining confidence, until she would ask me to wait in the passenger seat while she went in alone.  ‘Ready to go?’ I asked as Katrina fished the keys out of her handbag. She jumped at this, obviously caught in her own little world. ‘Oh, I didn’t see you there!’ she watched me with wide eyes. ‘All good. Do you want me to wait in the car again?’  Katrina bit her lip. ‘I ... I think I’ll go

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alone this time.’ I was shocked. Katrina never went far without me, let alone driving to the city by herself.

the suburban lights fade into a kaleidoscope of empty fields and forests.

‘Oh ... that’s fine ...’ I trailed off before realising how petty I was being. ‘That’s fine. I’ll see you when you get back.’

‘Where are we going, Kat?’ She merely shook her head, keeping her focus upon the road.

Katrina nodded distractedly before heading out the door. It wasn’t until her car was gone from sight that a dull ache settled in my head. ::  I was drifting in and out of sleep and it wasn’t until much later that Katrina came home, looking troubled.  ‘Hey,’ I croaked before groaning and holding my stomach.  ‘Have you been waiting for me the whole time?’ she asked softly, sitting on the hard floor beside me. ‘Mostly ... I fell asleep for a while, I think ... I don’t feel good,’ I groaned once more and squeezed my eyes shut. ‘I think I have a stomach bug.’ Katrina watched me, reaching out to brush the hair from my forehead.  ‘Let’s go for a trip, the fresh air will do you good,’ she decided, and even though I protested vehemently, I found myself bundled in a blanket in the car. I was never good at saying no to Katrina. We drove for a while and I watched

::  I felt somewhat better when I awoke again. I looked around, realising where we were. Katrina sat beside me, watching me.  ‘Kat ... why are we here?’ I hadn’t seen this parking lot in years. The last time we’d been there was when we were both children.  ‘You were my best friend when I had no one.’ Katrina spoke and fumbled with her hands. ‘I was so alone and so scared ... then you arrived and I thought I had finally found a new start.’ I smiled at this, ‘I felt the same.’ ‘But I kept falling over ... I would try to pick myself up and I would hurt myself again. Yet it was you ... you who kept trying to help me. You helped me at a time when I had no one and for that I will always be grateful.’ Her eyes were watering and her voice had started to shake. ‘Kat ... why does this feel like a goodbye?’ I asked confused. She was making such progress ... she wouldn’t make another attempt on her life now ... would she?

‘... You aren’t real.’  I looked at her. ‘What are you talking about?’  ‘You aren’t real. You aren’t.’ She was openly crying. ‘None of them could see you!’  ‘Kat ... you’re scaring me.’ My heart was racing.  ‘I made you up.’ The moment my hand made contact with her a spark shot up me like I was burning in a frying pan. I let out a yelp. ‘I’m sorry ... I’m so sorry.’ Katrina was almost incoherent at this point and I looked at my hand. My skin was peeling and blistering and the wound was spreading up my pale arms in streaking lines almost reminiscent of Katrina’s bloody skin artworks. ‘K ... Katrina ...’ I looked up at her. ‘I’m so sorry, Louise.’  ::  Katrina drove home in silence, her cheeks lined with tears. Her chest felt hollow and shortly into the trip she looked over at the blanket that was sitting untouched on the empty passenger seat. It was as though no one had ever used it.

And no one ever had.

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SLEEPING TOGETHER By Rowan Girdler There comes a time in every relationship, once the awkwardness of the first few dates has passed and you’ve gotten to know each other, when you start sleeping together. No, I’m not talking about sex. I’m talking about simply sleeping in the same bed, often after the fun part is finished.  Sleeping in the same bed as your partner is supposed to be intimate and romantic, but as anyone who’s ever done it will tell you, it also throws up a lot of problems. Some people will steal the sheets. Some people will talk in their sleep or snore. Fortunately, my girlfriend doesn’t do any of these things. Unfortunately, she has some other sleeping habits that make spending the night with her unique.  During the daytime, my girlfriend is no more or less cuddly than any reasonable person. At night-time however, her entire body turns into a kind of net designed specifically to entrap me. Barely have the lights gone out when I become wrapped in extra limbs, and to make matters worse her hair is about a metre long and seems to seek out my face, probing into my nostrils and the corners of my mouth.  My girlfriend’s bed is a double, and that means there’s easily enough room for both of us. This does not mean, however, that the space is distributed evenly. As a sideeffect of her nocturnal cuddliness my girlfriend moves over to my side and stays there, and should I make the mistake of pulling away for space she promptly wiggles in to fill it, transforming our sleeping pattern into a slow-motion game of chase that inevitably ends with me occupying perhaps an inch of bed, flipped onto my side with barely a centimetre between me and the abyss, whilst acres of pristine sheet goes unused on her side. As if all of this wasn’t enough, there is a third issue to take into account: body heat. During the day my girlfriend’s poor circulation turns her into a shivering icicle at the slightest breath of wind. This effect is reversed, however, as soon as she is covered by a blanket. Her body warms up to the temperature of the sun, and then right in the middle of her human torch impression, she initiates the cuddling. I am forced to lie there on

the edge of the bed, constricted by burning hot limbs, with hair in my face and the drop of the floor yawning away before me. Let me tell you my friends, this position is not conducive to a good night’s sleep.  And I almost forgot to mention. My girlfriend has a cat. My girlfriend has a big, fluffy cat who yowls at the door until we let him in.  Sleeping in the same bed as a cat is like rolling a die to see which way you will be woken up. Sometimes it will be fish breath on your face or thumping at the door as they try to get out. Sometimes they will wake up at 2 am and decide that, contrary to all prior experience, the lump of your foot under the blanket is suddenly a mouse that they must sink their claws into. Sometimes, they will decide to express their affection by sitting on your head.  The nights we let the cat in, invariably end up the same way. He will start off on his pillow down the end, stay there for twenty minutes then move up towards our heads. He’ll sit between us for a while, as if to tell us he disapproves of our closeness, before walking his not inconsiderable weight across my body and muscling me off my pillow and turning around lengthways so as to take up as much room as possible then settling down with his bum in my face. And so I balance on an inch of ribs, my girlfriend rising out of the blankets to drag me into her embrace like a kraken seizing a sailing ship, with metres of hair on one side of my head and a cat bum on the other. I am burning hot. I cannot move. There is no escape.  In these situations, there is only one thing any man can do.  I reach out with both arms, draw the cat and the girlfriend closer to me, and hold them tight. Then I drift peacefully off to sleep, safe and warm in the love of my second family. Few men are so lucky as to have the love of a girl like mine and a cat like hers, and I will cherish both until the day I sleep for good.

Farewell, WORDLY. It’s been fun.

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DO YOU HAVE UNPAID FINES? DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR STUDENT VISA? TROUBLE GETTING YOUR LANDLORD TO FIX THINGS IN YOUR HOUSE? HAVE YOU SIGNED ANY CONTRACTS, SUCH AS AN EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT OR A TENANCY AGREEMENT, WHICH YOU ARE UNSURE ABOUT? NEED TO DISCUSS YOUR RIGHTS OR SAFETY IN ANY PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP, INCLUDING DIVORCE OR SEPARATION? By knowing your rights and knowing where to go for help, you can avoid, reduce or resolve everyday problems that most people face at some time in their life, saving money, time and stress. If you are worried about one or more of the above problems you may need legal advice. Sort it! Deakin Legal Service for Students provides free, independent and confidential legal advice, information, referral and education to all currently enrolled Deakin students. Legal advice is provided by qualified lawyers.

You can talk to DUSA staff about contacting Sort It! Deakin Legal Service for Students to make an appointment to see a lawyer for free on campus. To book an appointment call Eastern Community Legal Centre (for Burwood campus) on 9285 4822 or Barwon Community Legal Service (for Waterfront, Waurn Ponds and Warrnambool campuses) on 1300 430 599. Free interpreters are available if you need one.

EPILOGUE OF OUR OUTGOING EDITORS-IN-COOL.

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Andrew Roberts Ari Moore Charlotte Milkins Emily Stoll Emma Inglis Georgia Ahern Jessica Wartski Julie Dickson Justine Stella Katelin Farnsworth Luke Peverelle Mel O’Connor Rowan Girdler Steph Downing Tara Komaromy Tyler McPherson Viktoria Magdalinos

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