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About Literature / Hobbyist Meg D.Female/Australia Group :iconantipodeanshipping: AntipodeanShipping
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I lay under a Moreton Bay fig by a river that knew me at eight, and then eighteen. Occupied by black swans and leopard-spotted jellyfish as vicious as each other. All its silt between my toes, all its dark brown sway splitting apart the sun. An exam encroaching – I smoked myself pretentiously sick in a thick and golden heat.

I looked up through the leaves and stubbed out my cigarette and thought that I was definitely owed some kind of statement.

My dad lay under this tree when I was a kid, splashing in the earthy cold of the river. I remember I looked to him because I was frightened of the bodies of the jellyfish, their mottled bloat, and how they crept near to me in the black water like bad thoughts in the night. I remember him looking not at me, looking up through the leaves. I wanted my dad to look at me but I didn’t want him to see me scared, so I didn’t know whether to call his name or not.

This was a learning place, before, and then a white man built a university in sandstone twenty metres away, and then my father and then I lay underneath this tree ten years separate. There must be some wisdom here for this fig tree to impart by now. That’s how this shit works.

I asked: fig tree, why am I eating so much crap. Why am I the ugly friend. Why am I so tired, why am I so sad, why does the last girl I had sex with avoid my eyes. Two months ago I was so in love with this place, this dried out patch of city, and now I only want to go home to the fishing village and see our blind-faced sheep again. See my dad come through the door with rain on his collar. See the railway tracks where my parents walk slowly with their old black dog. Fig tree, what if the old black dog dies before I go back home, what do I do then. What if my dad dies. Fig tree, I am feeling sick every day again like I did when I was fourteen, and I don’t trust my body any more. Fig tree, why do I miss my family so much. Fig tree, why don’t I call them. Fig tree, I cannot reconcile my childhood and my stupid, pimpled adolescence and whatever the hell it is that I am now. Fig tree, past and present and future are all screaming at me. Fig tree, I am really fucking unhappy. And I have no one to tell this.

The fig tree answered only:

you idiot. You little fool.

And I had an exam very soon, so I had to make do with that.


A month later, I saw my dad again. We passed the river as he dropped me off at the university and left. I pointed it out, and told him that I remembered him and me together there when I was young. I told him that one night I swam in it with my friends, or tried to, but it was too cold. I didn’t mention that this was after a lot of cheap white wine, or that the moon shone off our mostly-naked bodies, or that I wrapped my coat around myself instead of getting properly dressed afterwards, and my friend told me I looked like a flasher. I didn’t tell him that it was the place I went to have gentle mental breakdowns, dying acutely beneath the fig leaves until the wind got cold enough to resurrect me. I told him that I still visited it a lot. He looked ahead at the road and smiled, brutal afternoon sunlight shafting through the window and illuminating all the dust on the dashboard.

“That river. I haven’t swum in that river since, oh….1954.”

I watched the university’s clock tower approach. A flash of the river water through dark green leaves. Him too, as a kid. Well, Perth’s a small place, and it was smaller in the 1950s. Here in this corner of the state I am always all ages at once, as is my father: he is ten and twenty five and fifty and seventy-one wherever we go, the stories falling like leaves. “Were there jellyfish in it back then as well?”

“Shit yeah.”

(this and other semi-true blog posts at 

  • Mood: Regretful
  • Listening to: You - Keaton Henson
  • Reading: The Shepherd's Crown - Terry Pratchett
  • Watching: Freaks & Geeks
  • Playing: Dragon Age Origins
  • Eating: m&ms
  • Drinking: water


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Meg D.
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
angst 5eva

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beeinthebottle Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2015   Writer
Meggie272 Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
herbodyismycoffin Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2015   Writer
thank you for the watch!
Meggie272 Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
no worries, thank you also! 
herbodyismycoffin Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2015   Writer
you're welcome!
Eqonosp Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for the favorite of Hold and Release.
Meggie272 Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
No problem! 
sweetshirt Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2015  Student Writer
Thank you for the favorite. :)
Meggie272 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
No problem! :heart: 
BlackBowfin Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Hi Meg.  Thank you much for faving.  :)
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