TO CELEBRATE THE FIRST ONLINE PUBLICATION OF 'SUBURBAN TOURS', DUE SHORTLY, WE WILL BE POSTING EVERY SHORT 'INSERT' PIECE FROM THAT WORK.
#1: The Problem:
Maybe he needed to get his head smashed in. Maybe he was too concerned with his physical safety and that hang-up was the big problem.
There was a Big Problem, it seemed. There was almost certainly a Big Problem.
A solemn vow he took, in his drunken mind, as he passed the Tote. To never forget there was a problem, a core-generating source of all other problems. Each week, they painted the Tote’s walls black, burying the previous week’s attractions. Then they added the names of upcoming bands in thick reds and yellows. Part of the Problem was the feeling that you could never be completely certain about anything, including the exact nature of the Problem. Ben fantasised that, after a thousand weeks of the Tote, the painting of the names of obscure bands had bulged the surface of the old pub out by a few centimetres. Ben Kester would never forget: there is a Problem that has to be identified, tracked down and destroyed. From X to Legends of Motorsport, indie rock contributing to the literal growth of the Tote.
This week the Tote wall read: ‘The Problem’.
Or maybe not. Maybe that was just the wishful conjuring of his playful subconscious. His practical brain had knocked off for the day, which had been a day-and-a-half long. Motor skills had scarpered at midnight; navigational aptitude had bid ta-ta and hopped in the Barina to scoot off home to the kiddies at Victoria Parade, a kilometre back.
You get theories late at night on a good walk, Ben mused. And occasionally, the shadow of the idea of the dream of a solution. One day soon he’d see the Problem, defined and specific and apparent to the senses, able to be walked around, even tentatively prodded. No doubt a largeish object …