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“Hi, my name’s David Spitzkowsky. I’m reading a piece of short fiction called “Fantasy”.
You want to hear my fantasy?
Here goes: I just disappear into Canada. Since I was eight years old I wanted to do that. Must’ve been the trip to Niagara Falls, all the old photos of those crazies coming over the edge in barrels. After I get way up into the Yukon I stop at this little roadside cafe. The woman behind me won’t stop smoking. I get asthma you know.
‘Would you mind, I’m sorry, I just…asthma…’ Oh holy shit. It’s Joni. It’s Joni Mitchell.
Bloody Joni Mitchell.
I’d had to get out of Canberra and I was leaving on the 7 pm bus to Melbourne. My lover was half the afternoon in his studio with his staple gun listening to Hejira. Again. I was furious. It happened when I was in the shower I guess, when he was cleaning his teeth at the sink and still managing to bang on about Joni Mitchell and about being misunderstood. ‘Do you really think you’re so different to everyone else?’ I asked.
‘At least I don’t think I’m better than everyone else.’ The knife through the shower curtain and both our guts all over the bathroom floor.
I took my doona, I got on the bus. When everyone was asleep I carefully reached up to the overhead rack to get my ham sandwich. I pulled down my bag and unzipped the zipper. Something fell out and rolled away from me: two foot long and eight inches wide, all pink and white tulle. Ribbons and giant orange lace bows for goodness’ sake. I had to scurry down the aisle to get it. On the Pioneer bus in the middle of the night, just near one of those endless turn offs to Wagga Wagga.
Neil had spent hours packing and wrapping me his canto recorder. It’s the sorriest thing I ever owned. Someone once said that the saddest three words in the English language are: it’s too late.
Now Joni’s brash but shy and sensitive so I’m not sure what to say. I decide to pretend I have no idea who she is.
‘I love you Joni,’ it tumbles out of me.
We’re supposed to drive off across the prairie together but it always ends like this.
‘Get a goddamn life,’ she says and turns away.”
ABOUT DAVID SPITZKOWSKY:
David lives in Melbourne still inspired by the triumvirate Patti, Joni and Laurie (Smith, Mitchell and Anderson). Undertaking the RMIT Professional Writing and Editing Diploma and working on a novel, short stories and some non-fiction.
“I came to Varuna on a two week writing fellowship retreat in March 2011 and returned for more words and contemplation in Sep 2011.” David Spitzkowsky
short stories and fiction in Victorian Writer, Page 17, Visible Ink and the upcoming spring/summer edition 21D
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