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by Tony Mossfield 
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The Tower | Dream|Celebration
Three chapters from "The Village"
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 The Tower


 In the pub one night, Tom announced to all who would listen the answer to his dream. 

I know the problem with this country. People don’t count. They should, but they don’t.

Here he goes!

Said one of the regulars.

So you want to hear my solution then ?

From the back

Shut up dickhead !

OK, seeing you asked so nicely, here goes.

This is not good news for people of your lowliness, but I have had a brilliant idea .

From the side

That’ll be a first!

Rather than wasting precious environmental resources expanding the Village as we have been, I thought that we could build a Tower out of people.

If each of person in the Village were to stand on one another's shoulders, we could create a tower entirely of human flesh and bone (although you would need to keep your clothes on so as to not bone one another, and thus destabilise
the structure).

This would have the following benefits:
 

1. I thought of it.

2. I would have to crawl over the bodies of my friends to get to the top (very witty, don't you think?).

3. The people would spend all day shitting on one another (not dissimilar to the current situation).

4. The people would finally find out what it is like to have one's arse so high up in the air (if not one's air so high up in one's arse).

5. When storms make things difficult, my friends would have to strain very hard to support me, whilst I just sit there.

6. Being made up of people, the Tower would be completely organic and, thus, environmentally friendly. We could throw away broken parts and they would simply rot back into the soil, ready for reuse (ashes to ashes etc).

7. Whenever low-flying planes from the Airport come near, we could all collectively duck.

8. Whenever fumes eminate from the Toxic Waste Dump, we could all stand on our toes.

9. Whenever there is a flood, you could all swim, whilst I breath (and continue to think) for the rest of us.

10. When they build houses where there used to be forests, and the urban sprawl becomes too much, we would be above that anyway.

AND.....

10b. By exploiting otherwise useless bodies, the Tower would make a world-class work-for-the-dole-scheme, and solve unemployment in one hit. All the prerequistes for employment would be there (being put down, people treading on you, being shat on, bum licking, the pointless climb to the top), and because people would simply participate till they carked it, there would be no need for expensive and unnecessary social infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, public housing and social security (we would have to re-train redundant funeral workers however). Capital would thus be released for priority infrastructure projects such as Olympic Water Ballet Pools, Equestrian Accommodation, Casinos, Parliamentary Pay rises and Yachting events. (Indeed, in a pique of economic rationalism we could house all these at the local Sewerage Treatment Plant, and have all the shit happen in the one spot). 

The Tower would even work in times of war. I would be so high off the ground that my arse couldn't possibly get shot at... I'd watch yours
though, it is expendable (I don't mean I'd watch yours, you should do that. Besides, it would be beneath me! yuck yuck). And we could have a concert. If  you all sang for your supper, I might just hear you (no Country Music bullshit, though).
 

11. See 1 (ad infinitum).


And, in reference to bodies being piled one on top of each other, you must be standing. Definitely ‘no’ to lying on top of one another... this sounds like sex to me, and I am not having the people enjoying themselves on the job (or any other time for that matter... if there is any enjoyment to be had, I am having it). Nor am I having them lying down on the job!

The population of the Village might just be enough to keep my head above the pollution (and closer to heaven... where it belongs).

I might just be playing with myself here, but I've always thought the answers were just at my fingertip !

It's nice to know that the problems of the Village are so simply resolved, after all !

Sit down ya mug!

 

Dream


 Ever since he had been very young, Tom had experienced a recurring dream. Each occurrence of the dream built on the one before; a story unfolding that never appeared any closer to conclusion. At first the dream had been a novelty, a lollipop of imagination to be savoured in those precious hours before the dawn became the day, before dreams gave way to reality.

The dream of child had centred on a pool, to which many whom Tom had known at that point in his life had gathered. All were engaged in a frenzy of recreational pleasure. There was nothing violent or carnal in this pleasure though. It was, after all, the dream of a child. Yet the atmosphere was framed with a sharp edge of forboding and anticipation.

Those around the pool were urging others to ascend a ladder at one end. The ladder seemed not unlike that of a diving tower at the local Olympic Pool. Somehow, Tom became engrossed in this game of encouragement, despite a strong sense that he should not, and found himself in the wave of bodies moving towards the ladder and the tower.

From beside the pool, the ladder seemed quite short, and Tom could not understand the feeling of dread knawing its way into the pit of his stomach. He began to climb the ladder uncertain as to why he should be concerned and, indeed, the first few rungs were as simple as they appeared.

Yet, as Tom climbed, he became aware with each hand hold that the ladder was indeed much higher than first seemed. First minutes, then hours seemed to pass as he climbed. He tried to look up to ascertain how far he had to go, only to be thwarted by the proximity of the body, or, at least, the posterier, in front. He now could not descend, this option being made impossible by the steady stream of those who rose on the ladder behind him. He could not jump, because all that awaited the careless climber was the considerable fall to the cement below.

Just as all seemed lost, and the faces of callous old men priests had begun to drift into his consciousness to chide him for his sins of neglect, Tom made it to the top of the tower. He breathed with ease, again, until suddenly finding himself with an impossible drop to the water below, and no chance of retreating. Tom had left all his options back at the foot of the ladder, except one: to jump.

Trembling, in part in fright at the drop, and in part at his own foolhardiness in taking this course, Tom, for the first time, looked down. An eternity of air separated him from the water below. The water itself was dotted with the heads of a multitude of swimmers. If he jumped, it would be impossible to miss them, but he had no choice.

And the water itself was covered in a slime, seemingly of oil, bacteria, and fungus mixed together in a sickly broth, which formed circular patterns across the surface of the pool. Tom resolved that if he was to dive, he would do so with the aim of landing in the centre of the circle, and, thus , avoiding the slime. Any head that found itself inside the circle when the water and his body became one would have to fend for themselves.

Trembling, he left the platform feet-first. The air blasted past his body as the surface of the pool rushed closer. The last thing he remembered was being completely out of control, and it was a feeling of Horror…

Then he awoke.



Celebration


 The Festival had been designed as a Celebration of the Village, and although the people who first proposed it were not sure what to celebrate, the Festival worked quite well.

It had first appeared at a time when people were looking for some way of saying that the Village was their place, their home. It was a way of announcing to the world that the people of the Village liked where they lived, and that they wouldn’t live anywhere else.

It surprised the people of the Village because when it was suggested that the Festival was a cultural event, it finally occurred to them that they had much in the way of culture. They were as creative and proud as any other people.

Thus skills that had remained unpracticed for so long, and trinkets that had adorned sheds and backyard dunnies for so long, suddenly became the focus of activity for the people of the Village.

Although the Festival itself was spread over a week, the highlight of that week was the Saturday morning parade that snaked its way from the Holt Road, down Main St, and concluding in the Showgrounds. For the first few years the Parade was dominated by groups from outside the Village, but, eventually, the locals got the hang of the idea. Now families all over the Village had to decide each year which of them were going to be the spectators and which were going to participate. Thus on one day each year, members of families from across the Village waved to one another across Council barriers.

Tom was a little different from other people in the Village, some would say a lot different, in that he most enjoyed walking the length of Main Street in the very early hours of the morning of the Festival.

Before each Parade for a couple of years now, he had found himself gliding past the mist-shrouded shop fronts as Councils workers sprouting fog as they breathed, erected stalls, signs, bunting and speakers in Main St. Although he could never work out why, these experiences seemed spiritual to Tom. He and this place close together. The workers like phantoms beyond the fog.

Tom remembered a similar experience when his mum had given him a Panadine Forte after he was concussed playing football.

Through the mist the bitumen appeared to turn to glass, framed by the white kerbs so that a mirror seemed to stretch down Main St. And in that mirror Tom glimpsed memories. Tom saw himself walking this street in another place and time. Tom the child crying because he had lost his mother, then crying because she had smacked him when she found him; Tom the school boy loosening his shirt collar as he proceeded fitfully to the Station to meet his first love. At the end of the Street was Nan’s gravestone by the Lake.

Tom felt as if his head had floated from his body. It wafted above the mist as the feet below kept up their stride. Tom floated above Main St and realised that he was one with the Village and it was one with him. It was an experience that stayed with him for the 2 miles of Main Street. Then the horn of an impatient milk truck broke through the comfort to Tom’s ears. And Tom, regretfully, was released from his vision.

And this time, no Panadeine was involved.

Thus the Saturday Parade, with all its sound, sights, colour, and smell, never held the romance of the night before. The shapes of the floats were harsh in the daylight. They lacked the form of the mists that could form any shape they wished and create any reality they desired.

Sure, Tom went to the Parade, but that was because everyone else did. Walking Main Street alone at night was spiritual experience, walking along Main Street whilst everyone else walked Main Street was not.
 


Dear Colleagues,

It was great to see you all at the Res. I find it a real lift to beensconsed (even temporarily) with such a gifted group of people!

As part of my PhD (entitled "Eco Urbia") research process, I have written a novel ("The Village"), in which I attempt to espouse some of the features (virtues?) of Social Ecology, in narrative form. The novel is set in Greater Western Sydney, but may have broader application.

To this end, I am seeking the help of colleagues who may wish to read/comment on/edit some or all of the novel.

The work is 232 pages long, and split into roughly 3 equal sections. You may like to read the whole, 1 of the sections, or a chapter/chapters. If the latter, please list you interest(s) for me, so I might send the appropriate goodies.

"The Village" covers topics ranging from the environment to urban expansion, indigenous language and fractality, so I probably have something for everyone.

I need a bit of a boost, and any help you can provide would be most appreciated.

Thanks, and Cheers !

Tony

I am attaching 3 chapters for your web site and, I hope, your enjoyment.
 

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