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While this book is my truth, it's also art… I was never one to pick up a guitar, or paintbrush, or feel the embrace of clay around my fingers. I've found the never-ending outlet of creativity in writing...

When I was younger, it doesn't feel like that long ago, I had other outlets, perhaps they remedied the mania lurking around the corner, maybe not. One thing was for sure, they were a Band-Aid that didn't sustain my yearning for being understood and expressing myself.

It was at times when the sun was poking its head above the horizon, lips were chapped, hugs were ubiquitous, and I felt full, and I really mean that, that those in my near vicinity (I felt) would find value in the words I spoke and have the capacity and openness to listen.

This broke-back mountain metaphoric biannual trip to the high ground, however, wasn't enough… Just like the two young men in that movie. Half of me died near a set of train tracks, while the other had to make sense of this new reality…

The search began by making a quick pit stop at rock bottom. For me, it meant betraying my character. Giving up in essence and accepting that that road I was paving out in the boonies by myself went off a cliff. However, unlike Ryan Dunn, I emerged, broken… I wasn't bent out of shape, my identity had been crushed. The old slap in the face from the universe some would call it.

Anyway, succumbing to my spiritual death allowed me to hot-wire a car and head to the closest town. There I stood before a moderately sized supermarket with my name across it. The shelves were made up of bits and pieces of me. My cart was pretty small at the time and there wasn't room for much. About all I picked up was:

A Job
A Car
A Girl
A six-pack of Guinness
Fish n Chips on Fridays
And a Laptop

And I left a lot in the place, some of the bigger ticket items were:

Moral Fortitude
Service to Others

But fuck it. That's future Dave's problem…

With this small cart, I got back on the road and just went the path of least resistance. And one Friday night, with some cold dark brown liquid by my side I just started writing. The first snippet/foreword that never made it to print was about me just free-balling it in some stranger's hot tub in the middle of the night and the events that led up to it.

It was effortless, I didn't think twice about it. I didn't proofread or put the bumpers on to make sure I stayed on topic. It was just whatever, whatever I felt like. I was on top of that mountain again, with my best mate by my side. Watching the sunrise after a big night on whatever blows your socks off.

I tried to write on weekends and during the week. But there was just something about that magic hour on a Friday when the fish and chips are half digested, I'm watching a Guinness can overflow with nitrous, the rooms filled with a vape cloud and I'm listening to some post-apocalyptic inspiration electronic music.

I was maintaining but puffing out clouds of inner inspiration. I'd turned up at the muse's doorstep and they invited me into the never-ending Tilt party of inspiration. Passion. Not the kind that's fleeting but the kind that gives you purpose. Sure, it came in and out over the coming years of writing this book. But fuck me, I just went for it.

The strange thing was, I found solace in having my balls put in a judgemental vice. "You can't say that - no one will get it." But I fucking got it and that's all I cared about… an opportunity to speak my truth to my own ears. And as I wrote I heard my subconscious truth… what was that you may be wondering..?

I remember walking along the beach at 90mile Beach on the coast of Australia. And it wasn't me that said this but the witness that tells you, you shouldn't have done that knowing you were going to do just that very thing. The conscience. The mystic. The person who you reflect on your behaviour with. From the cosmic clouds of an ambiguous mushroom trip moon, I heard the words… "Give yourself a break."

But a break from what? Who you are? What you're doing? I can unpack that but I'll leave it in your court. The break I needed that knocked at my doorstep years later was to feel. Deeply. The suffering of my approach to life. Up until that point I had in the grasp of my hand the altruist aspirations associated with an infant. But I was a 27-year-old male with a deep brain tissue storage of experiences and knowledge and really nothing to show for it.

I was pushing and pushing, chasing an ideal. An open window to a meadow. But the closer I got the further the mirage appeared. The strange thing was, I had to do what I would never wish on my worst enemy (well at the time).

I needed to flick the switch. That which turns the mirror into view and shows you you are nothing. And no joke, it was like catching up on years of being a piece of shit. That half-cooked couch potato you see at the end of kick-ons is not something to be avoided. Enjoy saying the wrong thing. Enjoy making mistakes. Enjoy misinterpreting the situation. Enjoy not living up to your potential.

Because you can look at a distant object. A fly on the wall really. Aim. Take your time and pursue. But what won't change? The fly can always evade your persuasion. But you forget. Your feet are on the ground. The power in your movements comes from the reinforcement of the sand between your toes. The attack will not yield satisfaction but the embrace of the movement. Or is it?

You hear about people talking about the process. And that it isn't about the destination. But I dare say it's both. The inner furnace each of us has needs both an aim and an embrace of our environment. When was the last time, the exact time you cut your toenails kind of thing?

Can you remember?

Because sweeping the floor contains your place in both time and space. But small things add up. Do they work in addition to an aim, a goal, or a horizon you can enjoy?

The thing is, for me anyways, working to give up at the finish line is a profound lesson. To sit there at the marathon ribbon and watch all your opponents pass, gives you a profound sense of awareness. Not necessarily of what you've lost but what you've done. And what you could do that ultimately amounts to a trench six feet under or a cloud of ashes. Sorry.

The best thing about preparing for a situation like this is an opportunity to sit and listen. I don't know what I'm doing. But something is doing something. The words I choose, the strange dots I join are not a manufacturing of my ego.

There is an embrace. An unconditional letter of appreciation to my inner quest to heal myself and others.

I remember tilting back on a chair, looking, searching for the point of failure and injury. But it's right on the outer reaches of what I think I can do. I tip. Sure. It's a high-stakes game. And it's not a poker play I'd adopt at Crown Casino with my child's private school savings. But nonetheless, it's where I'm at.

I'm balanced now. Thanks for asking (Dave). And I'll continue to tip the chair. And slam the breaks. To pass out with my cock out. There's no running away from lol the profound and ugly. But dare I say. Should you be in pain? Put your hands on the rails. Feel the certainty. And let go. You will always emerge triumphant. I guarantee it.

So, in mono sound, I leave with a subconscious show of strength, exposure, vulnerability, the capacity to be wrong, to make a typo, in an as.dave.writes fashion, a poem:

Broken chains. Empty methods.

Let's join in the sessions.

Teal colouring.
Within the lines.
Not quite right.
But we'll continue in spite.

Spoken. Said. Departing the end.
Shaken and stirred.

Empty deliverance.
We, me, you and thee.
We see.
I'm a product of my own week.

A Friday night. A setting sun of past traumas.

A baby crying from a missing beat.
I touch their cheek.

Aware of what you give to me.
Tears emerging.
Now we're purging.
I'm surely left surging.

I'll welcome you to the finish line.
Tuck you in.
Say amen.
Count to ten.
And pass out friend.

Thank you.