W.J.P.Newnham – [The waiter]

by Horror Sleaze Trash on April 19, 2013

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W.J.P.Newnham was born in Melbourne in 1965 at the Royal Women’s Hospital and whisked away from his mother as part of the white stolen generation policies where un-wed mothers were stripped of their children. He was adopted and raised all over country Victoria having at age 17 lived in 11 different houses and attended 9 different schools. At a grade 6 literacy test he read at a university level and when matriculating he won the schools humanity score prize. His attendance at university was sporadic.

W.J.P.Newnham has hitchhiked around Australia working as barman, bum and waiter; slaughter hand, deckhand and master spending 25 years working in the Northern Prawn Fishery. He has travelled extensively in south-east Asia, the Americas and Japan and speaks market-place Indonesian with some fluency.

 2 of W.J.P.Newnham’s early stories were published in the inaugural edition of the seminal Melbourne literary magazine ‘Nocturnal Submissions’ in the early nineties and he has just had a recent story accepted by ‘Overland’ for publication.

He lives in Brisbane with his partner and 2 blue-heelers.

‘These stories speak to character and choice. Obligation and duty are given and choices made according to need and want are not always wisest as accounts add up and balances are inevitably reached: the universe holds no mystery it just is as it is and ever shall be.’

wjpnewnham@optusnet.com.au


Whilst individually these stories stand alone there is an interweaving narrative of ideological pragmatism accounting for many forms of excess and hubris and folly and in this sense these collections reference morality texts such as Bunyan’s ‘Pilgrim’s Progress ‘in construct though with the removal of the chance of salvation  makes for vignettes of moral laxity and human hurt; the innocent punished alongside the guilty, protagonists as anti-heroes who don’t always make good their intentions, ritualized atonements of guilt.

Stylistically these stories reflect a developing visual morphology from font and formatting to conversations annotated as diagrammatic representations like web page and magazine and television; text is broken by images allowing multiple readings and references to ‘cut up’ techniques and Japanese pictographs: Songs are sampled, lines and cadences stolen and re-gifted; a plunder of Wikipedia images and quotes.

 

[The waiter]

                      “A waiters face, never a diner…..with a waiters anger burning brightest behind a subservient smile”[1]

>Fish-Bowl [Conversation]< [2]

The waiter thought to himself as he idled at the waiters station, his section fully served and now the hurry-up-and-wait, smoking a cigarette and phasing in and out on random snippets of conversations as the coffee clutches and café sets take  Short-Blacks and Cappuccino and Macchiato and nice nips of ‘Café-Crème’ with ‘Cent-Erba’ ‘[3]; tweaked on caffeine they chatter.

<It’s just like a fucking Fish-Bowl!>

Conversations ebb and flow and the tidal imprecations reach him, muffled as if underwater.

 

“I told her; don’t take that shit from him……..”

 

“And the roast of the day with potatoes and peas?

What comes with that?”


“Take out an ‘AVO[4]’ I told her….”                                

 

 “No please? Honey!

Sweetie! Don’t do that!”

  “Comes with what again?”

 

 “She’s already got one out on her daughter”

 

“I told you already:

Stop that!

Don’t make me say it again”.

 

<Fucking Fish-Bowl!>

 

He lights another cigarette and meditates further on the aquatic theme spurred by ennui and the lingering effects of the previous nights excesses where  up on the pills he had tied on the big dog and partied hearty through-out the night and  right on through to the start of his shift.

He lingers and malingers and swims through his watery metaphor where tables all white like coral brains with diners clinging to them like anomie all viminal and tasselled in the tidal flow  whilst waiters all in black and white like clown fish nibble here and there and back and forth and predator and prey and all symbiosis and glabrous pubescent nodules and fronds a-sway.

 

<Fucking Fish-Bowl!>

 

His section starts to clear and he cleans up and collects and tidies and sets up again for the early morning rush when the drag-queens and lady-boys decided to lay up their dogged knees from pounding the pavement in search of kicks and tricks and the trannie tradesmen that drill them from behind and call them darling and squeeze them and tool them up and then in the thrall of climax and release they weep and say ‘It’s All Right, Cellie: It’s Alright……Shoooosh’.

 

A gaggle of transvestites descends and with dramatic deference they are seated with film references where one is “STELLLLLLAAAA”, and “OOOH Ruby-Slippers-Miss- Thing: I want to go home! I. Wants. To. Go. home!” and another “ So-Frenchy-Trez-Chic” and with chairs pulled as if for ladies and drinks a standing order of  nice nips ‘De La’ Café-Crème’ and  ‘Cent-Erba’ all round the Lady-Boys cleanse their palates for the early morning truckie rush and tip the waiter handsomely for his gallantry and his tales of woe of his fictional boy-friend.

 

“I don’t know why you put up with him?”

 

“No means No sweetie it really does!”

 

“How can he say that he loves you?”

 

He milks the sympathies and is rewarded with cash and pills as tips and with his shift near done he lingers again at the waiters station smoking  and with an ecstasy tab secreted under his tongue slowly dissolving for effect and early onslaught he plans his early-morning-evening.

 

Pubs and clubs and early openers.

Beers and cheers and pills and thrills.

The hunt for cunt and the thrill of the kill.

 

He cleans his section and wipes down tables and refill shakers and sauces and salts and he feels it as the gear kicks in:

 

 

                                                                                                 

 

He swims like a sea snake as undulating cleaning staff brandish brooms and implements and appear as if  horned and bejewelled and draped in seaweed like a vision of Neptune himself .

>Electric Eel<

 

Neon like strobe and flashing on and off and off ,off, and on and then a  thumping that is deep and bass and moving and primordial and thumping and he, knee deep in MDMA, surrenders to the dance-floor and the thrusting and soon he is joined by those fascinated by his passion and his thrashings  as he sets out baits and in the tiny vibrations of abandonments he seeks to attract a mate and in the coral red night of rock-and-roller he is soon to be experiencing Inter-Section-Ality  as  lust is Drive -Bying  her tongue at him as his milt spreads like lactation and

Again

And

Again.

And

Predator

And Prey;

All Symbiosis and Glabrous Pubescent Nodules and Fronds Asway.

 

 

<Repeat>

 

<Fucking-Fish-Bowl!>

 

He lights another cigarette and meditates further on the aquatic theme spurred by ennui and the lingering effects of the previous nights excesses where  up on the pills he had tied on the big dog and partied hearty through-out the night and  right on through to the start of his shift.

 

He cleans his section and wipes down tables and refill shakers and sauces and salts.

 

He idles at the waiter station

 

Conversations ebb and flow and the tidal imprecations reach him, muffled as if underwater.

 

<finis>


[1] John La Carre: ‘Smileys People’

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