You’ll go AWOL in thick forest and the media’ll need a photo of you and that’ll mean ya pares sift through a folder of poorly-labelled piccies on a Compaq you told ‘em to biff out yonks ago.

You’ll go missing in bush full of knotty wet roots and palm fronds crossed like swords, and you’ll wish your pares had gone with the photo of you weaving a try forty metres through the world’s nastiest under-20 Catholic Tongans, instead of the graduation photo they’ll probly go with.

You’ll dry-retch ‘cause you’re swallowing Ambiens without water ‘cause you’ve got this theory that needing to piss the water out will keep you awake when all you wanna do is sleep your mistakes away, all the dairies you stormed into, all the Sikhs you scared.

When the worry over which Missing Person photo your olds will release to the media gets bad enough, you’ll sit up and bump your noggin on a hard branch and get sludge on your forehead and you’ll think, I’m freezing, I’m soaked, Fuck sleeping here.

You’ll click that no one actually snapped a pic of you stepping them Marist boys, it’s just how you picture yourself: Decent At Rugby Til He Went Off The Rails, the headline oughta read, but it won’t. Man Fails To Return From Hospital Day Release, more like. This Cypress Hill song comes to ya: We Ain’t Goin Out Like That. Good times, hotboxing Mitch’s car in the drive-thru.

You’ll get up, trudge back to the road, avoiding puddles instead of stomping through them, ‘cause you don’t wanna get any more stains on you, and you can’t wait to download some Cypress on iTunes, and mostly because you’ve got to organise Mum ‘n Dad’s photos, ‘cause they can’t do it on their own.


Winner of the 2015 Whangarei Libraries Flash Fiction competition, back when I desperately needed to make money from writing or face working at The Warehouse