Restoration Supplies

iron woman – grower’s dash
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Image by Nimbin Mardi Grasses
Glass Onions: Psychedelic Water 23

“Coffee?” Maryanne suggests, tilting a cup in the stranger’s direction. The newcomer answers the girl with a slight shake of his head while Phico’s pale blue eyes continue tracking the ascending smoke plume. He peers through a gap in the regenerating canopy and squints into the wide blue sky. “Where were we?”

“What year is it?” the shaman inquires.

“Inside a glass onion?” Maryanne suggests.

“Military intelligence,” corrects the Professor as he tousles her dark tangled mop. His girlfriend grimaces up at him in annoyance and leans forward, pulling away from the grasp of his knees. “Same diff,” she says, poking a stick into the coals as she sips her black coffee. Phico drops a wee budlet into the raft of assembled cigarette papers on the shaman’s knee. “What do you reckon, Ram’yana? Can the military – or ex-military – ever be trusted to tell the truth about anything?”

“That’s a loaded question,” the shaman replies noncommittally. “They’d first have to know the truth themselves, and who’s going to tell them – the nightly concentration camp news? Their glorious leader? Some other cellmate in their prison of one track minds?” He meets the jumpsuit-clad man’s eyes as Maryanne sloshes the dregs of her drink on the fire. “Or the aliens, maybe?” she suggests. The newcomer glances sidewise at the girl’s broad smile and shifts his weight, settling a little closer to her.

“‘Travellers’ or ‘visitors’ is the preferred term,” the shaman advises. The words seem to spring from nowhere, popping from his mouth without forethought as he watches the others freeze into their positions within the intimate tableau of the small circle. An xpansive sweep of his arm indicates the bushland setting that surrounds their quintuplet tête-à-tête. “We’re the aliens here. Just ask the local Kooris, they’ll tell you. Maybe. If they feel like it.”

His head swirls with a melange of images – a psychedelic storm of fractured montages that triggers a blizzard of kinaesthetic sensations. Amidst the swarm of recollections and vague possibilities he spies a vision of Amber hitchhiking on the side of the road, at the spot where he’d first stopped to pick her up on his way into Nimbin. She must have already found a lift into town…

“Some of the Bundjalung brothers and sisters call us the space people,” Phico supplies as the shaman stares through his thoughts and concentrates on the makings in his lap. “I’ve heard the same from the Gumbaynggirr,” Ram agrees while his mind circles a recollected image of Amber’s face; her beautiful symmetrical features artfully rearranged by the bliss of their loving and surrounded by a constellation of glittering rainbow stars. He closes his mouth as he realises last night’s trip is still altering his perceptions and expanding his thoughts along unchartable trajectories, even as his body struggles to adjust to a brand new bright day in a shiny new universe.

The previous night’s acid-fuelled gift of the gab appears to have momentarily deserted him, leaving a remnant gaggle of half processed flotsam in its wake. He watches Maryanne’s bare toes slip through wood fragments and ashes, incidentally sliding against the jumpsuited man’s dirt-caked instep. The stranger observes her expressionless face from the corners of downcast eyes as she throws a faggot into the flames. A scattering of sparks burst from the confines of the shallow stone pit, soaring all the way up through the low wattle canopy. Beams of morning sunlight dance through the smoke as a kookaburra begins cackling at the hilarious sight of cloth-draped naked apes engaged in their usual antics.

A vision of Amber’s mysterious smile lingers amidst the flickering flames. Her irises flare from the flurry of sparks and swirl around the coal black cores of her pupils. The fire is transparently wan and colourless beneath the bright blast of photons pouring down from the blazing Sun, but Amber’s eyes shine as brightly as the stranger’s orange jumpsuit in Ram’s inner sight. The Asian woman’s irises become twin flickering toroids; stencils cut from the newcomer’s fluorescent fabric and warped by the intervening flames, mesmerising the shaman with magnetic recollections of her enthralling presence.

Even after his cleansing swim he still smells a trace of Amber’s scent in his beard. He can feel the extraordinary feverish heat of her flesh impressed in his plasm, tautly pressing against and around him. He shivers in the sunny morning warmth while, all over his body, atrophied hackles of fine primate hairs lift away from his skin and stand at attention.

The Professor leans forward on his creaky folding camp chair to stroke Maryanne’s spine through her summery green cotton dress. She stiffens beneath the proprietary signal of his compulsive massage as the other young man averts his gaze, looking back into the flames. “So you reckon it’s just all bullshit?” the Professor drawls as his fingers knead Maryanne’s shoulder. “All this stuff about reverse engineered flying saucers?”

Words pour from Ram’s lips once more with a life of their own; “No, not at all. Planar geoids – flying saucers – definitely exist and have been here for thousands of years… for ever in fact. There are those who say they all come from right here on Earth, but misinformation campaigns have been carefully designed to tell us anything but the truth, as they must. And besides, this is only one Earth.” His fingers continue to mull the mull, long sharp nails automatically shredding the makings while a frown appears on Maryanne’s brow. “We’ve usually been led to believe one of two things,” he continues; “Either there’s nothing arriving here from the cosmos at all – it’s all just hoaxes and delusions – or that all unidentifieds must come from another planet.”

“Too right,” the orange-garbed man agrees in a husky voice as he stares into the fire. His cheeks are painted with a crosshatching of charcoal curves, his eyes underlined with thick gobbets of kohl. “Straight to the point,” he says.

“Straight as a tie,” the bearded shaman echoes as he licks the paper tube’s seam. He holds his coffee cup up before his brow, then lowers it to the level of his throat and heart to infuse the brew with his essences. He concentrates the resultant combination before his solar plexus, inhaling rich esters before swallowing a sip and refortifying himself with a lungful of smoky forest air.

“So what do you say?” the Professor presses. Maryanne’s lips smile beneath her frowning brow. “Do you reckon they come from outer space?” she asks.

“Or inner spaces?” Phico suggests.

The shaman smooths the four paper number and circumcises the tip with his teeth. “There are many different sources of saucers,” he says as he spits out the joint’s foreskin. “I hesitate to tell you what I really think, but seeing as you ask…” He taps the cardboard filter more firmly into place. “They come from here, there and everywhere – and everywhen; a vast range of different levels of technological and psychic maturation are all appearing here all the time, from a multitude of timestreams, including our infinitude futures and various presents.”

Maryanne’s frown etches deeper patterns on her forehead as she pours herself another cup. “But if they’re time travellers, where did they start out?” she asks. “It’s like saying some god created the universe without explaining where he came from.” The Professor’s hand dips between the cotton material and her spine and she shivers before the fire.

“In an infinite multiverse of infinite universes there is no ‘first’.” Ram says, swiftly recovering his powers of speech. “And they’re not all time travellers. Plenty of disks come from right here on Earth, and others from elsewhere within this timespace continuum – but the technologies implicit in the manipulation of rotating electromagnetic fields are an evolving feast of nestling possibilities; a humungous glass onion.” He watches Maryanne’s eyes glaze over as his small audience all lift their cups to their mouths as one. “But the really interesting point in all this – for me, at least – is the way we’re being protected from developing a cargo cult mentality.”

Intermittent drumming recommences on the other side of the paddock while the Professor tousles Maryanne’s hair once again. “How’s that?” he asks, dark eyes affixed to a group of scarcely clad rainbow faeries who are headed downhill to the creek. Maryanne shakes her locks from his fingers and sweeps mussed-up hair from her eyes.

“Technologically advanced cultures often leave less sophisticated societies shattered in their wake – like all those native tribes who gave up the ghost in the face of wonders brought by advancing empires; unimaginable items dropped at the feet of stone age people who could hardly conceive how they’d been made.”

“A sufficiently high technology always appears to be magic,” Phico agrees. “Was that Clark, or Moorcock? Anyway, where was I? Oh yes,” he nods, speaking directly to Maryanne, “‘cargo cult’ specifically refers to those New Guinea tribes who intercepted supplies dropped to troops by passing planes in world war two. The natives hacked runways into the jungle and even built wickerwork airplanes and parked them nearby to lure the cargo gods down. They abandoned their lives and lifestyles to pray to promising new gods who dropped strange food and trinkets from the skies – supplies for troops dropped by parachute and often intercepted by the tribes.”

“Just so,” Ram agrees, “and most were soon absorbed into the monoculture of the new invader, or became dispirited by their perceived impotence in the face of all those gifts from the gods – or were wiped out by diseases, alcohol, social disruption… bullets and bombs.”

He catches a glimpse of the almighty forest which once stood where they sit round the small gum-wood fire – an almost thoroughly desecrated paradise whose remnants sprout back as seedlings and saplings all around them, while the spirits of elder trees remain rooted in an uninterrupted dream world that’s endured for millions of years; encompassing all that unfolds and buds beneath their overarching boughs and impenetrable canopies. This has been a fireplace for a long, long time, he realises.

The vision departs as swiftly as it came. “There are many who help to uplift humankind by a variety of means,” he continues, “but their efforts must always remain hidden. Humans have to believe they’re developing these extraordinary new technologies, abilities and ethical systems of their own accord. Otherwise many good souls would be lost in despair, in realisation of how backward we truly are.”

“So they have to secretly leak info and stuff into our cultures, so we don’t get depressed?” the Professor enquires. “Makes sense, if they’re benign. Like that non-interference prime directive on uh… that sci-fi show, you know…”

“Star Trek,” Maryanne supplies. “And there are a number of ways to leak info and tech into the world,” Phico adds. “You can insert it directly into some people’s minds, without having to stage a Roswell incident or impregnate TV programs with suggestive scripts.”

“By telepathy?” asks Maryanne. “Hypnosis?” the Professor suggests. “With lies,” the charcoal-faced stranger proclaims as he runs a hand over his short-shorn scalp. The shaman consecrates the joint and incinerates its tip. “Let me tell you a story.” He takes a deep drag and passes the spliff to his left. “Please do,” implores Maryanne. She accepts the burnt offering while she strokes the Professor’s calf muscle. “Uhhuh,” her beau nods. “Go on,” says Phico.

So he does…

A true story
By R. Ayana

There is nothing more satisfying to the handyman than restoring an old piece of furniture so that it not only remains useful but looks beautiful once again. Restoring furniture can be a consuming hobby or even a profession, but to do it satisfactorily you need ready access to the right kind of restoration hardware such as screws, knobs, handles and hinges.

Many older pieces of furniture would look odd with more modern fittings, especially if they are antiques. Cabinet hardware needs to be of the same or similar kind that the original cabinet had, as often these are rusted out or have broken. With just the right kind of cabinet hardware, an old dresser or any other kind of cabinet can soon be restored to its former glory.

Of course, some restoration work will change the original piece to make it look much more modern. Instead of a lacquer or an oil—based finish you might prefer to use paint to brighten up furniture, especially if it is intended for a child or teens bedroom. Porters Paints would then be a good choice for finishing off the cupboard, bed head or wardrobe.

Once the piece is sanded back and primed, any cracks or dents filled in with wood putty and sanded smooth, the piece will be ready for an undercoat and then a top coat in your choice of colour. New knobs on the doors will give it a pretty finishing touch. That old cupboard will soon be unrecognizable and able to take its place proudly in your redecorated room.

It is not always easy to get the right kind of restoration supplies, so once you find the store that has just what you need, you don’t want to lose contact details. Such stores may be found online, but many woodworkers and handymen like to browse through those dusty aisles to pick out their latest needs. Still, an online store should have clear pictures of the hardware they sell to make it a little easier to choose what you want.

Hardware Supplier is a vendor of hardware supplies for home and office construction.