Picking a fight with the wrong wall.

The ‘right wall’ was one I knew in Australia, a long time ago.

It would have been perfect to lose a fight against, with spikes along the top and obnoxious graffiti of classics such as “fuck” and “fuck off”.


If I were to fight a man, a real human with real knuckles, and he had “fuck” and “fuck off” scrawled on his forehead and eyelids, I’d happily lose a fight to that guy.

However, a wall that says such things, in luminous red, whilst wearing spikes atop it and the kind of rough, granite-like texture which (again similar to the human version) suggests: “don’t lick me. I said DON’T lick me.”

Best of all though, it was wobbly.

It was like someone built a few feet of wall, as a sample for an exhibition; a piece of wall to hand out to curious passers by.

And it had been left, leaning up against another wall for structural, and perhaps emotional, support.

I could have given that big bad Disney-villain of a wall a good smack in wherever its ‘chops’ might be considered to be in the moment, and then, clutching the remnants of my fist, looked up as it wobbled a little more but far more unendearingly, towards me, and finally upon me.

Obviously, I was (and generally am) in no mood to win, as losing is far more romantic, especially if it kills you.

But rather than seizing the moment, and I instead ripped my hand open putting it through a drywall several years later, because of some silly business with which I shan’t bore you (but if you’re really interested in being bored – it was something to do with mathematics).

It didn’t even tell me to “fuck off”, let alone “fuck”. It was pallid-looking, wholly passive, forgettable and yet I wish I really could forget it as I regret the exchange entirely.

It was just the most easily-accessible, convenient wall within striking distance.

Ho hum, never mind. I’ve a lovely little scar on my knuckle now, which really impresses people when they take very, very close examination of that particular knuckle, usually at my insistent invitation.

And I don’t have hugely high standards, as though I’d settle for nothing less that that beast they have only in bits now across Berlin, or that mean old King Kong of a wall in Jerusalem, but it’s good to feel good about the walls you pick a fight with.

Still, I’ll never forget that true blue beauty of solitary architecture, staring at me from across the street in Bondi, winking at me (not really – that’s a lie) and saying sweet somethings of “fuck” and “fuck off”, a classy mess of spikes casually laid on top with an ‘I just woke up like this’ attitude.

One can get by doing very little, so long as the ‘very little’ is done, or attempted, with attitude.

Exhibit A, see above.