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Victoria has a troubled relationship with her father. It is so bad she denies she ever had a father, let alone a mother who left her when she was very young. She talks about Cause and she talks about the beginnings of her life, and how it had to be uncaused. It is a way for her to kick start her life by negating all that has troubled her. A very strange and comedic vignette by the author of Simon’s Armbands and Henry’s War Effort.

Opening extract

‘Look dad I don’t exist on your TV channel. I’m not in your life. I’m not the latest natural disaster. And stop predicting me in your weather forecasts.’

These are words that me Victoria, am rehearsing in my head for when I talk to dad next. I’m thinking how absurd my existence is because I came into this world from nothing, and what father says about me on TV makes it worse. I will never be a low trough passing out to sea. Not a sink hole. I’m not an earthquake. They were caused by something. I can’t remember what my mum has said about me. Maybe she hasn’t said anything. I don’t think I ever had a mum.

For a saturnine person like me there is only light after there is only darkness; as it was and as it is to come. And when they come, they come together, outside of a Cause. That’s how it is, me alone, sitting in my flat, contemplating. I reckon I’m fighting a heavy slumber. I’m in slumber land because I sleep a lot.

‘You’re not the cause of me, dad. You say you are, and I will convince you that you are wrong.’ I get up from my bed to look at my tattoos. The mirror’s down so I try the bathroom window. I’m getting a new one soon.

What other people tell me, and what I’ve read in books is bunkum. No brainwashing means no ‘what’s good for me’ words people say behind my back. All I do is remind myself I don’t need to know the big stuff anymore. I don’t need anyone.

Yesterday all I wanted to know was how to score a gross of grass to help me get through another night of supermarket shelf stacking. I’ve got rent to pay. And when I’m out of it and writing my poetry I’m a mellow person. And to me it’s the good stuff, urgent like Sylvia Plath. I work hard on emptying my mind and staying hungry like Knut Hamsun, and write. That’s all I really want to do.

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