& I @ WINZ

never young, golden & bulletproof, ever old, deluded & fragile, I contacted WINZ today to hear how my UB application was getting on: UB is allegedly the support mechanism for those enrolled @ PACE, although you can slide in via SB, sickly and not so slickly. Gordon – this was the 0800 general enquiries # for WINZ – promptly and cheerfully informed me that I would be receiving $36.21 weekly.

$36.

$36.21.

Are you sure, Gordon?

Yes. But it does seem low.

Low? It’s outrageous.

I’m afraid I’ve only got the numbers. I can’t explain them or justify them. For that you’ll have to talk to your case-manager.

Of course! What an idiot I’ve been. What a fool has been made of me. I’ve been dreaming! “I started a joke.” And only made a fool of myself.

Who in their right mind thinks you can really propose a theatre group as a viable source of income or  means of employment?

Who’d take it seriously enough, be sufficiently afraid of such a proposition to vacillate and prevaricate over business models? as if he already knew and wouldn’t admit it to himself: voluntarily deluded, mesmerized contemplating a prospect I couldn’t and wouldn’t credit as real!

Suspension of disbelief is one thing but suspension of disbelief stands to this self-hypnosis as $36.21 to … a small stipend, a little money to help me on my way on my pathway to artistic and cultural employment. $36.21. And I have two dependants.

Here I am down in the rabbit-hole, looking for a deeper one.