And so it continues. This is early Ridgwell. Young and traveling down under. No money, no fixed address. Grabbing work wherever he can find it. Usually reeling with boredom or tossing it in due to the unrelenting madness of those in charge. Back in the Cross, Joe resumes his bender. Debt and a run in with a mean gang of cockatoos sends him into a pit of depression and into some pretty awkward and dangerous situations. Watching short lived lives has taken its toll on his soul. Avoiding the great fall, Joe is reacquainted with England via some dodgy member of ‘The Family’ who is on his way to Sydney and into Joe’s life. An unwelcome situation of ‘minding’ until some heat blows over. With no other choice than to look after him, Joe takes us via short stories to the eerie energy and the tracks of the Megalong Valley of the Blue Mountains, the crazy world of carnies down south to Victoria and visits to all the classic dodgy clubs that the Cross and its environs has to offer. When he’s not being confronted by pissed off sugar daddys or shooting sulphur crests by the wall, luck beams down and sends him off on the next adventure. Joe is touched by the arsey fairy. Seriously, look it up if you don’t quite understand the vernacular. Maybe it’s only in his fictional life. Though it’s been a crazy stay so far. The curse of Kings Cross’s resident witch Rosalee Norton seems to have touched him at times. But just when he’s reached the depths of despair, when there seems no way out, a miracle occurs. Each story here is a holiday slide show, a montage of schemes and hangovers, an amazing race of scams, booze and surviving as a stranger in OZ. Forever dreaming because ‘Aren’t those who lose dreaming lost?’
The Cross is a three issue treat from publishing zine giant Martin Appleby. Paper And Ink Zine is his main vein, but you will also find Martin delving into the nest of contributors, like here with Joseph Ridgwell, spreading the word of great writers via a one off, or editing some of the writers that have appeared in his zine over the years. Grab yours quick as it is a limited edition. Parts One and Two available here, Part Three coming soon.
Also hot off the letterpress is Joe’s latest short story Jamaica. Three is the magic number, so yes, another trilogy, this one released by Pig Ear Press and is available now. You can’t beat gold ink on 160gsm Murano paper, silk thread endpapers from India, text digitally printed onto 120gsm ivory acid-free paper with hand-sewn binding can you?
Drool… gotta get me some of that!