It's New Years Eve and I'm winding up my daughter. She's been complaining about us, her mother and I, and I suggest to her the idea of the "Parent Swap".

She's intrigued and so I explain.

"Every New Years Day you can take your parents into the parent swap and switch them for parents that you like better...."

It sounds too good to be true.

"Make up your mind. Lots of kids do it, you just look around, find some parents that you like better, and they take you home...."

She doesn't know whether to trust me or not, I must be joking, and after some deliberation she decides to keep us.

"That's fine..." I tell her..."But I'm still taking you to the Child Swap".

In the chair, deftly parrying questions, the conversation slips off course, off topic, circling around and around. It's a slippery interrogation.

Always these things, the elephant in the room.

She's evasive, holding her cards close to her chest. She has many admirers kept on hold, in the wings, at arms length, just far enough to keep their interest, the men in waiting. She loves to play the coquette, cherishes her scarlet reputation as the woman other women love to hate.

She wouldn't have it any other way.

She's beautiful, but it won't last forever, she knows this and the entourage that would pay homage to her favours needs to be fed on a light diet of hope and encouragement. There are no denials, only postponements. Today the phone will ring, tomorrow she will answer with some light excuse as to how busy she's been, busy today, but perhaps on the weekend....

We're equals, or so she thinks, because we're in this room together, she thinks that I want what everyone else has wanted from her, that I am somehow priviledged to be in her presence, fortunate to have been chosen when there are so many others.....

She's a very foolish girl.

"68 Seconds" he tells me..."If you can just sustain the thought, the intention of wealth, for 68 seconds then it will happen".

He's been talking to someone famous who channels aliens.

"28 seconds is the equivilent of working 2000 hours. But the growth is exponential, hold the thought, the gratitude for 68 seconds and it will happen. Think as if it's already yours.....".

I've tried it. 68 seconds is too long.


We meet, once, sometimes twice a week, in an out-of-the way coffee house. You never can tell who might be listening....
And we catch up; there are plans afoot to change the world.
He catches me up on the news, the politics of the election, the latest conspiracies and herbal remedies.
There are the doubts about 911, "It was an inside job" he tells me and he taps his nose. We're being strung along by the banks and corporations while they ready things for the new world order. The new world government. He outlines their plan, it's sinister, reduce the world population, bunkers are being stockpiled in Montana, they'll starve the poor and non-christian, preparing the way for the righteous, the wealthy, to inherit the earth...It's only a matter of time...
Unless the saucer people get here first. They'll change things, he's just not sure if it will be for the better or not...
They were supposed to be here last week. He changes the subject.
"Did you watch TV last night?...." a lead in to another topic, he knows I don't have a TV, it doesn't matter, he'll fill me in.
We meet for coffee, once or twice a week, catch up, it's only an hour.
The conversations are gruelling.