On the 18th of March, 2021 the above photo was found on The Honourable Julian Simmonds’ (Member for Ryan) private Facebook profile. It was publicly available and the earliest profile picture. The following text is my fictional creative response.
You actually thought I was going to do it didn’t you, no, no little timmy, go rest your little poor head while you read this. Let me explain myself, but I need you to prepare yourself for a story, my story, it’s a simple one that starts at home – I grew up in Brisbane, my parents were loving and I understood the value of hard work, but you’ve heard all of that – but that’s not this story. No, you want the juices don’t you – want to know why I let you down? Well poor little timmy, I was raised by hard-working self-employed parents, but timmy all you need to know is that they were white.
Fucking of course they were – white, rich, and able to throw themselves 60 hours into a little café in the middle of the Indro Mall. That’s not sexy though is it timmy, it needs some hot fucking legs don’t it – well see when I went to university I learnt journalism – it taught me this little trick, the fact that these stories, they’re not facts but malleable. My parents they, got lucky, lucky their parents gave them the money to start the café, lucky the bank gave them the loan, lucky that they got a good position in the mall.
My Pa used to tell me a story timmy, he sat me down one day on the veranda of our old Queenslander and he said to me. Y’know Julian there was a day I almost ended it all, I was behind on my loan statements and things were looking grim, but I didn’t kill myself. He told me that’s what cowards do, he said, What I decided that day was to pull myself up by my bootstraps and put myself together. Things got better and sales picked up, I worked 70 hour weeks, 80 hour weeks! It didn’t matter Julian – I got the customers I needed and cleared all my debts.
The best fucking part timmy?
I asked when he was falling apart, he told me it was October. The surge of customers he had was the Christmas retail rush, his depressed dead-ass brain had bent it, he thought himself a pariah of success. There is no such pariah little timmy, only good hands and mediocre bluffing.
So, what do you do now dear little timmy, you read back this letter and realise that the world isn’t made for you, what you gonna do? I don’t give a particular fuck, do what my Dad never could and hang yourself for all I care – but listen closely – the world isn’t made for you.
With my university degree, I realised I could take the hand I was dealt and rearrange it, no longer the lucky guy, in the big rich family, with $20,000 spent on straightening my teeth. No timmy, I was the child of hard-working parents, parents that gave everything for their child’s liberty and success. You remix what you were dealt, mould it into something greater than its sums. Pre-selections truly aren’t that hard to win, most politicians are old stinking hags.
Someone like you won’t be able to do it, ever, so imagine yourself vicariously. You walk into the party after volunteering on a couple of elections, you cry the idea of liberalism, individual choice you chant, but above all you must fight for one thing – everything will be the same. Sure, you shall displace the hag that came before you, he has grown to obviously stenched and must be replaced like a squeaky wheel. Say what they cannot – but say nothing at all. Why Ms, I do share you concerns that the party is lacking when it comes to climate change and green space, I have two beautiful children, did you know I have two beautiful children? That’s right, we need what is best for our community and that surely isn’t taxes. Not taxes, they’ll be the end of society, not anymore taxes! Did I mention I have children and hard-working parents?
“Not many jobs that would give a 26-year-old the chance to help manage a $3 billion dollar budget” I actually said that, you can find it in the Brisbane Times.
But of course little timmy you might ask what any of this has to do with parliament or why I won’t be forwarding your request to preserve the skate park. I have always said, I want to preserve the community, little timmy, that’s why I believe in liberalism, you need enough freedom for people to be comfortable but not so much order that there is freedom.
Well let me put it this way, Thank you for writing to my office little timmy, but unfortunately I will not be considering your submission on how the local development will, quote “damage local youth culture with the destruction of the skate park.”
After all timmy, imagine how many hardworking family cafes we could build?
Your hard-working local
Andrew Gillanders is an essayist who wraps his writing in fiction. Living with Bipolar-II, having grown up in rural Queensland, and after being fired for industrial action Andrew’s work is often political and concerned with justice. You can find him in one of Brisbane’s hipster breweries, he’s the one with dyed hair ranting slightly too loud.