“I would rather be ashes than dust! I would
rather that my spark should burn out in a
brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom
of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and
permanent planet. The proper function of man is
to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in
trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.”
Chapter 1 excerpt
Every freewheeling, travelling arsehole needs a
good hippy rant and here’s mine.
Up and up and up. They keep building up and
over it all and rendering it all meaningless. Big
business is booming and the hyper-competitiveness
of our society is reaching new levels. More
money. Less time. More money. More rules. More
money. Less individuality. More money. Less of
us. It’s being slowly bred out.
We have no more time to be ourselves. Moments
of pure love, pure expressionism and pure feeling
are shunned as we consume as we have been
taught. Who needs police when we have the judgements
of each other? The idea of police is enough
now. The mass media in modern society is holding
us in place through selective commercialised
imagery. This creates a society whereupon every
individual gets an ego threat or boost via a screen
and therefore becomes addicted. Locked into the
grid. Told what to buy, told how to live, told who
to be. We believe what is presented to us, rather
than what we discover for ourselves. Why the fuck,
in this day and age, does everything have to be a
god damn interactive online experience? Here’s an
interactive experience people. Do something. Do
anything…. This is simply, a story about a man
riding a motorbike. I think it’s a good one and I
hope you do too.
So I say this to the modern media and advertising
“Fuck off, my head is my own. I don’t want any
of your shit. If I wanted your shit I would call you.”
No. Not for me. Every individual has the right
of active choice and I retain the right to use
mine. Whether or not they will charge me for this
freedom somehow is up to the future to decide.
They will try to find a way in, but we shall see if I
can ride fast enough.
Roll the dice.
Chapter 18 excerpt
The sun’s rays are licking the gum trees by the
water in front of where I slept. Monkey is awake
already and has coffee on the boil. A small saucepan
sitting on a morning cooking fire. I join him on the
rug and watch the sunrise over the Pacific. I am
struck by the fact that this lifestyle is a gift. To
wake up and be able to go anywhere, do anything.
An international nomad with the whole world as
my playground. On the run. Searching for whoever
and whatever I choose. With this in mind, I gorge
myself on the flesh of the remaining coconuts and
start to pack up the camp. Slowly undoing knots
from trees and condensing gear until it all neatly
fits on my motorbike baby once again. Then out.
Blasting through the leaf litter. Picking our way
through the trees, which attempt to decapitate
us. Past the campers who looked on in wonder as
two riders emerged from the thick scrub with fully
loaded bikes. Hitting the open highway north once
again. Forever north.
Onto Mackay. Passing through one-pub towns
like Serena, which boasts of having the world’s
biggest cane toad statue. Go Serena. Then out
of the open bushland and back into the ways
of the city. We started to hit the outer suburbs
of Mackay mid-morning. Getting clogged up in
traffic and confronted by the sheer joys of commercialised
society at every turn. We were desperate
to push on through. The magnetic pull north was
stronger than ever but we badly needed to sort a
few things out.
Firstly, we stank. After weeks of riding on the
open road our clothes and selves badly needed a
good wash. My socks, forced to stay on my hairy
feet for kilometre after kilometre in sweltering
heat, were starting to look and feel like dead
cattle. Also we needed to scan some documents for
Monkey so he could bin or burn them and therefore
lose weight out of the packs. Meanwhile, I
had to email those I loved and inform them that I
still currently existed.
As we approached the inner city, a gigantic
burger sign by a side street welcomed me to
Mackay and informed me that if I ate this burger
then I would understand the very fabric of existence
itself. Hypnotised by the idea of this new
offering, we picked our way through the city
streets to a Hungry Jacks, where we gorged on
an ultimate double whopper meal. Ahh, the devil
treats of the city taste so good sometimes. Then
we spent the rest of the morning shitting it out as
our bodies completely rejected it.
Three hours later we were hot, flustered and
feeling hemmed in by strange streets. We had
started yelling at each over the noise of the bikes.
Petty arguments about which street to take to
escape the maze of this town. The city was getting
to us. After this went on for a while, I had no
choice. I pulled us both over by the side of a busy
street and gave the code word.
Monkey and I have an arrangement. Whenever
things get stressful on the road one of us
has the option at any point to use the word ‘Pub’.
This means we immediately stop whatever we are
doing, go to the nearest pub and drink a pint of
the coldest beer they have. This has the effect of
completely negating the negative bullshit that is
currently occupying us, and pulling things back
into focus. Beer is the ultimate reset button.
One cleansing ale in an empty Mackay pub
completely settled us down. We decided to not
bother with any of the stuff we were supposed
to do and just get back to the road. We raced to
the nearest Woolworths and pushed each other
around on a shopping trolley as we sped through
the aisles. We chucked in enough tins of soup,
noodles, bread and fruit to keep us alive and got
the fuck out of Mackay. I’m sure there are nice
things in that town, but they are just not for us.
There’s a good pub there though.
What a road. I dream of perfect motorcycle
roads. Worship them like a raver does when a DJ
drops their favourite track. Like a chef worships
her knives. The highway out of Mackay heading to
the northern beaches sweeps through lush, grassy
hills. Up and down straights with views over deep,
green subtropical country. We saw a turnoff indicating
right for a town called Seaforth and, with
nothing else presenting itself, we decided to take
it. If anything, the scenery around us got better.
A small mountain loomed before us and before we
knew it we were sweeping in and out of cliff line
corners. Then a long farmland straight beckoned
us to open the throttles out, which we did before
arriving into the town. A tiny place, a place off the
map. Off any Lonely Planet or guidebook reference
so it’s likely you haven’t heard of it. You may
know it by its other name, however.
There is a town on the East Coast of Australia.
It’s roughly forty kilometres north of Mackay and
one hundred kliks south of Airlie Beach. To arrive
you take the turn off from the Bruce Highway and
then head to the coast. You will be greeted by a
small mountain. Travel to the top and see a valley
that stretches out to the ocean. The way heads
down and you descend. Until finally, road weary
and desperate for a beer, you pull into a small
It’s like God and the Devil had stopped squabbling
over the collective souls of humanity and
who has the best beard/haircut combo and joined
forces to create a place. The perfect beach town.
The first thing that hits you when you arrive
is the zen-like meditative sense of silence that
unfolds around you. The lapping sounds of the
water and tropical birdcalls from the palms are
the only sounds. Then you walk the short path
to the beach itself. Along the white, palm tree
lined sand between the two headlands; no other
soul can be seen. You start to walk along, then
run. Your feet beating to the sheer beauty of
this place. Over the expanse of aqua water, the
Whitsunday Islands hang like floating mirages on
the horizon. The whole effect is that of a tropical
and untouched paradise. It is one of the purest
places I have ever been.
The town itself is tiny. A strip of houses runs
along the beach esplanade from the corner shop
to the fishing jetty at the river. A large caravan
park takes pride of place in the centre of town and
that’s about it. It’s a place that not many people
know about. A spot you need to be told about or
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