'Ursula, Chapter Five: Vexed and Queasy', a Serial Comic by Michael Hawkins

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This is the fifth instalment of ‘Ursula’, a comic by Michael Hawkins we’re currently serialising. Catch up on chapters one, two, three and four.

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I’m standing in our yard in front of this tree. Fluffy seed pods drift off it and float in the air like miniature galaxies in orbit, or something.

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It’s just going to keep coming at me, I think. All this stuff… this life stuff that exhausts me and leaves me vexed and queasy. I’ll have to get up every day for the rest of my life and do things and feel things… what if it never makes sense?… what if it all starts making sense and it’s boring… and I’m boring? Oh fuck, that would be the worst!

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Trel comes round later and makes me dinner. I don’t have too much to say to him.

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In bed, he touches me on this one spot on my arm and I feel weird… like, I wonder if people should be touching me, if that’s a good idea at all.

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The next day we sneak into this empty old house and shoot some scenes for our project. A neon sign, a pensive gaze, a wave in a bathtub.

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At the end of the day I’m left alone in one of the rooms. For some dumb reason, I write “ALONE 4 EVA” on the wall with a felt-tip marker.

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But then it’s just a moment later and I’m at this late night café eating desserts with the gang (is there a gang? When did that happen?). I’m in good form and make this awesome pun about sundaes that totally kills.

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Then we start talking about sweet versus savoury. I make a semi-valid point about desserts and candy relying on novelty because sweetness itself is a novelty and sourness and saltiness the staple of life. Trel gives me an unhappy sideways glance.

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On the walk home it all comes out. I try to explain to him that maybe this is too much for me right now… maybe I’m not in the right headspace to be involved with someone. He says he gets that, but he thinks we’ve got a shot at something really amazing here, that maybe we’ve both got some issues but he wants to try and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to make me feel comfortable.

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Michael Hawkins is a Melbourne-dwelling comic book and visual artist of Tasmanian and U.S. derivation. He believes in mystery.

Keep an eye out for more instalments from 'Ursula’ in the near future. While you’re waiting, grab a copy of The Lifted Brow #19 to see more of Michael’s work.