Creation of "The Eternity Man"
When I was in London in 2012, I met a girl called Laura from Malta and she told me that she wanted me to write a story with her in it. I had never really written a story for anyone before, at that time I was just focused on writing for me, and not really showing it to anyone.
So I started on a story about a man who travelled to Bayonne in France and met a girl there, however I quickly gave up on it because my heart wasn't in it and, looking back now; there was hardly a story either. And so, at the end of that year I went back to Australia, and almost completely forgot about that promise.
The following year while I was living in Sydney I watched a 2008 opera film, "The Eternity Man", which told the story of Arthur Stace, the real "eternity" man who would go round Sydney's streets late at night writing the word 'eternity' in beautiful copperplate writing with chalk. It was so surprising to see something that seemed almost mythical and mysterious turn out to be an actual true story. I noted down that story, and thought that one day I might write a poem about it.
Here's a link to the trailer for that opera film if you want to know more about "The Eternity Man":
The following year, once I had completed my second semester, I was at home, procrastinating as always, but then as I rummaged through my notes for what I might write about, the Eternity Man naturally came up. I decided to come up with an idea that a woman in 1963 starts to notice that the word 'eternity' is following her around, and following her investigating, she finds the person who is responsible.
Later though, I saw that the word 'eternity' had made in up onto the Sydney harbour bridge for the 2000 fireworks, and later was involved in the Olympic Games ceremonies. Seeing that it really stood the test of time as an urban legend, I decided to bring the narrator to 2000, and tell her 'side' of the eternity man legend to someone who didn't know it.
It was then that Laura popped back into my mind. I couldn't believe I had forgotten to write a story for her, but until now I hadn't found what to write about. Suddenly, this story seemed to fall into place, and from what I knew Laura didn't know the story.
Eventually about a month ago, I sent a draft version of this story to her, which was one of the most nerve-racking things I've ever done, as I've never really shared a piece of writing that I'd written for someone before. Turns out she really liked it, which was a massive relief.
Finally, after lots of editing and other boring boring stuff, "The Eternity Man" became the story that you see on this website. Hope you like it!
RIP Arthur Stace