I knew it would be a funny night’s sleep because my head was full of Conspiracy and funk from a full day of being horizontal and looking at too much Wikileaks and Rubicon.
There was this huge, sprawling old house that we had been to see before. It was still for rent. The woman had gone overseas in a hurry and had left the house full of her stuff. I loved the house – I couldn’t believe a house so big could exist right in the heart of Paris. It had a huge front yard and a big back lawn that I imagined playing Kiki on. The rooms inside were enormous and there were two giant bathrooms big enough to fit hairdressing salons inside. The bathrooms had cement floors and lots of power points, which thrilled me for some reason. The house was great, but we’d refused it as it was too full of the old lady’s furniture and junk. There were piles of op-shop clothes everywhere and big, heavy tables and masses and masses of piled-up couches and chairs and desks and heavy, heavy things. Hanging from a wire coathanger was the woman’s handbag. It was a lovely handbag and it was full of her stuff – her wallet, tissues, tictacs, etc.
I turned to the real-estate agent and said,
“If we lived here, could I use this handbag? I’d take her stuff out of course.”
And the real-estate agent said,
“Yes, you could use the handbag.”
He really wanted us to rent the house. You could see it in his eyes.
And there was no doubt it was a wonderful, enormous house. I started to get interested.
“So, if we rented it, could we have all that heavy stuff taken out? Those big vases and urns and stuff for starters?”
The real-estate agent scratched his chin.
“Ooh, I don’t know, she really wanted her stuff left here. But maybe those heavy urns and vases.”
“And the big desks over there?”
“Maybe the desks too.”
I looked at The Love. He smiled. He loved the place and couldn’t understand why we hadn’t moved in there in the first place.
“And what about the Wikileaks?” I asked, fossicking my way through piles of boxes and old chairs to a back corner of the living room, where there stood a dusty upright birdcage. In it was a dead owl on a perch, and the owl’s mouth was agape – stuffed with another dead animal – a furry one – perhaps a rat. The dead-rat-eating dead owl had been embalmed in a sort of molasses-like sticky substance and insects were buzzing around it. The sound of seething maggots. It was revolting. It didn’t smell. But knowing it existed was a terrible feeling that I knew would not go away, now that I had seen it.
“Oh no, the Wikileaks has to stay,” said the real-estate agent, shaking his head. “Definitely not the Wikileaks. She was specific about that.”
I sighed and the Love and I walked into one of the bathrooms together to discuss our options in private.
“We could make it work,” he said. “We always do. We’ll make it ours.”
“Yeah maybe,” I said, looking around the bathroom at all the wonderful power points. “It’s just the Wikileaks. I don’t know if I can live with it in the house. It just gives me a bad vibe.”
“I’m sure we could move it out into the backyard or something.”
“But even then,” I said. “I just don’t like knowing that it’s here.”
The Love sighed. “It’s such a great place. We could save money.”
I know, I said. But I knew as long as that awful shiny black maggoty rat-owl was in the house there was no way I could live there. The feeling was like when you think about people who do terrible things like murder for profit and you think – but how could they enjoy their money, when they’ve got a corpse buried in the garden and they're just waiting for the bad man to come and get them. If the Wikileaks was there, even far down in the backyard, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy any of it. Even those luscious power points.
|David Noonan 'Owl' 2009|