Monday, March 14, 2011

Boobs and Monsters

This little video got made for one of my favourite Bombazine Black songs, 'Confessional', off the first album.  It gave me neat little frissons all up my bunny back.  There is something lovely about an olden-day stripper, don't you think?  She is shy, but she's having a lovely time.  I would too with those boobs.  The boobs hang down in a different way to the way they do in this day and time, at least I think so - am I right?  Boobs seemed to have a different shape back then, more... breasty.  Were the bras really all that different?  Of course they were sort of conical and more boulder-holderish, but surely that couldn't have made that much difference, they still did their job - lift and separate.  I suppose the women were just more voluptuous.

I always liked 'Confessional', it took me into a carpeted place of my childhood - Nan's house, where there was an old black and white telly on a dresser somewhere deep in the living room with all its swirling browns and beiges and grass greens.  There was a grandfather with an excellent moustache reclining on a weird sofa that if you pushed a button clicked a footrest up and next to him was a spiral ashtray that you could push and pull away from you.  Grandpa Laws smoked a pipe so I don't think he used the ashtray.  He had a lovely, angular face and big, handsome eyebrows.  I must have been very young because he died when I was three.  But I remember the room.  There was usually some TV show on, with a theme that sounded a bit like Confessional, or perhaps that was coming from the record player or the old dusty transistor radio. 

Down the hall was Grandpa McLean, Grandpa Laws's dad, who was very very old and dying in a bed with tubes and stuff twisted all around it.  Grandpa McLean was awesome because he always had barley sugar and gave you heaps of it.  And he would pull you up on the bed and tickle you.  I wasn't scared.

All through the house the Confessional-type song would echo, even into the night.  Then, deep one night I was awoken with a fright by a different, terrifying sound - something so awfully threatening I couldn't be sure we were still on earth.  The sound was animal, wild, and it got louder and louder and then - suddenly - it would be gone.  Then it would be back, rising, pulsating through the rooms of the house, no Confessional to be heard now, just the Monster.  I longed for the sound of the tranny, its velvety, comforting hum, that warm feeling of nestling into the neverending chasm between Nan's breasts (good old-fashioned ones) as she sat me on her knee while she did her cryptic.  I started to cry.  'Mummy...  Mum!'  But she was safe in Melbourne and I was at Nan and the Grandpas where they used real butter from a cow on their toast.  There it was again, louder this time, coming to get me.  A decision to be brave.  I clambered down off the enormous bed and pattered my way through the halls of the big, airy house.  The floorboards under the carpet creaked and the noise coming from the end of the hallway was louder than ever - the monster - had it already gotten to Grandpa McLean?  Was everyone dead? 

The early morning sun shone coolly over Grandpa McLean's bed and there he was, safe and breathing with that big plastic thing over his face.  I continued down to the end of the hallway, where the sound was loudest.  I trembled all over and some saliva probably dripped down my chin as I summonsed the courage to push open the door to Nan and Grandpa Laws's room.

They were both still there, alive.  At that moment, the clock radio clicked over and music came on - an old Confessional-like song.  Grandpa Laws sat up and looked over at me standing in my nightie, face ashen in the morning light.

And Nan, beside him, snored away like a chainsaw.

Artwork du Jour 109

Spring Pleasantry (you promised you never would)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I, Fishtank


It’s a funny feeling.  Like being very, very full.  Like you’ve swallowed a bag of fish, large fish, maybe even small dolphins that swim and wriggle and move in their own ways, independent and yet strangely coordinated.  One of the dolphins likes to curl up like a golf ball and stick out your side at night.  Another does little leaps and another rolls over a lot like a little whale and another more feisty one flips and kicks, showing off perhaps.  Another does hiccups. 
And the strangest thing is you love the fish and dolphins, and you’ve never seen them before, and you certainly can’t imagine that they form one complete human.  Even though you’ve seen the ultrasound, and what lurks in there is, indeed, human and whole.  You expected back then to see just a collection of fragments, a Miro painting, a loose floating of various little planets, a galaxy of dust. 
So many strange sensations.  Changes.  You were once a silent sleeper and now when you roll into bed your breathing is that of someone who’s just run up six flights of stairs with heavy shopping, or as The Love says, John Candy.  You don’t dream, you barely sleep and every two to three hours you rise to release mysterious waters sent down from the gods that have no possible way of being contained inside of you.  To pee that much you’d have to have drunk down six or seven large fishtanks.  And you haven’t. 
But you are a fishtank.  A big swampy one that’s awkward to manoeuvre through doorways.  With a creepy filter that hums and blows bubbles through the night.  Hopefully there are some little castles and treasures down there to keep the fish entertained.  Gosh it’s hard to imagine there’s just one complete creature in there.  The man in the épicerie continually reminds you of this by insisting you’re expecting twins.  “Jumelles ou jumeaux?” he insists, chuckling every time.  He is fat, next time you should ask him what he’s expecting.  “Un de chaque,” you respond, trying not to be gruff, but it is the hundredth time he’s cracked the same joke.  He is nice, but you do wish you’d just buy a 6-pack of Badoît next time and a whole packet of marshmallow bears rather than continually having to run down there.  But the six pack is too heavy for you.
Oh, heavy, tired old you. What is supposed to happen from here?  Today you and The Love decided it was time to call for the inhabitant(s) of the tank to become aware that all your projects were finished, that she was well ripe, and that the terrestrial world was well and truly ready to receive her and all her parts.  You did the traditional ‘Lovers Day’ route – starting at St Paul, a panaché and a Leffe outside the Petit Fer-à-Cheval, a visit to the hat-shop, camembert tart and an insane lemon millefeuille at La Loir dans la Théière where the woman at the table next to you proudly displayed her sweet 4-month old and complained to you about her awful birth at the Hôpital Tenon where you spent a dreadful hour after your accident years ago.  Then a wander in the sunshine to the Café Hugo to say hi to Flo but he wasn’t there, a meander along the Rue de Rivoli to buy you some Converse and save your oh so aching back, a visit to the Pompidou for fun.  On the metro a kind man stood up for you and you gratefully fell down like a sack of lumpy potatoes.
It’s time.  There is so much wonder and excitement and terror and this fantastic ecstasy-like drug-bomb feeling at least four or five times a day – you wonder how you’ll go back to ‘normal life’.  You suppose you never shall. 

Michael Leunig 'Seven fish in the afternoon'

Artwork du Jour 108

Everywhere you Look