Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thanks Kevin Bacon

Nothing much is happening and yet so much. Doogie Howser grew up and is now holding a conversation with Jon Stewart about his role in a Smurf film. It’s apéro hour and the tv is loud and when the screaming child’s voice reaches a certain peak on the baby monitor it distorts and sounds like the devil. I wonder why nobody has made a horror film yet involving a baby monitor. Perhaps that can be my contribution to society as a new mother instead of knitwear and baked goods. It could be called The Monitor.
Despite the apéro hour monitor devil, Kiki is blooming. She laughs at lips. She eats toes. She calls boobs dada. Good name for a band. Boobs Dada. And she recently gave us our bed back. Which we’re grateful for though I miss her as I lie there turning the pages of Slaughterhouse Five. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to read Slaughterhouse Five. But I do believe that books come to you when they’re ready. I knew it was time for Slaughterhouse Five because I received two signs:
1.   As I was unpacking hundreds of tatty paperbacks from boxes in the garage for some reason I put it aside.
2.   As we watched Footloose that night Kevin Bacon brought it up.
And Kevin Bacon was right. It’s perfect timing. I just can't read right now. And Slaughterhouse Five is so good you don't even know you're reading, it's just sort of breathed on you. Thanks Kurt. Thanks Kevin Bacon.

Artwork du jour 123

Ladies in Portugal

Monday, August 22, 2011

Loose Tarts and Lemon Cake

There is lemon cake and a disastrous spinach frittata thing on the bench. I have been cooking. It is wrong. It’s the bright green Rose Bakery cookbook’s fault, it inspired me, teleporting me back to the Rue des Martyrs. I was always late to the Rose Bakery, there was usually just crumbs left on the counter, perhaps one random tart. But the random tart was still good. Appropriate. Ah, Rue des Martyrs. We stayed at the Hôtel Amour off the Rue des Martyrs once after a disastrous attempt at theatre making in Portugal. To make our hearts feel better we bought a barquette of painfully sweet mara des bois that cost about the same price as our ticket and went and ate them on the bed of the cool cat hotel owner’s favourite jet-black room with all its 70s magazines with pre-pubescent cover girls lined up on shelves. It was a horny room and sexy people milled in the courtyard below being Friday night cocktail cool. It was hot - late summer. We flopped on the bed. I wondered if we’d make it to the Rose Bakery the next day before all the tarts were gone.

Artwork du jour 122

Horny Hotel

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fluffy Goren Doona Brain

I’m trying desperately to find form, to create some sort of system in which to fit myself into, some sort of structure, but every night I find myself here, in this same position, noticing that the day is yet over again and I am repeating the words
In New York City’s war on crime the most serious offenders are prosecuted by the detectives of the major case squad.
These are their stories.
I had never noticed Law and Order before, never even knew who Goren was, but here I am again, watching him overact in that insufferable, wondrous, addictive way and now I can say the words in the beginning perfectly rather than in my own gobbledygook which The Love just admitted he doesn’t find as interesting as when I spoke it in gobbledygook. If I try now I can’t even do the gobbledygook. Because every night after we’ve finally got Kiki to sleep all I want to do is lie back on the couch and eat lamb stew and surrender what is left of my brain to some fine, grisly murder. Last night it was a pharmacist who diluted cancer drugs leading to a lovely elderly man being forced to euthanase his dying wife – uplifting stuff. The night before, the image of the lady in the trunk of the car was so gruesome it gave me nightmares. I don’t know why I’m finding depressing murder stories so comforting at night at present. I don’t even know how we ended up watching television.
It’s this struggle with definition, these fluffy days, all is flabby, muffintops, marshmallow. My brain is a doona. My mind a floatie. The days whizz by – where am I again – in a seaside town with a pram, my hair chopped off and hips that belong to some lady. A page 3 chest. Thinking about baking and the benefits of rice cereal and feeling guilty for chocolate and - What? The rain is falling. There are magpies at night and I just can’t figure out why they are singing their warbling song in the cool, black, seaside night. Is it a mating thing? Are they aware what that can lead to?
It’s time for bed. Really. Go to bed. Yesterday after having a shard more sleep there was a moment of clarity that broke and then passed before I could catch it. But it lasted just long enough to leave a memory and I really should remember that memory and try for a wider one. Go to bed.

Artwork du jour 121


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tomato Soup Murder Dream

The Love and I had to murder two people and destroy the evidence. We were at a party. The Branagan boy was there. The Love did the first murder and cut the body into little pieces. We were ok, nobody had noticed. I was so relieved he had done the hard work. The second body we boiled down into tiny cups of tomato soup.
“I could just drink the evidence,” I said to The Love, feeling uneasy about how he’d react.
“Ok,” he said. “Sounds like a good plan.”

Artwork du jour 120

Love is Now

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Message in the Monoprix

I was wondering how on earth anyone could even consider the superhuman feat of having more than one child today when I remembered the Store Detective Messenger.

It was dinnertime a few months back and I was in the Monoprix buying one of those pre-made tagliatelli plates with rubbery salmon on them and a few sad chives. Kiki was about five weeks old and I had her stuffed inside this sort of pink burrito cushion thing we termed The Pink Uterus which was stuffed inside this black backpack thing that was on my front. A frontpack. Anyway she was safe deep inside there but I still felt weird and unstable being out on my own. The Love was in Berlin and it was the first time I'd been alone with Kiki and myself and motherhood. So of course I found myself in the Monop buying crap takeaway.

I knew I looked like an amateur, an impostor, a baby-stealer. What was I supposed to do with her? How was I meant to cope without the calm assuredness of The Love, without anyone to bounce off?

I felt scared, loose, dangerous. I held on to her tight in the refrigerated section. I selected the least sad plate I could find. And when I turned there was a man there.

It was the store detective. A slender, refined man of african descent with lots of badges on his uniform. What did I do? Did I really look that suspicious?

I moved away from him towards the nuts and spreads. He followed me. I really didn't know what he thought I'd stolen. I felt that familiar guilt of being just a guilty person, one who gets nervous when going through customs wondering if they'll find the stash she never packed. 

I looked at him with a weak smile. 

"Errr, oui monsieur?"  

"How old?" he asked.

"What?" I replied.

He pointed to Kiki who was fast asleep inside her pouch.

"Oh," I said. "Five weeks."

"Don't think," he said. "Have another."

"Excuse me?" I said, wondering if I'd understood his French. 

"Have another," he repeated. "Before you think about it. You can never think about it, especially between the first and the second. It's just important not to think about it."

"How many do you have?" I asked.

"Three," he said. This surprised me. The gravity of his expression told of droves of children.

"Just don't think about it," he repeated again and then turned and solemnly returned to his duties.

It was one of those strange moments where it feels like a messenger has appeared to pass on words from somewhere entirely else. As though the message never belonged to anyone. It was just meant to be yours and could have come to you in any form.

As I left the store I said au revoir monsieur to the man who was now positioned next to the sliding doors, hands clasped neatly in front of him, face vacant. He acknowledged me in a tiny way without nodding or saying anything at all. As though we hadn't shared the slightest intimacy. 

Artwork du jour 119

Too Many Mes

Monday, August 1, 2011

Bourgeois Minutiae

Today we went to the pier again, the one we can walk to, and contemplated, which is a bourgeois thing to do according to Marxists.
Our daily walk and bourgeois musing has become my favourite part of the day, just walking and thinking and talking and wondering things such as how on earth did we end up here right now, and what shall we make of our lives from this point?
I still wake up each day feeling like I’ve been whacked over the head so it takes a while for the reality of my existence to sink in and the fresh air helps. Come to think of it I’ve felt whacked over the head for much of my adult life. But that’s beside the point. And Kiki is here now to guarantee an ever greater state of bewilderment, just in case I begin to feel an inkling of my feet touching the ground.
Life right now feels like a sort of hiatus and it’s easy to get swallowed by the surreal feeling, so it's good to walk and think and discuss all sorts of things in varying minutiae.
Today it was music and writing and LA and Paris and LA OR Paris and Melbourne and Queenscliff and lighthouses. We discovered the Point Lonsdale lighthouse was erected in 1854. I thought about lighthousekeepers. And we talked about world war two because of the old forts you can see built into the hill as you walk back towards the shore from the pier. And we talked about d-day and all those fields of white crosses in Normandy. And we sat and looked out at the ocean and tried to orientate ourselves according to the land we could see. And we saw the image of rain far away.
I like being here, near the water. In this strange way I feel closer to, say, Paris, here than I do, say, in a city like Melbourne. That may seem weird because Point Lonsdale is a tiny beach village that couldn’t really be metaphorically or geographically further from, say, Paris. It’s even miles away from the airport. But the thing is you can look out over the water and forget that you know it’s Sorrento over there. It could be anywhere. You could dive into the water and come up and there you’d be, at Prune, drinking an Affligem, picking at a little glass bowl of questionable cacahuètes. You could even be in New York. But if you’re somewhere like Melbourne, say, you know you’re in Melbourne, even if you squint really hard in the Paris end of Collins Street. There’s no suspension of disbelief. Not like looking out over water.
Anyway, there were lots of thoughts and possibilities as we sat there looking out. And we felt fat and bourgeois and grateful just to have Choice.
Bill Henson 'Untitled'

Artwork du jour 118

Almost Human (again)