Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday

Do you think it's cute that there's a day called Sunday?

A Bewildering Thought

Does it ever suddenly occur to you that in 130 years from now not one single person alive right now will still be living on the planet? Even babies that just got born?

Does that slightly disturb you?

Imagine the silence - all of us gone. New models replacing us - ones that look sort of like us with some of our mannerisms, but none of us, us. Pictures of us, maybe, videos - but essentially an entire community wiped out. 

And there's not even anything armageddon about it - nothing apocalypse. Just nature. 

So mathematical, the finality. None of us here. And there's no arguing with it, though my brain so wants to. It keeps saying But but there's no Buts about it. It's absolute.

I'm not sure how I feel about it. The only word I can think of, if I really try, is bewildered. 

 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Rainy Sunday Gare de l'Est



Kiki Speak

Kiki's first words were Wassat and ffff. Now she says Flower and Oh Wow and Nah and Harow (hello) and GoGohh (all gone) and Ovwa (au revoir) and CarCar. CarCar is a tough one because it sounds just like the French word for Poo and in the park and cafés it garners a markedly different response from the clappings and marvel she gets at home when she points at a wheel. What is actually a brilliant example of precise object recognition and expression, for the French public is random nappy humour. Oh, isn't she cute, everything's poopoo. Poor Kiki. I hope we can help her before she starts at crèche.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Old Prune New Prune

Since I first arrived in Paris eight years ago, Chez Prune has been my local. At midday they stop letting you sit at tables, you have to sit at the bar to allow the lunch clientele to eat, whether there's a single lunch client in the joint or not. It used to drive us nuts because we wouldn't crawl out of bed until at least 11:45. And that was because we'd been there the night before for apéro and ended up staying until it shut at 2. I still go to Prune, but now I'm there waiting for the roller doors to open at 8 and I can't fathom that there was a time in my life that I'd roll out of bed at 11:45. Today I was there with Kiki and J and JL. Kiki will attend the crèche directly across the road from Prune in September and we waved to the graffitid roller doors over there in anticipation. It appeared like a mirage that crèche - I had never noticed it was there, nor that it contained children. Seems I have a new head on with a brand new set of eyes.

In the rain in the night

Walking home in the rain in the night in the summer is particularly beautiful particularly after one too many cocktails with someone excellent. The roads shine with so many reflected lights you know you're somewhere full of life even though it's raining and it's night and you caught the almost last metro. I love the shining streets. The feeling that all that muck might be washed away. The knowledge that soon you will be inside. Hoping that the men in the park will be ok.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fifteen Minute Nothings

I stopped writing because time was precious and I thought - if I can find time to write a blog post a day, then I can find time to work on a chapter of a book, a short story, a something. And then yesterday I realised that since I made that pact I had written nothing at all - except the odd facebook status update. And I thought - if I can write a facebook status update then I can write a blog post. So I thought - ok - fifteen minutes a day - go on. A little something, a nothing.

So, I'm back! 

Thanks!

I'm in Paris. 

It's raining.

And fifteen minutes is up! Ah!



Pekka Jylhä 'With Tremor and Respect'


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Bad Bunny

I am an awful friend who forgets birthdays.

I hate myself.

Trouble is, I don't know dates. Dates have no rhythm to me, ie, daily. That is no excuse, I know. I want to pay more attention to dates as of now. A friend has this fantastic little calendar in her john with people's birthdays and anniversaries in it. It's not a yearly calendar, it's a life calendar, that repeats year after year - I know because I've been there two years running and I've seen that it is still there and turned to the correct month. It's not cumbersome or imposing, it just sits there quietly and informatively by the light switch as you stare at it blindly, semi-registering that today is in fact a number and perhaps it is a day you should be present on, rather than slipping through again on your blurry rollercoaster. The john is the perfect time to be reminded of such things, rather than, say, reading the same paragraph of the new yorker fiction section. The new yorker doesn't belong in the john, you don't get enough time. It belongs on the kitchen table, the bedside. My john shall from now on be empty, aside from the little calendar. I will look at it, note that today is 25. Think - hmmm - nothing today, but what about tomorrow? Interesting. Must not forget that one. Next week? Birthday season. Must remember to buy...etc etc etc. And I will add to it, the more dates I gather to remember as life goes on. And I will be good. I will be a rememberer.

I have tried to find a little calendar such as the above but they don't seem to exist and you really want one that you like because you're going to have to live with it for a while. I found a nice one but it was in Italian and I didn't want to risk looking at Gennaio instead of January and drifting off on some italian loo fantasy. You can make them yourself online, but they look cheap and dicky. I need one with authority. 

Anyway, it's no excuse, the dates, the calendar, the john. I'm sorry Angel. I love you every day. Your birthday is so important to me. I promise I'll be better.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Panama-nah

It is our anniversary today, so it's only fitting that Mr Rabbit be on a plane to Panama. I'm down with it. We ate an incredible dinner the other night which involved squab 'and it's heart' and a single glass of champagne that will forever live on in my own squabbish heart as the glass of infinite cheerses. I wore red pants. It was magnifique. 3 years is leather. He gave me boots. I joked about gimp masks. Today he left at 6am, me with my boots, Kiki with mahna-mahna on youtube. It's hard to get into mahna-mahna at 6am when Mr Rabbit has just left. The house is blue. And those puppets are just so pink...

I think it's appropriate that Mr Rabbit be on the plane to Panama on our anniversary because it's freedom, and that's why I decided to get married to him, because life with him makes me freer. I wanted to catapult myself onto that freedom and ride on it for life. And three years on it's true, it has got freer. Yes, I may be home with my boots in the dark and mahna mahna, but I am utterly liberated and that is because of him. I don't want to get all sappy, but the day I married him, it was like being a vessel in a vast hall of light. I felt picked up. Just like the day we met. I never imagined getting married really, though I experimented with the idea plenty. Mainly the experimentation was with the idea of completely losing myself inside someone else and disappearing, utterly. This is the opposite of that. It's like standing up on top of someone else and then letting them stand up on top of you. You're separate, but you can get higher together. It's good. I am in love with it. I am in love with being married to him, just as much as I am in love with him. Sorry, that probably just made you vomit in your mouth a bit. But that's ok, it's love day. I love you Mr Rabbit. I hope you're having fun up in the clouds playing tetris and drinking scotch. Are you playing tetris? Or watching movies? Bit of both? Or is tetris boring without a challenger? Are you sleeping? I hope you didn't get any sickness. Will you bring us home hats?

 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Fashion. Style. War.

Still kills me.

Wondering about Fashion

I am wondering about fashion.

I am thinking about presentation and how even though I am currently living in seclusion in a remote seaside town which was recently host to a large-scale ice bust, it is important to get up and get dressed. I have noticed the difference it makes, even when not being seen all day. I heard once that Nick Cave gets up in the morning and puts his suit on, has breakfast and then leaves for work. Which is his studio downstairs in his house. I suppose it's a form of honoring your work, your self, presenting yourself, even if it's just to yourself. For yourself. 

Because, after all, what else have you got?

I'm into it. 

All over it.

Cruising photos of Paris fashion week. 

Fantasizing.

And particularly loving this chick.

 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Slow Down Elephant Underarm Eyes

Hey, life can really go fast and I just realised it's up to me to slow it down.

I'm going to.

Starting with not trying to do so much stuff.

Take a chill pill, lie on grass. I haven't had a day sleep in ages and I had one today and felt guilty. That was silly. Especially as the bags under my eyes were like an elephant's underarm. I'm going to sleep more and try to smell the roses. Starting today. We're going to - the two of us - it's a pact. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Baby Dream Hatred Dream

Mr Rabbit dreamt we had another baby. He said the feeling was great. And then when I asked him if he wanted another baby he shivered and said no.

I slept in the other room because the wind was making the trees scrape the roof down there and also I was wired and needed a change of atmosphere.

I dreamed that everyone hated me. It was a dreadful feeling. People were fighting in a bar - a man had his hand mutilated. Everyone was blaming me. I got on my bike and rode to the house of a couple who I knew, who I don't know, in a Carltonish place, and I asked them if they liked me and they said, Frankly, no. I asked them why. And they said, we just don't trust you any more. I was all panicky and I sat down on their carpet crying. Somebody had defamed me, like in politics, and nobody would tell me exactly what had been said. 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

April 29

Say you're on your deathbed and looking back at your life - what do you hope you'll see?

I've been thinking a lot from this perspective lately because I've been in a very very thick fog and needed to find a trajectory. The trajectory seems clear when I look at it in reverse like that, though the trajectory I see makes me want to curl up like a little mole and bury deep into the dirt. But I can't avoid it. The trajectory requires bravery. I must follow it or I might look back and not like the things I see - think - I wish I had done that. A life far different. 

I think that's terrifying. Don't you? More terrifying than not doing it. It's much easier to stop and stay and not do the things right now. But when you look back, man you'll be angry at yourself won't you? Disappointed. I don't want to be disappointed with myself on my deathbed. I want to be like - shit - that was fucking great. I really led the life I wanted. I want the trajectories to be good thick, strong lines sealed at their ends with achievements. Curly ones, stories. Weird offshooty ones. But good ones, strong ones, ones that I can see as good and solid and separate. Ones that make me go - sick - I did that. I suppose just to know that I'd made the most of all my opportunities, not wasted them on days passing, just days, days thinking - maybe I could have done something more...

The path from last year to this year has been far from clear. Looking from the grave has definitely helped. It's been my guide. When I look at it like that it becomes so obvious, so clear. And I realise things like - I probably won't look back and think 'I wish I'd spent more time on Facebook' or 'I would have liked to have seen more episodes of Modern Family.' Most evening television will in fact seem like a waste of time - Treme and Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Trip and shows like that are of course not included - those fall absolutely within the defines of the path to an extraordinary existence. But things like blog writing, 'catching up', not doing things you want in order to be nice, eating crap food - things like that definitely lose their power - not that they're bad - you just realise you have to keep them in check. You don't have much time. You want to look back and be able to see your life, watch those great big trajectories painting all sorts of skyscrapers.

And so, April 29. April 29 is the start of a path to somewhere - we're moving back to Paris. What is it about April 29? It's the day Mr Rabbit sat in his apartment in Northcote and wrote this beautiful song. We hadn't met yet. Now the song reminds me of so many things - Susy spinning from the roof in Berlin with an old man's face on, Shakespeare and Co, Austin and New York and LA and nights at The Toff in Town. Mr Rabbit mixing it with the curtains drawn at Les Récollets. April 29 is so many things. Mainly Paris. Now we're going back. It's been a torturous decision to make. Life's not just about me flitting around fancy free any more. I'm not solo to just fall on my own rear. But when I looked back from the end of my life it couldn't have been clearer. I can't spend my life wondering what if. I just can't. I can't ever look back and think - those were the days. The days should always get better, bigger, stronger, more defined. I have felt very lost - happy - but lost - and Paris was the last place I wasn't lost. Come to think of it I'm never lost there. I don't know why. We're not.

But that doesn't mean I don't wake every single morning aching all over for here. For big beautiful solid warm reasons that run so deep I can't even manage to write their names.  





Sunday, February 26, 2012

Kiki Walks

It's Sunday and the heat has made me feel all slumpy and directionless. Also we just watched The Ides of March. People can be so precise and determined. I feel so flaccid. I wonder what it would be like to have just one good, focused direction - know what you want - go and get it. 

Kiki knows about that. She has focus. Today, for example, she took her first steps - well, that is, according to me because she actually took them yesterday but I didn't see it so I chose to imagine it hadn't happened yet. Is that wrong? Anyway it happened today for real even if it happened before in other stratospheres. There was a lot of clapping. 

Kiki knows where she's going. 

I'll watch her tomorrow - take some lessons from her.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

New, Old

I am forever astounded by the newness of Kiki.

The sprouting of brand new shining golden hairs from her head.

Her discovery of steps.

The delight in her eyes at the start of a new day.

I feel so very old all of a sudden.

Tired.

I'm jealous of her newness sometimes.

I can't imagine what it would be like to be seeing everything for the first time, to feel all the little new things.

And yet it doesn't seem long ago.

How insane to think you'll be young forever. I think I actually did. It scares me to look down now and see the skin on my hands turning dry. I slather them with all sorts of butters in tubes.

But it's inevitable.

I can't go back. I'm glad I get to look at Kiki from this place, there are ages I'm glad I won't live again. Fourteen for example.

But it would be nice to be such a sweet new lump of luscious flesh, still to discover all that being young.

Perhaps I'm just in love. And my love for her is so vast that I wish I had more time - a whole new lifetime of time would be nice - I would like to love her from the age of a newborn until an old old woman.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Bad Breath Dream

We were in Paris, at a dinner party, at a big table like the Cook the Thief his Wife and her Lover.

J was there. She was with L. They were laughing together a lot. J was the lady of the party. Everyone was loving her. 

I was talking to her. She was hiding something.

What is it? I asked.

Nothing, she said.

Tell me.

I can't, it's really bad, she said. I knew she'd tell me. She always does.

Go on.

Ok, I'll tell you.

Thanks.

And then she was at the head of the dinner table and there were thirty people seated (cool people wearing fashion) and she read from the book she had just had published.

And she read a whole lot of words then And the car smelt like The Existential Bunny Rabbit's breath.

And she used my real name. My immediate reaction was to be flattered she had chosen me to mention in her book. But then I realised what she'd said. I had bad breath?

I asked her later, Do I have bad breath?

And she nodded. She looked away. I took it in. I was grateful she'd told me.

What does it smell like, I asked.

Fish, she said.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Death Row Snot Block

We talked about firing squads and how interesting it was that in fact we didn't think such a thing would exist in a day like today. Because we remembered that firing squads were all about helping the men firing feel less responsible for causing death - ie - with one of them having a blank and the fact they did it in a group.

We realised we live in a nasty era because someone would do the job. One single, nasty cunt. We don't worry about the psychological impact on the assassin these days - plenty of people wouldn't mind pulling a trigger. Isn't that awful we realised.

And then we talked about death row dinners of course, not only because of the firing squad conversation but the exceptional roast chicken Mr Rabbit had prepared.

He described his as starting with four to six betel leaf seafood roll thingies from Limeleaves or whatever it's called in Melbourne. That was after I reminded him he must choose an entree. Then a steak with the gratin from La Marine on the canal. Not two gratins? I asked. No, he said, impatient. I'm not greedy. Not even on death row? No. He gave me a Shut Up look and drew breath in that way that he does when I'm pressuring him to change his very set un-greedy, gentle, refined way. So I didn't comment more. But he was silent. Oh my god, I said, not dessert? Ok, he sighed. A fine dark chocolate mousse with a scoop of vanilla icecream. ONE SCOOP? He sighed again.

That's when I realised I was a death row glutton. I always thought I'd have my favourite thing but actually, the first thing I thought of was the vanilla slice I'd ogled that afternoon in the bakery, or snot block as it's affectionately called here because of its viscous consistency. I realised - I would really like a snot block for my death row meal.

Snot block?

Snot block.

Yuk.

I know, I said. I think I'd start with something rancid I never eat like say, McNuggets. And a Big Mac. Then I'd have two packs of fish and chips with heaps of tartare. Then I'd have about eight snot blocks.

And then I realised - it's a good way to go because then if you were going to face the firing squad or electric chair or lethal injeck you would have such a pain in the tummy you wouldn't care so much. You'd just want to be put out of your misery.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

10:10 on the 10th

Thanks Blah - you're right - Kiki is way not Lloyd any more - more like Rapunzel since my last post.

It's shameful.

But rather than write all the boring reasons why I haven't written and all the boring contemplations over time use and wastage, I shall write a short thing about something else.

Yesterday was 10:10 on the 10th - our 9th celebration of it. Of course it's not a celebration, it's a remembering of the moment mum was forever still. Next year will the 10th year of 10:10 on the 10th - and this morning I was wondering - imagine if all the 10s lined up and became so powerful that mum would just be back again. Poof! God that would be good. I wonder what I would say to her. I'd probably just hug her and go on with life, with her in it. Even if I could just see her that would be great. I miss her voice and the feel of her, but if I had to choose I'd probably just like to see her face again, her lovely lovely face and body. And just see her smile.

I always try to do something at 10:10 on the 10th - usually light a candle and say something into the candle with Mr Rabbit. Last night there were so many words to say that I said absolutely nothing for a very long time. Also anything I thought of saying sounded so small and ridiculous. Mainly petulant things like It's Not Fair. It's Not Fair is utterly ridiculous and pointless and stupid. Or She Would Have Loved Kiki - all that. It's bigger than that. The words sound so cheap.

I did end up saying a few things. I pretended she was in the light and I spoke to her a bit. I bit my lip hard to stop the pointless selfish tears. Then I blew out the candle and we sat there for a second and then went back to our computers. 

 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Kiki is Lloyd

Balls, I cut Kiki's hair. 

Now she looks like this:


 

Australia?

Today is Australia Day.

I'm not really sure what that means.

To be honest it all makes me a little squirmy. I mean, a lot of innocent people were slaughtered, non? Patriotism in general makes me feel a little strange I must say, people flying flags out their cars, wearing t-shirts with their country on it. It's wrong and I don't really know why. Why does it feel so, I don't know - conservative? Militant. Thoughts of France's Front Nationale, scary Americans with flags in their windows, drunk Australians going crazy with zinc all over their faces, stubbies flying in a moshpit. 

Something aggressive about it all.

I don't like it. I never really did.

I'm staying in the back yard today with my sister and two babies. 

We'll have a People Day.  

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Tragedy of Being Excellent

It's very very hot outside and it's night and when I was four Jenny W who was a friend of my mum's let me play in her walk in robe and inside the robe was a black dress with a print of a bird on it with an elasticised boob part and Jenny W said I could keep the dress and I somehow kept it for years and years and today I wore it. I'm wearing it now in front of the tennis. It's extremely 70s. And I'm watching Djokovic smear Lleyton Hewitt all over the tennis court like he's a tiny ant. Djokovic just looks so centred, a bit like the stillness of a cat with a sad little mouse. And the cat just wishes the mouse could give him some competition. Poor, bored old cat. For entertainment he sometimes lets the mouse run away a little bit before dragging him back again and again, just winning, winning... winning. Poor Djokovic, just too good. Like me with Boggle. I'm quite good at some games, but at Boggle I'm untouchable. It's led to extreme feelings of boredom - a bit like old Djokovic, out there, just too excellent. Cool Djokovic just out there on the court, in a league of his own, fluid, beautiful, at ease, while little Lleyts fumbles around, scrabbling to survive. It's humiliating. Barbaric. I feel like this when I tear someone to smithareens in Boggle - Mr Rabbit, my nan, anyone - make them cry. I try to reel them in towards me but I'm just too far ahead. I don't know why - the letters just agree with my brain, it's breathtaking - I can just see hundreds of combinations of words before me as the sand in the little egg timer stutters its way out. 

It's lonely being really excellent at something. I really feel Djokovic's pain.

Ooh Lleyts just got a set.

Djokovic let him run away a bit, the tease.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ginger

I’m done, badness out - stitches, yes and some curious air pockets sewn up in there. Ginger. Little. Getting empathy. Trying to lie down but it’s when you do that that ideas come to move. Music influences your writing doesn’t it – hard to be sweet and verbose with Black Market Baby on in the background. Hard not to become, I dunno, drawly. Matter-of-fact. Might take a Panadol. Might eat some salmon, stoke up the barbie. The sun is shining. It’s 6:45pm. Kiki went to sleep after making some truly bizarre faces. It’s silent. Thinking about Paris. About what I want the next part of my life to look like. I’ve never thought very far ahead. Never further than tomorrow or a few weeks. But now I’m trying to find pictures. They are coming. Had some brilliant post-op revelations – aside from all the overwhelming love – thought – hey I’ll rewrite my novel as a choose your own adventure – the idea felt so brilliant I just couldn’t believe it – couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it before – spent ten hours lying in the hospital bed plotting it out in my mind. Was excellent fun. Drugs affect me deeply I’ve realised, it takes a while for them to get out of my system and they hit me hard. I was too wobbly to go home like normal – couldn’t stand up. The drugs, I said, they hit me hard. Tried hard not to vomit in dad’s BMW – the ride just too smooth.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Bingo the Clown-o, Devils, Drugs, Cysty

Today I go in and have Cysty removed - yuk. I just thank heavens that I was born in this era when they can just stick a little straw in you and suck it out and all the while you're sleeping and dreaming weird morphine dreams of clowns. Imagine if you were born in the day like the Devils Drugs and Doctors exhibition that dad took me to when I was four. I'll never forget the Devils Drugs and Doctors exhibition. The sound of screaming as the man sawed the woman's leg off. I must have stood in front of that display for hours and watched it over and over. There was a funny smell, probably the chemicals they used to make the blood or maybe the smell of the plastic of the actual life-size dolls. I could hear the motor running inside that sawing man, but he still felt real. I wonder what they would have done to Cysty then. Sliced me open no doubt. Though they probably never even removed Cystys, they'd just grow and grow and suddenly you'd die and they'd call it consumption. Anyway, I'm glad. Tomorrow I'll be Cysty free. And tonight I'll probably be dreaming of Bingo the Clown-o.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Beauty of Being Consumed

I wonder if anything could confirm as clearly that you are an animal than taking your baby into bed with you in the morning and curling around her as she drinks you. The beauty is overwhelming and you wonder - was this what my entire complicated being was programmed for? And then you try to stop thinking and just surrender to the sublimeness of complete and utter flesh.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

What Dad Likes


“I like gherkins. I like sandwich pickles.”
Sometimes I love him so much I could almost die.

I'm a Fucking Idiot

I'm really on a lucky streak.

Yesterday it was Mr Abdulla Zongo who told me I'd won fifty million dollars. Today it's the event manager Mr Michael Lannon who wants me to contact him to collect my 500 000 GBP which has randomly been awarded to me via email address sweep. 

Look, I know it's not true. I know this because I remember years ago going to work at the Keg after receiving an email like the one from Mr Lannon and secretly wondering - could it be true - and just letting it burn there for the day as I made crappy margaritas made from a terrible pre-made mix. I wondered - wow - have I been chosen? And I let myself believe it. It was a good feeling. Then I quietly asked the other barman in his tight black pants and cheap white shirt, "Hey I got this email today saying I'd won a lot of money. I got selected at random." And the guy laughed and said he thought he'd heard of something like that. And I immediately felt like an idiot. But for quite a few hours there I really did believe it could be true.

I do see a pattern - see Ann Mathias. I just really like to believe. It can lead to some embarrassing moments and even worse it can lead to me doing a really stupid thing like the other night I gave all my personal details to a site posing as paypal including all my top security questions and personal details, card numbers, etc - basically every little detail about my life. So now somebody out there could be taking on my persona, preparing to commit crimes for which I shall be imprisoned for. 

That one was bad. Mr Rabbit was mad. 

And I just felt like a fucking idiot. 


Friday, January 13, 2012

Good Hate

Last night Mr Rabbit and Kiki and I were pulled up at some lights in Geelong. The sun was going down and we were urgently approaching the Indian restaurant after a day in the big town getting our backs cracked and laughing as the chiropractor swivelled Kiki’s tiny torso around making her legs fly out like a little full skirt. That was so funny. I still laugh when I think of it. Her face so serious.
Anyway we were pulled up at the lights and it was twilight and there was the big Ferris wheel there and two people meandered across the crossing in front of us. I knew Mr Rabbit was going to say something, but I wasn’t sure what.
“God,” he said, “Look at them.”
It was that sort of private conversation people have in cars.
“I know,” I said, “They look uncomfortable.”
To the common bystander these were innocent people. Normal people. But there was something about them, the way they slunk across the road. They were probably in their early twenties, a boy and a girl. The girl was wearing jeans and thongs and some sort of nondescript top. Her arms were folded across her chest. Her hair was pulled back in a rough pony tail. She was fine. Just sort of, nothing. And the guy, he was that typical Australian build, like he was once in a rowing team, not quite a neck, neat hair, cargo shorts, sandals and a striped polo shirt with the collar pulled up. It was strange that collar, cotton, you know, like a tennis shirt, but pulled up. It didn’t really stay up, it didn’t at all want to be stood up like that. But the boy had chosen to pull it up. Maybe he thought it looked cool.
His hands were deep inside his long pockets.
And they were just innocently walking across the road. Slinking really. His shoulders were up a bit. Hers were diagonal. They really did look distantly cool and very very unsure about it. You really would never ever look twice at them. But for some reason we did.
“I’m sure they’re very nice people,” said Mr Rabbit, sure this conversation would never escape the safety of the car, “But I hate them.”
The word hate was hit with such venom it made me laugh. My laugh was a sort of offended, mildly titillated laugh. He had said it with such honesty, such integrity. It made me shift a bit in my seat.
“What?” he asked. “I do, I hate them.”
“I know,” I said, “That’s what’s making me laugh.”
“I just hate them,” he said.
“It’s quite a strong word hate,” I said, “Especially when they’re just walking across the street.”
“I know but I just do,” he said.
We continued on and I felt quite good that he had said it and not me. Who could hate anyone they’d never met? We ate the Indian and Kiki crawled around the carpet and then got niggly so Mr Rabbit took her outside while I hoovered the rest of the lamb saag and paid the bill. When I got outside he was beaming.
“Guess who I just met out here?” he asked.
“Kylie Minogue?” I asked.
“No,” he said.
“Dad?”
“No, the people I hate! When I came out they were looking at the menu in the window. And I said, “It’s good. If you like Indian, it’s really good.” And you know what – they said NOTHING – and looked at me like I was weird! For even speaking to them. And I said YOU’RE WELCOME like Stephen Colbert would and the fuckwit guy says ‘Oh… cheers’ and slinks off! I was right! I hate them!”
So Mr Rabbit was right to hate. I will never judge him again for judging so well and harshly.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ann Mathias, the Sweet, Disabled, Middle-aged Man

There is a lovely disabled lady who lives in England that owns an amazing 2 bedroom apartment in the rue de Bretagne and is renting it out ridiculously cheap. I met her on Craigslist when I put up a post saying that a young professional couple is looking for an apartment to rent – right bank preferred, 2 bedroom ideal. One email jumped out amongst the others because it was such a good deal. An incredible apartment that just sits there right above the busy bustling street – the good end. It’s where she used to live but when she became to old and disabled to get up the stairs she moved back to England to be close to her family.
Too old and disable I mean. She says that in her email. She is disable.  

Her name is Ann Mathias.

Like many Paris home-owners she is concerned with who she rents the place out to – preferring to keep it empty because of the tenant-favouring French rental laws. So we have to convince Ann that we’re worthy – which I do by sending her lots of emails and even a photo of us at our wedding. We’re nice people. We won’t trash her apartment.

After months of communication, emails, getting to know each other, she asks if she can speak with me over the phone – just to connect. This is nice. It’s human. So I call. She can’t come to the phone but I speak with her husband – a lovely man who again explains their situation and fears about renting the place out to strangers. I put on my best voice. I am gentle and kind. I tell him all about myself and about Mr Rabbit and about our work and history. He still sounds a bit sceptical but I think I’ve won him over. He asks us to just send a 800 euro bond via moneygram, just to secure the place. This is very reasonable. My gosh – what place like that, in such a beautiful Paris street, would go for 800 euros a month?

It’s so good. Too good to be true.

But the day I go to Moneygram the exchange rate seems so exorbitant that I can’t bring myself to pay. I am unversed in such matters. I tell Mr Rabbit. 

“Yeah,” he sighs, “That’s probably about right. The exchange rates are always crazy in dodgy places like Moneygram.”

“Oh,” I say and go back the next day to pay.

But the girl behind the counter is a bitch. It makes me feel uncomfortable and instead I pick a fight with her. I leave again without paying the money.

That night I tell Mr Rabbit he will need to go down to the Moneygram place and pay the money in the morning. 

“You know,” he says. “People who ask you to pay money via Moneygram are usually scammers.”

I think about Ann Mathias in her wheelchair. So lovely. Her charming broken English. “I am disable.” Poor Ann Mathias. Lovely Ann Mathias who thinks we are a lovely looking couple. Sweet Ann Mathias in one of those mechanical chairs that hums her up and down from the bathroom in her suburban English home. Maternal Ann Mathias with her lovely gaggle of grandchildren leaning on her knees as she reads them Bye Baby Bunting. Poor rich Ann Mathias with her apartment just sitting there in the Rue de Bretagne.

“Yeah it sure feels all scammy in that awful Moneygram joint,” I concur. “But this is Ann. She’s so lovely. Plus we’ve spoken with her husband. It’s real.”

So the next day I sit in the car with Mr Rabbit as he runs in to the Moneygram office and pays the 800 euros. He sits back down in the car with the receipt number we now just have to give to Ann Mathias so she collect the cash at the other end. 

As we drive Mr Rabbit is silent.

“What is it?” I ask.

“You know,” he says. “This has all the hallmarks of a good scam.”

“No!” I declare – “No way!” and proceed to list the evidence. 

- Ann Mathias’ kind, human, disabled responses.

- Talking to her husband.

- The photos of the beautiful apartment.

- The google-mapping of their address in England – a charming middle class house that exists.

We arrive at our office. I notice a slightly niggling sick feeling in my belly. I sit down and type into google:

ANN MATHIAS

My eyeballs are immediately blinded by the screen:

SCAM ***** SCAM ** ATTENTION FRAUD ALERT **** BEWARE FRAUD BEWARE ***

Ann Mathias, the naughty Englishman fortunately never got our money. But the weirdest thing is that I still kind of miss Ann. She really became a good friend.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Intense Greed

On that note, I am wondering, if the block of Lindt Intense Mint was there, and then the entire block was eaten in front of an episode of Modern Family by a lonely bunny rabbit, was it ever there to begin with?

My feeling is that if a few squares were left in the foil and put back in the larder, then it existed.  

Perhaps the hair was never there

It's unnerving finding a hair that is not yours in your vermicelli.
But I put this to you - if you're really enjoying the vermicelli and you're at home and it's quiet and nobody is around, and you simply take the hair out of the vermicelli and flick it away, then perhaps the hair was never there.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My Name is Michael Caine

This series-cum-film is one of the most beautiful, complex, funny, heartbreaking things I've ever seen. If you haven't seen it I'd recommend the series as it's got bits they didn't put in the film. Thanks Mr Rabbit. Can't wait to watch it again and again and again and again and again and again.

 



Friday, January 6, 2012

Brian Eno and More Thoughts on Art and Shit

Here are some shit photos of the not-so-shit pieces of artwork on the wall of the friend's house in which we are living currently:



















To satisfy your curiosity, Cakes. I'm not sure if you can see what I mean. But they really are just not Shit. I wonder if you can see what I mean. Probably because of my Shit Art portraying them, you may not see what I am talking about. Though maybe my photography here is not Shit Art, because as lacking in technical skill as it is, the desire to be truthful is there.

Anyway, that's all I'll say for now about it.

Here are some things Brian Eno said in an old interview in The Wire about art that I love.

The sound of mice and typewriters.... I don't think that it's a lack of passion that disturbs me.... I never felt strongly pro-passion anyway. It's more the sense that the person making the music was not actually fully engaged - fully there - that big parts of their being were never invited to the party... What I want to hear is music that exists for some other reason than that the artist wanted to make a bit more CD earfood. Even the suspicion that someone might have felt something at some point in the process would do...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Shit Art and being Sure

I'm just thinking there really is a fine line between good and shit art isn't there? I'm thinking this because in the house that we're staying in there are two pictures on the wall in frames and they are sort of geometric art - sort of - minimal, contemporary things - and they're sort of the kind of art I normally don't like very much but for some reason these are very good. And it's really hard to name the reason why. They are just a random black line on a white background. One is a curve, one is a straight line. There is no reason for it, but they're lovely. Art like this can sometimes seem so empty. But these are not. I wonder if it's because the person who did them was being truthful. And they were a smart person - funny, irreverent, with a sense of humour perhaps. Maybe all work we truly like is because we identify with the person behind the piece - ie - the artist really does shine through, even in a line on a white background. In that line you can feel all their insecurities and strengths, their personality. Is that an obvious thing to say? Most of the time you can feel the person behind the art was a wanker and didn't truly believe in what they were doing or trying to make something pretty or something they thought people would like. You can feel their unsureness. And you're unsure if the piece is art or not or whether it's cool - you think it perhaps might be - people say so - so you buy it in the auction and then spend a lot of time showing it off though at night when you turn the lights out you curl up in bed and hold yourself, feeling all empty because you don't really know why the art is good. If you were honest it makes you feel nothing.
The lines on the wall near the kitchen don't make me feel particularly anything. I just like them. There is something trapped in them that's more than what you see. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Monday, January 2, 2012

Resolutions of the Rabbit

1. Write every day
2. Eat every day
3. Feed Kiki every day
4. Make sure Mr Rabbit eats too - I can easily forget, while focusing on 1,2,3
5. Keep dreamin'
6. Don't dream too much
7. Find some concrete things
8. Eat less concrete things
9. Get fit
10. Get inspired
11. Have company but don't waste time like Woody Guthrie said
12. Keep rancho clean (like Woody)
13. Don't give self too much of a hard time trying to be good at things
14. Don't get too caught up in head 
15. Keep doing
16. Love hard
17. Get sexy
18. Find a wonderful place to live and love it and set it up with all sorts of things in it that stay there at least for a while
19. Have a guest room 
20. Have guests regularly in the guest room
21. Don't eat too much toast - it's not a meal
22. Taste the chocolate 
23. Write down dreams in the Astier de Villatte diary don't just admire its prettiness on the shelf
24. Have parties again
25. Take photos
26. Be in the world again
27. Ride bikes a lot

Woody Guthrie's 1942 rulins

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hot nights and George Whitman

It's so hot tonight I can see my veins and I keep thinking there's an insect inside my dress but it's just beads of sweat popping and running down the small of my back.

Hot. It must still be thirty two degrees and it's 9.30pm.
We saw a rat crawl along the fence outside though I swore it was a possum. For a rat it was very cute - clean, and well fed.

It's 2012 now. I was thinking about some things that have happened in 2011, things I've liked, I might post a few.

Something I didn't like is that George Whitman died. Paris will be so much emptier. Even when you didn't see George in the bookshop you knew he was always there, upstairs, around - present. I've never known of anyone who has lived their life so consistently in the one place - working, doing, continuing, ageing. Without compromising his vision of things which was so positive - so naive - so believing in people - ideas that could so easily be manipulated by the nasty old greedy world - hey strangers, come and stay in my bookshop if you like, just promise to read a book a day. And yet he keeps doing it. And people come. And I'm sure there are lots of stories, lots of disappointments, lots of challenges. But they keep doing it. The bookshop burns down. They rebuild it. The joint continues to be a ridiculous fire hazard. They keep holding readings there in corners and outside and upstairs in the sloping room with books heaving from the walls. Music concerts. Discussions. And George, always there somewhere, maybe asleep, maybe reading. Like a ghost - an alive ghost - what an alive ghost - with nearly a hundred years of Paris stories - this view. And now George a real ghost. I didn't know him that well. But I will miss him so much - that feeling - will I see George today? There is something I can't get over about the line of his life - I don't know all that much about it - I'm sure there must have been so many highs and lows - but from the outside just the fact he continued that bookshop, and living in that bookshop for so many decades right up to the age of 98 just makes me think - wow - some lovely things can stay the same. Some people just want to continue doing the thing they love, even when the world wants to consume it and fatten it up and serve it to Hollywood on a big oozy platter.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/15/books/george-whitman-paris-bookseller-and-cultural-beacon-is-dead-at-98.html