Monthly Archives: April 2008

innocence one

 The Hare said something to me. Silhouetted in a doorway he said:

“Do you remember the dream…?”
I said “I do.” You say “I do” at weddings for example, and weddings are the place for dreams. “I do” dream.

He said, “Do you remember the dream, when you were in the aeroplane…you were not in an aeroplane for long, of course. The door opened, and you crawled upon the clouds like a baby. Other people dream of flying! That is why I love you. It wasn’t a scary dream.”

“‘Course that was before the…er…terror”

And that was a word said nervously; I’m not sure I should transcribe it.

“This has nothing to do with that!” snapped The Hare.

“No sorry. I shouldn’t have…”

“You shouldn’t. You crawled out of that aircraft like a baby. You shouldn’t use naughty words like that. You don’t know how to. Even if there was an aeroplane, it is quite clear that your duty is that of a child, and you will one day be a father to a sky-crawler of your own. This is not a dream for your text books. Put those away before somebody steps on them. ”

I went to sleep.

“I sometimes seek dreams devoid of Freud’s presence – like when I was naive, and the little falling girl. To fetch a pail of water. Days that do not need textbooks to live through. Different words to describe things, an ear, and a computer. If a Richard, then also an Elizabeth.

And each of these things can describe other organs that we have, can be applied to those bodies found anywhere, including churches. Not immoral but amoral. I don’t “want grow up to be/be a debaser.” I thought I did, but I shouldn’t have to. Those guys, the deep-thinkers, they build great towers to knock them down. It is perhaps true that sex terrorised my world. To discuss not Richard, but Richard’s perfectly formed cochlea, the circular window through which he sees Elizabeth, who is good…because she is good at maths, and because Richard is good at television quizzes, and they share a dislike of mint imperials and conservative politics and Edwina, who is not good because she smells and because of an inexplicable curse which is nobody’s fault, but has nothing to do with “terror”. 

Bat pinnae come in different shapes and sizes.

“The Coming of The Age”, as they say, came to me in a typically poetic and literal way. I got stuck in a rocket designed for children, which I was evidently too big to ride in. My father, who happened to be wearing a Superman T-Shirt at the time, had to wrench me out of the tiny spacecraft. A trip to the moon just got more complicated. I was confused and would remain so for some time.

…a deadline, a job promotion, an influx of money, a chocolate penis. This is what everybody says – they say things like that, and you laugh. This is your – a snooker cue – to laugh, like rising steam, like the shorthand for “Richard”. Richard laughs also, but does not get the joke.

 

I WANT NAIVITY!

innocence two

innocence two – Chloë, Naïve (or, “reflections on innocence”)

An artist called Chloë became famous for her “silly” photographic portrait of an alleged Terrorist. It was made up of thousands of tiny pictures of the following – victims, news reporters, soldiers, drinks vending machines, torturers… She drank the beverage in question at the time but did not deem this too problematic. She refused to watch a certain news network, but one of her favourite movies – with the “click-click” shoes – would not have been possible without the cooperation of RupertVixen Films International, who have come under fire from the usual critics. One of this years most successful film documentaries, which focussed at least in part on RupertVixen, did in fact receive financial assistance from one of its many subsidiaries.  

Chloë did not understand her so called “Agent”, which is unfortunate because her “Agent” was the one who talked for her – on the videoconferencing and the Bluberry and the email and probably even some things that are yet to be invented. She did not look like her “Agent”, but her agent was everywhere.

Agents are like spies. If you do a thing, even if it’s a “silly” thing, you get an “Agent”. Everybody wants one, like first prize at the fair. Chloë probably had more than one, an unseen “Agent”. One who watched that certain news network with reckless abandon, and didn’t care. Her “Agent” had a diary stored on 256kb of her Bluberry. Her Agent’s “Agent” meanwhile had 5GB of storage or more, enough to store a larger diary, and thousands of very bland songs.

Chloë saw the postcards in the lobby. “Freedom”  was only one piece in her extensive body of work. She had since improved, but “Freedom” was the one everyone bought postcards of. She looked at all of the postcards in terror. She explained to her “Agent”:

“Listen, there doesn’t need to be another…”  she waved at the postcards distractedly and gulped as if she was eating something rancid. “…thing like this. Play down “Freedom”, play it down. I was young and it’s silly, well – not so young – but I didn’t know what I was doing”.

The work was called “Freedom” and the exhibition thing was called “Reflections on “Freedom”. They were expecting her to give Reflections. But the work was not a mirror, she explained to her “Agent”, and she was neither ready nor willing to explain anything. Lately she couldn’t even stand to have a mirror in her own bathroom. She could not give them “Freedom”, in the Open-Dialogue they wanted. She felt like emptying a refuse bag on the gallery floor, puking onto patrons’ suits and pinning banana skins to the walls. She didn’t know what to do.

 “The issues of the day”
“people need to see visions like yours reflected…”

 “The issues of the day are not like soups”, she thought. She tried to clutch herself to the bosom of a room with unforgiving corners. Agent was one of them, like all these people who had no warmth. Perhaps soup was what they wanted, not Issues. Issues are not known for their soul-soothing properties.

“Chloë, everyone’s confused. If you’re confused, then, sure I am too, why not. I don’t have a fucking clue, what’s a Terrorist? What is “Freedom”? People like it, Chloë; they’re buying the postcards in the lobby. Who wants to send a Terrorist home in the mail? No-one. But now it’s “Freedom”! 

Everybody likes you as an innocent.  You don’t drink, you don’t do drugs…”

“I use naughty words. I didn’t mean to.”
“What?”

“Nothing”.

“Frankly I dunno what the hell you must have done to get here. But you’re not at Art School any more, and these people don’t think this work is “silly”. You know I respect you, Chloë, but you’ve got a lot of growing up to do.”

A journalist for RupertVixen Publications attended Reflections on “Freedom”. Just last month, he attended a premiere where a European filmmaker gave credibility to certain things he had assumed, in the privacy of his own mind, to be absolutely immoral.

When Chloë was a child, every evening on TV, a teddy bear would take a shower, brush its teeth, snuggle up in bed and go to sleep.

If you weren’t sure it was night-time, it was then.

 

innocence one

Nosebleeds & A Tricycle

Semi-regular nosebleeds. My unruly nose bleeds onto the handlebars of an oversized tricycle designed for people with special needs. I found it, presumably abandoned, outside the gates of the museum of clockwork, which was for some reason closed for the summer months. That is my story, you can ride it if you like. Either way it is not changing.

I have ridden this bicycle drunkenly past girls who were not impressed. Perhaps I am too old for a stolen oversized tricycle. I have ridden it half-naked past boys, to McDonalds, where I disguised certain things, as boys of a certain age do, with an extra long cardigan my mother knitted subconsciously for the purpose.

There is no Ellington’s anymore. That was a small independent chain of fast-food restaurants that only exists in this and a few neighbouring towns. Not in space, not in Belgium or London or France or even America. A handful of people – if they could fit in a hand – have been chosen by Destiny to taste Ellington’s Legendary Shakes. There is no Ellington’s any more, only McDonald’s. Which admittedly is cleaner, those guys run a tight ship because a friend told me their motto; “If you’ve got time to lean, you’ve got time to clean”.

I hope they don’t sue me for mentioning the name. It is not called McDoodles, and I am in love, with a girl I haven’t met yet but we will meet someday soon. I hope by then she knows me and because it is love I will not wear my mother’s cardigan.

Maggie.

Maggie’s smoke rose and circled around the brim of her calm blue hat. Counting the clouds from the window of her hotel room, she pondered the idea of a new project, made of her hair. An innocent quilt, she thought. No slave labour, all her own work. She did not usually wear hats indoors, but it was the same as the sky, acctually a kind of purple. Hold that thought and paint it.

With no camera to hand, a bony dog wandered into the street from nowhere, an aeroplane flew overhead which was so small and distant it must have been wary of Maggie’s insect repellant, which was bought for one of these many quaint shopfronts – the one with the sign of the neon green cross.

The air must have done something to her blood. Something logical and sciencey must account for the difference in the air, and how good and different it felt.  The boney dog sang a small and melancholy tune. An old, jolly drinking song, but not as jolly as it might be, coming from his canine mouth. A drunken man came to stroke the dog; the dog backed away and disappeared between another quaint pair of buidings. The old man bottled, for tomorrow’s day of drinking, the sympathy of a dog – which is a valuable gift.

 

Poured Over Coffee.

We are waiting on a man to come and fix the grandfather clock in the hall, next to the table with the phonebook and the scribbled unfinished notes from an unfinished conversation with a man on the phone.

He rang to say he cannot make it – I think it was this morning – because he himself is a grandfather and he is sick and wants to spend more time with his sickness and his grandchildren.  We are expecting him later now, though we cannot be expected to know when later is, because the clock is unpredictable. Sometimes it will chime every minute instead of every hour.

Furthermore, I sense that The Hare is troubled. His mutterings have become more frequent. Now, roughly every 10th word he thinks will be expressed as actual speech, and the words he chooses have begun to unnerve me.

Grandfather clock maintenance requires wisdom, not words.  A person’s suitability for the job can sometimes be measured by the wrinkles on his or her face. This is such a well-known fact that it almost borders on cliché.  Right now, The Hare is wishing he didn’t talk so much.

I told the old guy, from whom we are expecting a visit, that we spend most of our time drinking coffee and eating substandard dinners from packets. In return, he offered us a story about a War which is apparently so infamous it does not need a name and is known simply as The War, even though there have been many, not to mention those occurring right this moment in my living room.

The Hare is preparing for the wars he thinks are yet to come, whereas I wish they would hurry up, for want of something better to do. This is the nature of our conflict. I wish the man who is coming to fix the clock was here now, fixing it. The Hare should live with time and not words for time, like “minutes”, “hours” and “days”. I am not making sense; he would articulate it better himself if he was all here. Sadly, he is matching into the wallpaper, and the breakfast cereal, and the coffee and, for the first time ever, his dreams about nothing.

It shouldn’t be like this on my Birthday. It is not my Birthday today; if it was I would tell you. But on my birthday, I will have a Super Mario Bros. cake, for a sense of semi-ironic nostalgia. Everybody reading this will send me presents. Everybody will be invited to our living quarters, where a ceasefire will be arranged for the occasion. I will allow all my friends to light up indoors, even though there is a new law against it.

The Hare lives for Birthdays and Christmases. The rest is unlabelled time which should, I suppose, be a glorious thing.

Continue reading Poured Over Coffee.