I've gotta go over to the con and update my tango collection.
It is likely that Arlene Textaqueen is the only person who could possibly understand the following lyrics - to my favourite breakup song......
"Quiero, emborachar mi corazon
Porque mi vida est un infierno
Para amor est un suffrir....."
and she'd also correct my now abjectly shithouse spanish.
but anyway - the song as I know it is sung by a sexy argentinian woman Lucia Vergara??? and the tune is kind of like Gardel ditty "Maria! Cuando las ombras de mi pieze...."
only much better, and the lyrics are........
"I want to make my heart drunk
My life is a hell
Why is it that to love is to suffer?"
Like, that sooooo shits on The Smiths!!!
Mind you finnish tango, isn't very far - with the 4 lyrics I know to one song - being the story of my broken heart - or the seduction away of my beloved Abel by the twin forces of Slut and Tinkerbell.......
"You stole my sanity
And made me your slave!
I thought it was forever
but for you, it was only a game!"
Wayyyy cool. And I recorded a tiny bit under an arctic sun during the Finnish Snow Tango Competition ion Tampere this year..... 5 days after St. Valentines day, Sob!
Anyway, I segue. (wanky academic word for digress)
Nostalgia - is the name of the Argentinian Tango about drunken hearts. I've gotta get to Buenos Aires one of these days........
and nostalgia is the theme of this posting, coz I'm steeeped in it.
I dunno if I posted the sotry of MY WEDDING on this post. Most people know about it. Abel and I had a cult wedding in 2001 - coz we needed to get "Ten Photos of both of you with family and friends" and we didn't have any and decided that a big wedding would be the best way to score some.
We plotted the whole thing in "the Shamrock" a squat on Wilson street - that after 5 years is only now just being emptied and renovated for use by its owner, and we scavenged some of the wine undestroyed by some fire..... and toasted our union with what Abel still raves about as the best wine she's ever had in her whole life: a 1975 D'Arenberg Shiraz.... that was like nectar..... a thick rick sweet honey - so all those hard old aussie solid mineral fugs had been warmed and mellowed into something really really incredible.
The plot was undertaken with our old squatting friends from the Wattle street biscuit; Father Stan and Sister Joan. They had been going out at the time - and decided to describe their relationship as some sort of sex cult: New Orders Of Flesh, or NOOF. so we had a NOOF Wedding. We even had a pulpit with NOOF in Neon glasswear, under a big purple elvis heart. Abel did the full meringe and Father stan lent me his 3-piece white polyester suit, and I stitched exquisite white vulvas on everything I could find - including a white satin stetson.
IN terms of media coverage - we had it pretty cool. there's a video disk somewhere of the whole event, and one friend even broadcast bits of it on 2SER's ARTICHOKE. We also had Tamara Dean, herald photographer to take the photos - but I never saw a single one and if you think I'm ever going to ever forgive her for that, remember I'm FUCKING IRISH CATHOLIC. we don't forgive; we kneecap! Fortunately I gave my film loaded SLR to another, then herald journalist, who took lots a photos and returned the object to me - whihc enabled me to get some photos for Ruddocks department. We even had a wedding artist: arleene Textaqueen - who recorded the whole thing in Artline markers, and did a wedding protrait afterwards. It think it was in Primavera the following year........
Having a lesbian 'marriage' is kind of odd. Because you get lots of people asking you seemingly politicaly approporiate questions about what quasi pagan new age wicca rituals you might be trying to reclaim. I was all for reclaiming RSL syle buffets, but we had a lot of vegan friends. Abel was into subverting her islamic heritage and so did an braised piglet terrine - all made from vegan substitutes died in rainbow colours. Father stan was into bloddletting and strangulation, so we had to incorporate that somehow. We did. Even thoguh I'm a squeamish wimp whose idea of bloodsports is throwing a used tampon into a wastepaper basket. sister Joan got on her hmedical festish gear and extracted blood form each of us which was then combined in some 1970's FOSSEY's short stemmed prawn cocktail glass. we then dipped saveloys in it and did that romantic arm twining thing as we placed our blood soked sausages in each other's mouths. Abel was into splashing the blood combo over the guests - but I persuaded thatit would be more polite just to ivite people to do a kind of saveloy eucharist experience wiht our blood. they all declined. wimps!
anwya - that's a long way of getting to another little segue (a real one this time) which is that Abel was encased in the meringue outfit: 4-foot train, legomutton stleeve,s court shoes, long veil and green wig - and felt blody trapped. she's not a femme at the best of times - her family all tells the same story aobutthe lasttime they saw her in a dress sometime in the early 1990's. So after washing down the blood with a bit of greater western sparkling brut (acutally it might have been seppelt). she stripped down to flouro striped bike shorts, a singlet and her newly bleached hair. (this was a surprise that our neighbour Rita had performed that morning; hiding anna away while I stormed around looking for tampons). so Abel was a blonde for a bit - and I've still got her 2-tone locks preserved under perspex in our hallway.
After the wedding - we headed off back to France - to spend 3 months sharing her RMI (french version of the dole) and living off her parents hospitality. I should write a scuzzbucket's guide to Paris, but its been done and the scams change each 6 months. Lets just say dumpster diving is a lot easier than here, and if you live in the Banleiu - you used to be able to raid the Poubelles du Gare for unused metro tickets. So we had a way of travelling in Paris (after a 45 minute walk to La Defense) for free! But I alsways feel abit weird when poeple ask If I've been to Pere Lachaise - and I go, err... yeah - to the soup kitchen! Again it was more touristic than real need. Abels parents had a great garden - and we also headed off to Belle Ile to live off scavenged seafood, mushrooms and chestnuts for a month.
anyway - in Belle Ile, we had this weird thing as abels' roots started to show and her curly 20-tone locks, started to look liek one of those 1980's style 'highlighted' hairdos - whith flicks goign everywhere. In short, with her slender frame, dark eyes and retro hair she looked uncannily like one of my old schoolfriends . Even though I come home usually once a year -and try to keep in touch, and I'm out to my friends and family and even had school firends a the 'wedding' - I have lost contact with quite a few people - including this friend - who left shcool after year 10 and moved to brisbane to beocm a hairdresser. And acutally I think the way I coped (and cope) with the heterosexist shell of the outer world, is that there are zones where I refuse to consider the possibility of sexual interesction. It's not possible in GLen Anus, not in the coutry, not within a family, not whtin a workplace, not among flatmates, not for straight idenitified female firends. I just don't let myself even half imagine the possibility of anything. so, lying aorudn wiht my lady love -who was looking uncannily like some old firend I used to hang out in the pool with, and also saw naked.... was really weird. I had to close my eyes when we had sex, or ask her to wear a scarf. It was REALLY WEIRD. Like being in bed wiht someone who looks like a cousin or a sibling.
So now, of cours,e I've discovered - as my firneds contact everyone for the year 10 school reunion, that this girl is gay. I heard it yesterday, and I was shocked and really unnerved. And I asked my firned who told me if she felt that weird when I told her that I was gay. she did of course. I remember discussing it with her 16 years ago in Mum's loungeroom. It was july and we were lying on the loungeroom floor with our legs up against the oil heater. And, she found it very very weird at the time, but - got over it - because she's my friend, and a damn good one - and also I was in a relationship wiht a man at the time - and I stayed in it for a few more years. So it was a non issue really.
So after hearing about the latest saphhic turn, I raed hoem and dug out our old photos fomr 20 and 25 years ago and peered at them, just like in those stupid american movies. Can you tell? And fuck, I hate to say it - but the old queer interpeltation thing........ I don't know where we learn it form, or how.. (I know why) - it was htere. I look at the way I stood, posed and stared with female friends - and I blanche (I WOULDN'T DO THAT NOW! NEVER!) - and I'm looking at my now gay friend and go ... oh God! Of course she's not the only gay in the village. There's another girl too from our year - but she left our shcool in year 6 - and was alwaysa total tomboy, and now she works in the bank and plays indoor cricket. No surprises, but no layers of ambiguity either.
so I'm wondering about how it will be when we meet. Will I do the femme eunuch thing and smile and apologise for not keeping in contact and recount some of the old times? Or will I, should I, look at her, as a mature lesbian looks at another mature lesbian - whihc isn't always a come-on - but it's a polite quiet acknolwedgement. Of sexuality, and christ! these things, however goddamn corney are important.
I remember being in PAris this year and walking into the bar where Abel and I were meeting Slut. and just relaxing as I could stand straight and hide my smil as other women looked me up and donw, and I could look them up and donw in return. and then that joy, dear joy of smiling and laughing in frogese as Slut, at a big table with a bunch of girls smiled and saluted me, (apart from bieng a girfriend stealing, politicaly deluded, fucked up, game playing scum - she is utterly charming!). In the bar, I felt like a human being, a sexual being and a woman with a hole and a hunger and hands, and not some oversized fuckup trying to fit into the stupid fembot mirroring that occurs in the rest of French public space. Its so different to sydney. Because at home, as long as I'm not wearing the stench of semen and stupid shoes, I can get that everywhere. In my street, at the corner shop, at the bus stop, at work, at uni, in the library, on the train, on the bloody plane. everywhere! It's not a begging come on look or a butch posturing -it is just that quiet glance, the eyes, the back, the pelvis, the legs, the corners of the mouth. It says, 'even here, you exist, I exist'. So I'm hoping that my old schoolfrind brings her partner down to the reunion, and that I can give them both that look. It would be the nices and saest thing surely? Otherwise - there's that really rally weird tension that underlies the awkward writing over of the past. Because its always there, that 'when did you know?" 'how did you know?'. Stupid me, screamed it out in our class year book "despite the obvious I am not GAY!!!" - and I've still heard girls saying that at uni, in sydney, where there's no reason to hide, apart from habit.
Sometimes, mostly, I am so glad to be a woman. TO have a sense of my own power, and my own sexuality and not be some scared, awkward angly little girl, overrun with confusing desires, and not sure what to do about them. I've only really felt like this in my 30's, partly when I started to get the right looks from all the nice buthces in the street, but also because I was doign stuff physcially where I had a sens eof my own body and how to hold it and stay inside it. Fucking hell. My bum has congeled onto the seat under me and my knees have gone numb. Time to go for a walk. to stride aroudn this shitbox town and try not to stoop too much. All the women here stoop, and hunch and shrink down, hiding their tits and hearts and hopes from the world. Its very hard not to imitiate. Very hard to be here, and know how to stare correctly. Everyone looks like strangers, but they probably are people that I know, or knew, or that my mum knows. So they and I glimpse at each others faces - weird half recongition flitting aorund our eyes. Unlike bathurst I'm not a stranger where I can shield my eyes from recongnition. And I'm not at home, not in newtown where I know thousands of epople, and know how to, what to, recongrise and acknolwedge in the rest. so I play the femme eunuch, because its safe, and its suitable armour wiht whihc to raid the op shops and search for any treasures. Not that I need any more clothes. But looking at other clothes, trying on things, trying on the old clthes in a coutnry town is to see the hidden worlds of other peoples secret selves. Porno ties, flashy dresses, crazy suits, sexy underwear. I try to imagine WHO HERE WOULD HAVe WORN THAT? AND WHERE? I love the memories, dreams, failures embedded in old clothes, and I love the dream state of women as they finger and fondle the discarded vestments on rakcs before them. time to get out there!
Nov 11: Giving a reading at Naked Heart Festival
2 weeks ago