Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Waves of distraction
After a brief but intense conversation with myself yesterday, I've decided that the essential purpose of my blog is to be A Journal. 'What', 'Who', 'Where' and 'When' as opposed to 'Why'. At least some of the time. I'm a little fatigued by the obsession. It's like the beginning of every love-affair, when you disappear into bed for days ... weeks ... 'making' love, kissing, holding, believing again - unquestionably - in the power of intimacy. The whisper of breath on your neck ... and the blissful ignorance of the rest of the world and all the people you knew and loved in it. Quick showers and endless embraces. The stomach is empty ... but the soul is full. And the soundtrack is Mahler. Eating, drinking, and any and every thing else become ad breaks in the 'end-of-season cliffhanger' of So, This Is Love.
Until one day, you realise you've lost the remote and you're stuck 'on' Ten. Seriously. The days of hungry embellishment become minutes of interminable obligation. The breath on your neck stinks. You run out of toothpaste. The voice cracks concrete and comes not only in another language but also from another room. The smile is toothless. The conversation is secondhand. The silence is preferable. The intimacy is acidic and the simplicity is complicated. The soundtrack is Trance. You're on SBS.
My parents called me yesterday ... our annual Easter catch-up. It goes like this: my Father tells me that the Uniting Church has decided to defend itself from the 'pressure of the gay and lesbian lobby'. "Well it's about time Daddy", I say ... without a hint of sarcasm. I am the archetypal son of a Preacher Man. It's the reason I over-react - the fatal flaw in my otherwise hopeful persona. I engage with the sentiment for two reasons: 1) I agree with, and encourage, him completely; and 2) he'll eventually put my Mother on. He and I politely ignore the fact that the chicken's a bit pink. She and I share dessert.
Maternal guidance is a quiet thing. Dads are the song and dance. Mums are the phrasing.
"Hello Geoffrey. Have you been behaving yourself?"
"Yes I have actually ... perfectly."
"Oh, what a shame. Why?"
Phwoomp. Harpooned. Again. She's famous for it ... and it's one of the things I love about her the most. Like the time she put "Cunt" on the Scrabble board and, in response to my seizure, my sister's plain-faced horror and my father's hotpot of shock, adoration and laughter, she brightly - if not somewhat rhetorically - asked: "Well, that's a word, isn't it?"
It was time to play hard. Sydney hard. It's the only way to begin to defy Mother's rather all too-clearly articulated disappointment.
The destination: Tamarama Surf Life Saving Club. The occasion: The world premiere screening of The Inaugural Surf Life Saving Association 2007 Sydney Gay + Lesbian Mardi Gras Float DVD. The relevance: I had participated (and was duly credited) by helping to dispose of 1,000 beachballs into the crowd along the parade route. The reason: Surely it's obvious.
I need to get 'off the grid' more often.
And I will write more about this wonderful evening when I stop catching sight of huge black fourteen legged spiders crawling from all directions toward my keyboard.
In the meantime ...