Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Continuing from the last post's theme, here's another old entry relating to music. From the same year, 2004, I'm guessing it was written in Perth. 

Context? There's mention of "remembering" (meta-textual, addressing the audience, v. edgy, no?) sleeping tablets. A few years back I bought sleeping tablets for insomnia. They didn't work. The pills were left alone in a desk. Around the time of this post... well, you can figure out the rest. 


Tuesday 23rd of December
Why does the human race feel the need to dance? What is it about music that makes us want to move our arms and legs, hands and feet in complicated patterns to beats and rhythms? Why is it the more stupid humans in a room, listening to music, the more chance there is of an instance of dance? Why does one feel more inclined to dance when one's friends are dancing? Peer pressure, generations of social dancing drilled into us from the embryonic stages of our impressionable young lives, an avoidable impulse. What fuels this impulse? Does the beat of the music tap into a congruent primal rhythm running through our bodies? Do the fluctuations of our hearts play a role in this worldwide epidemic of foot shuffling? Whenever I'm at a club I start to get unnerved by the mindlessness of this hidden, ineffable suggestion to move with the music. My paranoia grows as I see more and more people fall under its sway, as their bodies are no longer theirs to control. It's almost like dancing is a global plot that has been hatched in the center of earth and then left to filter through all facets of society. He who controls the knees and hips can use the remote to strike the giant boot against any opposition of his choosing. The power of such a combined kick would be a mighty weapon indeed. Is music really a tone to set us off, drone-like, on our primary objective? I can only fear for the worst. We stop at the lights. A dude sticks his head into the car window. "Are you going to the casino?" No, we're not. The dude walks off. It's as easy as that really. Remember the sleeping tablets which have the horrible side-effect of causing drowsiness? If you don't then too bad, as cheats don't deserve bonuses. Over the last week or two I've noticed that the packet containing the tablets has been moving about my desk of their own volition. Tablets have also been disappearing at an alarming rate. So I set the trap. The packet stays on the desk but the tablets are hidden away. In their position is placed a folded up note. On the note is an anonymous message, which reads "Why are you taking my sleeping tablets without asking? (They are three years out-of-date by the way.)" Days go by with no apparent change to the packet. Finally, I come home late one night to find the sleeping tablet box open, with the note half sticking out. I open it up and a second message has been scribbled on the piece of paper. It reads:
"*Unintelligible scribble* FOR THE SAME REASON U EAT MY STUFF I'M A JUNKY + CAN'T SLEEP !!"
So I'm watching bands. They start getting brighter and faster, transforming into the most cacophonous noise I have ever heard. White hands beckon to me from the front of the stage. They're trying to draw me closer. My chest tightens. My breathing goes shallow. I follow the turning of the wrist with my eyes. My feet stay glued to the ground. A low squeal cuts through my ears. I can't move, I feel stunned. Fingernails and shoulders taunt me. My vision swims for a wild moment and then hits back with a jolt. The floor rushes up to me and away, past the follicles of hair and skin, finally coming to rest just an inch underneath the ceiling. I'm left in this void existing between space and time. It is infinite and yet nothing. I know the real world is above me but I could travel downwards and still reach it as a final destination all the same. Isolation is being positioned between two plains as they are slowly pushed together. Some hand flicks the light switch off and I awake, alone.

AAYL Now for some filler

Ha ha! What did I say about trying to post more frequently? Possibly it goes without saying, but I've been too busy writing the last chapter to have any time to trawl through the old entries. When in the midst of writing, I find it too hard to read anything else and keep my wits end from fraying. 

However - hind-, fore-, whateversight being fortuitous - I pushed through the pain barrier and 'gave a crack' at looking at the AAYL archives for twenty minutes this morning, while I was reading bad music press, and this old diary entry seemed to sync up nicely in the pursuit of serendipity. 

Please note: I doubt any context is required for this entry. If you know anything about the states of Australia, then you'll get what the taxi reference is about. Not sure what the terrible metaphors are about. I'm guessing the diary entry is from around 2004. 

Please, please note: No sex in this one.


Saturday 22nd of November
Your thoughts are irrelevant. Just because you live in a city of culture does not mean that there are any artistic or intellectual facets of your being worth mentioning. I had a marvelous dream last night. I dreamt that all of the world's music press no longer existed. My mouth was completely dry and nothing passed over my lips. Nobody knew what entertainment journalism was, they didn't even have a notion of what it would consist of. Shit, my head feels like it is going to explode. There's a tightly coiled spring in my neck pushing against my skull. Any moment now and I'll hear a violent 'PLOP!', closely followed by my brains bouncing over the keyboard. I'll continue forward nevertheless. It could be years before my body gives up after losing its main means of perambulation. Insert a preaching line. Insert a condescending line. Insert an asinine line masquerading as impertinence. Here are some thoughts about my meaningless life. Here's some musings on the validation of my existence. Now some filler. Now the best sentence I've ever written; a planet buckling, zeitgeist forming remark, deleted moments before I decide to use it. It's a lovely night. The sky is warm but the wind is a cool balancing breeze. Why don't you spend it outside? Wander along the pavement, past the silent pillboxes sleeping. Apart from the wind washing over your face, hear how silent the world is. Hear the stars call out to you from behind their cosmetic mask. Silver pinpricks pushing through the mist. Marvel at it, at something - hell anything - aside from your stupid self. I remember yellow taxis, I remember the shock at no cultural repositioning at all.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

AAYL Last of the Australian Libertines

Here's part two of the weekend's double whammy of the AAYL. There's not much that needs to said here. I went to a party with some friends, the following is what occurred, names have been been removed to protect the innocent, and for some reason I wrote it as if one were receiving a telegram. I would love to tell you the decision behind the choice of style but frankly such matters elude me. 


Monday 5th of December
The weekend held many exciting promises stop Friday eludes me stop Saturday was the Destroyer 666 gig stop Old school early nineties death metal stop Quite good for what it was stop Band sounded a little out of time stop Audience response was also a mute point stop Sunday was the ever ubiquitous birthday party stop It starts stop A diversion stop She tells me success is happiness stop Or should that be happiness is success stop "If you're happy then you're a success" stop What a simple way to look at life stop In the other ear I'm told that there can be no revolution because we're either too self-conscious or- stop Happiness is fleeting and never lasts stop Better luck trying to catch unicorns stop At the party was the last of the great Australian Libertines stop The birthday boy is drunk stop He weighs in at ninety pounds dripping wet stop He is picking fights on the paved brick backyard stop The libertine is naked and boxing stop That doesn't last long and the dress is back on stop She's sitting down but her legs may as well have been spread open and pointing into the air stop I can not remember a time when I wasn't looking at her vagina stop I could have drawn it from memory stop One of the guys can't stop staring stop He shows her his dick stop She spreads wider stop We make eye contact stop I guess it is only inevitable that we say hello stop We have only been here for two hours already stop I call her Sharon and she calls me Stan stop Neither of which are our real names stop The libertine tells us about fucking a guy with two dicks stop "Double Header" stop Sharon laughs in glee stop Both heads could get hard and come independently stop I had never considered the natural phenomena of two dicks before stop I am losing the edge stop The libertine tells us that a same sex female relationship is about equality stop She demonstrates this by banging her fists together stop She asks to stroke Sharon's breasts stop Sharon presents stop She takes a grip stop Sharon groans softly stop I'm sitting right next to them stop I can see her hands running slowly over the centre stop Tugging at the sides stop The libertine asks Sharon to reciprocate stop She does stop There is Fela playing in the background stop It cools down a little from there stop Maybe because there is other people in the room stop They don't seem to mind and neither does she stop We are introduced to an oral history of her professional strip shows and toy use stop I am getting a little bored stop Another girl shows an interest stop She does not hold back stop Working up the sizes stop Humping a man's lap as he holds a dildo between his legs stop Never turn a trick stop "Oh, you do have nipples" stop The girl looks surprised stop A finger points out the nipple pressing through the fabric stop The finger gives the nipple a little flick stop Another flick stop A third flick stop The girl reaches out her hand for it to stop but is too late stop We have to go stop The libertine runs her hand down Sharon's stomach and into her pants stop Sharon squeals a little stop We get into the car and we are off into the night stop "We live pretty close together," stop "you should come over to visit sometime" stop I should stop 

AAYL inner-angst stalker sadboy

I have been thinking about the matter of regular updates. As I'm busy writing, the process of which takes up most of my focus, it can be problematic writing new content which doesn't involve the 'HS & HRS Sexxx Games' novel. While I could dip into the draft some more, there's only so much I can share here before I've shared almost everything; the everything that is close to sharing, certainly. 

The presiding over this matter in my mind has been brought into sharper focus after the last post that made use of an old AAYL entry.

As the AAYL is now no longer online, and only exists as the archives I've kept for myself, there's no way  for anyone else to read it. Before I was happy with that thought. But since the post, I've been reading over some of the later crap I wrote and... it's not as bad as I imagined. So, to resolve the issue of frequent posting, and to air-out the AAYL, I've decided to cherry pick through the content and post here, once a week, maybe even more frequently, some of the more palatable writing that was produced in the journal over the three year period I was running it. 

All of the writing is old, some of it is written with a hell-of-a-lotta ego, and maybe you'll find it interesting.   To kick it off, I'll start with a double whammy. 

A little context. From what I can recall, this was written under some duress; It was 2003, I was living in Melbourne, homesick, no-real friends in the city at that stage, stressed from the need of having to prove myself at a top University, at night walking amongst the half-built suburban homes of the area - all skeletal frames and yellow builder's sand - in an admixture of a geographical and emotional wasteland, and I produced this piece. 


Saturday 21st of August

It's getting easier; this participating in the universal pantomime called life. A smile and an affirmative head nod is all it takes to fit. I used to delude myself into the belief that it was all so natural, when in reality I snuck up to her outside window once or twice and peeped in. For no good, natural, reason, I was planning and predicting odds, weighing up my chances and opportunities. I didn't know it though, some automatic reptilian impulse in my brain kicked in and blocked out logic and common sense. i thought i had kept this alien emotion in check all these years, maybe even cut it out somehow, but it was there, ripping and rollicking along for the ride, taking note and hiding behind clouds in the sky and bushes in the mind. 'i'm so clever and smart and clever, i'm so in control and clever and smart and controled.' in control, keep controlled, it you must not realised or remember back to this all beginning as an act, as an open declaration of deceit and manipulation with easy moves and hard move calculating the time the day the hour to strike with plans ranging from a to z each a small step along on the ascent to perdition or heaven depending on the corresponding days schedule of movement and organisation is inarguably to blame for this the worry that the lack leads to disorganisation which leads to a lack of god which leads to the ultimate incarnation of anxiety an endless pit spiraling through space timed holes leading along cold steel gravel paths twisting past bright white pre-colonial pillboxes filled with so many people they cant make a sound they all drown each other out like the positive and negative ions of a battery which add together to form the power and charge the ticking machine ticking ticking look down up back down foward up your knnes aches your shins sache the muscles intehw left leg achesc s can i do soemthing to gelp the ache? dont replyro that is that a ruse or a keadon what will the logic and order or the disorganisatned inversal contisnmumm click voer up foeard down up back downdowndowndodesexcending it turns it moves so easily so seamlessly without an unnerving corresponding action that precedes it by only a split second but just enough to give the impression that there is a method to the duplication, the simulacra of the first event, reoccurring and deconstructed from the bare constituent elements which everything originated from. It's all so god damn easy. Stay in control. Smile. You are a player in the game. Once involved you must master the rules and compete against others. To win you must be the best, regardless of how 'meant to be' and 'natural' it all is. "Is this for real, is this a dream?" She once asked. No, it's not unreal. But in your role you're meant to think as such, so good, very good there. I am becoming the reptile. The snake and its single tear. I'm masquerading as a cat, but don't be fooled. Getting fooled unnatural symptoms in one's health. Take my word for it, I was fooooled fooooled fooooled once, twice, no more. I bought a rulebook. I read it from cover to cover, from front to back and back again. I stood on the street corner, letting everyone pass me by but not without a smile and an affirmative head nod first forward up. Ah they sucked it in, we faced each other and circled slowly in the middle, not once breaking eye contact. I SAW THEM COMING. THEY SAW ME COMING. WE HIT HEAD ON. I gotta get out of this pill box. There's a bad mental energy here. Bad karma from when it was a mental hospital, when the spastics walked the earth in chains and shattered thoughts, followed each other in a line straight to the grave.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

AAYL Geek show 2003/2011

Speaking of hecklers; I was reminded of the time of when I went to some live music and the band ended up heckling the audience. 

It was during the Geek Show tour (Fantomas, Melvins, Tomahawk) over at Metropolis in Fremantle, back in 2003

A little context to the night. 

At the end of the Fantomas set, the rest of the Melvins came on stage, Lombardo left, and the remaining amalgam of Melvins/Fantomas supergroup played an impromptu noise collage before Patton, Dunn exited and the Melvins kicked immediately into their set without thought for pause. Unfortunately, Buzz was sweating like a hairy beast and obviously tired and unfit, so they weren't as good as when they opened, in their love-heart adorned, black silk nighties, for Tool at the Perth Entertainment Centre in 2002. 

However, Fantomas were excellent. Not as, dare I say, rehearsed as they would become, so there was a sense of immediacy in what they did. The band was taking cues off Patton for the different parts they had to play and it was great to see them pull off the Amenaza al Mundo album. One was almost wondering if they could do it. 

(Which was not like the 2005 tour, when they barely looked at each other and the crowd was going bat-shit bonkers for it like the music was the craziest, most extreme garbage ever. I left early, because I'm an outsider damn it, and I don't like being around people who like what I care for. Also, someone stuck chewing gum inside my belt buckle when I wasn't paying attention, so it almost goes without saying that I had to piss off.) 

And then, during the Tomahawk set, Mike Patton dedicated a song to Chris Cornell of Soundgarden fame, paused, the audience all cheered, perhaps drunkenly and dumbly, and then Mike continued with "THAT FAGGOT!"

Anyway, the point to this snap (snap!) post: I used to write a blog - Angry Angry Young Lady -  (try to Google search for it! Good luck!) and I dipped into my personal archives, priceless material that it is, and found out what I wrote about the event. 

By my careful calculations, it appears the Geek Show was on a tuesday night. A TUESDAY night! Damn it bands, get your scheduling right, no wonder nobody and no-one turns up to your gigs. 

Also according to the post, it appears I was playing in a pool team. I reckon that was the first night I played competitively in a team, ever since I had a season in the first division when I was 17/18 (back in the year 1, 9, 0, oh, Oh.) But this team was in second division, which probably explains how I won the Gold Medal. I'm sure that medal is around somewhere.

Please note: This entry originally appeared in yellow, on a black background, formatted as is. Because, that's how I liked to do things in the... sincerity? stupidity?.... of youth. 

Please, please note: Laaaanguage warning. An attempt at being controversial? Say any of those rude words fifty times in a row and they lose all meaning. 


Wednesday 10th of December
Too little to do in too much time. That's never a good combination for the weak of heart. What is terrible depressing music to me is glorious sound to the other. A few days ago I had the dress rehearsal for the pool team. Tonight was the main event. There's not much to say about how I played, besides from stating that my golden hand was in fine form. After the second round, there's five, one of the regulars was dropped and I was slotted in. The regular reacted badly. He took off the team shirt, replacing it with a more staid gray ensemble. He started to drink. He played pool with one of his friends on a table close to the competition. Songs playing over the pool hall's sound system were sung along with, featuring modified renditions of the lyrics bluntly addressing his being dropped. He hit the beer and the beer hit back. And finally the regular, now red eyed, swaying and slurred, confronted the team captain. It was slowly explained to him that he wasn't excised from the team because of his form, rather because he was overheard bad mouthing the team. The regular's retort was to plead with the captain. "Go on, hit me! Just hit me!!" The captain politely declined and sent him away. All the while my golden hand shined as the opposition were blinded by my brilliance. I don't get it man, they just played the same fast pieces over and over. There was, like, no variation at all. The drummer kept doing the same fill. And he'd just make a weird sound, then a fast blast, then another low sound. They didn't get any good guitar parts going. Like, it, like, didn't last for long. Then those other guys were boring! They tried to rock but it wasn't very interesting. It was just sludgy, and slow, and like, I don't know. Buh-oring. Oh and the last band! They were kind of good. Well to begin with, even if the sound wasn't very good. Like the music kind of bounced along, but kept repeating, so I knew where what was coming when. I didn't even have to pay attention! I could just push people around in the crowd and rub up against the good looking girls. The ugly cunts I just pushed away, pushed them into the ground under like the waves of guys rolling over. But then the singer started doing weird stuff. Like he didn't talk much, but when he would it was shit about where we lived. Something about us being free? I didn't get that. It seemed kind of rude. Over the songs he started screaming, and playing with these weird tools on his desk. And the sounds that came from the tools were screeching blips of noise, which drowned the repeating stuff the band was doing. And then! The singer called Chris Cornell a faggot! Chris Cornell! A faggot! This is when, like, the singer has his shirt open. I couldn't believe it. I had to push my way back to the bar and get a beer. This guy is singing like a love song, in Spanish or some foreign shit? How do I press up against chicks to that? Unbelievable. 

Extract from 23/24. fashion magazine/marcus graham, a mermaid and a gun

[Update: Added some more to the beginning of the extract].

Holy backflipping porpoises Batman! Has it really been eight months since the last post? Yup. Any reason for the silence? Indifference, possibly. Sure I could have done something, but all too often it feels like screaming into the empty void. 

But obviously that sensation has flown away with the mild Easterly breeze and here we are again. 

Last night, The Dirty Three played at the Astor Theatre. I last saw them play at Kings Park back in 2003. I'd have to say that it was one of my favourite concerts. Surprisingly so, as the bands I usually dig are into bashing each other, and the audience, over their crowns with a guitar head stock. 

Friday night, seven years later, and the high standard of the band's live performances had not dipped. Truly an unique band. However, something different from the King's Park performance and the Astor gig was the audience. What always struck me at the former was how the crowd were calling out requests between songs. As the event went late into the night, it became obvious that the band wouldn't be playing for much longer. So, whenever Warren Ellis introduced the next song, parts of the audience would cry out in anguish that it wasn't what they wanted to hear. The Dirty Three's audience was fanatical, such was their admiration. 

However, at the latter, I noted a very different type of audience. To put it mildly, some sections of the crowd were heckling the band. I don't understand this phenomena; especially not in this context. The band was playing well. There wasn't a bill with large selection of acts; people knew who they were coming to see. Warren Ellis was good natured in his banter. Yet, some audience members paid to turn up, tell the band they looked old, and cheer when informed they were hearing the final songs, amongst other more severe comments. And these assholes still stayed until the very end! 

They heckled, and they stayed! I really don't understand. I must be out-of-the-loop with gig attending etiquette. Now, sure, I can deal with witnessing 'the young kids' shuffle dance when Tangled Thoughts of Leaving played at the Ninja Tunes Label party. But this reaction is entirely, well, something else.

Anyway, in aid of celebrating indifference and assholes, here's something recent I've written. While I may work at the pace of a glacier; there's only one, maybe two, more chapters to write until the first draft of the manuscript is completed. And then shall begin the editing. And what a joyous occasion that will be.

Please note: Marcus Graham is a semi-famous Australian actor.

Please, please note: the following extract contains sexually transmitted, uh, sexually explicit language. 


He didnt want to travel with a bag full of dirty clothes. He was making use of the next couple of hours to do his washing. They were apartment bound. She methodically watched the rest of the film shorts on the AFTRS DVDs.

He stopped writing mid-sentence and listened. He sat still, absorbed.
Im not your mate, where the fuck do you get off calling me your mate?
They both favoured baseball caps and hooded sweatshirts. If it werent for the pitch of their voices, their sex would have been androgynous.
She was sixteen and pregnant. She was scared of the dark and slept under the bed with her stuffed toy sheep and the rusted springs. When the sun went down, she would go outside and wander the suburbs. The manager of the hostel had warned her about the 6pm curfew but she ignored him. There was anywhere she wanted to be instead of the run-down halfway house.
He had problems at his last stay and had been sent here. All he could express was silence or rage. He secreted a knife on his ankle. He hated the way the manager threatened him with a return to juvenile hall. When he broke curfew, it was for a specific purpose.
The first evening he went out, she followed him.
In a back alley lane-way, not far from the youth centre, he started a fire. It wasnt hard to do. With his Zippo he lit some kindling and in a matter of seconds the picket fence was in flames. He stood back and admired his work, transfixed, lost in the bright yellows and reds.
From the back porch someone shouted and told him to piss off. He ran.
She watched from behind the bushes, her white eyes peeking from under the cap. 
At the hostel, she couldnt stop glancing at him. She told him that she had seen him. All he could say was yeah, and? She thought it was cool. He told her to shut up about it. She wasnt gonna say anything about it.
The next night he lit another fire. She watched him again.
Voices woke her. From her vantage point she saw his feet. He looked down at her, the expression on his face telling her to keep quiet. The manager informed the cops that the boy hadnt been at the hostel tonight. They heard the police leave.
He exited her room. The manager saw him and asked the boy where hed been. He replied that hed been in her room all night. The lie wasnt convincing. They started shouting. He told the man to fuck off and pushed him. The man was soft. He held the man on the floor and pulled out his knife. The blade was silver and flashed a reflection of the lights above. The manager squirmed. She screamed. He wouldnt listen and was ready to strike.
She turned, scanning the TV lounge, frantic, at a loss at what to do. In her pocket she felt it: a lighter. She struck the flint. She held the flame against the couch. The fabric caught alight. The man and boy stopped struggling. The man stood up and ran.
The boy and girl didnt move. They watched the fire. The couch succumbed to the blaze. The fire spread to the curtains.
Their hands were very close. He brushed the back of her hand with his. They had found each other by burning down everything else left.
The screen faded to black and the credits began to roll.
Can we watch that again? she begged.
Sean nodded and Rachel grabbed the remote. 

By his estimation, the first stage of the washing should have been finished. He left her watching the television and exited the apartment. Room service were making their morning rounds. There was an isolated trolley in the hallway. The drawers were filled with fresh linen, neatly folded.

He thought about the disgusting bed sheets, stained in menstrual blood, which they had to sleep on.

When Sean rented out the room he had been sure to stipulate no cleaners. He couldnt stand strangers intruding in his personal space. That no middle-aged woman on minimum wage would have to deal with Rachels and his mess was a small comfort to him.
He made his way to the elevator and down to the laundry. The room was empty. When his machine had finished its spin cycle, he changed over the wet clothes to the dryer. There were only just enough dollar coins.
He returned to the third level. The trolley was still in its original place. He walked by the open door. Inside, a vacuum cleaner idled as a Chinese woman shifted a piece of furniture.
He stopped and waited. The woman hadnt left the room. When he thought she wasnt looking he walked slowly, focusing all his efforts into stepping light. He reached out, paused, and grabbed a sheet. 

The Mermaid threatened with a revolver. Marcus Graham called her bluff. She aimed away from him and fired a round into the mirrors reflection. Marcus startled and grudgingly dropped his pants and drawers. He waddled over to the bathtub and started masturbating.
The Mermaid leant forward. Do you want me to help?
Fine! She reclined in the water and watched, feeling the weight of the pistol in her hand.
Marcus shut his eyes tight and groaned. She frowned.
Are you thinking about your mother?
There is a process!
He found her smoking by the window. She wore her brown woollen vest and nothing else. The blind had been opened an inch. As she watched, she blew smoke from the corner of her mouth.
You bad boy. You bad, bad boy.
Marcus groaned.
Wait, wait! The Mermaid pushed an unfertilised egg into the water and pointed. There! There!
He measured the lifted linen against the bed. He pulled the fabric along the widths edge and made a discovery: what he had stolen was for a single, not the queen that they slept in. He sighed and tossed the sheet into the corner of the room, against the wardrobe.
Marcus stared into the camera, his face full of loathing and resentment. I hope its a flathead!
The washing should be another forty minutes.
She looked up at him. One of her legs was folded under her bottom. The vest was wide open. Her small pert breasts and sex were exposed. She arched her back and pushed her pelvis toward him.
Eat me out? she asked, grinning.

He spoke before she could continue.
“This is what I’m talking about: You are a terrible liar. You need to figure out how to lie.”
She sat very still at the end of the couch.
“Lying is kind of like acting. When you lie, you’re thinking one thing but saying another. I don’t mean you when I say ‘you’, I mean the royal you.”
She smirked. He motioned at the television.
“Take for example that movie we saw yesterday about the Mermaid and the gun.”
“Oh yeah?”
“Well, Marcus Graham and the girl are acting, obviously. But the characters are acting too.”
“Acting, in sense of what the character says and what they are really thinking. So, we have the Mermaid who starts out hating Marcus.
“But she doesn’t really hate him.”
“No. She wants to be pregnant.”
“But Marcus doesn’t want to have a baby with her. Neither of them is addressing that issue at the start. He’s threatening her with a gun, trying to get rid of her. She doesn’t want to leave but it doesn’t seem as if she likes him.”
He smiled in delight.
“They’re both lying.”
“Because she – ”
“I mean, it’s pretty obvious, because almost as soon as the short starts, she’s got him wanking into the bath.”
“But, there’s a big moment in the film when – wait.”
He found the disc and loaded up the film.
“Here, Marcus is post-coital, she’s lying in the bath, relieved maybe? Then Marcus says: ‘Are we done?’
“Are we done?”
We’re done,” replied the Mermaid.
“And the credits roll. But when he says that line, he doesn’t mean are they finished with impregnation. He’s asking if their relationship in general is finished.”
“Well, yeah.”
“That’s subtext. It’s when what the character is saying, taken in the sense of the underlying understanding of the plot or the story’s motifs or leitmotifs, or both, means something totally different.”
He pressed rewind.
“But watch the Mermaid’s face when he speaks.”
“Are we done?”
“We’re done,” she snapped in reply.
Rachel shook her head. “She looked sad.”
“Sad, compared to?”
“At first she looked… relieved, happy. Then her face dropped and she looked sad.”
“She was sad to hear that they were ‘done.’”
“But if she didn’t like him, why would she feel sad?”
Rachel smiled.
“Because when she was shouting at him, bribing him into impregnating her: reminding him that he knew “what she wanted”; all the time she still wanted to be with Marcus.”
He held his gaze on the screen for a moment and turned to face her.
“Pretending to do one thing when you believe something else. Sound a little like lying?”
She nodded in earnest. “That’s like, like Nicole and the Drover.”
“Like what?”
“You know, when he’s talking to her and she’s really nervous. At the campsite, when it’s dark?”
“Oh, Australia. You mean Nicole Kidman and Hugh – ”
“Yeah, him. And she’s like, talking back, and she’s really nervous and doesn’t know what to say.”
“But what she’s really saying is: ‘why don’t you fuck me!’ Even though she’s saying something else. And he knows it too, but he isn’t saying it.”
“It’s like when you’re going to meet up with a boy.”
“Yeah, I know all about that.”
“No it is!” she laughed. “It’s just like when you have a boy to meet in the evening. Like, you’ve arranged a date. And you know you’re going to have a sex and you have a feeling. You know, a feeling in your stomach? Like, you don’t know if you should go for a run around the block or if it’s just because you’re excited.”
“How… how does that relate to subtext?”
“I don’t know what I’m saying, I’m just trying to talk to you.”