Sunday, May 20, 2012

AAYL Tinnitus.

From 2004. A miracle, I know. I thought this old entry in the Angry Angry Young Lady was cute. Ringing ears are mentioned - one could argue that this is the theme of the piece? - and, of which, I still suffer from the hearing damage. But it's all perception and psychosomatic and a fact that resides purely in the mind. My mind, not yours. Unless you've got it. In which case: I'm so sorry, join me.

Please note: No line breaks - terrible apologies - but some major editing has taken place. What can I say? I must have been excited that day, night, year in particular. 

Please, please note: The editing function of the old blogger has been messing up and this might look weird. If so, and, if you believe in God, I genuflect in religious contrition. And there's no sex talk contained within: you perverts.

Saturday 10th of July
Sometimes it feels like all I'm doing is counting down minutes and seconds. My ears have been blocked up for the last couple of days. Sounds to me like everything is on a depressed mute. Or, more precisely, I'm not receiving sound at the correct, stipulated level. That's ok; I don't want to hear what my family or friends have to say, what the commercials on the television have to tell me, or the very important message the dirty stranger on the street has to give me. I couldn't think of a better gift to be given, than to enter a club and not have the ability to discern, locate and pick out singular elements that make up the soundscape of the environment. So I can't locate the awful band mutating power-metal into funk rock in the corner of the room. The short blonde in bright white, trying to sell her whiskey brand of choice to me, may as well be trying to stop a speeding train when she looks and smiles at me. When a friend of the power-metal band talks to the singer, and tells him that she thinks that if he weren't a singer he would have to be an actor, and the singer, without a hint of irony or self-reflexivity or even a single blink, replies that he would "really like to get into acting" - it's all a wee buzzing in my right ear. A distorted, tonal modulation that is competing with the other buzz in my left ear, itself a fairly inaccurate representation of the folks leaning against the bar, ordering their drinks, bartering away for their social flesh and sweating, spitting and shitting out all they have over the club floor. You had to have your car detailed because you live up north and the red dust is everywhere in the vehicle? Do I come here often? Do bands play here all the time? You go better at pool when you've had two drinks? There's only one fluro light above the table? Cheap bastards? Your boyfriend? Eighties music? Fifty cents for a glass of water? Am I enjoying myself? What do I think of the music? Your name is Rachel by the way? You want to shake my hand? The next band starts and I finish. I go outside the club into the night air. A lonely road stretches past the door. In one direction this road follows along the coast in a winding path; in the other, it reaches back into the port, flowing over a two-lane bridge. The traffic lights, one twenty feet this way, the other ten feet that way, flick from green to orange to red and then back again; without the orange of course. And there are no cars driving by for a good five minutes. I can see the lights that line the Swan River, over in the distance, flickering without any due recourse. Everything is still; not even the air wants to move. Who needs to hear?

Monday, May 14, 2012

AAYL That's entertainment.

2003. It's always from 2003. I could look at the two-hundred entries from 2003 and post only that year for the rest of my life. Like the Internet will exist for another two posts of grasshoppers, watermelons, green backs, centuries and so on and so forth, infinitum. 

Regardless, there's nothing new I have ready to post - except for maybe reviews of films I've seen lately from 2009, what's the point? They're all 'popular', 'tent pole', flicks, so again, what's the point? - so I'm going to stay in the past. The following piece is a metaphor, but the very smart among you already knew that. I also broke from protocol and attempted line breaks. Only in the future will I know what is a success. 

Please note: I mean, really, who cares if MI:4, Sherlock Holmes, Thor, Captain America, Tin Tin, Iron Man 2, The Hunger Games, and whatever, wherever, are any good? Tell me in 5 years time if you can remember the plots to any of these films...


Saturday 31st of May
What to do? Insult the audience, that act never gets old. That's what they're here for anyway. Kid, Philosophy and revisionism of history just don’t pull the crowds anymore. This scene has changed for the worst. These days you need a big bang and a big blow-off, otherwise you can't sell the product. "The product of information?" Don't be so fucking stupid, no-one cares about that old-world notion. We're in the new, new millennium. Get with it, or else risk going out with it. Do you want to be a drone, or do you want to drone with the biggest, brightest stars we've got? So there you go.

The key, most important words in the lexicon of human language begin with a 'g'. They begin but don't contain the letter. That fact is pertinent; do not forget it. And seeing we're onto the subject of facts, here's another one coming your way: don't believe any word that does contain the letter 'g'. Those are markers for your journey in life; they are a signifier for you to forget whatever the signifier is trying to transmit. Notice how none of the days of the week have that letter? Think about it.

Preach and desist! You don't educate the audience. You just need to fool them into thinking that they're thinking. Let me tell you a story. Whenever I shut my eyes images come to me. I see one hundred million dead children, all lined up in a row. I see great civilizations in ruins. I see planets and suns in the twilight of their existence. I see liars, murderers and whores propping up the history of man. I see hacked up bloody corpses of indistinguishable sex. I see dirty red smudges on the night sky. I see the moon and stars falling, burning everything in an ungodly fire. And then I open my eyes and I know that everything and everybody will be ok, if just for a little while. Now get out there and talk to the fucking audience.  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

AAYL Going drivin'

Another Angry Angry Young Lady circa 2003. That seems to be the year for all the good work. The car mentioned was a Toyota Corolla. Not sure the year model; I don't pay attention to those details. I recall the vehicle was sky-blue in colour. Or was it navy? It also wasn't a bad car. That didn't stop me from driving it into the ground. I really didn't give a shit. Finally the car started to overheat. We (royal?) drove the bashed-up Corolla down to a Wreckers in South Fremantle. Parked it in the street for a while, so as to allow the engine's overheated particulars to cool down. Then, the Wrecker Man drove the car around the block to see that it wasn't completely fucked. The temperature gauge didn't budge and the Wrecker Man handed over 500 bucks for the car. What a hustle.

Anyway, point to the pick. I was a trawling in my spare time and saw this. Found it hilarious I drove such a shit box in the emerald days of my youth; especially considering the new, newish, car I recently bought. So, in aid of blowing-up my own ego, here is the following AAYL read. 

And, these days, when it comes to cars: I still don't really give a shit. 

Sunday 3rd of August
At three am this morning when I was zipping along Thomas Street at a great zip, desperately trying to find a toilet, a bird broke cover from the trees of King's Park and flew straight at my car. Suffice to say when given the option of a windshield hurtling at a ton versus a flimsy feathery body, the only choice is to watch the bird explode. That and catch a glimpse of the windshield wipers being bent up and over the car. So let's recap the damage that has occurred to the car over recent months past. One of the windshield wipers is bent out of place, causing the wipers, when deployed, to scratch the windshield and make a great shreieieieik! I found my driver's mirror smashed and left by the side of the road one morning. The glass was awfully cracked but only a few pieces had fallen out, so I stuck the mirror back into the encasing. Now, whenever I have to change into the right lane, it's like driving in hall of mirrors. Oh - and to readjust that mirror I have to wind down the window and do it manually, as the handle on the inside broke. Now don't forget the white scratch, and a big dent to go with it, on the panel of the driver's door. I think a car pulling out of a parking spot did that boo-hickey. But I'm not innocent of bad driving myself, as I accidently bumped into the back of a parked car last week. My car's front bumper seemed fine. And finally the engine has taken to whining whenever I accelerate. Fortunately, the car doesn't overheat so I haven't really bothered to find out what that sound is. Welcome to my world of bad car maintenance, zero insurance and general apathy in extracurricular motor activities.  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

It comes in waves.

It ebbs and flows; it comes in waves.

The apartment complex where we live is designed like a Panopticon. The complex was built to be part of the athletes’ village for the last Commonwealth Games that were held in Perth. To call the architecture modern is a credit to no one. The front doors and kitchen windows overlook the hexagon-shaped courtyard.

The complex can be silent and peaceful for hours, seemingly days, at a time. Then a door is slammed. Someone shouts to a neighbour across the empty void above the courtyard. Khan, the 4 year-old boy next door, starts to cry. His mother screams at him to try placate his mood. The kitchen windows that run side-by-side are always left open. Housewives wash dishes and gossip to each other, loudly, the only other people who are home don’t speak their language. I’ve noticed that if you don’t own the apartment, you don’t care how savagely you slam the cupboard doors. For some reason Sunday night, around ten in the evening, can be a flashpoint. The activity reaches a fever pitch. Everyone is home. Groups congregate outside front doors for long send-offs. They are not quiet. I swear there’s a couple underneath our apartment that have changed their sleep patterns to coincide with that of their newborn’s. When he wakes at midnight, they wake and have dinner and socialise.

The neighbours don’t talk to us when we cross on the footpaths outside. If they notice us on the balcony, they’ll take the long way round to get to their apartment, use the inconvenience of the second stairwell. Khan’s parents, the couple next door, recently installed a green wastage bin outside their front door. The bin is about as high as your hip. It is not uncommon for bags of rubbish to sit outside their front door for days, effluvium leaking from the plastic and pooling on the balcony. Or maybe a couple of pieces of Styrofoam have found themselves barricaded across your security screen. Or there’s a blanket sunning itself on the balcony outside your kitchen window. The women walk laps around the inside of the apartments and look into every window they pass. I try to keep the blind closed.

It was something different; it was a Tuesday night. Earlier in the evening, the Asian family, the group that had only just moved in – their apartment is sparse and without furniture, it’s too soon for it to be decorated – were barbequing as per usual. The smoke rises from downstairs and the smell encroaches upon everyone. I had opened the door to double-check that nothing was burning. The father was watching the meat and enjoying a cigarette. I could hear the sizzle from where I stood. He noticed me watching and winked back, and hocked his throat and spat phlegm in the courtyard garden below. Amber had gone out to the service station. I was watching a DVD rental. I think it could have been Money Ball, or Harry Potter, or something as equally artistically devoid and undemanding on the cognitive facilities. People started to shout. That was nothing new, I didn’t move from the couch. A door slammed. Again, ditto. More shouting. Much against my wishes, I turned up the movie’s volume. Another door. More shouting, even louder this time. The shouting didn’t let up.

And then, a new development: I heard a slapping noise.

It soundedaHarryHa like clapping hands. It could be a closed fist slapping into an open palm. It definitely sounded like skin pounding skin.

Interest piqued, I opened the door. The neighbours – about a dozen – were all congregated outside the apartment two doors down. The blinds were open. There were more people inside. One of the women was screaming at another woman. A line of men separated the two. They were speaking a language I didn’t understand.
A little girl, pretty in pink, about as high as the green bin, ran down the steps, screaming, terrified. Khan, the 4 year-old, was there too, in the midst of the action. He looked up at the warring parties, transfixed. His white eyes didn’t blink.
One of the men attempted to shepherd the angry woman away. This only made her shout louder. She pushed him square in the chest. There’s someone, or something, in the apartment that she was shouting at. It’s obvious she wanted to get inside. She pushed him again. It wasn’t hard to imagine a person, big or small, falling over the balcony or down the open stairwell.
All of the residents were watching the commotion from their front doors. Even the white girls – one of them had her hair in rollers – were watching. A friend of the neighbours stood at the top of the other stairwell, a mobile in his hand.
As I watched from my door, some of the men in the group turned and stared at me.

Amber arrived in the middle of the action. She ascended the stairs, trying to make sense of the scene. She saw me and mouthed: “What’s happening?” I could only shrug in reply.
By now, the woman had been convinced to go back to her apartment. The men hadn’t moved from the front door.
Amber stopped at the top of the stairs. The neighbour was still there, pretending to look at his phone. She asked only one thing.
“Is it bad?”
“Very, very bad.”

Round two started. The volume rose again. The woman stormed back out onto the balcony, convinced that she was going inside this time. The men braced themselves and held firm. Someone shouted back. It seemed that everyone was shouting. A door slammed to make a point. Now the African man from the second floor was there. He had done something the woman couldn’t do, and had made his way into the apartment. He’s speaking English, but everyone was screaming so we couldn’t make out what he’s saying. It began to feel that the situation was going to turn bad, turn worse. I convinced Amber to shut the door. She didn’t want to watch the shit on television.
“You know what this means? All these months that they’ve been shouting, they haven’t been just shouting. They’ve been fighting!”
“Do you think someone has been having an affair? Women only fight because of infidelity!”
We’re too excited to listen to each other.

The balcony was empty. The blinds were drawn. No light spilled out. The police have arrived. We took turns watching through the kitchen window. I took the lion’s share. The cops talk to the apartment that was holding firm in defence. Next they talk to the apartment where, we guess, the angry woman lives. A man stood on the threshold and answered questions, as one of the policemen wrote in a little black book. The man gesticulated to the door of the Asian family.

It was the next morning and there was an empty beer carton beside the green waste bin. It stayed there for a several days and then was gone. It ebbs and flows; it comes in waves.

AAYL I'm thinking lists.



Wednesday 30th of July
A long one for one, a short one for another, and nothing for the third completes this rounded out, obsequious puzzle. Here I go, shaving the brown grit off the delete key again. Flirting with disaster, turning a blind eye to the truth, and so on and so forth as I trout out all the cliché like old men in half-way houses, turning grey and waiting to die. I need lists, lists to operate in daily life. Otherwise everything becomes too muddled and roundabout in a peg-in-square-hole sort'o way. Which would you prefer; a profound discussion on my decision to call off the wedding, a well thought out discourse on swearing in Jamaica, or the thirtieth day of the month? What a cheat - it jumps from the twenty-ninth to the thirty-first in this rundown, barhopping part of town. I'm thinking dark green, I'm thinking low key light, I'm thinking gray, I'm thinking stomachs pushed against counters and chests hanging into flickering, dusty space. Don't start; just never stop. Oh, there you go again, pulsing away into the night on dreams and earthy feelings best left crushed. Crushed by what? Forget that, I've moved on. I'm thinking pink, I'm thinking beige, I'm thinking blue bells, shadows hanging overhead, bottles clinking together, a vow to peace being exchanged by swollen, bloated corpses. Jaws are dropping into the sink; teeth are spilling across the floor. What can I see in the mirror? I see nothing, it feels like everything, shouldn't I be in there somewhere? Perhaps I'm turning up later on in the piece. All this glowing, phosphorescent, hanging residue is a future imprint of my imminent arrival. I'm thinking lists, I'm thinking numbers, I'm thinking words, I'm thinking non-sequiturs into non-sequiturs into seconds, turning and probing into the horizon beyond the horizon, touching the twin axes’ of the earth and moon, melting down and being cast into the great ocean of loss. Let it cool down for a while, then we'll fine the sucker twenty dollars.