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IRL

I am intrigued by you. 

By your inspiration, your process, your thoughts.

Where do you sit when you write?

Do you pen it or tap tap tap?

 

At home,

The study, the office,

a cosy corner café with wi-fi?

 

Within procrastination city

You are not In Real Life. 

Yet I know that you

Breath and make love and you cry.

 

Here you share platitudes.

Gracious with each other. 

Funny.

Jolting.

Hidden. 

 

Reality in here

can be the reality of anonymity.

 

I am real. 

This is what I see when I am writing.

 

IMG_0403

 

I wish I had a long dark room,

silent in the night to the world of Mummy and Carla,

With wall to ceiling bookshelves,

sighing under the weight of sturdy spines and wordy words.

Instead,

There is a gum tree outside,

and here on my desk

is the only plant I haven’t killed. 

Yet.

 

I smell vanilla and paper.

And see

Scattered images, attempts at inspiration.

 

Today they are little squares of mostly me. 

Little me. 

I was as real then as I am now.

Yet before me they sit

like the avatars of the one hundred and forty.

 

But I tell you that it’s true…

 

I am real.

 

And so are you.

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Miss 8 just told me that my way of doing subtraction was ‘old fashioned.” On a piece of paper she jots down a two figure sum and proceeds to demonstrate the modern way of doing math.

 “See Mummy’ she said, ‘makes more sense.” I need a cup of tea.

  “Now can we practice my song for choir?”

  “Sure.” I say with confidence. Singing. I can do that.

She pulls out the lyrics. It’s an ABBA medley. She starts singing Money, Money, Money.

 

   When I was a kid you were either a Kiss fan or an Abba chick. Abba was the wholesome choice for a teacher’s pet such as my self. I sat at the front of the classroom and my arm went up lolly-pop-stick straight when I knew the answer. I couldn’t fathom all that heavy rock, men in makeup and skin tight, ball breaking stretchy fabrics. They were all sexed-up, jagged black and white and blood red tongues.

   My sister and I, along with a gazillion other little girls, pretended to be the Abba lead singers whenever we could. My Dad bought us the album where they were all sitting in the bubble helicopter. That black vinyl swirled more times on our record player than any other disc we owned. With each song play I grew more mad for the blonde, with her smooth straight, yellow hair and whispy centre part. I dreamt of owning a white jumpsuit that zippered up the front- with sequined flare pants and maybe a braided white and gold belt hung low on the hips. I wrote in my diary that I wanted to marry a man who plays the piano.

   When Kiss played at V.F.L park in Melbourne’s south eastern suburbs I climbed onto the top rung of our back yard fence and listened to the low thrum of their rocked-out bass-beat float over my neighborhood. As night filtered through the dusk I slipped down off the fence and ended up with a wood splinter in my finger. Mum picked it out with a burnt needle (oh the agony) and then painted a smiley Mercurochrome face on it. In bed I pulled my pillow over my ears and hummed Abba songs until I fell asleep.

   My daughter has an ipod that she likes to fall asleep with.  Her teenage cousin loaded it with songs from High School Musical and Pink and Demi Lovato. She doesn’t  know what the sleeve of the artist’s albums look like, but she knows how to Twitter with Miley Cyrus. I wonder what I would have said to Agnetha if Twitter had been around when I was a little girl?

   Miss 8 has started singing the Waterloo segment of the medley. I stop to correct her melody and then look closely at the words,

…..The history book on the shelf is always repeating itself…

She’s singing with her sweet high pitchy voice, swaying in time to the beat.

 

I go get us two hairbrushes (after all- it’s the only honest way to sing Abba) and join in.

 

Wa, wa, wa, wa,

Waterloo

Finally facing my Waterloo

Ohhh Oh Oh Oh

Waterloo

Finally facing my Waterloo

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