Tuesday, 21 July 2009

That penguin plays rough or welcome to the zetabet

She said she was twenty-one and I could see that this was half of her problem. She asked me if I was a good writer so I said yes, might as well say yes as no, it was all the same to her. I think she was wearing shorts, with tights, the way I used to wear shorts with tights when I was at high school but she was also sporting one of those haircuts, those Gwyneth Paltrow in Sliding Doors haircuts but without the combing, smoothing down and tucking behind the ears. She was dancing with a Greaser girl, Newtown's full of them at the moment. I can't get behind this Greaser girl fashion movement, the men seem to make it work better, they incorporate heavy but short leather jackets into their outfits while the girls have gone mad for white singlets and red high heels while they turn shades of blue and purple in the mid-winter night. If I was going to be a Greaser then I would be a Greaser boy with boots and and socks and a jacket.

The dancing Greaser girl thought too much of herself, even the usually non-judgmental Madam Squeeze admitted this quite freely. They were dancing where the crowd sat not ten minutes before, the young one and the Greaser girl trying their hardest to make sure that every remaining set of eyes turned towards them. I don't care if people dance but it annoyed me that the young one had determinedly sat at the top of the stairs away at the other end of the hall while the writers' read their work. She only appeared in the big room once the crowd had dispersed. She told me that all this writing, sweeping her hand from one side of the room to the other while her cigarette ash fell on the floor, was too self-contained or all wrapped up on itself. She said the ends all finish. I scrawled the letter 'y' on the back of my hand with a piece of white chalk. I nodded at her but I was thinking what kind of idiot doesn't allow a work to be self-contained. I imagined individual letters running loose and wild down King St. Z stabbed A through the heart in a bid to reorder the alphabet.

She snuck down the long hall to listen to a little of Josephine Rowe's final reading of the night, she heard two lines then stomped back down the hallway saying 'AWFUL" in a stage mutter. This is the part where I disagree with her. Josephine Rowe is a fine writer and an astonishing performer. I guess that's why close to a hundred people sat spellbound, leaning forward in the hope of being the one to catch her next word. The twenty-one year old smoked three cigarettes, grabbed her housemate by the arm and marched down the stairs yelling "I'm going to google you!". It sounded more like a threat than a promise. I breathed out only as the top of her head disappeared from view and she stomped out into the street.

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