HALF WAY! Today marks the halfway point of my year long journey. My friend Sam asked me to come on his radio show at phoenix radio. So I asked if I could write him a story live on air. He agreed. I asked him to give me a song that he hated live at 3:30 today- then I had an hour to write the backstory to that song to convince him the song was good. He told me he hated Lana Del Rey’s Summertime Sadness (listen here). So I set to work in the studio. At 4:30 I was done and he invited me back on air to read the results.
The lyrics talk of a girl all dressed up asking for one last kiss before someone leaves. I thought about kissing and remembered an episode of Radio Lab podcast (listen here) about how vampire bats look like they kiss each other- but are in fact feeding their friends by spitting blood into the others mouth. And thus this story came to be:
When they first found the babe they tried to feed her blood. But the babe just wailed. After much trial and error they learnt the babe would eat fruit.
And so the babe grew into a girl. They named her Lana, meaning ‘glowing’ in Battish, for she was their light in the dark.
During the day, they would nestle round her and rest. Lana would look up at her hundreds of doting parents, their eyes glinting down at her from the cave walls. At night, a few would stay with Lana and the rest would leave the cave to feast and find her fruit.
But the girl did not stay a girl forever. And when she turned 16, the bats could see the sadness in her eyes. So they gathered a mass of fruit and stole human clothing from washing lines during the night. In the morning they told her she must go. She must see her own kind.
The cave filled with the sonic echoes of sadness as Lana left, her translucent white skin glowing in the summer sun.
I’m going to be doing some filming for a lecturer. He opened the official employee form and suddenly the energy was sucked from the room. He looked at me, I looked at him, I could sense we both agreed: forms are the most boring bores of borevill. But perhaps not all…
What is your current fitness level?
Are you bilingual?
Are you willing to brave harrowing winds?
Is your hearing sensitive to high and prolonged tones?
How much fabric weight can you bear?
Can you battle against strange sparkly creatures under the pressure of a watching audience?
Are you scared of heights, gimp suits and/or have an irrational fear of white pants?
Please click “submit” to lodge your application as a Eurovision Song Contest contestant.
Dee and Susan don’t like reading slang in the wrong context.
Darren has no TV, no internet and speaks mostly to his cattle. He likes making up sayings. His latest is “y’all” as in “y’all ready to be milked?” and “booyah” as in “can I get a booyah milk’s making some moolah!”On Sundays he covers his white ute in Northern Territory rust as he drives into Town for his weekly “scratch-off” (scratchie). People in town don’t understand his sayings.
“Mate I don’t think po po’s gonna catch on, stick to blue heelers.”
One day, Darren wins his scratch-off. He books plane tickets to America, it’s the first brochure he picks up at the travel agents.
When he arrives the girl says “An Australian? Booyah!”
Everyone in America understands Darren. But Darren hates it, his one unique talent has been taken from him. When Darren gets back to the farm, he comes up with all new words. “Stonking” “porkies” and “chip-butty” are a few of his favourites, he’s sure no one’s thought of those.
I got this from Kate:
“So, I missed the lunar eclipse but i was so happy because there was a solar eclipse the following week – but then I got so excited that I looked directly at it and my eyes burned so bright that it blocked all the world out and then the sun disappeared behind the mountain before I had a chance to regain my full sightedness. I lost. I lost both times.”
Hopefully this story makes your feel a little better about it all Kate…
Painting fueled the fire that lit up her eyes. The sun made them burn the brightest. She must have painted it thousands of times, but she never quite captured the movement or the energy. It had started in her house but eventually sunrays spilled out into the street and burned their way through the streets.
She’d start painting during the day and continue through the night, the image of the sun seared into her retinas even in the dark. One night she closed her eyes and painted by feel, looking at the negative of the sun projected onto the insides of her eyelids. Finished, she opened her eyes, but nothing changed. All was dark. She never saw again.
The painting now hangs in the city centre and is known as her best work. People ‘oh’ and ‘ahh’ wondering if the paint is moving or if the canvas really is glowing. Some sit in front of it for days and have to be shooed away by security, but she will never set eyes on her masterpiece.Some say once she captured her subject there was nothing left to fuel the fire in her eyes, others say don’t look into the sun.
I got this facebook comment from Michael yesterday: “Lost my wallet the other day… that was pretty annoying. Then it turned up in my room after I cancelled my bank card.” It made me think of a sequel to yesterday.
I hadn’t been making my targets for a long time. In the end I was sleeping through my morning shifts and living off the company honey. I always wanted to be a luck fairy, orchestrating good coincidences for people, but there isn’t much social mobility in the Gremlin world. Fairies look down on us and my parents were always telling me about their fight for Gremlin rights. In secret I applied for as many local luck fairy positions as I could. Only one would take me. I turned up for my trial shift, all I had to do was find a man’s lost wallet and return it to him without being seen. I was so nervous about being seen, that I dropped the wallet several times on the way to his house. I placed it on his bed and waited anxiously. I couldn’t believe I’d done it, perhaps this was the day everything would change. I should have known then, once a gremlin, always a gremlin. While I had been nervously fumbling with his wallet, he had cancelled his bank card.
I look at my watch, 6:00am, I’m running late. I lug my bucket through the crack in the wall and quickly locate the kitchen. The sound of you stumbling around trying to pull on your jeans tells me I just have time. In front of the fridge I pour a subtle spot of water and honey (for extra stick). Then I grab a handful of sand and dirt and scatter it along the path you’d take to the toaster. I hear the door to your room open and rush back to the crack. I didn’t even get time to hide one of your new matching socks, or pull out the stretch the elastic around the top. I suppose I’ll just have to make up for it at the next house, a sock gremlin’s work is never done.
This car was in front of me today and makes me and my friends irrationally angry but then I thought about its plight; the conflict of being a four wheel drive poorly disguised as an inner city sports car.
Roaring rural heart
in metropolitan skin
bound to city streets