the sinking ship

when you were small you could all fit

on a lap made for many

we baked in the warmth of our plans

with a red herring, the life raft and the tube

 

you grew upwards and over, splashing against the sides

my knees hurt and we tumbled

holding the rope together as we kicked to shore

the herring hidden

the tube forgotten

 

we walked the island a thousand times over

to recreate our steps

to hold each other tight

but it burned

the sand rubbing against us

we used the life raft and sailed out together

once more

 

there was no plan

you sucked down the water despite yourselves

I got my foot caught in the reeds

I went under with my mouth stuffed

stung by a jellyfish I howled and you turned

to not let the welts

hold your eyes

I scorched them off in the sun

we needed to try

to live inside

we wiped the sand off

for decor

 

we’re an ice-cream container under an old lady’s bed

carried to the loo in the morning

hoping the piss doesn’t spill over the sides

settling into the carpet

which no one bothers to clean

our warmth ended long ago

we are falling like dead flies

DSS in the 90’s

 

See, I’d gone to the counter and they said

it’ll be twenty six weeks and I fell

a pop in the popliteal

my boyfriend pulled me off the ice

(there were people in the queue)

the trannies behind me were lumped with the crazies

all in frocks and Docs

makin’ a mess with their mewling

we lined up for the boxes

conscripted losers without a war

I had no food or fridge and the young guy behind the counter

hadn’t understood

we had the carton in the sink sometimes

a luxury

but it was only every few weeks

I held a Caramello Koala with a fervour

a fever

the delirium of the hungry and uncertain

then I got a call

would you want to join other young people and work

I wrapped the phone cord in rings on my finger and smiled

like I got a call back

 

we started out in Arden Street and walked past the lost dogs

their shit and desperation rising through the pens

we all howled

I could smell the pies of the tradies

I wore a tartan skirt and a fitted jacket

fit for work at a record shop where you hired a CD for five bucks

they were all there in clumps of weirdness and youth but I can only see a few

the rest came later

the Phillipino model and her friend

long haired Preston beauties

Catholic school girls who thought me a slut

for talking

Adonis, the liar, who saw Care Bears

fly out of his girlfriend’s cunt when he was chroming

and he thought getting old

was the worse thing to happen to the elderly

Kieran talking with the vowels of Kalgoorlie

I thought you’d have a boyfriend

I thought the ease of his confession

was a labourer’s lunch

the naturalness startled and pleased me

Steve the Deer Park Beckham with his fine coat and rusty throat

who thought he could call the Hotspurs on his lunch break

and the facilitator, a Kerrie or a Kerryn

who thought she could hold us together

to get us to the end

to a lengthy tome and a change of office

litter in the city

 

we planned and plotted and ate 2 buck meals

while men across the office planned and plotted

their skiing holidays

their new wives

and we tried to be quiet

but Georgia, who claimed lineage she didn’t have

used outings to ask about genitals and preen and pout

and rub against cars and fur and soccer balls

the men wouldn’t look at any of us

cheap shoes gave our poverty away

Dee from the West

the smiling firecracker

not buying into hysteria as the report took shape

Kismet the child bride, crying in the bathroom

posters of romance on her desk

the only one in a life she didn’t choose

the others, the darker ones and stronger ones

were in and out

as dry humping on the stairwell

was smack in the toilets

and Kerrie or Kerryn frayed

 

Kieran was off his meds since the 2 buck meals came in

he could buy heroin at smoko

and the pleas of his family gave out

the baton had almost passed

before the need to admit himself

he’d laugh of wiping me out after work

 

the tiny dyke, with the soft mouth and the BO

left in tears and I didn’t care

someone got a job at a jeans store

we were proud and she was engaged

the new boy

with the buzzcut and the dealer Mum

and the Swanston Street Macca’s mates

Sunshine on the street

tagged the beautiful view and we heard rumours

of spottings and lies

we were ready for binding

 

the launch was flowers and sandwiches

with some of the lights already turned off

the skiing men counting the minutes

until they didn’t have to see us

no one came and Kieran injected inside for fun

we left with photos of team building

and quotes

Kismet’s Kevin Costner wallet size smile

to use this experience wisely

when dealing with a UTI and a man breathing into the phone

because he wants to kill you

 

adulthood for the petulant and needy didn’t work

in a city office

we should have all planted trees at Laverton

Kieran could have scratched on the platform

with the blokes in short shirts

 

we saw Kerrie or Kerryn on the street

and she ran

we couldn’t blame her

chats with an old man

So, the expressions of ardour, are they now a silence, gift wrapped in grief and staleness? Is the longing kept on this side of the fence, with the vast paddocks in darkness? Do you walk back in to wait for sleep to hold you?

I could be happy. I have friends and gigs, passport stamps and fine dining.

But are you though, with the buttoned coat of frayed lust and your maleness unseen in cold and heat? Or are you just too old, to have the force from your abdomen lead you, legs first to take a lover?

It changes, the tinnitus of want will one day stop ringing in your ears.

I fear the night without the nightingale.

 

(I have to stop using this photo of A.D. Hope for any old, previously sexual men. I mean, he is dead after all.)

 

bringing a man back to life (in four nights)

I’m an empath with a speciality

I find men in hiding

loneliness and trauma hooking them

to office walls and barbecues

far off mountain men

small runners

large workers

they can talk politics

kindness and committees

beer and stars

they won’t be the confident ones

with hot mouths and cricket trip crabs

in loafers and polos

 

they possess the neutered timidity

of the untouched

maleness obscured

the trick is to get them

before the bitterness turns their hands

to brutish copycats of low rent porn

 

I don’t do it for love nor money

men are to be taken care of

broken sparrows

without the form to fly

 

at first they won’t understand

the purpose of my attention

a diversion, a seeker

a full glass and a push

I ask the right questions

let them deflate

tales of families, old girlfriends

emasculating jobs

silent showers and pain

I listen til they’ve finished

I give them my number

 

the first night I tell them I’m not here for sex

I want them to be men

they assume it’s a trick

they stand a bit taller

wobbling in uncertainty

I purr them down

 

we start slow

take them back to the start

before roles and moves

before instinct was tamed

I rub my thumb over the inside of their wrists

making them uncomfortable

it’s not what they know

I tell them to close their eyes

I line their hands with my finger

I make them stand

I always start with tenderness

for the first lesson

I remove their shirts

my hands running over flabby bellies

or matted torsos

tattoos failing discernment

ageing hips

thin waists

freckles and poster boys

for the Australian sun

 

the ego adjusts quickly

they think I’ve gone back on my word

I’m too delighted in my find to refuse

perhaps they’ve lured me despite themselves

I tell them again, I’m not here for sex

uncertainty makes them brittle

I move fast

I kiss their neck

holding it firmly

the prey of the detached

I kiss the gaps and crevices

mouthing their arms

feeling the smoke stack in the abdomen

licking the nipples slowly

my hands presenting medals

to the shoulders shaking

the maleness unbottled

a thin smoke rising

 

then I drive home

 

the next night they’re excited

students awaiting their task

tonight they’ll learn to be wanted

not in the ways they’ve been taught

the shell shocked performance of misogyny

the bored and the mewling

no, they will learn every muscle in their body

is desired

I undress them

I kiss every exposed area of flesh

I grab their calves in my hands

they shake with uncertainty

I stroke the insides of their thighs

bite their buttocks

press my nipples into their backs

repeating over and over again

I want you

 

then I drive home

 

the third night their confidence returns

walking the tightrope of a sure thing

predicting my next step

might bring them crashing

I arch the cock in my mouth

before they can ruin

the silent baton pass of dominance

 

then I drive home

 

the fourth night I am to be undressed

with only one command

forget what you’ve read

of what women want

and take me before you think

 

and without fail I am picked up

and laid down

like a doll

the askew romantic can never be saved

 

then I drive home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the idea of one

my friend tells me in the hurried way of the quick shopper

you’re just an idea mate

it makes the trolley skid on the back wheel

I dined on ideas for years

the fogged tits in a mirror

thighs exposed and hilarity

beguiling in an editing room

there was nothing tangible

no one could break

concern was fleeting for we were all ideas

weren’t we? with the clever man, the kind man

the dead man

the fogged mirror

and more lies than a thief

Laverton, Mike Leigh and that one time I killed a man. Pt2

*An old post, prior to the death of Ellis.

The next time I noticed a man, was through his words. The most exquisite words. I think clever people can demonstrate wit quite easily. It’s much harder to demonstrate the wit of Quentin Crisp, the cultured erudition of Robert Dessaix, the virility of Hemingway and the country football knowledge of Crackers Keenan. Harold Bloom would have added him to the Canon, possibly getting rid of Shakespeare, (and Peter Carey) to make room. Nabokov would have wept. Murakami may have dusted something, as I am convinced Murakami is suffering from OCD. Bob Ellis would spill pasta down his shirt and, for once, been embarrassed by it. (Bob is poorly at the moment, so that’s a tasteless gag.) I have never read anything like it. Perfection.

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At first, the academic was haughty and enigmatic. Then warm and loving. Later, tired and ill. His mental state was not helped by the film I was directing, ‘How to lose a guy in 10 days – Indie Stylz‘,  (McConaughey as portrayed by Robert Forster, and a blowsy barmaid as Kate Hudson). I am embarrassed of very little, but my behaviour through this time is mortifying. I wasn’t sleeping, and the combination of overwhelming lust and sleep deprivation is not becoming. Or conducive to grammatical excellence. My studies suffered, and I referred (in an essay) to reading books as ‘unwrapping a lover’. I could barely function, though happily my only real parenting misstep happened during a visit to the primary school, on a weekend. Sitting on a netball court led to lying down on a netball court. Which led to local kids asking my daughters why their Mum was asleep on the ground. Fortunately for me (and only me) their Mum is a chronic alcoholic, so I wasn’t too remarkable. I needed a cold shower. And 1-43 Temazepams. Like most people over the age of three, I am able to regulate my behaviour in the face of a stern Mr Darcy type. Unless I am tired. By this stage I hadn’t slept for four months. I was careering like a Westie at a dog park, though I had become so irrational that I was both the Westie and the ball. Carmen Miranda, aiming to seduce and delight. Fruit falling everywhere. I was a scrambling mess.

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So I killed him.*

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It would never have worked. Class distinctions are tiresome, but posh blokes are different. I’d be too busy pulling off his shirt whilst he’d behave sensibly, because that’s what you do on trams. I’m not socially adept enough to have dinner parties. Unless the dinner is on plastic plates on a day called Christmas. So he’d either have to be in the slightly edgy arty normal camp, where the men smoke and the women wear knee high red boots that are sensible, or be a proper normal. I know proper normals and they’re dull as hell. I once went to the worst ever proper normal 40th birthday bash. They’d spent thousands hiring a chef and wait staff, but hired a DJ so inept he didn’t possess No Diggity or Bust a Move. And they all danced to Wonderwall. Come.Fucking.On.

The brief period of knowing someone so singularly brilliant was quite inspiring. Not only did I watch some terribly mawkish films in my confused state, I developed ambition. I learned things. And I started writing. This poem is the usual middle aged longing/self conscious attempt at humour, but I like its inception. At the time of writing, I was studying a poetry unit at university. My friends are all very upstanding citizens; professionals, wives, mothers, community volunteers, home owners and blanchers of vegetables. Except on weekends. When drinking, they have stolen cars, gotten into fights, jumped across bars for hidden cheesecakes and done dastardly things to men. They’re funny as hell. When they can’t, as they put it, get a ‘leave pass’ they sometimes sit at home, writing increasingly drunken messages on Facebook. I was wed to my computer and they asked what I was working on. At the time it was Mina Loy, and the lack of agency offered to women in courtly love. They were typing some great drunken feminist derogation, but one of them wasn’t quite getting it – “So…why are you studying Courtney Love?”

Dr Teeth

You pulled a golden thread inside me

and you slipped out

without blinking or squinting

 

You were John Meillon

and I,

the pie and sauce.

 

Marauding friends as dark skinned boxers

raping men with pool cues

aping women with manners

 

(you watched from the good seats)

 

The working class are always a turn on

(Just don’t take ‘em out to dinner)

ii

I’ve seen Love with her leg on the amp

her glistening ego

would not have moved you

(rural Catholics lacking urgency)

 

sex would not assuage me

I would need a limb as memento

use your chest as a catflap

 

my body was beaten by longing

(and throwing myself at walls)

 

you were getting stronger

a world of dinner parties and Bob Ellis

hiding behind your Mother

 

the dazzle of your politics

no match for the Crystal Gayle narrative

you had in your head

 

English roses and smokers

 

Tap dancing to delight the audience

while the Producer was selling the stage

iii

Impress! Impress! Impress!

The long and watchful child

could have been mine

 

I suffered the warmest possession

Night and day

iv

See how fast I am! How furtive we are! The showmanship!

It’s Brecht and (Fanny) Brawne combined!

It’s the A-side! It’s the Singles!

v

Pickaxed

Floor lights are showing up the dust

Bachelor Kisses

was avoidance of not being young

(young enough for what I wondered)

 

Could you not age

because you hadn’t learnt moderation?

vi

‘I’d like an ‘F’ for fuckwit thanks, Baby John’

I didn’t think you ill

(just a bastard)

my words climbed back into my chest

and waited for your storm to pass

vii

Small waists and large tits,

we can flick hair like 80’s Bon Jovi fans

(with Mata Hari complexes)

It’s a comfort with your bodies

that you cerebral types lack

(we might lack the intellect)

We’re all fucking and fighting

 

(you know none of this is real?)

viii

The fox bends under the chicken wire

you’re angular and plucked

he sneers at you in apology

and says

‘Sorry mate, you’re fucked’

And you can run

 

run into the arms of women

who can hold it in

who don’t want to cleave your chest apart

whose ribs don’t ache from longing

who know about wine

ix

The critics were unanimous

‘Reverence ruined the show!’

the Waste Land was pillow talk

the big sky packed away

 

but previews had given you lightness

and even sweet Joe Orton

could not tarnish what I

poor and simple I

knew even before casting was finished,

 

You would always be the leading man.

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*Nah, I never met him. I’m hoping I didn’t actually push him to suicide, and that he married a distinguished professor and had twin boys, following four unsuccessful IVF attempts.

Laverton, Mike Leigh and that one time I killed a man. Pt1

I don’t notice men, I’m too busy fawning over women. Women are amazing – their hips and legs and hair. Knowing eyes and wry smiles. Androgynous women, large women, ‘just got back from India’ women. I like shyly confident women, with a comforting bosom and a knowledge of Carlton in the 90’s. Women with sinewy arms, not from yoga, but from repairing fences. Or shearing. (Though I can’t really pick that when they walk past me.) But men are just trousers, and narrow feet. They’re indistinguishable – great lumps, blocking my view of women. If you were to ask me my favourite feature of a man I would offer ‘the area between his belly button and his penis’. Yes it’s his navel, but it’s not as descriptive. I don’t find this to be on show all that often. (Actually, if you frequented Laverton Station in the 90’s, you saw it a lot.) Mise-en-scene is important to me. I’m the Mike Leigh of the dating world. I need a backstory. I need something to feed my imagination, before I can tell if I like it. Then I want to know everything. The insecurities and the frailties. The meanness in the voice as it’s cracking. I just want to get to the end. No alarms and no surprises.

Before I met the man who was to become my partner of sixteen years, I knew his backstory perfectly. I could not have concocted it any better – mental illness, divorce, death, and a small blonde child awaiting my complete lack of cooking ability. A kind and hard-working man, a fan of Russian novels and punk bands. Fiercely independent. An introvert to my extrovert. I was giddy with anticipation. We roamed my beloved city on a Saturday night; encountered sleazy alcoholics at Young and Jacksons, Irish backpackers welcomed by very accommodating Australians, and an African club that played some very questionable early 90’s R&B. It was perfect. At that time I had polished my ‘Poor Cow meets brothel madam’ look, which he took well. Men from the suburbs were great. They still found tits and hair alluring. They were not conned by jeans and flannelette shirts. Tentative misogynists. Gentlemen with panel vans.

I became the dominant one that night, pressuring him to do some ungodly white boy dancing – all the while thinking of stolen kisses in the back of taxis. I transformed my excitable grubby self into someone poised. It was a memorable four and half minute pretence.

Foster Care – and why it is good for your health*

Corey White’s recent appearance on Australian Story has some foster carers feeling slighted. ‘It’s like he’s tarring us with the same brush!’, say a number of women (on Facebook). Good God, former ward of the state! Would you just quieten down with your tales of sexual, physical and emotional abuse whilst in care?

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http://www.abc.net.au/austory/content/2015/s4295597.htm

Fortunately, not all foster carers are like this. There are the ones who grind through the disputes between DHS and agencies with a taut smile. The carers who know their limitations, and subsequently won’t get burned out. People who genuinely want to provide a loving and supportive home, without expectations of gratitude or fanfare. But we’re losing more carers than we’re recruiting. The road to foster care can just be a simple ‘Oh yeah, I’m patient and I want to help’, or ‘We have a bit of money and we’d like to give these kids a good time’ (problematic, might not get what you’re after there mate), or ‘I need to know I’m contributing so I can send my narcissistic self to sleep at night’ (me).

There are always little pricks of awareness, a heat that fills your body begging you to pay attention.  At 17, I had to stay at the Women’s for a bit. As someone who was quite poor, I thoroughly enjoyed drinking juice every few hours. (Or I might just like being waited on. I have donated eggs for IVF several times, and I genuinely think I do it for the sandwiches after the procedure.) During that stay I was in a bed next to a very friendly, chatty woman. Her husband had beaten her to the point of miscarriage. He came in for a quick spell with their four children, where he tried to rape her behind the curtain. When she objected, he roared. No one did anything. He left with the kids. The thought of their faces having to watch this, having to be silent, having to go home with this man, broke my heart. Which is no good for anyone, and definitely meant nothing to those kids.

While it’s good to be wary of being sanctimonious, or proud that you cared – because that is the worst – having empathy is no bad thing. Just don’t brag about it.

As time went on, I met more kids who were being neglected, whose parents were junkies, who were abused by all the men in their life. I don’t know how this happened, as I was in the throes of the world’s longest adolescence. (Why go out and see bands when you can stay home being miserable about that one guy you don’t like or respect? Oh wait, because you’ll feel alive, get to dance and be a part of a community. That’s why.) These kids were looking for anyone, and to my great shame I did not know how to help them.

When I had my own children, worries about other kids intensified. I would lie in bed thinking ‘I wonder how many children are getting molested right now’. Sometimes I would say this aloud to my husband. We did not have sex on those nights. (Dark!) When I was pregnant, I was chatting to a receptionist at the clinic. She was an indiscreet, perfumed woman who told me she was a foster carer. She sounded quite sarcastic about the child in her care, but I assumed that was just her way. Like an older person – firm but horrible. (Joke.) I would see the receptionist around town, and by her side was a sullen, (justifiably) angry looking girl. The receptionist told a story befitting a Today Tonight viewer. The girl was the oldest in her family. The mother was due to have another baby. The other kids were still with the Mum. I looked into becoming a foster carer, but we weren’t finished having children, and they suggested coming back when our youngest turned three. On her third birthday, I began the campaign. My ex-husband is a sensible person; foster care is not really for the completely sensible. It’s an invitation to pain, rejection, bureaucratic nonsense and fear. So I had to use every trick in the book. Which was mostly whining.

We undertook the Shared Stories, Shared Lives training, which was surprisingly terrific. We learned about the effects of trauma on development. The facilitators went to great pains to point out these children would not be ours. We were to welcome them and care for them in a loving environment, but they would be going back home. It was like step-parenting, but with access visits at DHS offices instead. You never know who will make a good carer, as people have markedly different approaches, but during training you knew who would be shit. One woman had pedigree dogs that she brought into the conversation every four minutes. Any vaguely combative child would have sussed that out within two seconds of being there, and promptly kicked those dogs, and their jewel crusted collars. A couple (who may have been there for the free dim sims), sat in a corner, with the male partner nursing a hangover, and the woman so casual she could have slid off the chair.

When learning about foster kids, there’s an aspect of shock tactics used to desensitise you, so when the carers came in with the kids it was a real shock. They were just kids! Bored and funny – like all kids.

Three weeks after we were accredited, we got the call. It was for a little girl, who was six. Her foster care placement had broken down. She had complex issues and reported violent behaviours, and our youngest was only four. My husband, (to his eternal credit) thought it would be ‘alright’, and told me to sleep on it. I woke up and declared ‘Well, as long as she doesn’t stab me, I’ll be fine’. She arrived for a visit later that day. No offence to the children I gave birth to, but she was the most beautiful child I had ever seen. She was a baby toothed Snow White. She had regressed and become angry in her placement, as she didn’t want to be forced to be the (previously) missing piece of their perfect foursome. The foster mother felt this rejection keenly, and punished Snow White with an alarming display of emotional blackmail. It’s like the Brothers Grimm, except with corporate seats and Thermomixes. (She’s still in the foster care game, I might add.)

Foster care isn’t about you. These kids are away from their families, and even if you think their family is dysfunctional and horrible, that’s still their family. The last thing they need are people wanting playground glory. If you’re needy or fragile – go to therapy, don’t make matters worse for these kids. And everyone needs to be open to reports of abuse in the system. It’s like members of the Catholic Church, quietly suggesting that no one come forward with any more pesky priest stories.

Snow White was the baby sister of the sullen and (justifiably) angry looking girl. Three years after she came to us we were granted permanent care. I now have a daughter that’s good at sport!

*It’s probably not good for your health, but it’s definitely good. And if you can do it, you should.

 

Dating sites – with a little help from television. Pt 2

This post was going to be my usual glib nonsense in which I reference vibrators, the waxy sheen of Shane Crawford’s face, and that one time I almost got stood on by a Clydesdale while I harassed Humphrey B Bear for a balloon. (Mulwala, 1989. I also got Twisties. They weren’t chicken flavoured. Thank Christ.)

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But, possibly like Shane in the photo above, I was worn down by words!

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I know Humphrey, Shane and I share many things in common.

Researching Lolita, I read a wonderful book by James Hardy and Ann Martin, Light of my life. In it, they detail the narcissistic, demented (and criminal) Eros as suffered by Humbert Humbert, and also reflect on other notable literary romantic failures. Of the adulterous, constantly displeased protagonist of Madame Bovary, they write ‘Emma Bovary was coarsened by her affairs, made ever more forward and vulgar, whether her love grew or declined’. With that, I quickly stopped my download of Magic Mike XXL. The pang of recognition made my face hot and my heart harden. Or, I was suffering an embolism. But I mostly think it was a Madame Bovary related reality check. Is it not enough that I am tarnished and tainted by divorce and stretch marks? That I have to endure politicians, my Grandma and Bryan Ferry’s constant reminder of the heartache I have caused my children?

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To suffer the indignity that all women with children are grouped into Vicky Pollards or Liz Hurleys?

I am also tiring of the current trend, (in Australian publications) of single female journalists (with kids) being either white-bread soccer Mums, or vaguely rocker Northcote types, who suffer a vague mental illness with vague swearing and vague sexual desires. (I am unsure of how you can swear vaguely, unless you’re saying ‘fu-u-c….ell’.) Where are the earthy, freckle faced Helen Garners? All staggering intellect and sex-as-breathing? Salty women who feel keenly, and piss in the garden? Where’s the functional yet arty Australian woman gone? Probably to Doncaster. Or Florence.
So, in an effort to not become any more vulgar, I am turning to one man. Kerry O’Brien. Sadly, no, I am turning to God. As an atheist you might think it would be difficult to suddenly devote myself to the Lord. Not at all! My one week Work Experience placement at St Martin’s Youth Theatre, taught me everything I need to know about giving yourself over to character. It also taught me how to bundle up pieces of cellophane, and how to be paralyzed by fear at the idea of doing ballet moves across a stage, when you possess the grace of Joe Hockey .

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The internet is possibly the best invention since Savoys with Vegemite, and in an effort to become a nun, it did not let me down.
http://anunslife.org/resources/how-to-become-a-catholic-nun
What a resource! I especially like #2, with the suggestion of conducting ‘Nun surveillance’. I think if I was going to start partaking in surveillance, I’d just stick with RSVP. Next week will now be filled with non-hairdresser related head soaking, and reading the works of symbolists more far-fetched than Winton. Fantastic! But before I call them for a quick chat and slacks shopping, I need to finish my excellent synopsis for a dating show that will undoubtedly be praised as ‘edgy, beautiful, life affirming, produced by Paul Clarke’. (I have spent more time considering how this show could be filmed, than I have on the holes in the plaster in my house. Which are now so big, Joe could perform Don Quixote in them quite comfortably.)

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Firstly, the show will run over twenty weeks, following exhaustive background checks. We do not want any Duggar sex criminal types. I don’t want to be on the front cover of That’s Life with the headline ‘I had my Executive Producer credit taken away when I killed a pedophile – The Single Mum story’. The show will feature fifteen men and fifteen women. There is no prize. The winners are love, and voyeurism. As with life, there will probably be distinct categories – arty man that’s amazing in bed, football guy with ball handling skills and not much else, emotionally repressed architect, people who crap on about coffee, and men that look like lumberjacks but don’t own a chainsaw. The women will be chosen for their disinterest in WAG’s, knowledge of indie music from Brisbane, emotional stability and complete disregard for my faff. The interviewees are quizzed on their dating histories, family histories, hopes for the future and if they own any box-sets of Castle, (immediate dismissal if so). This will not be a crying show. No one is going to have their snot drip onto a perfectly nice bit of cake. The thirty cast members are allowed to contact each other, and twenty other participants. Everything is filmed. There is nothing out of bounds and following dates, the host will ask questions like “Did you try the fish?” and “Do you feel any stirrings?” (I should add, sex will not be filmed.) Seemingly, this is how dating works. You try your luck with many people hoping that you’ll click. I have no interest in that part, what I’m after is whether there is truth in what you think you desire. That, is fascinating to watch.

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