Thank You for the Music

The Two Ks

once upon a time there were two little girls and, for a long time, they were inseparable.  they spent all their free time together. they were the best of friends.

two little girls whose names both began with the letter ‘K’.  two little girls with April birthdays, one a year older, K1, and four inches taller than the other, K2.  two little girls in love with all things that 8 year old girls fell in love with then: roller skates, lip gloss, dolphins, puppies and ABBA.

two little girls who loved to sing.  and sing they did.  every day.

they called themselves “The 2 Ks” and, every weekend, they staged ‘concerts’.

K1 would save up her pocket money to buy every album ABBA ever released, or she would bribe her parents into buying them for her, by promising to tidy her room more frequently.  soon the girls did, indeed, have every album ABBA ever released, and their repertoire was growing.  they soon knew all the words to all the songs, by heart.

K1, being the taller of the two girls, with the fairer hair and stronger voice was, obviously, Agnetha.  K2, being smaller with dark hair and a deeper, rich, velvety voice was, naturally, Frida.

the two little girls would rehearse almost every day or night when they had free-run of K1’s living room and her brother’s stereo, with speakers that were as tall as them.  the TV would be turned off,  the door closed and nobody was allowed to enter the living room until the girls had finished their rehearsals for their next concert.  and every Friday or Saturday night, there would be a concert.  each concert would last three to four hours, or until K2’s mother decided it was bedtime.

planning these ‘concerts’ began every Monday afternoon, after school, when the set list was prepared and decisions were made regarding who would sing what song.  rehearsals took place all week with painstakingly choreographed dance routines. harmonies, and counter-melodies were worked out and memorised.  by the end of the week they were ready for the next forthcoming show.  costumes would be tailored to suit the theme of each segment: leotards with chiffon scarves carefully attached so that they moved like flames as the girls danced; silk pyjamas with grown-up strappy sandals; gypsy skirts with boob tubes, no boobs and boho beads; Bermuda shorts and shirts with bow ties. 

tickets and signage were other important aspects of the shows that the girls meticulously prepared: signs such as “No talking or smoking during performance”  were hand-drawn.  K2 was particularly artistic.  she would spend hours designing and colouring in posters, with a full spectrum of felt tip pens at her disposal.  she would often embellish the posters with glitter or fresh flowers glued to them before pinning them up in obvious places: the hallway door, and the living room door – the entrance to their ‘auditorium’. tickets were issued the night before.

One of K1’s older brothers, S, was in a band and he would often set up an amp and microphones for the girls, to which more chiffon scarves were attentively attached.  the volume dial was, after being set by S, strictly out of bounds. they were told not to touch it but the girls often cranked it up regardless – especially if they thought that their audience wasn’t giving them the attention they felt they deserved!

the concerts were all the more special for the two little girls with microphones. however, if K1’s brother had a gig of his own, then singing into their hair brushes would have to suffice.  this happened on many an occasion.

every weekend K1’s house would be full of music and joy.  the two little girls would sing their hearts out.  a mixture of singing together and solo performances, while the other ‘K’ went backstage to slick on more lip gloss, brush her hair and sip some water, or to pet the dog.

to the two little girls, the concerts were real.  in the wilds of their minds, they were performing in a stadium, in front of a crowd of thousands of screaming fans – not just singing along to records to an audience made up of their long-suffering mums, their neighbours, the neighbours’ kids and the dog, in a mid-terrace Council house living room.

these two little girls had feral, unfettered imaginations. for the duration of these shows, they really believed they were ABBA.  An ABBA without Benny and Bjorn, however.  their Bennys and Bjorns would remain invisible.  they did, however, at one time ‘audition’ a boy to join them.  the boy had huge ears and lived next door to K2. he was a firm friend to both girls but he turned out to be completely tone deaf despite the size of his ears (wholly incapable of singing any key played on K1’s piano, despite their best efforts to teach him) so they abandoned that idea, post haste.  he would remain their friend, however, and was often bullied into being their compère for the evening, or invited to ‘mime’ the vocal parts of Benny or Bjorn, should that be required. for the most part, Benny and Bjorn would remain being merely the girls’ left hands, as the girls would practise their kissing on the back of their hands during the intermission.  the tone deaf boy with big ears never got any kisses, but he lived in hope.

backstage, it was chaos.  a trail of discarded chiffon scarves,  thick tinsel boas, the odd ballet pump or long black velvet evening glove would leave a trail upstairs to the “dressing room”.  once again, K2’s artistic skills were put to good use where a big Broadway style dressing room door sign, complete with glam gold Hollywood stars, would adorn the bedroom door.  more scarves; fancy patterned tights, with one leg inside-out; kitten-heeled sandals; a pink hairdryer and curling tongs would be scattered on the floor of K1’s bedroom floor.

little pots of iridescent green and gold eyeshadow and loose translucent powder spilled over the dresser;  lipstick kisses smeared many a mirror;  skirts, sunglasses and furry hats were strewn across the bed; hairbrushes, that just happened to land spiky side up, on the floor would be hidden hazards to small bare feet rushing “backstage” to change costume.

and there were a lot of costume changes.  every half hour, and that meant a lot of hairspray.  it is no wonder smoking was not permitted.

but these two little girls could really sing.  they sang with everything they had, belting out hit after hit.   they sang with such emotion and raw power that their parents’ friends suggested they enter talent competitions, or apply to be on some televised talent show, join a theatre group or even write to Jim’ll Fix It.

but like all little girls, they grew up.  by and by, the ABBA obsession ended as, eventually, did their friendship.

K1 went on to make her first real public performance as a vocalist singing with her brother’s band at the tender age of nine and a half.  she sang ‘Daddy’s Working Boots’, a real heartbreaker of a song written by Dolly Parton, one time at a local Country & Western club.   K2 joined the local church choir.

the reason i know all of this is because i was one of those little girls.

 

The Two Ks_collage

 

(c) Kat McDonald 2020

dedicated to Karen O.  wherever you may be now…. big love, my dear friend, and thank you for the music.

 ❤️

 

 

13

oh Daddy...

oh Daddy…


at 13, i thought i knew everything.
at 13, i thought i could take on the world – and win.
at 13, i thought everything should evolve around me – including the sun.
at 13, i thought the world owed me a favour.
at 13, i thought i could have whatever i wanted – when i wanted.
at 13, i never thought about mortality.

at 13, my father died.
at 13, i truly knew how it felt to cry. to really cry.
at 13, i truly knew what injustice felt like – why my father?
at 13, i became angry and cynical.

at 15 i had to put up, shut up, wise up and grow up.
but i did it all wrong.

memories of my teenage years are broken.

i skipped school to dye my hair red.
i shaved my head.
i stole cigarettes from my mother, and porn from my brother.
i dyed my hair yellow
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i partied with punks and dyed my hair black.
i sunbathed on railway tracks.
i devoured great literature and took too many pictures.
i sketched body parts, studied Italian and art.
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i pierced my own nose and kept a diary of prose.
i took LSD and smoked skunk.
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i braved electric fences to be with a wolf pack.
i bleached my hair.
i really didn’t care.

for too long, i didn’t care about anything or anyone. i was full of rage.

when my father died, he left my world starved of light.

i was scared.
i was scared to death of death – thoughts of my father’s corpse rotting in a hole in the ground.
i was scared to love.
i kept people at a distance for fear of losing them.
i feared emptiness.

as i grew up, i felt cheated; cheated out of how the father-child relationship changes, how it develops into a solid friendship. a close friendship.

my father never saw me grow up; he did not come to my 18th birthday party or drive me to the airport; he was never there to disapprove of my boyfriends or tease my girlfriends; he never saw me drive my own car or break bread in my first home; he never saw me perform.

when my father died, it was as though someone turned off the big light.
and i was afraid of the dark.

i miss my father. even now.

memories of that Sunday morning when my mother and brother came into my bedroom to tell me:

“Kathryn, darling… Daddy’s died”

memories of my own screams and wretching still haunt me. still as real as though it happened yesterday.

and i am still afraid. afraid of loss.
i fear that one day i will forget what he looked like.
people say i look like my father, but some days i feel i am drowning in my own blind panic as i try to envisage his face. or how he smelled. that fresh soap & water scent. but what soap did he use? i can’t remember.

‘oh Daddy why you?’

my father taught me many things; how to fly a kite, how to grow vegetables; how to knit and sew; how to skip and how to drive; how to shoot a gun and skin a rabbit; how to bath a dog and how to waltz.

he taught me how to have fun.

my father had infinite patience, something i haven’t inherited from his gene pool. i have precious little of that, but i am learning.

my father’s death taught me many, many things: about life, about love, about loyalty and the importance of family and friendship… but mostly he taught me about myself.

i am no longer afraid to tell people that i love them because life is too short not to.

my father was 52 when he died. i look at my mother and i feel for her. she lost her husband, her lover, the father of her children, her best friend and confidant, and a companion for her in the winter years of her life.
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knowing love myself now, i can only imagine her pain and the loneliness of facing her own mortality – alone.

life is short.

we must live each day as if it were our last – and not waste a moment.
we must not take anything or anyone for granted – we can lose everything in a heartbeat, or heart attack as in my father’s case.
we must consider the little things… every detail… how they brush their hair from their forehead, their smile, their favourite shirt, their chosen soap.

and we must love. truly, madly, deeply.

and we must know no fear.
we must tell our family and friends that we love them. every day, in every way.
we must.

why?

because at 13, you think you have year upon year of living and loving and laughter. but i know better…

don’t leave anything to chance.
don’t live with regret – or leave this world, full of woe and wretched of regrets of ‘if onlys’.

so say it now. it’s only 3 words. 3 small words.

but you know they mean everything. so say it now…

“i love you”

and i do: ‘i still love you, Daddy’

(c) Kat McDonald 2014

throw your dreams to the wind like a kite…

throw your dreams to the wind like a kite

i remember, as a child

a child
is born into this world
fearless, knowing
yet blissfully unaware.

i remember, as a child,
scribbling my dreams
on a kite.
a kite
of pretty colours –
red and blue
yellow and green,
dancing on a breeze.
i remember, as a child,
watching my dreams
flying high,
soaring with romantic notion,
as i held on tight to its tail.
my tiny hands, frozen,
clasping the threads;
holding on so tightly
i was so scared of letting go.
my fingers, red,
as the threads
knotted and tightened their grip,
cutting into the soft
impressionable flesh.
little fingers, red.
little hands, sorely determined
to keep the dreams alive.
if i let go, i lose myself and who i am
forever…
so i held on tight
to these romantic notions.
foolish childhood notions of mysterious lovers,
mysterious places,
unravelling like a kite, and travelling across the bluest of oceans,
like the span of the sky above me – limitless and clear
with no clouds to cloud my judgement.
i remember, as a child,
standing
small beneath the sky
gazing upward.
eyes big and wide and full of wonder.
my kite, my dreams
tethered to my tiny, cold and blood red hands
i was scared to let go –
for fear of losing all i held dear.
the kite, the dreams tethered to me.
tethered like me
to the ground where i stood
fixated on my dreams;
tethered – like a bird
flapping, and desperate to fly.
i was scared to loosen my grip;
to let go, for fear
that all i held dear
would disappear from me.
but let go i did.

with clouds in my eyes i watched
my kite, my dreams
come crashing down and break apart.
my kite was broken.
my dreams, in tatters, lay broken on the ground.
and so, with a heavy heart,
i buried my kite
and laid my foolish romantic notions to rest.

yesterday,
and twenty seven summers later,
i bought a kite.
a kite, bright and full of colour.
a kite with a long tail to tell,
hopeful and pretty.
i took her
out into the open,
to find her breeze.
i took her
out into the open
and on her skin, i wrote my dreams.
*sigh*
i took a deep breath
and slowly let go…

i set her free.

she took to the open sky like a bird.
sensing her urgency to fly
i let the threads slip through my fingers.
i loosened my grip, biting back tears
as i felt her bite back and snap at the breeze… at me.
but her tail is tangle-free
she is strong –
but the wind is stronger.
changing direction like my next breath.
she dips
as if glancing back at me
for reassurance?
i watch her struggle as i grapple with the threads,
trying to keep her happy.
but she soars
with grace and stoicism.
oh my heart feels heavy –
for in my hands i hold her future.
it’s time to let go.
i watch with clouded vision
as she dances away with my dreams
higher and higher
and out of reach.
she does not look back.
what will become of my dreams,
my hopes, my notions
now that i no longer have control?
what will become of my dreams,
my hopes and notions now that i no longer hold the threads that bind?
i am not scared
because i am ready.
throw your dreams to the wind, like a kite,
because sometimes…
sometimes… they take flight.

Image and Words (c) Kat McDonald

shards

what's wrong with me?

shards

7 empty bottles lie strewn across the floor in violent, yet elegant, disarray…
7 empty bottles and yet i am craving more.

i had to drink to escape. to escape from you. to escape from myself…

what is this?
what is wrong with me?

7 attempts to dim the sight of you, to turn down your brilliance.
7 attempts to mute your voice.
7 attempts to drown you out, and cut you adrift.
7 attempts to crush… crush… crush… this… this…
this… i don’t know what this is.
but i do know this – i have slid beneath it.

but this isn’t anything.
this isn’t anything because everything i touch breaks…

i am broken, like these 7 empty bottles.

i am smashed.

i crawl across the floor and find sanctuary in the fragments of glass… i lie, still.
i finger the shards… i nestle into the pain.
the pain is perfect and exquisite
and makes me forget the crushing weight upon my chest.
a slither of glass in my hand, sparkles like that moment.
a momentary sparkle, like that memory.
i wrap my fingers around its dangerous length and squeeze it tight,
like i hold tight to that memory… that moment…
tighter and tighter…
the pain is profound, the pain is perfect
a momentary distraction, yet it will not yield.
i hold on tight.
tighter and tighter…
like the tightening in my throat, in my stomach
the pain is beautiful and i had hoped it would help me to forget.

but it does not. it only makes me crave more… more wine, more you…

red rivulets run from my hand, like salvation… a release…
a letting of blood…
a way of letting go,
a way of letting go of you…

i lie down, naked, among the broken glass as if cradled by fragmented memories…
i am bleeding. i am punctured.
i am hollow and broken, like those empty bottles.

i am smashed. i am a car crash.

naked and bleeding, my hands are in shreds.
amid the shards, i am cold and bloody and shaking…

but still the blood flows thick and slow.
my knees are cut- blood stains my hands, my lips…
my mind runs away from me as i lie, still…
smashed, smeared and empty,
bleeding and broken.

i drank and drank and drank and drank with a seemingly endless thirst,
and desire…
a desire to forget this… this… this…
just for a short while…

the cuts, this letting of blood, let you roll over me and wash me away.
i forget where i am. you make me forget where i am, who i am… and why i am.

i scream out loud.

what is wrong with me?

7 bullet holes in the heart,
7 pills in the hand,
7 cuts across the wrist,
7 bottles of wine will not silence this.

7 empties, smashed.

i am empty.
i am smashed.

i cry for something real from you, but like these shards, you cut me to the quick.

i curl up, naked, in the carpet of shards and feel them pierce and puncture.
the blood flows like the wine from those broken empties, where i seek solace.

my heart beats fast. i cannot swallow… i feel hollow, empty…

the blood flows.
the pain is pervasive, exquisite like an orgasm.
the pain is supposed to help me drown you out, help me extinguish this…
this…
this…

but damn you’re good…

(c) Kat McDonald 2012

like caged tigers

like caged tigers

like caged tigers…

tonight, more than most, i cannot sleep.

tonight, caged tigers pace inside my head. their roar quickens, deafens – making my heart race against their fire. they are restless. and they are hungry.

tonight, more than most, i cannot sleep.

i am restless, and shaking. the darkness claws at me. my body is in shreds. my heart is bleeding out. and my will is hopelessly and irretrievably lost.

tonight, more than most, i cannot sleep.

tonight, you are so close to me. so close to me. but i cannot reach you.
tonight, you are so close to me, but i cannot reach you. and these tigers are hungry. they need fed.

the tigers roar at me and the darkness mauls. these tigers are hungry. they are restless. i am restless, and shaking. and tonight i can neither sleep, nor reach you.

but here, in this dreamland, you are right next to me, lying naked and still. i cannot sleep. my heart quickens and roars, like hungry caged tigers. you are right next to me, but i cannot reach you. i cannot even reach you through your dreams. and you do dream… i have been there.

the darkness shifts and flickers, like the dying street light outside. like a beacon. is it a warning, or the glow from the burning eyes of the beautiful caged tigers pacing inside my head?

tonight, more than most, i cannot sleep.

i cannot sleep. from inside this dream, i study your face as you lay naked and still beside me. so close to me. and yet i cannot reach you.

i cannot sleep. i watch you. your hair falls, soft. i cannot sleep. your lips. your lips – lips that were once upon a time smashing against mine. i cannot sleep. i want your kiss. i cannot sleep. i cannot sleep. i cannot sleep. i want you. i want your kiss. i want more. i cannot sleep. i want to kiss you. i want to leave my scent on your lips. but my fingers will not let me. my fingers stay pressed hard against my lips. i cannot reach you.

oh but i want to… but i cannot. so i close my eyes to study your face. the curl and curve of your mouth, tempered – only slightly – by sleep. i cannot sleep. damn your mocking mouth. mocking lips, lips that i adore. lips i want to maul for hours. i am hungry. i am restless and shaking. those tigers will not be silenced, or abated. they are wild, and they are raging. they pace, to the pace of my quickening heart.

those pretty blue eyes sleep. even in sleep they possess extraordinary and insurmountable beauty. those blue eyes lost in their dream. and you do dream… i watch you dream. i have watched you from behind those blue eyes, from inside your dream.  i have watched your mouth and your eyes flit behind closed doors. i want to kiss those eyes.  from inside your dream i have watched your body resolve, and the curl of your fist unfurl. i have watched your chest rise and fall behind the clutch of your self-embracing, self-protective shape. i have watched the little boy sleep. but tonight, i cannot.

my unsleeping state is fevered, fearsome and ferocious. like caged tigers that roar and savage my brain. i cannot sleep. you are so close, but i cannot reach you. i cannot sleep. but i want your kiss. again.  i want you to kiss me again. and again. and again. and again. and….

i cannot sleep. i see you naked and crave to have your scent in my hair, with such intoxicating intensity that i will still smell you in the hours that follow. i will not wash, so i may then pleasure myself on your scent alone – long after these moments have gone.  but tonight, these caged tigers are hungry. they are frenzied. and outside the darkness roars, gnawing at my bones… i cannot fight it. i am exhausted… i cannot sleep.

nor do i want to sleep.

tonight, i cannot reach you. but you are so close. naked. still. tonight i want to slip into your dream, and be part of you.  tonight i want to nestle into you, mirror your shape.  tonight i want to hold you, and unfold you. but i cannot reach you.

i cannot sleep. i visualise, study your face, and inhale you.  my fingers are flames. i cannot sleep. i want to slip into your dreams. i want to slip under that cover and drink you in. i am thirsty. my mouth is dry. i cannot sleep. i just want to slip under your skin.

i cannot sleep. i want those kisses. those beautiful stolen kisses and collisions that first smashed my circadian rhythm. i want… i want… and you know what i want. i cannot sleep. i want to fuck. i want you, and i want you alone. i want your mouth. i cannot sleep. i want to fuck. my fingers are telepathic. i need that mouth. i want that mouth. i want my fingers…  i want the smell of your sex to veil me. i cannot sleep. you are so close and yet so far away. this distance – so close. i want your taste in my mouth. i cannot sleep. i want to fuck. i am restless and shaking. i pace, like a caged and savage tiger… my mind is racing, i am pacing. my eyes see more than they should… i prey. i pray for you to wake up… i want my taste in my mouth. i suck my fingers. almost… shall i come to you? i want to… shall i wake you? i want to. but if i do, we will never sleep again. i want your hips raging against mine. i cannot sleep. i want to be at your mercy. i am, already, there. i am restless, and shaking. i want to fuck.

i cannot sleep. i want to fuck. i cannot sleep. i am restless, like these beautiful caged tigers.

i must set them free…

monster

(c) Kat McDonald Photography

monster

shapeless and invisible, i can feel you inside me. stirring, i feel you move me – kicking in my stomach, sticking in my throat and heavy in my chest. i know you are awake… again.

ancient and certain, but without innocence. a now adulterous motive, that once was pure, overwhelms. and you are strong. stronger than me. i cannot fight you.

pervasive and relentless, i know you are there. i feel you growing inside me – gnawing, twisting. you will not be abated, or sated. you heighten my senses and keep me awake at night – feeding my dreams, imparting upon me with a voracious appetite to match my own. you consume me. my thoughts. my thoughts.

sometimes gentle, you seep into my thoughts like the slow, inevitable, stain of red wine on white linen.

sometimes you rape my concentration, violently twisting; clawing for my attention, as you drive harder and deeper into me. and i like it.

but you won’t let me be. i hear you moving furniture inside my head – rearranging my thoughts and dreams, churning through my memories. you are dangerous. you tattoo my better judgement with words and glances and beautiful irrational moves and images that distract me. taunt me. haunt me for hours.

you arouse me.

powerful and completely disarming, you know how to play me. you prey on my imagination and wittingly litter my head with notions and desires. yes, you are dangerous. beautiful, but dangerous.

you are a monster. electric. and…

i awake to find you looming over me – mocking me – cruelly snatching my moments of clarity and shearing what little fibres of self control i have left inside me. you perverse my dreams – alluding me to a seeming reality of wild abandonment and submission. deeper into this seeming reality you lure me and i never want to leave that beautiful place. dreams from which i never want to awaken. but…

you torture me. you steal this world from me – leaving me helpless, exhausted and frustrated. you never finish what you start. so…

and yet you continue to besiege me with daydreams, recent, and replay home movies of all too brief encounters. you fill me with music – songs from before, but i hear them for the first time with visions. visions that make my head spin. dizzy dancing. visions that taste of wine, and the succulence of forbidden fruit.

you are a master of ambiguity. a paradox. controlling and persuasive, you inflame my hands; my fingers – they hunger for skin, naked; my lips – they burn and taste of your spit; my thighs – they ache from clenching and my best endeavours to control this beast…this longing. in your wake, all there is, is a chronic ache that will not abate. there is no calm. no peace or contentment. only recklessness. only a restless itch. a craving. a constant narcotic craving…

cannibalistic. you eat your way out from the inside. a voyeur, i am too weak to fight you. beside myself, i watch you… i watch as you… you… you manipulate and masturbate my weakness. you are loud. screaming to me. i cannot close my eyes and ears to your intoxicating presence. and i don’t want to.

lost, in the middle of the afternoon, i find myself on coffee tables, in dark alleyways, in stark hotel rooms, on leather chairs and in tangled bed sheets. lost, in places i recognise and places yet to be.

all i have left is this duality, this perplexity; this… my complexity.

and it is complex. you wont let me be. every breath i inhale now reeks of anticipation and the urgency of depraved sex. every breath i exhale, of elusive chance and missed opportunity.

are you awake? i know that you are…. again. it’s all too familiar.
you sexualise me, like before. it’s all too familiar.

you are fucking with my head. but please…

don’t stop there.

(c) Kat McDonald, 2010

glitter balls & gravity boots

glitter balls & gravity boots

glitter balls & gravity boots

from inside the frame of a large Art Deco mirror, i am startled by my own reflection. i am jolted; ejected from the warm cocoon of my daydreams and retrospect. i am cruelly spat back out into this universe. cruelly spat out into an empty roomful of ghosts, sawdust and broken glitter balls. amid the carpet of dust, i see shards of my reflection scattered, with optimistic sunshine, haphazard and pretty.

who is she? who is this person standing beside me, clad in black on a sunny day. is she a ghost? a ghost of the past or an apparition from the future?

who is she? i don’t know…

like a strange and sweet juxtaposition, or kink in the delicate fabric of the space time continuum, she stands close by and yet she is far, far away. locked in the past, lost in the present, but lusting for the future.

she looks like me. is it me, is she just another ghost?

she turns to face me and smiles, sun flare flash in the blue skies of her eyes. her eyes – wide with feral excitement. she looks high, despite gravity. i like her, but who is she?

she laughs out loud and spins – perfectly centered, poised. it is evident she can dance.

she spins with strength of stance, then – to my surprise – with fluid feline grace she moonwalks, in clunky unfastened gravity boots, and disappears from the frame.

again i am returned to my little lost world of daydreams and yearning. alone amid the sawdust and broken glitter balls i am left with her laughter ringing in my ears…

dead birds

dead birds

dead birds

and once again… i find myself in a darkened room. alone with my thoughts. my demons. i feel myself slipping away.

i am lost.

once upon a time i was a capricious and precocious little girl, with long blonde hair and wide eyes, full of hope. bad was something that grown-ups spoke of. this was not for children. cocooned from the big bad world outside, i was naive to the badness of this world. i lived in a world of fluffy bunnies, puppies and flowers… a world of pretty kites dancing on a summer breeze and bicycle rides with the pretty boy across the street, the wind in our hair and the sun kissing our skin… a world of picnics in the countryside – a frequent escape from the urban turpor that imprisoned my mother… a world of daisy chains and pretty dresses and sticky plasters on skinned knees from falling out of trees…

now i have grown. i have travelled all over the world. i have seen a lot of badness in this world. i have aged with ascerbic cynicism that is not without folly and flippancy. i turn on the television and now feel opiated to the shocks and aftershocks of the chaos we call the human race. i see humans now for what we truly are. i see humans for what we are all capable of.

and we are all capable of badness.

this is no fairytale… this is no happy ever after… this is reality. bad things are happening all over the world.

every year, every month, every week, every day, every minute, every second… all over the world.

i feel sad. but there are no tears. no shock. there is no mourning.

i feel sad that the innocent little girl who would cry when she saw a dead bird by the side of the road can no longer feel.

i feel, but only nothingness.

and i wonder if my heart has gone cold and turned black.

(c) kat mcdonald 2010

binary

we are all zeros and ones

we are all zeros and ones

1010011101010010101110010010101110010101011100111001010
1011110000111001110000110001110110110110011000110010101
1001110111010110100011001001110110010101010101010010000
1011011100100100110011100011100111001101001110101001010
1110010010101110010101011100111001010101111000011100111
0000110001110110110110011000110010101100111011101011010
0011001001110110010101010101010010000101101110010010011
1010011101010010101110010010101110010101011100111001010
1011110000111001110000110001110110110110011000110010101
1001110111010110100011001001110110010101010101010010000
1011011100100100110011100011100111001101001110101001010
1110010010101110010101011100111001010101111000011100111
0000110001110110110110011000110010101100111011101011010
0011001001110110010101010101010010000101101110010010011……

…… is this it? is this all there is?

…… i cannot compute.

…… i miss you.

(c) Kat McDonald 2010

i am not invisible…

i am not invisible.

i am not invisible.

i find myself killing time with strangers, breathing fragrant air. this city has no limits – it is spoilt, cold and strange. it is full of strangers but perhaps they find me strange as i sit here alone. gathering crowds impose upon my personal space. i am not invisible – although i might as well be… they enter in twos and threes and hunt in packs. they are social and territorial.

a fleeting glance in my direction – they see right through me. they look at me but don’t really SEE me. who is stranger? strangers see the stranger in me. i am a girl interrupted by other peoples’ thoughts outspoken. i am alone, but not on my own. others come and kill their time in my comfort zone – slowly devouring the circle that i have drawn around myself for my own self-protection and self-preservation. i want to be alone. fragments of their conversation build to a crescendo of pink noise. pink noise buzzing in my head.

the girl next to me is loud, screaming to be heard irrespective of the close proximity of her clones. siamese twins – inseparable. same hair, same lipstick, same shoes and plastic handbag. she nestles into her comfort zone – infringeing and eating into mine. does she care? does she fuck. her hand moves closer to me and i realise that there is a very fine line between intimacy and
invasion. i become more self-aware, opening up slowly – others become loose really quickly, alcohol infused and loose. they lose their inhibitions – only thinking of themselves. i am not invisible – although i might as well be… i am just another face in the crowd. breathing in and out and as alive as everyone else around me; those that surround me. the air feels brittle and it’s getting hard to breathe. they suffocate me – they suffocate me and i want to come up for air. i need to come up for air. my lungs are filled with their pungent yet resplendent exhalations. i want to surface, gulping lungfuls of fresh air and scream “do you see me? do you hear me? do you see me? do you fucking see me…!?”

i am alone in my built up zone, surrounded by the hum and prattle of chatter and the ringing and blipping of mobile phones. i sink deeper into oblivion in this cacophany of sound. pink noise. a wall of sound surrounds me. the beat of the background music betrays me slumping deeper into the wallpaper. the kitsch and gawdy wallpaper. i am detached. yet strangely attached. i am singled out. i wait for his return. i wait for my lover to return. how much longer will i have to listen to the psychotic babble as the nauseating smell of siamese twins’ perfume makes my head swim, dulling my senses and making me feel sick. time goes tick – tock – tick – tock ad infinitum. what am i to them? what am i to the others in this post-modern palace of perfunctory pleasures? i am nothing. i am stood up. i am stuck-up. i am not invisible… although i might as well be… for all it means to them. that girl touched my thigh.

incidently. unintentionally her hand brushed my thigh. i am not invisible – although i might as well be… i sit and wait for him. i don’t like this. i am hemmed in. stuck in the middle – amidst their words and laughter. i wish they’d turn it off. i wish they’d go away. i sit and wait for him. and i wait…. and wait. and weight. i bear this weight for him. i can’t bear the weight. the air is too heavy. heavy, crushing down on me. constricting me. the boom-boom bassline of the music moves in closer, i can feel it pump my chest – like this city’s heartbeat. bodies – now there are too many bodies, encircling me. closing in on me. closer. closer. i can smell the intimacy. the craving. tensions are building. i can almost taste it. a tangible
expectation and anticipation of sex. that’s what they come for. sex. sex for boys and girls. that is why they come here – so they don’t leave alone. i wish they’d leave me alone.

i watch faces come and go. i close my eyes and listen. voices are singled out and rise above the drone of mumbles of the masses as their words cut through. bodies that thrust words like daggers into your heart. bodies that thrust and impose their lives upon everyone else in the room. with just one word. i sip my gin and tonic. how much longer will i have to wait? time passes by so slowly and i can feel myself growing younger. they glance around at me. a passing glance with unseeing eyes – yet eyes that judge. just as a passerby glances at a homeless person. i am not invisible – although i might as well be… quietly confident, i sit and observe my surrounding surroundings. i wait for him to return – to uplift and remove me from this… this… this. this place. settled, yet unsettled i wait. and they close in.

the ice melts, diluting my tonic. i sit and wait. wait for him to refuel my diluted spirit and free me from this zoo. this circus. feels like i am inside a goldfish bowl and forced to look outwards – faces glower inwards, scrutinising, judging – as they jostle and bustle and chip away at my personal space, nibbling slowly. like rodents, like vermin. i refuse to accommodate their attempts to invade me and take over. i was here first. this is MY graze post – i was here first motherfuckers. i was here first enjoying the solace and serenity of my own company. that girls perfume wafts over and my stomach lurches. she is loud. loud and gawdy – like a strutting parrot. her voice hurts my brain. every vowel sound mauls my skull as she poaches on my home ground – my personal space. slowly, inch by inch, they close in around me. disrespect me. i am not invisible… although i might as well be… i will not flinch. i will stand my ground. i can be as hostile as they are. i can be hostile to your unwanted advances. you can just fuck off. i WILL beat your brow. i slip outside myself and watch. i really do not want to be here. feels like i am going to ‘crack’ wide open.

it will be hideously poetic – and messy. very messy. they made me what i am on this day. today. and what i am going to become if i am subjected to this Hell for much longer. if only i could escape my body. let me be free – let my soul break out of this prison cell – this living Hell and circle, swim around the Heavens and leave all this behind. simmering with hatred and wretched inhumanity my impatience festers with every ugly minute that passes. i wish i could leave my body in suspended animation. slow things down to stop and play with space time continuum. scream and spit in their faces, piss in their drinks, pull down their pants and expose them. i would fly through the door and soar. soar into the sky – swirl and whirl, soar and dive. i would fly past peoples’ windows and up around the rising spires. but i am stuck here. leather upon leather. alone in a crowded city bar.

it feels like it is going to explode – or implode. perversely, i enjoy this voyeuristic journey. i am watching from afar. i am tired of waiting. tired of being weighted down. down.

the air is sweet and heavy. so heavy. a thick sweet barrier. i wish i could carve a way out through the stench of cheap perfume, stale cigarette smoke and garlic prawn. voices and noises surround me, pull me down. sound, thick sound – peppered with a spray of interjected words and peals of laughter of other peoples’ conversations and conclusions. they have no regard for others. loud
raucous laughter spiking the wave of this aural orgy. this. this. discomfort. i don’t want to be here. i am not invisible… although i might as well be… self-obsessed beings craving their self-satisfaction. a voyeurs paradise. people watching people, watching. judging and being judged. assumptions fill the air, weighing it down, filling the void. polluting the air. i look out the window. respite. escape. the sun has retreated to bed. i am tired. tired of waiting for my angel to return and save me. wrap me up in his large and beautiful wings and carry me out of this place. this ugly place. this Hell on Earth. i wait for my angel to take me.

i exit the flesh and blood and hover in the ceiling. watching the mortals play. i watch from above to overcome these feelings of boredom, frustration and inertia. free of the anger and overwhelming desire to kill someone. i watch them play. watch the actors play – act – on their social stage. watch them acting up. putting on their own act for each other. how fitting. do i fit? i am not in the crowd. alone. i sit alone. i sit and ponder my position, and juxtapositions and impositions now thrust upon me. this poses further questions. where is my lover? where is my angel? i try telepathy. try to transmit thoughts. thoughts float out the door in their millions and soar into the night rain… i try in vain. i am restless. almost at breaking point.

the noise. the fucking noise. please make it stop. please. please come get me. i am tired. i wish i could silence them. silence the fuelled up girls and boys. i wish i had a remote control to shut it off. i close my eyes… i am not invisible… although i might as well be… retrospective. i think back to the solace i enjoyed an hour ago. two hours ago. i was generous with smiles today too. i had plenty throw away smiles to give. i never got any back in this miserable place. not one smile. until i open my eyes and find him… my lover. standing before me with outstretched wings…

i am not invisible. he sees me. he smiles. he loves me. he makes me feel loved; like i am home. and i belong. i belong. anywhere.

just so long as it’s with him…

with him, i am not invisible.

Words (c) Kat McDonald 2004