Saturday, October 31, 2009

The passing of time through a DVD collection

I've been utterly lost in the last few days. Not in bad, I need to pen a memoir about my terrible life kind of way, but certainly I've been suffering some end of the decade restlessness, to the point I finally upped and got rid of all my wrestling DVDs from their boxes. They didn't change - put the disc in and they'd still spark and crackle with the faux excitement only wrestling can claim to provide - but I did, and so out they went in a flurry of plastic and hard rubbish. Somewhere there was an invitation for me to go to a work farewell, and my lack of attendance meant that some cheese on a stick was eaten by some1ne else, but I'm sure they'll get over it. It's not like I'd be spinning some fascinating new anecdote for anyone. I've become so adverse to small talk that the thought of it breaks me out in hives, and even the cheesiest cheest on the stickiest stick can't make me get in my car and attend. Plus it's my day off - so much cleaning to do. Cheerfully, the clean up allowed me to find several photos of the sparkling eyed child I 1nce was, the 1ne who laughed at puppets endlessly and was happy with tomato soup for his birthday. Ah poignancy, why are you always brought on by the scent of Mr Sheen and the discovery that several of my childhood possessions can be exchanged for big cash prizes? To be honest, every time I clean up I just end up abundantly conscious of how much time I've accumulated on earth, but I don't do it from the accumulation of photographs, lost loves or signed photographs from lady wrestlers I 1nce upon a time knew, but from an accumulation of popular culture crap. Seriously - when did I like Blur enough to want to read a book on them? When did I get a poster of Chloe Sevigny - must have been before the Brown Bunny incident. When I did I like Friends enough to buy box sets? Who's Scott Miller and why did he sign a Westpac Olympics flag for me? I then usually completely lose my train of cleaning thought trying to piece together little bits of how I got to this point of my life. It's not the best system in the world, it's not a system that usually gets me to hard rubbish collection day with a perfectly organised and catalogued collection of treats for the binman, but it does waste an entire Saturday, it does kill time until lunch, so in it's way, it becomes the recurring memory of my unremembered weekends - nothing specific, they all feel the same, all that changes is the outfits...

It's Friday, it's the same flourescent lights I'm always under, same shops, same books, same time to kill. Panda Eyed Girl has flickering alive eyes, sitting as she does behind the layby counter of Big W where I work for 1nce up and about and alert, as if she's really swallowed a motivational lesson. She's explaining the refund policy in accurate detail to a single mother who's attention is instead taken on perving on 1ne of the stockboys. Panda Eyed Girl blithely ploughs on with her spiel, and begins to try and build some rapport with the single mother with an oddly heartwarming tale about bike and Xmas that you could probably read on her blog or her Twitter feed. I bet she's on Twitter. I might look her up. I'm surprised at her story though - it doesn't feel right considering she's normally slumped over the edge of a desk reading New Idea and passing less than well thought out opinions about Lleyton Hewitt. I guess I shouldn't judge. The stockboy has no idea he's become the object of a perv, and goes about his duties quickly and quietly. I don't know when people began looking so young. He's positively glowing with health where as I just look like a yawning coughing mess. I work with a Twittering girl - not that she's on Twitter, but she jibbers like she is, 140ty characters of inanity right in my ear every minute of the day. No wonder I look such a mess. Too much GBH of the ear-hole. Panda Eyed Girl for the first time looks reflective and mature as the customer pushes the bike away gently, almost pushing it into a standee in her gazing at the healthy youthful glow of the stock boy. It's definitely strange to think of Panda Eyed Girl being the mature 1ne of the situational moment, because I realise I've been flicking through a cheaply priced copy of a Yo Gabba Gabba book. I also realise the most poignant moment from my Xmas childhood was getting a trampoline when I was 6ix that ended up being an absolute nightmare because it would always give me an electric shock off the metal edges, and gave me a phobic tick which carries over to this day where I expect everything to fry my fingers. I don't think I was ever young enough to be perved on, although I was relatively clueless at that age as to whether people liked me, but I do remember the exact moment I went from torpor channelled through irony, from being young and disaffected and thinking my entire childhood was shit because I didn't get a video camera in 1990 to genuine affectionate memories being something I cherished. In that sense, I've suddenly had a connection with Panda Eyed Girl, and I would have told her that, if it wasn't weird, and she wasn't having to pick the eyes out of a ridiculous debate with a customer as to whether something was 18.99 or 19.99, a debate that for all I know is still going on, an ouroborous of debate unsettled even after the metal gates had clanged to the ground ending another Big W day under the Big W lights...

It's lunchtime, and I'm sitting in the food court restlessly picking at some wedges. At the table next to me is a very old man in need of a tan eating some scran as part of his calorie plan. He has a flip book on his table, precariously balanced on the edge of his tiny eating space, with bits of pages highlighted and crossed out, a manifesto for life that would be more impressive if he hadn't just dropped 1/2lf a pound of fried rice on it. Deftly he scoops it onto the floor where later a harried cleaner will pick it up, and only if she's having a good day will she forget to swear about it. I hope she blames the mess on no good punk teens - she could not have been more wrong. Personally, I can't entirely empathise with the old man - it's hard to empathise anyway listening to Josie and the Pussycats on an IPOD - because I'm more concerned about the state of the new book shop. 1nce a gleaming corporate paradise, it now has boxes piled up everywhere, in front of the music books, and the nice man who used to listen to pleasant classical music on his IPOD all day long seems drained of life by the incessant playing of Deep Forest and a thin old woman who appears every so often in the store to seemingly pore over profit projections. Poor guy - from Prokofiev to Profit Projections faster than you can say promotional book launch. Soon he'll be wearing bunny ears at Easter or be dressed as an elf at Xmas and the whole thing just won't feel right with me. I might have to buy my books at KMart and avoid that horrible woman with the grey curly hair just...just a horrible thought. The old man certainly couldn't care less, he's busy dumping a pile of rice on the floor the size of a small country, some of it landing on his shoes with a grumpy greasy thump on his brown shoes, which he doesn't even notice in his haste to highlight another passage of his flipchart. I consider him for a moment a sort of Ned Flanders figure, only much older and wrinklier and more sauce on his cardigan. Sort of sitting around, finding passages in flipcharts to censor and bring to everyones attention - but just as I'm able to subtly crane my neck over to see what he's doing, a woman gets her foot caught in the escalator, and a crowd of ambulance chasers trample over my dinner in a bit to get a front row seat to the carnage...

The hubbub subsides, but the 2wo girls next to me who rushed over to ambulance chase are still there as I take the last wedge and eat it's tepid goodness. The 1ne on the left is impossibly pretty and the 1ne on the right isn't, but makes up for it at random intervals by slapping the pretty girl on the back in a supportive way, but also with enough force to get rid of any anger she feels about having to spend time with this person and her inane stories. And also to suggest that whatever genetic gifts she missed out on in the looks department are balanced out by a genetic ability to mask low key hostility in a faux friendly manner. They both have the same T-shirt style on as well, black and sparkly, so I get caught up in whether their friendship is a continual game of 1ne-upmanship only 1ne person can ever win. The pretty girl though is depressed, since her boyfriend has just dumped her. She folds her arms and screws up her face when she begins her story as if she's dis-interested in her own words, but soon she's emoting as if she's just typed a combination of a semi colon and shift/0 on her computer. It's a completely over blown performance, worthy of an out-take from The Brown Bunny. As she raps up, she declares the problem with her ex boyfriend is that she loves him but she's not in love with him. Her friend is used to these McGrawesque nuggets of pondering, and barely stirs from her thickshake stirring, but I to this minute have no idea what that means, and the old man, a peripheral figure in my day until now, decides this is the moment to stare at the girls like Henry from Portrait Of A Serial Killer, and simply say to them loudly a 2wo word cursing phrase popular in Tarantino films. He then leaves, disgusted, and storms off into a chemist where he transacts as quickly as possible with the guy behind the counter, while the girls stand open mouthed, frozen in mutual horror at being dissed, and a small jockey like man 2wo tables over laughs so hard at Grandad swearing, he knocks over a coke and gives that poor unseen cleaner so much more to do later on in the day...

Isolated memorable incidents in another wise dull month...I appreciate them whenever they happen, I truly, truly do...still stuck on Scott Miller though...

3 comments:

Kath Lockett said...

Scott Miller? Sheeessh.... I just read an article in The Age about how he was married to Charlotte Dawson (who? some old chick who's host of a boxing reality show) once.

Still, I bet if I said, "Ram my face into a brick wall and call me Feargal Sharkey" you wouldn't have a clue who I was talking about....

Kris said...

A Chloƫ Sevigny poster from the Brown Bunny?

Now that would impress the house guests...

Miles McClagan said...

Feargal Sharkey! A good heart these days is hard to find! He was massive when I was, um, 6 or something. Whats he up to now. I've realised Scott Miller was part of a pre Olympic Tour where they took the flame around Hobart or some gubbins. We couldn't get Emma George, oh no...

It sure would wouldn't it! Especially the infamous closing scene right in the hallway...the hell was that film about?