Tuesday, 11 September 2007
trickle trickle buzz
Another embarrassed angel.
Well this isn't Britain, is it? It could be the geckoes that give it away or the quality of the algae (rare), or the size and colour of the crickets, or the white earth and purple shadow and the fact that the bees are blue. We could be in Palestine or Bel Air (does the grass that bothers to grow here even know it's supposed to be green?) but in fact we're in Languedoc… Cathar Country (acute and obtuse hilltop strongholds stand vacant for 900 years)… home to the vine and to fields of sunflowers all past their prime and eerily bowed like shower-heads at exactly the same angle and in exactly the same direction in their millions… and my parent's home for the past year. They live in a small snail-shell-shaped village called Puisallicon (Salty Well) in one of the newer buildings at its base. The pool's now finished, and so is the cinema. The seats are brand new (Europe's only cinema seat factory is apparently very nearby) and it even has a clock - which now I come to think of it isn't that common a feature, but my dad's cinema in Arbroath used to have one and so – well in fact it had this one. It's the same clock, the very clock my dad would keep an eye on in his teens to make sure he wasn't late for rehearsals. It lights up green. (He'd miss the first half hour of a movie as well, to make it more engaging.)
As I write this two turtle doves are falling out over some seed at my feet. They sqwark like Graham Chapman. I'm here for four days, which should be enough time for whatever has infested the far end of my mattress back in Brixton to die of starvation. On Saturday evening I accompanied my mum to the church at Puisallicon's apex, the same pale ochre as the dog on its steps. I spent a lot of the sermon considering the priest's hairpiece. I was considering it charitably. It didn't look anything like the rest of his hair but I thought: We don't scoff at make-up because it doesn't look like real face, why are we so sniffy about wigs? I also considered a painting of a saint being welcomed aboard by the baby Jesus in a cloud. I thought: He didn't get up to that much as a kid though, did he? He was just baby-shaped TO BEGIN WITH so he could get out of Mary. At least Krishna stole some butter, I think. And it's just occured to me: What happened to all the fuss made over Jesus when he was born? Thirty years later when he performed his first miracle at the wedding in Cana did everyone go: "Ah! Finally!!!"
Village announcements are broadcast from the water tower. The wind's getting up. In the neighbouring village of Puimisson (Soft-water Well) a mechanic is practising jazz on a mandolin. Mum wants to know if she can get me anything. Dad has some Droopy we can watch later on.