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Friday, 24 January 2014

Amber. Losing not Finding/Drowning not Waving.

                                                           Loosing Amber
I watch the final episode of Amber on Television last night. A four parter, this drama was expressed to be about the effect on the people around a missing person of enduring absence and impenetrable.mystery. I listen with bemusement to the comments phoned in on the radio this morning, criticising the lack of resolution. It was resolved, horribly,  authentically in a fourteen year old girl walking away from the viewer, deeper into a shadowy country road, her gait that heartbreaking mix of child and young woman combined. A white van passes her silently, ominously, and is up ahead in the darkness. A train from the station where she alighted passes in purring indifference, back towards city and people. The camera pans back to the now empty road. The credits roll. I stand at the foot of the stairs in my house calling my daughters names, to check if they're home. I know they are home

                                                       The Universe Contracting
It was gruelling, engaging, shattering in its discoveries of details, clues played out and leading nowhere. Teasing, dramatic possibilities around a mobile phone found, an imprisoned man's disturbing references to the girl, an internet chat room.  False trails all,  incomplete, tantalisingly possible, leading nowhere. The drama was in the desperate attempts of police and family  to find the story, the logic, the backdrop and so the girl. The horror  in the fact that there was no story, only a series of, impossible to line up in the vital time frame. A peculiar kind of agony, to lose your child to such a dark ambivalent limbo. A contracting universe.

I thought of  Madeleine McCann, of the raft of missing girls and young women in Ireland over the past decades, the families' forgotten torment  resurfacing from time to time, in some new media trumpeted discovery.  You realise afresh that you have simply moved on  from  a  place where  they remain pinned. I remember the terror, if not actual paranoia I experienced when  my children was infants, that war, pestilence, accidental danger would get into my house and destroy them in their aching fragility. You hardly notice its slow retreat as they grow, your hostages to fortune. A carapace really. This drama tips you back into that place in a visceral way. Exceptional television.

                                                    Expanding Universe
"We'll  have to get one of those things " my husband nods his head stoutly, "I mean do you realise  how much water the fragrant threesome get through on a daily basis. Do you?."  "Umm??". We are having a discussion on waste, husbanding of resources, budgeting. That kind of conversation you tend to have in January. We are to have the new water charges extracted from our shrinking purse, later on in the year. The dear man has heard of a devise that cuts off the water supply to the shower after a decent interval!. "I mean you know we will be needing cash for food, firing, dancing, singing, acting lessons!. Not to mention all the other notions the beautiful girl has yet to come to in her future career choices". Yeah. Yes. Correct. Budgeting, planning ahead, yeah we should. We will.

 I think of all the options the beautiful girl and her sister actually have, on the back of luck, ability, ferocious determination.  The boy's wayward wilful eccentric promise, too.  I think of the massive expansion of opportunity, courses, resources from when I was stepping of that diving board. I think of tipping over into darkness, of Amber.  "I tell you what, lets let 'em shower away, rince, sluice and shampoo to their dear hearts content, dance, read, run, see where it takes 'em. Let's just  pay up, shell out, cough up as long as we have cash or credit until we're stony broke. Let's just do it, no limits, no begrudging, no hold barred from this place of light and  hope and promise into the mercifully expanding universe."  "No?" "Yeah" he says,"Right so. Let's."

Monday, 13 January 2014

No Stupid Little Whores. The love that dare not speak it's name.

The Christmas tree is taken down, the boxes stuffed with ancient baubles put away, the children trudging glumly back to school. The holidays are over. Last night I drew up an exercise and healthy eating plan, a spartan regime for all us poisoned pups, livirish with too much wine and chocolates, melancholy with too little light, our store of good cheer flittered away on Christmas. Grim January. But never mind, it comes it goes, and so it ever was.

"Are not! My friends are not. They are not stupid little whores!!!" Hey! Hey!! I roar, to penetrate the clamorous  secretive teenage coil in the back of the car. "Hey!!! Who is SAYING that."  The boss  sniggers unhappily,  "its HER",  she says "she...."  "Well ok I mean yeah I said it, but they ARE.  I mean have you SEEN their photos on Facebook before they like go out,  skirts up to their  bottoms, faces painted besides I didn't mean sorry and all but anyway it's like.... true." " True? It's.... oh right, true. You're LIKE  talking about younger girls of your own sex, and YOU are calling them....!!!  "Oh mum its like calling girls  bitches,  you just don't get it."  Get it? Get it? Yeah I get it! Whores, bitches, painted girls, you're all being sold a pup, STOP channeling the dark side, mouthing porn trash culture, give words their plain meaning, and do not call any girl or woman either  ever a STUPID WHORE."

Forgotten, from the bowels of the backseat  the boy sniggers. "Do you have something to say boy!" "Eh no, not, have'nt,  nothing to do with me". Quite.  Why would it have anything to do with him? The sisters are doing it to themselves.

And silence. Evaded by earphone again. I think of all the painted girls, the car wheels slapping into rain water, the car engine purring regardless. I think of the Internet haunted by plumped, primped and pouting girls, barely out of childhood, dead some of them by their own hand, targeted , bombarded, judged, their smiling made up faces offered to and devoured by the web, the baying barely formed boys channelling porn speak, the Facebook pictures given up to newspapers in memorandum, a modern death mask, no questions asked.

"Mind yourself,  mind your sisters, don't  judge, don't  scorn, don't  belittle,  give voice to monsters,  be used, don't be used,  never be used " I toss back into the silence..  "Right." "Got it"  The beautiful one answers. Unexpected.

The spouse believes he is getting a little freeze in his local. A studied hesitation, a small excluding breeze. "Oh" I offer, "oh dear,, well seeing as you're not going in there for January anyway....  Its the sex," he says, "you writing, about the sex. That's bad, it's off, its rude. BUT don't stop now. "But WHY", I ask him, "what's the problem,what's the....why?.... in the face of positively bovine indifference to in your face hard sell plastic scary inhuman sex,  where you can let your thirteen year  old dress like bait, and leave her sink or swim in murky waters without limit or boundary, WHY can't you  talk about doing it with your spouse.  And what I want to know is when did middle aged adult sex become the love the dare not speak it's name?? And who exactly is running this show? Baby?  And are we the only ones??? out there?? are we alone?

He assures me that we are not. Couldn't be.  No. There are others. Bound to be. Hmm. So.  Where are they and what manner of folk are all the rest? And also what have they done to common or garden adult sex? Boxed and buried, a whole chunk of self gone with it. Buried deep. We don't know that, we don't do that,  we're not like that, we don't.  Ah yes, the Irish.  We drink with system  and commitment to let the monsters out to play, the dark stuff off the leash a little while.  And in the murky light of Irish day it never happened,  didn't do it,  don't know what you mean, we say, as we fail to understand of protect our tender young. In the kingdom of the blind there is only blindness.

"You're on the outside now, baby", he tells me kindly, "hopelessly identified with the Alien, the bad thing. But never mind,  my heart's own sweetness, never mind, you are the Alien anyway, and in the chilly spaces of January and clean living we will have that at least to keep us glad and warm."