|This account contains my modeling.|
|And my writing.|
Enjoy. I love creating it all.
Trophy wives, refugees and multiple JessicasTwo days ago a memory crept out of some abandoned back corridor of my brain and planted itself firmly behind my eyes. It is still foggy and there are gaps and non sequiturs but I’m going to write it down and see if it makes any more sense on paper.Trophy wives, refugees and multiple Jessicas by Halohid
I was in Year One. I was playing with my friends Jessica and Jessica. To differentiate them we’ll call them Jessica the Quite Beautiful and Jessica the Not So Beautiful. You’ll see why shortly.
Jessica the Quite Beautiful, as our (beautiful) leader, organised a competition on the school oval: the boys would race. First prize? They would ‘get’ her. I remember the wording very well. It wasn’t that they would get to be her boyfriend or get a kiss. They would get Jessica the Quite Beautiful. What does this mean for Year Ones? I was second prize and Jessica the Not So Beautiful was third. The three of us sat on our wooden stumps, arranged in order from most to least beautiful, and eight little boys set out on t
Delays on the Sandringham LineI grumbled with the rest when they announced it: delays on the Sandringham line. They said someone had died and I believed them. I stopped grumbling and felt the familiar guilt settle into my chest. That guilt you feel when you cry over a chipped iPhone screen and then remember starving Kenyans.Delays on the Sandringham Line by Halohid
When they said that the body on the track was mine, I believed them. My mouth filled with cotton wool. I blinked very hard at the world, memorising its curves; the exact texture of chewing gum under foot; the way the oily air shimmered, rising off the hot surface of the road; the glint of the sun on the glistening train tracks, snaking off to infinity.
They said, ‘I don’t know why I’m doing this.’
They said, ‘I wasn’t expecting you to answer.’
They said, ‘Muscle memory.’
They said, ‘I guess I’m just in shock.’
I said the feeling was mutual.
They asked what happened and I couldn’t answer. ‘Guess it
What he sawI keep thinking about the bike riderWhat he saw by Halohid
The one who rode past the night we kissed on the street corner
I never mentioned this before
I didn’t want to admit that I was kissing with my eyes open
I was trying to live that moment to the fullest
My sensorial memory
Places that kiss on a summer night
It sets the light at dusk
The temperature in the high twenties
The pavement as cooling
My sensorial memory exposes skin
A strapless dress perhaps
A light shirt
Out of character for us both but
That’s what my memory says
My calendar says different
It places that kiss in mid-winter
We were both tipsy so dusk was long gone
My fingers remember the greasy film of sunscreen
My memory is
Not to be trusted
But I believe in the bike rider
I felt him pass with every inch of my skin
Every guilty eyelash shifted with his breeze
I wanted to run after him
To stop the spinning wheels and demand
Could you tell?
These were the tapes of asylum seeker hearings and every hearing I transcribed ended with asylum being denied, which was why this group now had the tapes, so as to assemble a defence for a re-hearing. (They could not be called ‘re-trials’ because, apparently, the refugee was not on ‘trial’ despite all evidence to the contrary.)
Look, the horror of the individual cases does blur together. The voices were coming from a compound in the middle of a desert via webcam, through a translator sitting in a room in Adelaide with a thick Middle Eastern accent, through a tape recorder and into my ears. I know there were rapes, death threats, dead families, torture and humiliation. What I remember more clearly than the terror was the bureaucracy. We were swimming in it.
“Please place your hand on the Quran and swear – ”
“He says to me, ‘you know! You are a Muslim. You tell them!’”
“He has not washed. He cannot touch the Quran when he has not washed.”
They tried for quite a while, these men in Adelaide, to wash the hands of a man in Woomera but in the end the request proved too complicated for the system and they had to proceed without an oath. He was handcuffed, you see. For the whole five hour hearing. This was not usual practice but he was ‘a trouble maker’.
This exchange has stuck with me for twelve years. The irony of expecting a man to be devout enough to swear an oath on his holy book without taking into account the needs of a devout man. A devout, hand-cuffed man in the middle of a desert. And yes, there were moments of humanity. Moments when men pleaded for their freedom and safety but it was the bureaucratic inhumanity that I most clearly retain.
And in the end, appropriately enough, my job vanished in a cloud of bureaucracy: the group lost access to tapes. New rules dictated that, instead of being given to the defence team, they would be sent to Sweden (I think Sweden, somewhere a very, very long way away) where an accent analyser would determine that perhaps the man came from a town two towns over from the town he said he came from. That he was a liar because his accent told a slightly different story than his words did.
The morning after Howard was re-elected for his third term I went for a walk. I wandered through the suburbs and asked, “Who are the people voting for this system? Do they know? I hope they don’t because what does that say of my countrymen and women if they know and still say ‘do it.’”
I grew up in the driest state in the driest continent in the world and yet my neighbour still watered her concrete driveway every night in summer. I suppose she must have found it soothing; her and the hose and the hot night air. |
But this is no way to introduce myself.
I am a theatre director, award-winning playwright and chronic story-teller. I'm a scruffy red-haired hippy and full-time artist. I was a photographer first, then a model and then a photographer again. I shoot self-portraits, am a prolific playwright and theatre-maker and a passionate loud mouth about politics, humane treatment of refugees, gun control, sexual freedom, LGBT youth and mental health. In 2013 I will be completing my Masters of Performance Writing at the Victorian College of the Arts, where I previously undertook Post-Grad studies in theatre direction. Because this is the main part of my work, I post here less than I used to but I love your company here on DA.
I tell stories to anyone who will linger long enough to hear.
Note: I don't tolerate sexist or demeaning comments and will probably mock you publicly if you leave sexually explicate comments. I take my art seriously.
Current Residence: Melbourne, Australia
Favourite photographer: Eckyducky, AlexanderB
Favourite style of art: Contemporary theatre
Personal Quote: 'Keep Left and be considerate' Australian road rules but I think it applies to all manner of things.