Tings from Mole


It’s been a good long while since I put pen to paper (or in this case, fingertip to tablet) and made blog. My silence ends tonight. I find myself in a state of limbo you see,
-just finished a book, unwilling to start another, maybe ever again – and it is this, combined with the fact Isabel is currently naked in the shower, washing her hair and body, and no doubt the hair on her body, thus removing a playmate from the picture, that impels me to write.

Tonight I was entertained better than I ever have been. I took in a show called ‘O’. Everyone in the audience could appreciate the magic, from the lesbian essex twins next to me (who found humour where there simply was none – the mere sight of a clown sent my neighbour Barbara over the edge, as tears of joy helplessly flooded from her eyes) to a Spanish lady in the front row, apparently alone – which is weird and not allowed at a circus – and who, seeming to be under the impression we had all paid to see her normal skills instead of those of the performers, kept standing up and bowing when she wasn’t asked to, to the annoyance of everyone in the room.
There’s no point trying to describe to you the show’s glory. Just know, it was glorious. Instead I shall dedicate a quick word to the unlikely hero of ‘O’, and my favourite acrobat. I didn’t catch his name; it was never given. All the circus freaks maintained anonymity throughout. This makes me really respect circus games as a sport. No one’s in it for themselves. The circus is actually just one massive kibbutz. Anyway for tonight’s purposes we’ll call him The Tight-Tush’d Titan because it’s both alliterative and apt, but Bottom for short, for ease and simple imagery’s sake. Bottom was unbelievably gay. Girls can only dream of meeting a guy like Bottom to take shopping, and, upon seeing them emerge from the changing room, giggle as he both compliments and offends, in that hilariously bitchy way he’d have. Bottom appeared on stage inviting homophobic abuse, but we were all kind enough not to dole it out. He kept slapping his own arse with a fan. Then he would leap and prance across the stage, stopping only to purr at the audience, or if we were being naughty he would roar and demand “where is your spirit?”, (though the scary thing was he showed no consistency in what he deemed as misbehaviour – the times he would get angry and erupt were arbitrary, no action we as an audience took could have dictated it). Sometimes he’d spank himself mid-prance. Those were very memorable moments. And what made it all so much better, so much more terrifying, was the leather thong threaded up his crack. Someone somewhere had thought it would be fun to dress him in this tight thong and provide him with the necessary props with which to enact a pretty explicit s and m scene. For a solo effort, I thought it was marvellous. He can’t have been comfortable with it. His part was inharmonious with everyone else’s performances, all of them subtle and tasteful. But Bottom got lumbered with the grimy sex scene, and he gave it a bloody good go.

Bottom reminds me of Mona, a concierge at a hotel in Phoenix I met. They are nothing alike; I only think of her because she’s someone else I liked instantly. She had the voice of a Dutch woman, and the passion of the Christ.From the beginning, I was hooked. Her favourite words were “whatnot” and “per se”, and she wouldn’t stop using them. She made me realise how much I liked those words (notably “whatnot”) in a way no one else ever has. A sample sentence of hers would be: ” you’ll want to be seeing Sedona and whatnot, but you’ll not want to stop there for hours per se” (I know – I also don’t believe this use of per se entirely works, but if Mona can, we can. And should).

What a lady. And it was indeed her excellent recommendation that led us to Sedona that day, stopping for a wee and a wash, a view and some lunch. And as dad sagely mused as we wended our way back down the mountain from the viewpoint, “well, if I don’t see another view today, I’ll still be a happy man”.

This was in fact a ridiculous statement to make, given the man knew full well we were on our way to see the Gand canyon, an arguably far superior view. I’d suggest he only had the audacity to make such a bold claim, safe and smug in the knowledge that we were indeed moving on to the bigger and better sight.

Mona. That sample sentence was actually the only sentence you said to us as a family directly. But you left a deep mark nonetheless.

(The whatnot and per se claim still stands though. I heard her include both of them in her discourse with every other inquirer: ” There aren’t any seafood restaurants round here per se, but if you want fish options and whatnot… etc.”)

The canyon, by the way, was reasonably tasty, with the views and whatnot, but the accommodation element was just creepsville. A lady without a complete spine gave me my room key, and the woman who showed me to my table at dinner wore an eye-patch. The same loony took pains to make a detour round the restaurant to show us a table of fake plastic desserts, making us pause and reflect on them before allowing us to move on. The waitress who gave me my menu had anorexia, and instead of cheeks, she just had an extension of eye sockets. She was polish and called something like Treblinka. The man who put some hunks of bread on the table did so in strict silence. I came to doubt the existence of a tongue in his mouth, as I watched him repeat the same exercise on every table, doggedly mute. I ate 3 off shrimps and got the fuck out of there. On the dingy path back to my room, I watched a woman crumple to the ground as she was walking for no apparent reason. Nothing so seemingly ordinary has ever scared me more. I did a little cry in the dark that nobody saw. But now I’m safe and secure in “Los Vegas”, as mum deeply irritatingly mispronounces it, where nothing can harm me. The room here doesn’t smell like a dog and a disease. It just smells of safety.

In San Diego, I saw a sign for a restaurant that read “Most days, someone says to us “you might have the best burgers in town!”‘. The sign was big and bragging. I considered that someone probably pays me the same compliment more often. If that is their greatest accolade, they ought to consider shutting down. However you look at it,that is a bloody shit boast. On the other hand, I applaud their honesty. They certainly haven’t exaggerated any part of it. Even the fabricated cited quote isn’t convinced it has found the best burger, and is still open to the possibility that there are other better ones. What I can conclude is that this place is resigned to, and actually, pretty proud of its mediocrity. It’s their USP. It’s quite clever come to think about it.

I currently have 2 mosquito bites on my calve and a spot on my thigh that I’m trying to pass off as a bite and it’s working. I also have an infected baby toe.

I’ll leave you with the news that dad has learnt Carly Rae Jepson’s “Call Me Maybe”. He sings it all the time in a loathsome baby voice, the words and melody all quite wrong- Hey, I just met you
Drive me crazy!
Here’s my number
Call me baby!

Love from Jess xxxxxxxxxxxx

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