Home' LOTL : May 2007 Contents 26
Ifloat the list of who’s online and again I’m drawn to Blak_Vanila. I bring
up her profile.
‘Casual encounters… looking to corrupt as
many women as possible…I have a love for sharks… my tongue is
pierced and I’m not afraid to use it… fickle infatuations…brazen hussies…
pheromones… I’m better than chocolate…out to everyone… ridiculously good
looking… my cat and my strap on… a few tattoos… I teach pole dancing…
anything indulgent, raw and left of centre… my hands… my slits…’
I slide from my seat and flip open a chinotto, dampen my dead fern
dry mouth, consider sending her a message, hmm… or maybe just a smile;
reconsider, read the rest, drain the chinotto. If the opening of her profile hooks
me in the crutch, thrills me with bad wog girl pleasure, these bits hook me in
‘I just have to look at my dog and automatically I smile… science-
fantasy fanatic… vegetarian/vegan… Greek/Australian tomboi …marinating
in the sun… learning to snowboard…
‘Crusader Rabbit’ complex… my
valiant… fluffy dice… noddy dog… my nan…’
It’s my Nan mostly gets me. Or my Nan. My Nana, I still hang out
to see. Share intimacies, tears, piss yourself laughter. Short, stolen visits now,
when Mamma u Pa are busy at the fish and chip shop. Them too shamed
by my leaving, my not marrying Tony to speak to me, and me too proud to
let them see I care. Sneaking round the back, so no-one loses face, singing
Ghana, in traditional style, outside Nana’s kitchen window, in a Gozitan
serenade of love. Both giggling as senselessly as the lyrics as she lets her
fenek ckejken (little rabbit) in through the back door that faces the laneway.
My Nana who cried like the baby she became when Nanu passed
away from a lifetime of tobacco pipe smoking. An unexpectedly quick and
insidious form of lung cancer that gave them far too little time to get used to
the idea. Curled in each others arms, twin souls separated for the first time in
more than sixty years, Nana gave up her adulthood into the anguished grief of
her mourning, until days later, they transplanted her into my arms. For weeks
she lay, an inconsolable birdframe body shaking against my own, her spirit
gone on with her lover’s. These times were punctured by acute moments of
keening or sucking her thumb, before she left again, that reminded me of her
stories of when they first laid me in her arms as a colicky infant.
Shaken from melancholic memory now, I make a cup of tea
sprinkled liberally with cloves and wonder about Blak_Vanila’s relationship
with her Nan. Who is this woman? One moment so self-assured, a bit of a fig
jam really, and the next all fluffy dice and admiration for her Nan! Well that’s a
post-modern woman for you – full of contradictions. And she’s Greek, a dyke
and out! She’s a braver wog girl than I am.
Only Nana has shared my surreptitious desires, the urinary tract
burning of illicit longings, the anguish of one way ardour soured. My Nana
who fled an arranged marriage for love and pregnancy also knows the solitary
desperation of not fitting the cast mould, of wanting to be recognised as a
‘good girl’ nonetheless.
What to do? I’m still on-line and so is she… What would I say? How
would I start? ‘Hi Blak_Vanila, did you know an emu’s eye is bigger than its
brain? … Wanna come up and see my Kath and Kim collection? ... or I’m an
outdoor adventurer – wanna jump with me? ... I’m into everything but a hot
bath … NOT (think I’ll run one now)… Did you know my best feature is my
underarm?’I disconnect and toss myself onto the doona. The dog snuffles
closer and sticks a cold nose in my armpit. ‘That’s right Xadina – you are my
best feature! Who needs anything else but animals to adore you?’ Struggling,
I lift her squirming, rotund body and eyeball her, ‘I do.’ I sigh as she escapes.
I look at the window and reach for a pen.
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