I bring the disaffected day, the still-bitter argument and the undercurrent of rage – the fish-hook of anger-linger piercing my cheek.
I don’t want to be here, I want to be here, I don’t want to be, I am not here, I am not.
And somehow the first set starts anyway, and if you want to see to hear you have to kneel, kneel before; the sound is washing and fogging – from the other side of the street is reggae riddims and the sweet upstep downstep of the off beat that I can’t bear, the way no heartbroken wretch can bear the sight of another in love. Everything is sunshine out here in the street, and from inside the garage comes the rising stench of rotting vegetables and unstrung jazz.
“Dude, what is this?”
“Um, there’s some guys playing behind a sheet in the garage with, like, videos, and someone’s put all this compost and stuff on the ground and, nah man, they won’t open the door up, I don’t know why, you can’t see shit unless you go all the way in.”
Turn away from the heroic. Avoid the monumental. Don’t wait for the hook. It isn’t coming.
And somehow the second set starts anyway. And it’s all “is” – “is not”.
Is that a factory? That’s not a factory. Is that a trumpet? That’s not a trumpet. Is that live drums? That’s not live drums. Is that rotting vegetables? That’s not rotting vegetables. Is that how I get in? That’s not how I get in. Is that a skull? That’s not a skull. Is that melodic? That’s not melodic. Is that percussive? That’s not percussive. Is that a person? That’s not a person. Is that pretty? That’s not pretty. Is that broken? That’s not broken. Is that whole? That is whole.
And I sit outside, because I can only go the moments in. The moments where the sensation is contained in a bunker box, where there are three people behind a sheet, playing videos, while the ground is spread with compost and collateral. There is a moment when the sound is cicada sharp, then synthetic race, the images uncanny Freud, pleasure centre-pink with anticipated dread.
Being feels like watching the sinister of child, the innocence of adult. The glock and the horn and the kit and the screen and the room and the people build a tower of blocks up up up, then knock them down. Play in the uncreation.
I hear the music. I see the images. I smell the rot. I taste the stale of the sad of my tongue in my mouth. I feel something. Someone took a scalpel to the line where my face meets my hair, gently, neatly, they sliced and they cut, they cut and they sliced, all the way round, and then they took my skin right off.
We fiddle, Rome burns.
You can’t see shit, unless you go all the way in.
A re/me-view of Feet Teeth, Doubting Thomas, and Rachel Monique Walker at 22 Laura St, as a part of the Laura St Festival. Thank you to the organisers for supporting such a diverse selection of musicians, artists, activities, workshops and general community play. I only went for a few hours, and I think my mind would have popped had I lasted the whole day.