Friday, May 11, 2007

I think I'll go and eat worms

I’ve been too drunk to write lately. The kind of drunk with so many blanks that you forget what words look like. The kind of drunk where if you sew all your patches of blank together you’ll have a blanket.

The kind of drunk where you think everyone you know hates you, because you can’t remember if they like you. And to fill in the blanks you imagine what you might have done to make them hate you. Perhaps you did a ploppy in their wicker chair. Lay on the ground naked and screamed that you’re melting can somebody lick you all over. Vomited on their chandelier.

Finally my brain was leaking neuroses, so I've turned it off. I feel like being numb for a moment.

I’m always batting for the wrong team. With the conservative Howard government eating up the power for the last million years in Australia I’ve become accustomed to that, I guess.

But here in France for my first Presidential Election I was overcome with positive, against the odds kind of hopes. Here I am, barely integrated, a scab half hanging off the country’s knee, and last weekend my heart was all chewed up with nerves. Would the favourite lose the election? Just for once.

And over in Portugal, another country close to me, would my napped kid get found?

It was a pregnant weekend, waiting for the waters to break. Saturday we went to Père-Lachaise cemetery, not seeking anyone famous this time, just trying to shoo the day away. Deep in the green-grey, no one around, we chased cats from grave to grave, my shiny shoes
covered in some dead person’s riff-raff, worms and dirt. We were killing death, waiting for news.

No news. Portuguese secrecy laws won’t give us any leads on the missing girl. The surveys still say Sarkozy leering ahead.

Sunday the whole city is tip-toeing around us. We walk to the 17th to a brocante to look at other people’s worm-ridden belongings, and then on to the 8th and down down down to the 1st. Truck loads of authority everywhere on the Rue de Rivoli, police guns poised, pompiers hoses ready to shoot.

We hide out in a Japanese restaurant where no one looks like they care. I’m surprised at how much I care. And then the message comes through on my phone. Yes, he won. Easily. No news on the girl.

No cheering in my quartier. But no boo-ing either. As if we’re still waiting. For a better result.

My locals are all scowling this week. About the Sarkozy regime. I’m in a bar with too much noise and light and any space that is left is filled with the shouts of karaoke. One of my companions turns to me and says vehemently: "What are we doing here? I hate this place. Look. It’s full of people who voted for Sarkozy."

"But you didn’t vote!" I said.

He didn’t vote. I’m at a table with four people all with full voting rights and not one of them voted. They say that they had faith in neither of the candidates. I say, "but don’t you get it? You HATE Sarkozy MORE. It feels like together nothing is possible anymore!" I’m probably drunk so obviously not eloquent.

On my way to the toilet a guy grabs me and says: "Who did you vote for?"

"I can’t vote", I say, "and you?"


We high five each other, but I’m seeing double now, so it's more like a high ten.

Back home my favourite footballers who couldn’t win the World Cup are pleading to whoever has her to give the little girl back. "Come on, against the odds, just give her back would you!" I slur.

I just want to eat worms.