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Never smile at a crocodile

It’s Boxing Day. I’ve worn a groove in the floor of the kitchen moving in and out of the endless stream of chopping, dicing, simmering, sautéing, garnishing, mixing, gathering, hunting, blessing and cursing. My eyes are on the groove and they are not smiling.

 We always go to the movies on Boxing Day. It’s a ritual. Satisfying and certain. A small constellation of moments when we overlap with each other without regret or expectation.  Just once a year, together and present. Today I’m getting anxious. Trying to lasso all the necessary ingredients together for the ritual and get them to work. I’m off my game.   

I look up and see my youngest son. About to speak. Beckoning. I can’t get to him. Only my eyes move. And I watch as he collides with his own version of himself, shattering painfully on impact.

We call the ambulance. In the waiting I have time to see him stop breathing, go grey and choke on his broken teeth. I also have time to look closely at the groove in the floor. I sit in it. I lay in it. I wear it further down.

When they ask him if he knows what day it was yesterday he can’t remember. ‘It was a special day’, they cajole. Impatient, they are busy, preoccupied, beating a path back out the door. He has had a seizure they confirm. And yeah, he will need to see a dentist. ‘But you’re OK, aren’t you?’ And they are already rolling off their gloves and tipping their hats. They leave. I notice they have worn the groove down even more.

In the hours and days that follow everything shatters. And I keep wearing in the groove, ignoring the splinters and not looking at the blood. Broken is a temporary state, isn’t it? No matter how fearful the wreckage, you just stick the pieces back together. Fixed, usable, formed, again.

To overcome their prey, crocodiles take to the water and spin. Using their strength to outlast their captives in the thrash and agitation of the swirling dance, the spinning is a ballet of fearsome power. Popular culture has an insatiable appetite for this type of offering and I have watched this scene enough times to recoil in horror before the inevitable ending.  I’ve never wanted to meet that power.  

The brokenness persists. I’ve lost the groove. And I’m spinning. I’m in the murky depths with the fearsome reptile. And I can’t recoil before the inevitable ending.  

Then I remember Akhilandeshvari, the never-not-broken Goddess. Riding her crocodile mount, spinning, constantly breaking apart and reforming. And smiling. She has a secret. And now she beckons. About to speak. And I gather all the broken pieces into another shape.And I move closer to hear her above the push of the water.  

Her crocodile rolls his eyes, ready to take her into the spin, and she steadies herself, atop of her fear, and turns. Eyes alive.

Learn to break, Lisa.

And she smiles. At her crocodile.  

 

   

 

 

This wish: Week 22: Blogging for survival

Today I get to make a wish.

And this one feels like a deal breaker.

These are precious moments. Formed on the precipice. So I’m testing a new theory. On myself. Because I’ve liberated the lab rats. They are kind of cute and sentient as it turns out. And why should they suffer. Unless it’s their birthday as well.

And I know. There has been a thread of thinly veiled sarcasm weaving at its loom recently. It’s almost finished. Creating the hair shirt I might just pop on.

Looking snappy birthday girl, want a permanent scowl to go with that?

So this wish….

It’s not to have a different past, or a different future. It is not to be a different person. Or to have loved differently. It is not to have a different brother or a different sister. And it is not to have succeeded where I have failed. No.

Nor is it to have been born to different parents or in a different time. Or to know a different version of a lifetime.

Or to dream a different dream.

No.

What if the wish of this lifetime was to see it? Looking with all my eyes. And be able to bear all that I see. All of it. 

I wish.

Regrets of the living: Week 20: Blogging for Survival

Gosh there is a whole whammy of self-help out there.

Also lots of lists. Of the ‘five things you should know’ variety. But clearly don’t.

I have paid these lists a little more attention than is good for me. Particularly those hideous masochistic ones like five ways to tell if your partner is cheating on you and five things you should never eat again and five things not to say to a person in crisis. Unfortunately I read all of these after the fact.

I’m taking an interventionist approach. So I read ‘five regrets of the dying’ and perpetrate a new level of guilt warfare on my psyche. After reading it through a couple of times I realise it isn’t really about regrets. It’s about wishes. ‘I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, I wish I hadn’t worked so hard, I wish I’d been brave enough to express my feelings, I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends and I wish that I had let myself be happier’.

And wishing is a state of hope, even if takes us to the saddest, darkest places. It is for the living to have regrets, so if we are good at time management we can get to work on them with a reasonable chance of return. A regret investment.

Channeling the self help counter culture, not embracing the ‘have no regrets’ part of me, I get to work on my list. I chew through a block of chocolate and most of my Zen in the process because I’ve called my self delusion in for a show down.

I cut. I edit. I rearrange until I realise I’m still doing one of the things I regret. I look longingly at some of the regrets in the recycle bin. Some of them look longingly back at me and whisper seductively, ‘you want us, in all our melancholy stickiness, you know you do’. And I do. I know I do. One in particular won’t go without a fight. I was 7. I teased a girl named Wendy Breany. I called her a fatty bombardi. She cried. But there it is. In the bin.

I settle on the final five;

I regret eating animals,
I regret believing in a hierarchy of forms,
I regret not noticing pain. Mine, my child’s and my worlds,
I regret not chasing beauty to her lair and
I regret only discovering Florence and the Machine last week.

Tonight I’m letting myself go. I apologise to Wendy Breany. I have been tormenting her with regret for way too long. She needs to be free. Likewise the chances to be kind, brave and just. And to be an aerobics instructor. I savour the taste of this glorious nostalgie. But before I get too comfortable I remind myself that this sweet romance with lament cannot go on forever. At some point I will have to start thinking like a good economic rationalist and get to work on my investments.

I start making another list. Tofu, soya milk, lentils……

Wallpaper: Week 19: Blogging for survival.

She is in the hardware store. A well known Australian warehouse chain. She is looking for something in the plumbing department. What she needs is not a regular item, so she approaches a young male retail assistant and asks him for just that, some assistance. He can’t help, so he wanders off to find someone who can.

All good so far.

While she waits, another customer starts searching around in the same area for a piece of plumbing equipment and can’t find what he is looking for either. By the time the shop assistant returns with the answer to her query, the other customer is standing idly next to her.

The shop assistant sees this and makes an instantaneous leap in cognition, leaving behind many decades of feminist toil, the evolution of humankind and whatever training in customer service he was subject to. In answer to her original query, the shop assistant now addresses the man standing beside her. Telling the hapless fellow that they don’t have the item she wanted and will have to order it in.

A couple of things happen.

The man gives the shop assistant a blank stare. The shop assistant returns it. Seconds pass. Then the man begins to tell the shop assistant about his own plumbing equipment problem.

She stands. Looking at both of them.

Angry. Disappointed. Humiliated.

Then she turns to the shop assistant and in a voice that could refreeze the glacial melt says, ‘Young man, don’t you realise that in this country, women have been allowed out in public with their own money for at least 100 years.’.

My mother is a feminist Trojan horse. To the unwary she looks like a little, not- so- young lady. She probably blends in with a certain shopping demographic that large retail chains think they understand, appearing as if she chanced upon the plumbing section of the store on the way to the nursery. Seeming like a lot of other mothers.    

That’s the kind of thinking that spelt the fall of Troy.

Describing this encounter to me, weeks later, she was still incensed. I asked her what it was about the experience that still bought angry tears to her eyes. And it was not that she didn’t count as much as the man standing next to her, or that the shop assistant assumed he was her husband and therefore would be doing all the talking, or that they thought she wasn’t that smart, or that she couldn’t possibly be buying plumbing supplies. It was that her presence didn’t even register. It didn’t count AT ALL. She was invisible.

Recently my daughter told me about meeting an amazing woman who has been a high profile activist for many years. She spoke of how galling it now was to walk into a room to begin negotiations and not even be noticed or greeted. Barely listened to. Once she hit a certain age, she became wallpaper.

And so I’m tossing this around. Thinking it through. Some say it is pheromones. That once there is a whiff of those hormones on the turn some primal light goes out inside the brains of men. Maybe. Really?

And it’s not that I give serious thought to the monastic life to come, to no longer being considered attractive to others, to roaming the streets as a homeless cougar. No. Not really. What I really fear is no longer having a voice. Not being able to stand up for the things I believe in. Not counting.

In the western caste system, ageing women are the most repellent. First an object of fear, then the subject of satire and then the victims of cultural amnesia. With a whole society forgetting that we are each unique, unrepeatable. And that wild law demands we do the work of caring for the planet, and each other, together.

I don’t feel afraid for my Mum, or my daughter for that matter. They have shifted their shapes when the wildness called them. Bending so as not to break and becoming winged when they needed to soar. No. Beyond hardware stores, they have a secret life.

It is the world I feel afraid for. That the threads that create a reality are too thin to carry the weight of this dignity, this love, this story in the making.

And we will all be left. Staring at the wallpaper.

 

 

Stars in her sky: Week 18: Blogging for survival

On your anniversary. I remember you with love.

Donna was born under a rare planetary alignment.  In cosmic terms, Donna’s life was a galaxy and in that galaxy, we were all her stars. Like a true child of the universe Donna felt and responded to the push and pull of the planets, sensitive to the workings of the great forces of this life, in ways that many of us earth bound creatures could only wonder at.

For Donna, creation held more wonder than the stuff and nonsense of the purely earthly plane. She revered the wisdom of all feeling creatures past, present and future and held close to her the memory of the child she was and the beautiful and fragile child within all of us.

In many ways Donna is still as mysterious to me as the day I met her 20 years ago. However I remember that day with joy because I thought an elf had taken human form and come to make mischief amongst us. I still think that. The mischief that Donna made in this world, amongst us, the people she drew into her orbit, was the mischief of surprise. Surprise at her depth of loyalty, commitment to those she loved and the offering up of a kind of relationship that was as unique as it was unrelenting. Donna loved for life.

On us she bestowed many offerings. Incense for all occasions, smudge sticks to chase away our demons, prayers and mantras for our souls suffering, marri sap syrup for sore teeth, herbs, potions and remedies for the troubles of our time. Only Donna would perform reiki on a broken down Volkswagen. In her inimitable style Donna suspected the world of modern medicine and doctors of conspiring to steal our souls. Those bastards she said would be the ruin of the world.

Of all of her gifts to us, it is the gift of her life that we are here today to honour and celebrate. For many of you who experienced one of Donnas massages, you will know that the woman had a vice like grip. One Christmas Donna surprised us all with a family gift voucher for her massages. We draw straws to see which one of us would be the first victim. When Donna got a hold of you, she didn’t surrender easily.

Donna did not surrender the love she had for this life and the people whose lives she touched. She cared for many of our children and with the force and love of a Mother hen watched them anxiously as they grew into adulthood. When any of them tripped and fell or got tangled up and bewildered by the journey into adulthood, she suffered for them. To her, those connections were a gift and she treasured them and grew them as her investments in the universe.

Loving Donna is not for the feint hearted. At any time Donna could catch you off guard. Donna held our hearts and minds accountable for any traces of wounding that threatened us. Loving Donna was our act of surrender. Giving way to her determination to live on her own terms and to challenge us all to wear life like a pair of her multi coloured leggings. In Donna we had a talisman against growing old and cynical and crusty. For she loved that we loved her for that.

Donna would quarantine a rooster for sexual misdemeanours, Donna would make wishes for the health of our gardens, Donna could talk you into doing a past life regression with her  and Donna would tell you that she loved you every time that she saw you.  We were always reassured that our star was in her sky. Many times she would say how lucky she was to love the people in her world. Many times I would think…………this has nothing to do with luck but more the opening of our hearts to the kindest, gentlest soul we will ever meet.

Donna loved her time at the Aboriginal community in Yuendumu and the insights she gained during that time always stayed with her. She would speak of the Indigenous love of country as a love that she shared and felt priveleged to be part of. Donna loved this earth and everyday she expressed both humility and wonder at being a part of it. Her fire ring was built to honour and welcome the elders of our land and her garden reflected her love of wild and untamed beauty. Donna missed those she had lost and sought to keep them alive in her daily world. She would speak of her Mother and the daily conversations she held with her. With each passing of a life Donna would commit to honouring and remembering the best of them.

Donna honoured the living as well as the dead. Her life spoke of the rhythm of the past, the present and the future, with the hope that one day we would all be as one. She loved her Charles and would muse on her good fortune to be born in the same lifetime as this generous and loving mate.

In true Donna style she could be relied upon to take the piss out of anyone. We shared a mutual friend named Richard who she longed to embarrass. The occasion presented itself one day when he was saying something he thought was rather serious. Donna walked into the room and yelled out in her booming voice…….”Hello Big Dick!”……….and then burst into her wild laughter. Donnas laugh could break glass.  She was always able to laugh at herself and never missed the irony in this theatre of life. Donna laughed and Donna cried and Donna expressed every emotion in between. And I loved that in her because she always expressed what I could not. To me, she was the most otherwordly, interesting, frustrating and mischievous person I have ever known.

It will take 176 years for the planets to align again in the way they did when Donna was born. At that moment another child will be born. That child I hope will offer the world again some of the mystery of life. That child will not walk amongst us however, Donnas stars. What Donna loved us for was our ability to see her in her beauty and uniqueness and in many ways it was our love for her that made us more than ordinary people. I do not grieve for Donna. I grieve for our lives without her.

Kindness Nouveau: Week 16: Blogging for survival.

I fought my way out of sleep this morning. Quite relieved to bring consciousness to bear on the hell of my dream world. It was some epic horror story. I was alone. The last person in the world. I refused to give up. So whatever or whomever was in charge of this universe had left me to it. So it was just me really. And my high moral ground.

I considered the meaning of this. Literally and metaphorically. It’s not like I’m going to wake up tomorrow and hear the eerie silence of no one at home. Then walk to the shop and find the door to the Coke fridge wide open, the cash register blinking and an untouched pile of Sunday Times. Then check my phone and find I’m the only person active on Facebook and no one in the world has tweeted for 12 hours. That is not actually going to happen. Sorry Hollywood. Metaphorically however, I could say, I’ve just been told.

Truth, Versions of the Truth and what I know to be true create a vortex that could flatten towns and leave small animals cowering under rubble. The theatre of life is all well and good. I’m happy to watch you all improvise and interpret. Stepping in and out of character, reediting past story lines, deconstructing narrative forms, creating new family trees and erasing current love interests. Just don’t mess with my bit of the story.

I’m rethinking my strategy for the 100 year war. I have made it to the halfway point. And held the line. However I’ve spotted a few advance scouts recently. Casting a curious eye over what is mine. Some of them have maps. Which they roll out. They look at the empty, unclaimed space and they mark an x on it. That’s ours for the taking they say. No one lives here.

Some of them just wander in. Accidently. Drifters. They pick some fruit and water their horses. They rest awhile. Some clean away their leavings. Some inscribe their names on the living walls of the space. And some take mementos. Others were abandoned here. And sought refuge. Making little spaces in the warm earth into which they curl themselves. Round and small.

I wait in silence for them all to leave.

The cat that isn’t mine, and the baby who can say my name, insistently pull at the ragged edges of my storyline. Reshaping the silence. And the metaphor becomes a living, breathing present. Redraw your territory, open your borders, cede your tyranny or have a baby and a cat take you prisoner.

Someone lives here. And she says ‘welcome’.

 

No cows were harmed in the production of this blog: Week 15: Blogging for survival

Knee deep in the smoky water of the Ganges they sieve through the earthly remains of every body cremated here. There are teams of six, working in shifts around the clock. Scooping, sieving, flushing, scouring. Their job is to collect the jewelery of the dead. It belongs to the owner of the Ghat. It is the work of the untouchables. Except they don’t exist. Anymore. They say.  

Our jeep hurtles along a dusty outback track. Attempts are being made to seal sections of these roads. By hand. It is women who do the bulk of this work. The dry horizon is dotted with saris in every colour. Labouring in 45 degree heat with baskets of rubble on their heads. Their job is to pave the way of the future. The future that belongs to all people. Because the caste system doesn’t exist anymore. They say.

Returning from a night of feasting, our guide insists on stopping for a Jaipur delicacy at a road side stall. Our tuk tuk pulls over and he jumps out. I move to follow him and see that next to the stall is a small child, naked, sleeping. She is vulnerable and unprotected. His foot lands precariously close to her tiny form. I recoil, hiding in the shadowy darkness. Wrapping my sadness and indignation around me. Because this doesn’t happen where I come from. Anymore. They say.

I’m in the modest kitchen of the Gurdwara Sikh temple in New Delhi. Volunteers move around me. Stirring, chopping, mixing, rolling, serving, washing, measuring. Working. Without clamour, a mountain of food is being prepared and served. It is aromatic and nutritious. I ask how many are fed here on a daily basis. 20,000. Per day. I ask again. I cannot comprehend the arithmetic of this generosity. Because this doesn’t happen where I come from. If 20,000 people needed feeding in one day we would declare a state of National emergency.

And then I’m striking a deal for a beautifully embroidered kurta. It’s a well choreographed dance. He sets an astronomically high price and I say ‘I got two for less than that elsewhere’. He asks me where. I name another Indian city. He says ‘it’s different here’. ‘Not so much’ I say. ‘People are still people. Everyone is still trying to get by’. We move out of the temporal momentarily. ‘Ah yes’, he says, and nods his head. ‘But it’s not really about the money is it’? And he eyeballs me. ‘It’s about the dignity of the exchange’. And I nod my head and say, ‘yes, it is different here’.

And I’m losing my place in the dance. Because like Marion Milner says “Everything that one thinks one understands has to be understood over and over again, in its different aspects, each time with the same new shock of discovery.”

And I’m shocked. That doesn’t happen where I come from.

This train is bound for glory: Week 14: Blogging for survival

Overnight train from Varanasi to Agra. Going to sleep with the memory of the haunting ghats and waking to the anticipation of the Taj Mahal. Our little band of travelers quivers with excitement. We have been advised to bring our own food onto the train. The journey will be long. The food inconsistent and of dubious quality. We ask the hotel. They make us good food to go.

I cradle my carefully packed falafel and fruit salad during the tuk tuk ride to the station and guard it from harm as we push through the throngs on the platform. As we wait for our train I nurse a feeling of ‘I’m just so pleased with myself right now’. Having negotiated the physical and emotional territory of India during my journey I feel that really, I can rest smugly on my resilience and probably spend the long train journey writing a blog about how I have ‘found’ myself in India.

Our group is a source of curiosity. A little theatre within the larger drama of public transport. People watch us. We watch our bags. The gods watch the trains. And I watch my falafel. One of my travel companions has been valiantly attempting to get a mental foothold on the family tree of the Hindu gods. All 3 million. I wonder which one is present today.

We all turn towards each other, forming a loose boundary. Staking our little bit of personal space. Space that we have no claim to. In India. Space that we surrended when we chose. To travel. To ‘meet the local people’. ‘To see the real India’. Space that we each cling to. In our own way. Mine is in the shape of my falafel. Everything could go to hell in a handbag, but it’s OK. I have my supplies.

One brave soul makes a border crossing. Standing next to me in a green sari asking for something. Quietly and insistently. I feign indifference. And deafness. I avert my eyes. The epic horror of giving money to one needy person in India and being trampled to death on a train station flashes before me. She continues to ask. Only me. I continue to look away. And then she takes my hand. Gently. It’s the law of love. Compelling you to turn to those that touch you. She is beautiful. But her hands are a disaster. Burned and clawed. She isn’t asking for money. She needs food.

The falafel moves seamlessly from my hand to hers. She makes a small sound of pleasure. There is no stampede. One million starving kids don’t run me down looking for falafels. Life moves on.

Later we board the train. Indians are excellent travelers. They can make themselves into whatever shape is required. Compacting life into a cameo. And yet we struggle with our bags, ipads, travel blankets and sanitisers. We create impasses wherever we stand. Desperately seeking space and not finding it. Seizing it from others and not meaning too. Trying to share and not knowing how.

The night passes. Along with the many vendors. Bearing tray after tray of aromatic and exotic delights. Masala tea and enticing snacks. Offerings from the 3 million gods. Who are surprisingly alive and well. Riding the trains of India. And blessing the food. And the people. Even the silly ones. Who bring their own falafels.

Never trust an elephant: Week 13: Blogging for survival

I’m on my last elephant ride. The realisation that I will never do this again comes with the  certainty of the sunrise. Staying present in the moment. With a shame that comes from the imperialism of being human. Of killing, eating, enslaving and humiliating animals. She walks with care and deliberation. Each step takes me closer to my pathetic regret.

Elephants have a similar life expectancy to humans. And like humans they can live full and happy lives. Under the right conditions. Lakshmi Kahli is 35 years old. 9 am in Chitwan, Nepal and she is on her second run already. There has been a slight delay because we asked them not to overload her. Serious discussion ensues. Each of these elephants is expected to carry 5 people at a time.    

We are the last to ride. Hoards of animated, excited, overweight people jump, scratch and scramble their way on to the elephants. As each person boards, the elephant adjusts slightly to manage the load.

My first elephant ride was at the Melbourne Zoo. I was 5. In all the years that have followed I have also jumped, scratched and scrambled my way onto the backs of elephants around the world. Loving the view from up high, the gentle rhythm and the mystery of the elephant spirit. On top of an elephant is on top of the world.

I have been told about the vengeful nature of elephants. How they will remember a hurt done to them and wait for an opportunity to retaliate. In Laos, the guide at the elephant camp tells a story of a tourist who teased an elephant by offering bananas repeatedly and pulling them away just as the elephant was reaching for them. After a few minutes of this, the elephant whacked him to the ground. ‘So’, he says, ‘never trust an elephant’.

At 35 years old I was working 3 jobs. Harnessed. And at times I felt like a brute animal, with little value other than the weight of the load I could carry. I retaliated at acts of senseless cruelty. I also retaliated for much less.  There were times when people would say. ‘You can never trust a Lisa’.

These days I choose who, and what, I will carry. I do not carry entitlement, or cruelty, and I brushed rudeness and humiliation off on a low hanging branch some time ago. About the time I developed a deep fondness for bananas. And kindness. This is what it means to be free.

As Lakshmi Kahli stands steady for me to scramble my way off her back I think of all the elephants that have carried people, little and big, safely around the world and through time. Of their huge bulk kneeling to accept a small child and their gentle trunks touching the upturned palms of generations. And I smile.

You can never trust an elephant.

 

 

The Alchemy of Goodbye: Week 12: Blogging for Survival.

It is early morning. I hear magpies. Calling the day into consciousness. Singing up the souls of the dead. Heralding yet another goodbye.

There is choreography to the pain. The busyness of packing luggage into the car, shuffling cases around, numerous trips into the house for forgotten dolls and shoes. Lengthening the moments, making small talk. There is a conversation about the planned route home and the likelihood of inclement weather, where we will stop for lunch and what time we might arrive. Then, we the children are delivered into the nauseating clutches of the family car, being told not to fight and to put our seatbelts on. Vainly attempting to draw our eyes away from our Mother. And her sadness.

The goodbyes of my childhood are infused with pathos. My Poppa, unable to find words, would cry each time he and my mother parted. My father, lying sobbing, on the body of our Labrador, dead from snake bite.  Jacky Utley. My childhood friend. Waving to me from her Dads’ station wagon. Heading to Canberra. Never to be seen again.  Myself at 15, leaving for a year abroad, with the youthful expectation of being able to return, in time, and pick up where I left off. And my first love. Each one, indelibly changing the structure of my memory.  

Today I’m on my way to the airport. My son is driving. And talking. A deeply understated human being, he uses words like semi precious stones. With care. I catch them. I hoard them. Greedily. My lucky charm for the days ahead. Future proofing my memory. With the chemical compound for goodbye.

In the lead up to my departure I listen for the words that signify the start of the sequence. They come. They are cast toward my retreating self. An amalgam of End Game statements and opening gambits. You are leaving again. This makes me feel alone.  You are leaving again. This makes me feel anxious.  You are leaving again. This makes me feel excited.  You are leaving again. This makes me feel your absence. 

The alchemy of all these goodbyes has distilled the raw elements into a powerful elixir. One that frames the present, capturing the beauty of those I love, urging me to love them more, in this moment, than ever before. The baby learns to say my name and the cat that isn’t mine decides to sleep on my bed. These little faces are unbearably soulful. And maybe they always are. It’s just today I am saying goodbye. Again.

The awareness of how much it all matters makes me wonder if I am the subject of a bad chemistry experiment by fourth grade extra terrestrials. There is an entire living planet in the throes of death and rebirth. Hellos and goodbyes. Now and forevers. For all that, I might as well be a brand new species. From the unbearable pathos genus. With no collective noun. Because it consists of only me. Racing toward extinction anytime soon.

To each goodbye I say, ‘that hurts’. ‘Damn that hurts’.

 And so, like the experiment I am, I yield at the thought of a scientific breakthrough. For if I discover the formula for unbearable pathos, I will market it to airports to put alongside the Chanel and Dior. ‘Unbearable pathos – Enhancing your preflight emotional overload with flashbacks to your childhood. Bonus scenes of you crying in a range of exotic locations’.     

In honour of the Alchemists of old, I board my plane.

I’m heading towards goodbye.

 

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