Friday, 14 October 2011

IT'S ALRIGHT, MA (I'm Only Bleeding)

Most people think their mum is the best one going. It's all the rage now, have you noticed? Todd Carney, for example. He seems to think very highly of the long-suffering Leanne.
Well, mine really is the best. Here's why:

We were doing an overnight bushwalk in Tasmania. Some background: I am pretty much incapable of appreciating bushwalking. An argument can be had about whether it represents the sixth or seventh circle of hell, and this is indeed an argument I have had. More than once. Every aspect of it except the actual walking gets on my nerves in a big way, and my nerves, you may have noticed, are shot to shit as it is. I can handle it, but I'd rather not have to, basically. My mother, however, loves it - along with food - more than any rational and moderate person could begin to imagine.

Occasionally the extent to which I find it a complete fucking iritation slips my mind - every few years or so - and I concede to undertaking something with her. What happens is that I just tend to show up, having left everything to her. She is, after all, a professional.

So in Tasmania I wore her clothes and boots, carried a pack she had procured and filled for me and bitched lustily, for, roughly, the day's duration. My bitching bore almost immediate but only maginally gratifying results when we stopped and transferred items - many items - from my backpack to hers.

Later when we - I say 'we', I mean 'she' - were preparing dinner it came to light that the pre-cooked pouch of Indian curry she'd packed fo the two of us was skimpy and would only feed one. She insisted that I be that one. She boiled water and reconstituted it fo me and wouldn't even take a taste, prefering to turn her attention to the only extra, unallocated food she'd packed; a handful of quick-cook oats in a zip-lock baggie. She combined these with water to assemble what can only be accurately descibed as gruel. Gruseome, Oliver Twist-type stuff, devoid of milk, sugar or salt and made with far too much water so that it's only real feature was an unappetising grey slick. She ate it without complaint while wearing a thermal tracksuit set so old it deserves its own heritage listing while I sat on a rock surveying the scene and laughing. A mother, hunched over in a hideous thermal suit in horribly cold conditions, conveying sad grey gruel from saucepan to stomach and a laughing succubus daughter, fed, warmed and full-up on her mother's sacrifice.

Still, I think, as I laughed, that she made a series of gestures that I believe I interpreted correctly as invitations to fuck off. Oh well. Apparently even Thomas Jefferson kept a black slave to help him handle his sexual frustrations -  no paragon of virtue is perfect*, in other words.

*My brother would do well to bear this in mind. Haranguing her and ranting like King Lear on the heath is not working out for him, for her, or for me and without meaning to seem macabre, the words 'sorry', 'when', 'she's' and 'dead' seem sadly fitting.  (As do 'get', 'over', 'your' and 'self', just quietly...)

Track 10

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