Wednesday, October 19, 2011

In anticipation

Parisian girls with their perfect skin, pomaded and perfumed by the best in the world, glowing under a European sun, so soft that it makes them glow. Parisian girls with there calm worldly poise honed from the constant knowledge that they live in a place where everyone wants to live, they drink coffee at cafe's that other girls dream of, brush shoulders with the cool crowd, wake up each morning n Paris. Parisian girls so small at the waist that their clothes are like the clothes for dolls, stepping easily through a world where they are secure in the knowledge that every hot blooded man or woman is lusting after them. They wear the latest styles, the best designers, the slimmest cuts. They will be sure enough in their beautiful bodies that they can be gracious as they walk all over me with their expensive stilettos.

I anticipate my arrival in Paris. Blundering out of the plane, crashing through streets built for slimmer women, catching the eye of Parisian men for all the wrong reasons, big and clumsy and whale-like I am beached on a foreign shore where I can barely ask directions with my clumsy tongue.

Every shop window will reflect me back at me. Every woman who passes will be a sad shake of the head. Every fine pastry and baguette will be a complicated dance between hunger and gluttony.

I read someone's Post Secret note that had been posted on twitter. "When I see fat people eat I feel angry and confused". Now when I eat in public I wonder who is judging me. Which skinny pretty girls are tutting and looking and thinking that my ugliness is my own fault because I allow myself to eat. It is bad enough here in Australia, in our wide brown land. In Paris, I fear I will be knotted up inside by my own bad opinion of myself and by the beauty of others. They ask me if I am excited to be going to Paris, but truly, sometimes I am just plain scared.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I pack for France. I would like to be excited. I feel as if I should be busy learning french or reading about George Orwell, Andre Breton, Nin. I fell nothing except exhaustion. The last book has taken it all out of me somehow. The only thing I am looking forward to, my goal, is to sleep on the plane and read. 30something hours on a plane. Reading sleeping reading. What has happened to the part of me that should be stretched tight and vibrating with all the sexual excitement of the city of love? Instead of longing for the adventure of the new I am wishing my friend Benjamin were here so we could eat together and curl up lazily on the couch. I am depleted. I feel to tired for a holiday.

The french girls they say are beautiful. Always thin, always pretty with their big eyes and their mouths full of consonants. I know that when I am there I will be lusting as I always lust and yet, from this distance I am only afraid that I will appear monstrous beside them, heavy and big and ham fisted. I feel like a great mountain of flesh, and somewhere under it all I am sleeping, safe where no one will find me. This is how it is for me now. This pre-holiday lethargy. This pile of exhaustion and insecurity that I am buried under. Still. I am trying to crawl out. With the help of the pile of books at the bottom of my suitcase and that manuscript that I now mus cut back and polish till it shines. Only this is keeping me awake. Nothing more.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Such a roller-coaster week this week of publication. It is where all things private become public, everything you say in interviews must re thought and double thought. It is exhausting but every so often I stop and remind myself that this is a part of the job I have longed for all my life and I am finally living.

Still it has tilted me off course. I haven't written any of that book I was working on all week. I am removed from myself. Some days I have even been too distracted or distraught to think of sex. One more week. I tell myself this as I launch into the book tour, small as it is. At the end of this I will allow myself to slip back inside where it is damp and warm and alone. The safe spaces, my bath, my bed, my quiet communing with my own flesh. Odd this feeling of letting a book float away into the world. I feel as if it has abandoned me, betrayed me, tied a blindfold around my face and spun me off to some place else. I am a curl of tightly wound thoughts that fist up like a fern before it wakes. I hear the echoes of my insecurities thumping against my temple like a migraine. I am unsettled and all I want to do is write, but when I sit down there are only the panic words, the fear words, the insecurities.

Be careful what we wish for. And yet through all of this I am terribly proud of this new birthed-book. I knew what I wanted to achieve and I did it, quickly and without too many wrong steps. Not everyone will love it, but some will, others will be irked by it, challenged by it, made curious by it. Even now I read it and I think, this is something new. This is something I have rarely seen. This alone is an achievement I must stand up for and be proud of. If I can do with a novel what I have done with this book then perhaps I can relax into this strange anxiety inducing job I have chosen to do.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

frightened of sex

Why are people so frightened of sex?

It doesn't make sense in my head. Sex does not kill. Sex is something we do for pleasure, for love, for entertainment, for connection. When sex is used as a weapon it is the violence, the lack of consent, the abuse of power that is to blame, not the act of sex at all. Why the fear? Why the vilification? Why does it seem that I am the only one who does not understand this?

When people I love feel like they can't be seen to condone my latest book because of the sex, my world feels a little unsettled. I know there are people who have it the wrong way around, who somehow have come to believe that sex is dangerous, evil, wrong. When people who don't believe this at all feel they will be judged by their association with me then I feel suddenly saddened.

I don't feel like my work is dangerous at all. It is all about love. It is all about forcing a reader to look at different configurations of love. It is an exercise in re-thinking the unthinkable.

Dear friend, dear reader

I don't understand how standing side by side with me can cause you any trouble. I know you are nervous. Your world seems so precarious right now, but if you stepped aside and thought about this without your own stress and your own insecurities you would know that the only person I am risking is myself. I don't even feel like I have risked myself in this process. It is an ethical puzzle that I am working out on the page.

Your nervousness about it seems unfounded. If there is any truth in it then I don't want to be living in this world at all. What do we do? Avoid gay friends because the mainstream Australians may not like people to be gay? Stop liking challenging film and art in case someone thinks we are subversive?

I have to admit I am saddened by this sudden turn of events. I know, with some thought you will re-think this, step back from this decision but it will be too late of course. I wonder how many other friends will step away from me now in case I get negative media or feedback. I wonder if yesterday's very good day was the last I will experience in it's pure pleasure for some while.