fiction. 1988. PART 3

The Birth of V

And with that the transmission ceased, leaving Norma in a flurry of questions. Where did Eddie, or X or whoever she is go if she left? And how did she get there in the first place? And where was Sal, for chrissakes???

What in the hell was happening here?? Norma Spinoza's head spun, and in one fell swoop she put it in the oven, turned on the gas and became no more.

It appeared that Norma, the Joan of Arc of Bexley North, had borne sole witness to scene's from Eddie's story - a stigmata burned into her dead mind's eye.

Though such was the depth of Norma's experience that the images bounced themselves back across time and space again into that long dark melancholic night as V lay dreaming. V then knew Eddie had gone a wandering.

V began to develop a clearer idea of what it meant to be an Australian - something about short-term memory, short sighted vision and a deep drug addiction (the people most admired were the beer barons). These, coupled with a complete inability to negotiate the present moment meant that Australia refused to accept that their nation was in a state of crisis, just as V refused to see that she was.

The women in Australia were so used to getting the raw end of the stick that they'd almost forgotten to imagine any other way. (N.B. almost.)

Well V was there and here, a tv I. It was up to her to decide what to make of it. Or make it. One sees what one wants to see and the world is no exception. In the new age they called it 'creative visualisation', but V remained unconvinced of these duncetricks.

(come in under the shadow of this red rock)


"The painting, with its feather-like brushstrokes in rhapsodic layers, celebrates the new growth of seeds, flowers and grasses after rains. It was painted in three stages over a period of three months, and is a masterpiece of three-dimmensional illusion."

'A Bush Tucker Story' Johnny Warrangula Tjupurrula from Papunya, N.T. (catalogue notes from Mythscapes: Aboriginal Art of the Desert)

V was reading. She imagined that by reading diversely enough she could somehow piece together a coherent map of the current and future state of play. Something that would fit the young woman she'd seen in the city earlier that day into an overall logic. The young woman, wearing jeans and a faded blue cotton shirt, her long hair spilling over the edge of the stretcher, her shopping bags cared for by the concerned bystander, her body being battened down with intense concentration by the ambulance men, her arms folded over her chest in the pose of the coffin dead. "hit by a bloody car. Broken neck. Parilised probly" muttered some old codger, as the small head was cosetted into a neck brace. The only sign of life came from the girl's moving lips, whimpering.

Show me the butterfly that had this effect and I'd stop it dead in its tracks.

Every day, following the "Bold and Beautiful", 'V's Own' exploded faithfully into the lounge rooms of millions of viewers. A regular feature was an on going soap saga of a white Colonial family, the Crustaceans, in Africa set at some indetermined "historical moment". Today's segment offered viewers the delights of yet another of the exploits of Rachel, wife of crotchety old Rubber Plantation owner Corbit Crustacean, and her black honey. Viewers at home thrilled to see his huge (biodynamic) member powering between her full milky white, pink nippled breasts. As the sequence progressed and he engorged to manouvre the thrusting tip into Rachel's rapacious red mouth, many viewer's relatives reported heart failure as the key cause of the small death. 'V's Own' therefore fullfilled a very particular purpose for the TV Networkers allied company, The Do it Yourself Saucey Bereavement Service.

V's next guest on that ordinary Tuesday was the very ordinary but extremely well groomed wife of the Chief Networker, Meritt Lee. Her hair shone with hairdresser care as she plucked words from air. 'On Air', that is. Off air she was a blank screen without opinion. These types of women formed the staple of V's guest list and the audience's aspirations.

It was while discussing Meritt's theory of the soul's transmigration and superannuation that V got the distinct feeling that someone was thinking of her. Someone much further away than the viewing public with a tv screen stuck to their collective retinas. This was someone locked in a different cage.

V was concentrating on this hunch when she happened to gaze across into Meritt's unhappy and lost-for-words face. Back to work. "Why Meritt I'm certain you've given the viewers so much soul food for thought. Thanks sooo much for coming on the show" and with that V spun a dazzling smile clear 360degrees around her head to wild fake audience applause as her image cut to a cocaine commercial.

Later in the car driving home across the bridge she sensed that new feeling again, tensing the fine hairs down the back of her extended neck.

(driving into the ghostly potentia)

The changes had been wrought in her life so suddenly and without any time for reflection, let alone adjustment. Nobody had really ever questioned where she came from - Sydney had developed an autonomous internationalism which required everything in the moment to exist without history and the moment to possess only the most tenuous grip on any form of future. People arrived and departed into this net without warning or regret. Melancholia, along with the classic Emo_ions was seen as excess evolutionary baggage discarded by all real operators eons ago.

At home V hugged her own burgeoning love handles.


V must accompany a visiting special broadcasting body with dignity to some event because the one who should have done so couldn't.

The event was over. Should we call a cab? We could walk but its so hot. I'll call one and she did.

They stand outside, waiting. A few go by. We could just grab one on the street. We could, that would be lousy, but tempting (added an afterthought) - regardless they sat on the wall and waited.

Suddenly the one facing the building started. Calling out, hey what are you doing here she was exuberant. The other one turned her head and saw him walking from the building backlit in the late afternoon sun.

V turned again and looked straight ahead and tried to keep something under control. The sun fell in amongst her blond hair.

She introduced V to Rhys Morte and V looked up from where she was sitting down and saw for the first time the eyes in the face she would never forget.

And so people are like planets, each exerting their own gravitational force. Some chance, you are there wherever it is you are and One comes into the others' orbit and the path is altered irrevocably for both.

I'm your Venus I'm your fire Your desire

It took a long time to realise that the thing which is recognised in the other one is your own schizophrenic self man/woman whoever you are, whatever skin you've fallen into.

You meet your mirror in the making (not your maker) at least partially. You meet the mirror you are ready for at the time. Maybe you don't meet yourself anywhere for a long time, and then become surprised at turnng a corner, or sitting on a fence at finding you are no longer as alone as you'd become determined to be.

You only of course only ever see what you are open to see, sometimes walking for so long with a lens cap on your heart.

You really are an extraodinary person maybe someone says it to you but you don't respond because you aren't finding them likewise. The hardest to bear - to be the unrequited.

Rarely there are two in it together. Maybe only for a moment. But a moment can be a lifetime.

The third lifetime with a life of its own that the two create when they enter the ether of each other.

We live on an island? In Paradise I become lost with you.

So now this becomes the story of V and Morte and their window of blue eyes.