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February 18, 2010

hmmmm…. I spend a lot of time on it. And I’d like to spend less. I love my iPhone so much, and I think I have genuine reasons for loving it (hello maps, hello metronome, hello bus/train timetables), but I haven’t loved how hooked on facebook it’s made me.

These are some of the things i’ve given up for Lent in the past:

– tuna
– diet coke
– celibacy (that old chestnut)
– sugar
– chocolate

….. there’s myriad other things I’ve given up in the past, but I can’t remember them. I’m no christian, and I change my mind almost daily about god , but I do love a Lenten clean out. I had a friend at school that gave up her favourite Andy Preboy song. Everytime it came on the radio she had to switch it off.

My heart raced as I deleted Facebook from my phone tonight, and that made me think I’ve probably done the right thing. My brain turns to mush when im on Facebook, and i think i could be feeding my grey matter more nutritious arrangements. You, dear reader, will hopefully reap some benefits from it. I’d like to spend my newly discovered free time reading, sewing and writing. And recital planning.

I’ll see how I go…..

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As the corner of the table rushed to meet the curve of his skull, he noticed coffee cup rings stained into the laminate.

Couldn’t they afford coasters? The table ploughed through his skull to the soft mousse underneath, and he thought about the coasters he and his wife had bought on their last trip to Tasmania. Huon Pine.

Eyes glassing over, profanities and moans in the background, he thought of her. He thought of her.

The music stopped, I punched the air and froze. Kim did too. Fuck he was good at air punching. High, low, whatever. Wherever the air needed to be punched, he could punch it and punch it good. A single bead of sweat ran down my nose, and I stopped myself from wiping it off. The tension in the room was so fucking electric that I didn’t dare move, for fear of breaking it. My arms were sore- I was playing on a shitty keyboard, Chain Reaction was a much harder piece to play than it looked, and I hadn’t been able to refrain from air punching in every quaver rest I had.

But now: silence. Silence apart from the heaving of mine and Kim’s chests. Michelle, standing in the corner, let out a single sob. Out of the corner of my eye I could see her body shaking with every cry she tried to hold in. She was exhausted. It was clear that she had the physical and genetic make required for air punching to Chain Reaction by Diana Ross, but none of the discipline, training or clarity of line that Kim had. Her sob made my eyes cloud over and sting- from sweat or tears I’m not sure -and I felt my legs begin to slide out from under me. Reaching for the Casio on the way down, I opened my mouth to apologised to Kim for ruining the moment when WHA?! I stopped falling. The arms enfolding me felt calm, assertive. Strong. Turning my head to see who my saviour was, my cheek grazed the rough denim sleeve of the jacket they were wearing, and my heart quickened.

Barack.

It was Barack, wearing the denim jacket that Kim had presented to him as I was setting up the keyboard. The colours of the puff paint Kim had chosen to decorate it with didn’t really reflect Barack’s skin tones, but Kim had spent so long at Century 21 choosing the jacket that by the time we got to the art supplies store they were all out of good colours. Easing me back onto my feet, he turned to pour me a glass of water, giving me my first glance at Kim’s artwork on the back of the jacket.

Grey Y, mustard A, cream Y, navy P, red R, brown E, grey Z, mustard exclamation mark. Although I felt a twinge of disappointment that the art supply store only had 6 colours left and not the 8 needed to write every letter in a different colour, Kim had still done a magnfiicent job.

Barack handed me the glass, but his gaze was at something across my shoulder. I turned.

Kim was still frozen in his final triumphant pose: fists in the air and a downward determined gaze. Did he mean to do this? His pose perfectly reflected the podium stance of Tommie Smith at the 1968 Olympics, and the symbolism of a young white man striking this particular pose in the boudoir of the Black House was not lost on me. I wondered if maybe we should have done Fight The Power by Public Enemy, but the opening eight bars of Chain Reaction provided such great opportunities for Kim to make a dramatic entrance from behind the beadhead, that I knew we’d made the right choice artistically. And besides, Diana Ross was black. Somewhat.

I was so proud. He was always so professional! So good at air punches, so good at entrances. And now, in amongst my swooning, my Casio scrabbling, he continued to hold his pose. I stared, Michelle stared, Barack stared, the other people in the line stared. I was especially nervous because I knew from our rehearsals just how long Kim could hold these poses for, and my hypoglycemia was starting to set in. The costume Kom had designed for me had no pockets, and while I knew it was risky not taking my almonds with me, I really had no choice. But I would need them soon.

Then. Pop. Kim’s head flipped up and his arms casually released down to his sides. The whole room gasped in shock and relief before erupting into whooping ad whistling. Kim’s smile was careful, enigmatic, but I could see the fire in his eyes. It had gone way better than expected, way better than last year, or the year before that. Barack and Michelle crowded around Kim, my Kim, smiling and asking questions about future appearances. I carefully wound up the power cord and slid the keyboard into its leatherette case with shaking, sugar deprived hands.

Kim caught my eye as Barack was bringing up the planner on his Blackberry and winked. His outfit caught the late winter afternoon sun that was streaming in through the windows. Silver, changing to green, reflecting purple.

It was the best President’s Day ever.