Written while locked down in Sydney with new grandchild.
The Pink Thing, the Black Stuff and the Big Question
Pretty dodgy getting born I reckon. I mean it was sweet in the inside place. No need to breathe, I got fed and just floated around all day. No need to think. Nirvanah. Those gurus spend their lives trying to get back there, so why leave?
And then, woosh, out into the cruel world. Have to breathe, have to suck like hell to get a feed, have to pee and poo and the old digestive system is a problem so every belch, fart and poo is an effort. Of course, you make a racket, screw up your face and give it what for. Can’t see much either, it’s all a blur. Everything stinks and what about the noise? And then there’s these bloody adults dabbing at your bum and your balls, creaming you up, hauling at you, bending your legs and arms into zoot suits, patting your head and crooning bloody lullabies. Give me a break. Back to the womb anytime.
Not possible, bro’, you’re stuck with it.
Who said that? Wait until I get hold of him. Anyway, the only good thing in all this, apart from the nipple which is okay, is the pink thing and the black stuff. The black stuff makes the old digestive system a bit less hairy and it’s fun because if I spit some it gets on things and won’t wash out, so I’m making my mark on the world. Hah. Tastes alright and makes my poo less cowardly yellow. Warrior stuff.
The pink thing they wrap around themselves and they can tuck me into the pouch and it’s a bit like being inside again. Mellow, that’s what I reckon. They can go walking and I feel like I’m home again. I might get used to life without the black stuff but I hope the pink thing stays around. Those gurus might like a go sometime as well.
And then I get my eyes going and begin to focus and there’s stuff out there. Lots of it. All moving around, bubbling away. There’s a face behind the nipple and there’s another face above the pink thing. There’s a black dog that comes peering and there’s this old fulla waving a rattle and chanting. Reckons he’s a witch doctor or something. Dream on. It’s as interesting as the womb but not as mellow.
And then I realise they’re gonna expect more and more of me. And what say have I had in all this? I didn’t agree to coming out. Or did I? Maybe we’ll have that debate some time. Right now it’s time for the black stuff and the pink thing.
Now they want me to sleep by myself. There’s a crib, a basket, a bloody ginormous cot and a pram with bad suspension – they’ve tried them all but I’m not giving an inch. I like contact bro’: the old heartbeat, the blood warmth, the wheeze of the lungs, the vibration of the voice. The other thing about sleeping in beds is the health and safety shit they’ve come up with: have to lie on your back in a high viz vest with a surveillance camera on in case you cark it. Some joker doing a PhD got carried away. I’d like to have a word with him. I’m Tuhana I’d say to him, I’m the warrior. I’m not going to stop breathing. I can get into all sorts of positions in the pink thing: nose against chest, head under armpit – it’s okay, Jose, I’m still breathing. If you stop breathing you can’t cause any shit. Get real. You think I’m stupid? I mean, have you tried sleeping on your back, no pillow, surveillance on, you feel sort of tragic, like a left over sausage.
So, you can see why I’m not budging. The other thing that’s happened, the old fulla is collecting my pooed napkins, the pooier the better he reckons and tacking them to the back fence. Reckons he’s making a Jackson Pollack – gonna spray it with varnish and send it to the Venice Biennale. I think there’s some copyright issues. Time we got rid of him I reckon, but they won’t let him back where he came from. I can see why.
Right, I’ve had my moan for today. Time for a feed.
Night and day
Night and day. Sometimes you open your eyes and there’s nothing much, other times bright as. What’s the difference? The big ones lie down when there’s nothing much. But the belly’s doing its tricks no matter what. Patterns. I like patterns. They want me to smile at them. They’d do anything for a smile I can tell. I trick them. Almost smile and they start beaming away, then I give them the old frown. Huh. Easily fooled. What’s a smile anyway? Can’t smile at the nipple.
The old fulla’s pissing me off. I start to cry and he joins in, singing high up, sort of wailing and starts talking crap about harmonies. All I can do is stop crying. Tricky bastard. Have to watch out for him I reckon. Now he’s started playing the ukulele. Plink plonk. You are my sunshine. Give me a break.
She’s got a lactation consultant coming tomorrow to check out my technique. Bloody hell, I’m not even eight weeks old and they’re bringing in a consultant. Be an Aussie sheila with a loud voice. I’m still figuring out night and day − they gonna bring in a consultant for that? Still, they’re mainly alright. I’m not farting and belching as much, got plenty to drink and there’s still the pink thing when I need it.
This place we’re staying in, all the streets are named after battles in the wars. Used to be a military camp. They knocked over the abo in the early days and interned the japs here during the war. They trained horses here for the cavalry and sent them off to charge machine guns. Some history. What if I’m a Pacifist? What if I’m a hippy? Better bring in a consultant about that. Night and day, sometimes nothing, sometimes bright as.
Oh My God
I’m not perfect. That consultant came and reckons I’m tongue tied – grade 2 – lip tied as well. Might mean I can’t speak Polish when I’m older and my front teeth might stick out and rot or something. Have to go to a dentist and get snipped. Bit of a shock to the old system, but I believe her. She wasn’t a loud Aussie but a quiet woman from Yorkshire. And otherwise I’ll keep mashing the old nipple. Don’t want to do that so I’ll be brave.. Hard though not being perfect.
Windy today, creeping around the house. Old fulla said it reminded him of Wellington. He’s trapped. This virus is worse than the colic. He keeps nagging: just a fart, Tuhana, just a burp, no need for a meltdown. Is that right, mate? Just wait until you’re on the way out. I’m on the way in. Same sort of issues. Simple things are hard.
Birds and trees
When he takes me in the pink thing in the morning – I don’t know about morning yet – anyway its colder and light coming in and I stare up and see stick things in the sky waving and splotches of white flying across the sky and landing in the stick things and making a racket like they’ve got the colic. They’re not locked down. Suddenly all the adults we meet have got things on their faces. Looks stupid. There’s this black thing they call a dog with us all the time but I’m not taking any notice. I’m too much me to notice a black thing called a dog.
I don’t like the car seat. The old man doesn’t either. Over the top he reckons. Guantanamo he calls it. I dunno what he means by that. Anyway, squashed up, surrounded, locked in, another bloody surveillance camera in case I croak it. God almighty. And it usually means trouble, big trouble. Bloody doctor cutting my bits. Hurts man, then it’s over. Back to Guantanamo. My mouth feels different. Whew, melt down all round. Give me the sticks in the sky and the white things having colic. And now she has to keep digging under my tongue to keep it floppy. Boy, do I let it rip.
I like the bath they’ve bought, a bigger one and I can flop around. And some sort of toys to play with otherwise it could get boring, just eating, pooping and sleeping and letting rip with the odd fart and having a meltdown I’m not supposed to be having according to him.
I’m alive. Now let’s sort out the planet, arseholes. Get your act together or there’ll be a melt down you never thought possible.
The old fulla can probably go home. He wrote something and they took notice. Idiots. He’s alright. I’ll see him again before he croaks it. They should have a surveillance camera on him I reckon. He’s been here when I needed him. Thanks, mate, No hard feelings. Try not to have a melt down.