Brought to you by Sian Campbell, Rita Braby, and Christopher Hocking.
THE P!NK POP-UP STORE
by Sian Campbell
Imagine this. Imagine you are me. Imagine it is the weekend. Imagine your boyfriend is in town and both of you want a coffee. Giraffe is closed. Thousand £ Bend is right next door! … There’s a cute sign out the front that says pink pop up store and you are happy because you are going to drink coffee and you have conveniently come at a time during which one of Thousand £ Bend’s many POP UP STORES or MARKETS are on and it feels like you are being rewarded for leaving the house. “Pink pop up store,” you muse, “maybe it’s a breast cancer thing?” You are even happier because now you are about to Support Charity. You’re a better person already and you didn’t even have to think about it! You head up the back to the gallery space, up the red carpet and into the store. “Oh it’s like a carnival!” you chirp. Your boyfriend grabs your arm and stops dead in the doorway. “Sian, it’s pink.” “Duh dude I know we’re at the pink pop up store!” “NO, SIAN, IT’S P!NK.” That face, on so very many shirts. Giant cannon in centre of gallery – will something be shot out of it? Is that safe? Mothers and daughters everywhere! Screens….the music….the….
The words settle in the air. The exclamation note in the word ‘pink’ begins to hit you as you realise it looks like a carnival because you are inside a P!NK music video. You are in Thousand £ Bend but also a P!NK music video but also is it a store is it an event you don’t know but you swivel towards your boyfriend, wide-eyed, and run. “I FORGOT SHE WAS IN TOOOOOWNNNNN” you bellow as you wind your way frantically through Melbourne city streets. Forget about coffee. You’ll never sleep again.
by Rita Braby
I found a Yellow Pages underneath my bed the other day. It reminded me of the time I found three raisins under my bed. It was very odd because I don’t eat raisins, I don’t have raisins in my house, never have, so I have no idea how they got there. I began to have alarming fantasies about something coming into my room at night and eating raisins under my bed as I slept. This is why I don’t watch horror films. But the Yellow Pages is a bit different. Not as fruity and ominous. For a while I was pretty stumped. Then I realised it was the remnants of my failed attempt to “permanently” prop up a broken plank on my bedframe. It just lay there, slightly bent, with the plank broken (still broken!) next to it. So pitiful it hurt.
Handy-man fail: ★
The mysteries of the land under my bed: ★★★★★!!!
Cucumber for lunch
by Rita Braby
This has happened twice. I am sitting in the far end of the library, in a section that seems semi-private. I am reading. Usually what I need to have read for my next tute. Or what I should have read the day before. So I need to concentrate. And then in walks this woman in sensible black pants, carrying a cloth bag, and she sits down near me. Momentarily distracting. She then pulls out of her bag a cucumber. Hmmm, that’s interesting. Not some little Lebanese cucumber, but a big fucking continental cucumber. The ones in plastic wrapping. And she proceeds to eat it. The whole thing! It’s like a foot and a half long. I can’t help but watch. My book is forgotten and I just watch this woman eat a whole fucking cucumber in front of me. This has happened twice!! I don’t know how many times she’s done it when I’m not there. My main question is: Is that her lunch? ‘Cause cucumbers are like 90% water, so she’s basically having a really distracting, crunchy glass of water.
As spectacle: ★★★★
As lunch: ★
Now You See Me
by Christopher Hocking
Because it was a late night session, most if not all of the stores in the shopping centre were closing or closed, including all the cafes and restaurants. I walked steadily though aimlessly on a loop through, occasionally glancing at the roller shutters of stores as though they meant things to me. I stood for a time in Coles or Woolworths and stared at the confectionary and though wasn’t particularly interested in any of it I still took a bag of liquorice and put it in an inner pocket of my jacket and walked out of the store. Something about this felt justified to me, at least at the time.
I exited the shopping centre and walked hurriedly around the block, vaguely looking for somewhere to go for food or drink. I imagined eating a Subway and how that would be a huge personal defeat for me, having on numerous occasions complained about Subway.
I ended up at another entrance to the shopping centre so walked back through the same route and felt like my life was def. going nowhere. I embraced this idea and went to the bar across the street because that felt like the most “cinematic” choice.
After feigning looking at the wine menu I ordered a beer, tho. this had been my desire from the start and the wine menu was more an affectation of “confidence” at entering a bar alone.
Without having anything to do I made a series of notes over the course of the hour –
Why did I throw that GD Bukowski on the couch as I left g.d.i
but then who wants to be in a bar reading Buk. alone
I try to make conversation with the bar girl but sort of disinterestedly, self-awarely. At first I feel like it’s a game we’re both in on but over time I know that it’s only a game with myself.
I don’t think that I could pick up a girl if I wanted to
too into my own shtick
too into Frank Black
There is a television playing sports and commercials.
the vision of a kid [young boy] yelling
at a football game
In time I feel more and more a part of the scenery of the bar. I feel that the manager of the bar has taken a dislike to me, tho. I have no evidence to support this.
my story is a nothing in a
sea of nothingness
if the sea were made of bad poems
& I were a drunk
I’d to to the beach &
feel like fucking W. H. Macy
The bar manager asks me bluntly if I’m “right”. I tell her I’m “OK”.
I v. abruptly walk out of the bar as though I’ve been offended by something.
The cinema has more people in it than I expected because I expected it to be empty.
I text a friend, “I’m throwing myself off the advent horizon”. There is a trailer for the new Steve Jobs film and I text my girlfriend, “Ashton Kutcher is Steve Jobs is Allen Ginsberg”. I follow this up with a text to the first friend that is more to myself, “will neither of us ever know how to live”.
The film makes me feel at times giddy and depressed, in extreme polarities. The details of it are hazy b/c I’m a little drunk or at least quite light-headed. It passes as a dream.
I don’t understand the appeal of watching magic tricks in a film, because the only impressive part of a magic trick is that it happens in “real life” i.e. you are impressed that it is something you don’t understand happening in front of you. To see a “magic trick” where Amy Adams (?) levitates in a bubble using the magic of special effects is not really anything at all.
At the appearance of Morgan Freeman in the film I groaned inwardly and wished that I had a smartphone so that I could Tweet something about the appearance of Morgan Freeman. I thought that he had a slightly wider, rounder face than usual; though maybe this was only in comparison to my memory of him in Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher. I thought about the diets of actors.
There is a moment of drama where Michael Caine threatens Morgan Freeman’s character with a voodoo doll.
I don’t really understand many of the plot twists b/c personally I feel that the stakes are v. low or at least not understandable. I feel bad for Mark Ruffalo as a person but nonplussed for his character.
I decide that it is not worth waiting out the last ~45 minutes so go out to use the bathroom and then don’t have the courage/motivation to go back in. I go to the car and listen to The Pixies on the way home. At an intersection I accelerate inappropriately toward a stationary car then slow down again.