I got a hard-on for Jesus and Jesus got a hard-on for me.
Well, I hope you like reading as much as I like writing.
Gurdjieff said that a man’s soul is not a given; one has to work for it. That man is a project in the making.
So how far back do you want me to start? I am 36 now, still a boy. A space cadet that never graduated. Still getting hammered by ego trips that never seem to end, reason being (i hope i am on the money here) that it takes a good shake up to get to Davie Jones' locker, the Holy Grail of creativity. In order to do so one must get lost and shipwrecked... totally, thoroughly wrecked and left with no hope of ever getting out of the mess.
Psychologically, I was primed for upcoming calamities since early childhood. I rejected the world on principle, starting with my mother’s milk, and followed it through developing numerous afflictions as a toddler and later improving on those throughout adolescence to contrive rare allergies. It was a miracle I survived at all in the first place, entering into fluorescent light of hospital room blue-faced and suffocating in the noose of umbilical cord wrapped around my neck. Unable to digest breast milk, I was weaned on almonds that my great-grandfather would seek out in times of national deficit and scarcity which were then grinded and turned into fine powder by hand to be mixed with water so I could drink it. My weakness became a survival strategy thereby I defined myself through forming no alliances and rejecting allure and excitement of novelty, be it trying new food or playing with other children. Common cold was my best friend and our frequent sojourns had me in coughing feats at least a dozen times a year. I thrived in being miserable, choosing self-abandon of romantic martyrdom from early age. Winters were the worst, with sleet and salt eating away at a corpse of fresh snow buried underneath grey dusty crust, creating layered glazed pancakes shrinking tighter and tighter until the end of April when the sun would finally stay in the sky long enough to melt them all away. Even as a four-year old I considered entering a kindergarten a senseless obligation to comply with, dragged along frozen dark streets around several blocks to be locked in a room full of strangers, as opposed to staying in warm bed and not going anywhere, rightfully sensing inherent flaw of compromise in the foundation on which society was built that ran throughout its grotesque edifice, rendering the whole structure utterly futile and uninhabitable. The thick gloom of melancholy was forever swimming in linoleum corridors one would navigate in a never-ending procession of unhappy encounters with victims of institutionalised living conditions that would not benefit a dog, let alone a human being. Behind double-glazed windows in our communal apartment with continuously cracking and falling from the ceiling plaster we shared with five other families I choked on household dust and simulated death by going pale and loosing appetite which inevitably led to force-feeding of soft boiled eggs that I spat out as fast as they were shoved down my throat by a young Mongolian-looking refugee who fled her Beloved Republic and ended up looking after me while mum was away on one of three jobs she concurrently held to make ends meet. My dad was a goner, having never returned from Far East where he went in search of inspiration, as did other free-thinkers and painters. He was found hanging in the noose with hands tied behind his back, but that fact was curiously preserved from scrutiny of a child.
Little did I know that all my troubles up to then were whimsical compared to getting an education and dealing with strings of meaningless symbols and characters that somehow had to be manipulated according to asinine set of rules, major half of which were cancelled out by exceptions, in order to be marked on a scale of one to five and given a privilege to enter yet another year of torture and dullness, providing my marks were of satisfactory grade or above. I tried to avoid school as best as I could, missing a whole term by the end of the third year by developing severe case of bronchitis. I watched flowers bloom and new buds unfurl from the high window of a hospital ward where I was bed-ridden for months at a time. I was one of those kids standing in a circle in their underwear and darkened goggles around a large ultraviolet light getting my dose of radiation while Great Lenin stared above us into the distance from his favourite angle, printed and framed and nailed to the wall. Like all other sick and enfeebled and dying progenies of somebody else’s flesh and blood we were treated with sterile equanimity by proficient if not caring hands and passed over from duty to duty without as much as good-night wish. We were stabbed with needles and loaded with prescriptions at regular intervals, fed mashed potatoes and hard-boiled eggs with blue yokes out of huge aluminium pots, which was the only edible meal in the day apart from buttered slices of white bread. One had to get well to get out, which we all eventually did, mutating and adopting better than Pavlov’s dogs. Back at school, it was fight till first blood in urine-flooded bathrooms and kicks up the arse from older boys passing on their share of wisdom and simultaneously relieving frustration in the traditionally acceptable way. Before you knew it, you were no longer a kid, introduced and initiated into a system that gave one no hint to its purpose.
Public attitudes at the time of my adolescence reflected overwhelming confusion and aimless kicking of the frail communist state that was agonising over its drawn-out and pompous bankruptcy of ideals, struggling and clinging with rusty claws of propaganda that long lost any gripping power and conviction they once had at the time of social revolution. Equality and freedom amounted to getting a pinned red star on the invariably blue uniform jacket and a free ride of a tram to a swimming pool where I drowned under a styrofoam board. It meant pimples and stuttering and a foul-breathing drunkard on the dark flight of stairs with unzipped pants, wanting to show me his fire extinguisher in action. It meant no dice, no bright future and plenty of cigarette smoke. It meant cleaning out spare change from deep pockets of winter coats at school and splicing cut-outs of cat-walk models from foreign magazines that were smuggled into the country along with see-through stockings, Pall-Mall and Jim Morrison records. It meant warm rising stench of rotten vegetables outside of the back door in our apartment that opened into enclosed courtyard and a cockroach army that scattered out of sight when you flipped a light switch in the kitchen. It also meant sitting tight on a chair while two neatly dressed men from the Committee went about turning over furniture and emptying drawers in our room, looking for proof of high treason and lack of moral integrity among my stepdad’s poetry. None of it made any sense. Communism was a run-away train chugging half-heartedly towards a gaping precipice that was in plain sight and anyone with an ounce of sanity left in them after a lifetime of brainwashing was jumping off at the first opportunity. By the time such opportunity presented itself I somehow managed to finish school and was chewing through the tertiary education with such prominent subjects as ‘Wood Science’ and ‘Basic Principles of Electro-Hydraulic Engineering’ enlightening my days. There was nothing to aim for, in the long term, no teaching or philosophy that could be applied to daily living, absurd and nonsensical at its best. So I left with my brother and our sannyasin mother for a tropical paradise lost somewhere in the Pacific near Tasmania, an island and a country I vaguely knew existed. Her dramatic transformation from a conveyor-belt make-belief rubber-doll citizen of the state to a rebellious whirling and dancing dervish of orange robes and incense-burning rituals went on largely unacknowledged by the rest of the family while she left me and my younger brother in the caring hands of grandma some years prior to announcing her intent on changing a place of residence to a softer, happier climate. The announcement was a long-time coming declaration of independence reinforced with a sound clap addressed to the side of the my grandma’s head that left her deaf in one ear and put a final dot above our karmic departure: in search for happiness, my mother had to uproot herself from infertile soil and did so in a characteristically violent manner, as far as family connection was concerned. Perhaps there never was such a connection, as there was never much forgiveness between my kin. On my part, I could make neither heads nor tails out of family politics and drifted pacifistically along with the wind of change as all was breaking up and coming together in a bizarre succession of events. There was nothing solid to hold on to and no stable ground to base decisions on. Everywhere there were doomsday prophets, new-age entrepreneurs and old die-hard communists running amok and battling out their place under the sun that hardly shone through bleak ubiquitous clouds associated in my memory with that time; opening and closing of doors and windows made no difference for weeks in the middle of the winter, since room temperature was equal to the that of the street temperature due to frozen heating pipes; bad breath and germs were traded in tightly packed bred cues while dark Georgian gypsies from southern republics sold raisins, sunflower seeds and second-hand world-aid clothes at the makeshift market stalls that sprung up in empty parking lots around the city. The Iron Curtain was sliding down and economy based on fair choice of a single variety was crumbling down with it. State bank accounts were frozen while currency underwent devaluation and then reopened again, effectively turning lifelong savings to equivalent of a monthly salary; a multitude of intrepid banks sprung up to see their directors either disappear with the investments or get murdered seeking return of profit to their clients. Eventually country was divided into pieces, its shared value printed on fancy-looking bills called ‘vouchers’ given out as bribes at the election booths to make sure no more revolutions would follow. I never told anyone I was leaving; even if I did, no one would believe it. To go where?! Mother Russia would never forgive it. To abandon the Nest, its language and custom is treason; therefore, one doesn’t tell. One doesn’t wave good-bye, either. To what end? The proud edifice that once stood so erect in collective subconscious was trampled into dust as Goofy hand in hand with strawberry flavoured Mickey Mouse triumphantly marched under a pornographic dollar flag through previously unconquered Russia, giving away discount coupons and free condoms to the sound of rapturous bubblegum. Little did I know that running away was simply postponing the inevitable. Happiness had nothing to do with amount of fizz in a coca-cola bottle or wearing shorts in January instead of a heavy winter jacket and a fur-lined hat. It could not be found amongst neatly stacked towers of cream cheese in Foodtown or in a selection of perspiring in their cellophane wrappers mince pies at a local dairy. And last of all, it be could never be found under superficial contentment of customers hooked on self-gratifying activities prescribed by New Zealand lifestyle of leisure.
Peru was the end of the line, a final destination for an impressionable boy who grew up on tales of Carlos Castaneda and teachings of don Juan, however fictitious they may be, that have nothing to do with bogus reality of banking machines, traffic jams and takeaway joints. These artefacts of modern living were precisely what drove me insane at last; I wished to destroy brick by brick the very foundation on which consumerism was built and that meant destroying ambition to achieve and to be successful. These were so thoroughly implanted in my mind by then that I couldn’t trust it anymore. Any decision based on logic inevitably led to failure and misery; the more I strived, more despondent I became. I sought out elaborate escape routes and laid fool-proof plans for final liberation, none of which ever worked. So it was just a matter of time before I met my match, a free spirit whirling about in a frilly velvet skirt, that pushed me over the edge. It happened on the third day of the Meat Waters festival in the City of Winds, held at ‘Happy Bar’, an underground joint with walls thick enough to safely contain a megaton nuclear explosion or a small gathering of not entirely right in their minds folks, mostly young and frivolous, who were decidedly bent on making the night count. I had missed the start of it, having gone to catch Bernardo Bertolucci’s ‘Dreamers’ at the Foreign Film Festival, and came back to a standing still crowd in the middle of jazz improvisation that was getting out of hand as each instrument struggled in frenzied outburst of cacophonous noise to claim space for itself. It corresponded remarkably well to the closing scenes of Dreamers and flaming passions causing stampede of riot police over the body of students. Fuelled by a mushroom honey preparation of my own making, I was to play a part of Molotov cocktail thrown into the confined room, letting my body follow each suicidal lead into disharmonious abyss which resulted in convulsive tremors starting two inches below my navel and travelling to the tips of my fingers and toes, twisting joints at impossible angles all the way through. One beheld the impossible structure being built of acoustic debris that were coming together against all odds, refining its building blocks of formerly hostile frequencies as players tuned into each other and concluded a truce to the great relief of the audience. A perfect harmony mounted on jangle and discord in the last part of the set was nothing short of miraculous. Silence that followed after the final note was played had only been broken by drops of sweat coming down my nose. I needed fresh air. Outside, perched on grey concrete steps, congregated marvellous freaks and living legends, basking in volatile potential of energies. There was blasphemous and amiable Blair Jones, the front man of ‘If I Had A Gun’, who couldn’t keep away from taking words out of your mouth on the pretext of being bipolar, doing his rap next to stunning drop-the-jaw Bell and her unlikely hero, super-gifted boy Gwilym, a most mismatched couple I have ever seen. They travelled to Spain shortly after to squat in derelict houses and protest various environmental causes, which no doubt involved drinking a great deal of red vine and punk rock. Then there was Tyrone Pagong, a grave menace to the State, its political agenda and its policy enforcers, as well to himself and his friends on which he practiced kung-fu moves when thoroughly intoxicated, which happened a lot, without taking into consideration that others were made of bones and soft tissues rather than hydraulic pistons and cogs wrought of tough alloys and driven by alcoholic vapours. There was James, hunched over and making himself small, also quite a bit drunk, eyes sparkling with icy-blue far-off fire set alight by Dostoevsky and adamantly wishing to be drinking vodka on Trans-Siberian railway, whom I had humoured at the time condescendingly only to find out he’s just the kind of guy who’d do it, having survived train-hopping stints in the States. Just about anyone you pointed a finger at on that night outside the Happy Bar was either a madman or a genius in the making, destined to be orbiting on the fringe of society around their own collapsed star whose gravitational pull was far too strong to let them be anyone else but themselves. This pull made an individual intermittently shine with intensity of a supernova and in the next moment flicker back out to nothingness, evoking alchemical flow of energy not unlike quantum ripples, wherein paradoxical entities appeared as if channelled from hyperspace - wow and behold! - there they were, in the flesh, vibrating at sky-high frequency and emitting signals that would wake up a Pleiadian on the quiet side of Taurus. It was in exactly this manner that Alana appeared by my side, popping right out of another dimension, with a glass of water in her hand while I was trying to explain to James that I knew nothing neither about Siberia nor have I ever read Brothers Karamazov, which made my throat parched beyond imagination. Yes, I was supposed to be studying Dostoevsky in class but underneath every Russian classic I hid a volume of American science fiction. I could have well been reading ‘Martian Chronicles’ or ‘Fahrenheit 451’ instead of ‘The Idiot’ as this is what I remember from school days. There I was, glued to the spot by inert collapsing after every sentence James, my tongue moving with difficulty maintaining a tread of conversation, looking at a sparkling coolness wrapped in slender fingers in gratuitous offering. The warmth and nonchalance of that gesture was so disarming that in an instant I became a little boy and saw the entire masquerade for what it was worth: a shrewd and elegant disguise for some, messy and foolish facade for others, depending on predisposition of a given character, but essentially a concealment of the fact that none of us ever grows old. Beneath the pretence there was a flow, an undercurrent, eroding theatrical archipelago of appearances one floating layer at a time and eventually consuming multitude of forms and games played with tragic masks and merry laughs as grown-up kids hollered and wept and continued to survive depth charges of belly laughter that would surely destroy any world order one could think of. The bearer of this news had a freckled face and a patchwork velvet skirt, and her eyes changes colour each time I looked. She smelled and breathed of magic, rejuvenation and vitality. She bathed in divine Chaos and sprinkled droplets of sparkling elixir in spontaneous response to everyone and everything for her threads of attention were equally divided between friends and strangers, woven in and out of deep ocean size conversations and spun into undecipherable fleeting gossip or simply given to a momentary contemplation of textures and designs of a spider web or a mosquito’s wing as she cuddled, embraced and nurtured all impermanent phenomena arising and passing in a state of perpetual flux. I was finally granted an audience with a spirit that worked on me ever since I came out of the womb one way or another, cajoling, beckoning, requesting, commanding and giving final notices of eviction to my mind and pushing me ever closer to the edge beyond which I had no control. And the night was only starting: all that cacophonous jazz was just a preliminary to a wedding ceremony between two members of Meatbix troupe, who adopted me as their go-go dancer for the duration of their week-long tour in a cramped minivan and with whom I was becoming intimately familiar. Meatbix were known for rendering audience infantile and escalating foolishness into a state of art. They used to employ a goblin with latex body parts glued on for the night, who tended to get rather drunk well ahead of the show. He was personified by Heath, a metal head, who also conveniently happened to be a make-up artist specializing in gore. Heath got sacked after sending Vicky, Meatbix fan number one, to hospital with a gashing head wound left by a stool which he doesn't recollect possessing in his paws at the time of the strike. A goblin can't be held responsible for being a goblin, so I got hired instead in a position of a lesser evil. The wedding was to be performed with ecclesiastic officialese in the break between the set and planned thoroughly in advance by theatrically-minded Carrie Rae: Philka Boradovski, an obliged groom, incongruously dressed in a shirt with a tie and a white frilly skirt, shuffled back-and-forth onstage, his electric guitar still slung across, while I led his bride out by the hand. Vowels were exchanged and solemn promises made and witnessed by an unruly crowd of out-of-their-heads munters, lost on the way to a better future youths, passing-through-town hippies and clad in leather jackets beer-spilling Black Mob bikers anointed by Carrie Rae with a task of soap bubble blowing out of tinny toy-shop bottles handed into the crowd; the background to all this bizarre happening were images from a looped porno projected onto the back wall, sliced and diced with meat work close-ups, porn, butchery, and ballet. I can still see Josh in his old school motorcycle helmet and golf underwear bent double over his long-neck bass guitar and hear Carry-Rae’s oh-dear! Yankee accent rolling along a bumpy country-folk trail scattering immemorial lyrics ‘I got a hard-on for Jesus and Jesus got a hard-on for me’. Yee-haw!
Not what you expected, huh? I didn’t expect you to read this far either. But you get the gist of it, right? I am here, I am a freak, alive (sort-of), hanging out for filmmaking adventures, and just ask me what else you wish to know. Thanks for being curious... it goes both ways
Unique traits: can stare past infinity and receive fractal messages from the other side